Noosa was Fun but we like Bundy Rum
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
92Trip End Apr 22, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Bundaberg East Cabin & Tourist Park
Noosa River Caravan Park
Big4 Noosa Bouganvillia Holiday Park
Tuesday 2nd November 2010
Weather Sunny - 26 degrees / Rain 20 degrees
It's amazing to think its November already, we always knew the second part of our trip would start to speed up, but Christmas is only a few weeks away now and we haven’t come half as far as we thought we would have by now. Still it’s better to take our time and see as much as we can rather than racing round and just seeing the inside of the van. We are back on the road again today, heading to a town called Noosa Heads which a number of people have told us to visit. As we travel up the Bruce Highway we pull into a small town called Beerwah, now firstly you’re thinking we have pulled in to this town because of its name, but you are very wrong. As cool as the name is it is also home to the Big Mower and the Big Chainsaw. What we didn’t realise, and the reason it is good to go in search of the Big Things, is that it is also home to the Glass House Mountains and Steve Irwin’s Australian Zoo. We pulled up outside the zoo and went to see how much the entry fee was. We don’t mind a good zoo and we’re sure this one is brilliant but we have spent a lot of money on attractions this week and we have to try and keep to our budget. At $58 it was a bit more than we want to spend so we took a few pictures and drove up to the Glass House Mountains lookout point.....this being free.
The name was given by Captain James Cook who saw nine prominent peaks on the horizon and they reminded him of the glass furnaces from his home town of Yorkshire. There are actually sixteen mountains which make up the Glass House Mountain range. All of them are volcanic plugs that burst up through the earth crust millions of years ago, once covered in sandstone this has eroded over the years, leaving behind just the volcanic rock. There is also a 360 degrees lookout tower, now set up for tourists to view the fascinating mountains, but it was originally built as a fire watching tower and was manned as an early warning system for brush fires.
Back on route we drove into Noosa Heads and around the town before going to find a campsite. Today is the Melbourne Cup (big horse race) in some states in Australia this is actually a bank holiday.... probably because no one works that day any way. For the last month we have been seeing offers for restaurants and clubs all doing some kind of event for Melbourne Cup day. As we drove down to the main beach front in Noosa, there were a number of lovely alfresco restaurants that had events going on. Every bar and restaurant had a big screen and one bar had everyone dressed up in suites and cocktail dresses with big hats like they were actually at the races. We booked into our campsite just as the main race started, Gary had a bet on one of the horses but it never came in.
Tight arse Tuesday again and today we are going in search of an Eagle Boy’s pizza company, who advertise a large pizza at just $6 on a Tuesday. The only one open at 3pm in the afternoon was 10km away, not a problem as we are still driving round in the van. Opposite the pizza shop is an Ezy video shop, which do cheap DVD rental on a Tuesday...only $2. So we headed back to the Campsite with two pizza’s and two DVD’s for a night in front of the TV. On the way back we saw queues of motorists being pulled over by the police and getting breathalysed!
We are staying on a Big 4 caravan sites, the big four’s are probably our favourite chain of holiday parks as they always give good service, nice friendly staff and their facilities are always spotless. Bougainvillia Holiday Park was not one of their better sites, as the facilities were a little shabby but our pitch was one of the best we have had so far. It is a lovely big site with bushes all round so you are not squashed in with your neighbour’s window facing yours. We got up early as normal, once that sun is up, so are you. We dressed for a bike ride, made a picnic and packed up our DVD rentals for returning.
The ride back seemed a lot quicker, but it probably is when you’re not stopping to take photo’s every few minutes and admire views. We had a long cool shower when we got back and then cooked spaghetti bolognas for dinner.
The rain woke us about 2.30am, thundering down on the roof, it never stopped for the next 32 hours. What do you do on a wet day, when the van is already set up so you can’t drive out and the wifi is too expensive so you can’t surf.....you make a backgammon board!!
The wood that goes between our bench seats to make the bed up in the back of the van, has been staring at us for weeks looking very plain. We decided to turn it into a backgammon board so have been looking for paint or something to do the job. Yesterday we bought a pack of permanent marker pens and a ruler. After lunch we set about marking out the board with bottle tops to get the size and then coloured it in with the marker pens. It takes me back to my childhood colouring in on a wet afternoon. By the end we were really pleased with the result but had to let it dry before we could have a game on it. In all this time the rain pour down.....apparently it’s the wettest summer in fifteen years......wasn’t that the last time we were here???
Some habits are hard to break, buying DVD’s and then selling them on Ebay once we have watched them is just one of these hard to break habits. DVD’s are very expensive in Oz so the only way to keep it cheap is to buy them and then sell them on again. The only shock what how expensive their postal service is. To post a DVD to Victoria from Queensland was over $11 we only charged $5 for postage....still it’s all a learning curve.
We are moving campsites today but only 8km down the road, we are meeting up with friends of Mark and Diane’s who live in Noosa so we are moving to a campsite near town to make it easier to get home after our night out. Having packed the van up we headed for the supermarket to get a few bits and then to McDonalds to get some wifi and so I could put last week’s blog on. We must have spent two half hours sorting out the blog, checking emails and catching up on the news.
Saturday 6th November 2010
Weather Sunny - 27 degrees
We left Noosa Heads to continue our journey north, well we actually we went south for 20km to a Saturday Market in a town called Eumundi which was meant to be out of this world. We arrive shortly after 10.30am and struggled to find a parking space, ending up paying $4 in the main car park. The market was massive every time we thought we had come to the end we turned a corner and there was more. It was lovely stuff too, not your usual market tack, and loads of freeby tasters. We had popcorn, ginger beer, banana smoothy, olive oil, nuts, caramelised basaltic vinegar, sausages, you name it we tried it and left will full bellies and not a penny spent.... other than $18 on a silver ring shaped as a gecko.
Inspired by how pretty the rest stop had been and the need for us to get some free camping under our belt we went in search of an overnight stay rest stop for tonight’s accommodation. We have two very good camping books with us, one shows all the holiday parks and campsites in Australia and the other shows all the free sites and national parks in Australia. We had a look through the free sites and found one just on the out skirts of Bundaberg, which is our next destination and home to Bundaberg Rum.
Sunday 7 November 2010
We are in sugar cane country and all the fields around us are filled with sugar cane. There are also a number of big fat toads which we can only assume are cane toads. On the way to the toilet, the night before, we stepped over two big toads and a number of smaller ones. In the morning Gary noticed the two big toads asleep upright squashed between the toilet wall and the water tank....that can’t be comfortable?
Weather Sunny - 28 degrees / Rain 24 degrees
Our campsite might be in an industrial area but you wouldn’t think it once you go through the gates. It has been set up really well, very green and every pitch has its own on-suit bathroom, with a toilet, sink and shower. Most campsites offer a few of these but they are usually $10 more. The afternoon was spent chilling in the sun, I did some laundry and had a long hot shower in our private bathroom.
The rain has caught up with us again, we had planned to ride in to town in the morning and book on a tour to the Rum Distillery in the afternoon, but with the tropical storm that was blowing outside we just stayed in bed all morning and read our books. It brightened up by lunch time and we decided to chance a walk into town, it had been a few days since we had checked emails and Gary wanted the footy scores from the weekend’s games. The walk took us about 45 mins down some very unexciting roads and although it looked like it was going to pour down any minute we were actually pretty lucky as it stayed dry though out the walk. It was however really humid and both of us were sweltering when we got into town. We had a short wander around all the usual shops before piling into McDonalds for a cold drink and some wifi. The walk back seemed shorted but then we both got into an in-depth discussion on diets so didn’t notice the pace we had set.
It was still raining when we woke up but we were determined not to let it spoil our day. We went to reception once we were up and dressed to book ourselves on the 2pm tour to the distillery. The rest of the morning was spent tidying up the van and making lunch. At 1.15pm we walked up the road, followed the signs to the main entrance. The tour was really interesting and our guide was very amusing. Rum is made from the by product of sugar called Molasses. Molasses’s is what is left when sugar cane is crushed and then heated up so many times it no longer creates crystals. This brown chocolaty looking liquid is then pumped from the sugar cane plant next door straight to the distillery where they keep it in two massive five million litre holding tanks until needed. It is then cleaned, mixed with water and yeast and stored in huge wooden caskets for two years. The tour ended with a tasting....obviously the best bit. They served a lovely rum liqueur which had a smooth velvety taste, a bit like Baileys but with a sweet chocolaty flavour... we bought a bottle of this for tippling in the evening.