Brisbane to Hervey Bay
Trip Start Jun 15, 2009
133Trip End Jun 14, 2010
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En-route home from the mountains we had stopped at the Yatala Pies Shop in order to try the pies (very tasty!). It also gave us the opportunity to photograph our first ‘big thing’. There are numerous famous and not-so-famous big things around Australia. You probably already have Sydney Harbour Bridge in mind. However, it’s not quite in that vein. This is the Big Banana variety of big things, as shown in a book given to Jen for her birthday by Rosie and Steve. They had therefore set us a challenge of finding big things as we travelled through Queensland. The Big Pie at Yatala was indeed big, although not as big as we expected, and was balanced atop a big pole, making it very difficult to photograph from our position in the car park,. We assumed that it would be more visible from the freeway but sadly the trees in front of it have now grown too high to allow a clear view. Nevertheless, we did manage some photos and do have the photographic evidence here for you
Our slight disappointment at the pie made us all the more determined to find bigger and better big things and so our journey northwards in our campervan has been partially determined and deviated by this quest. We have met many lovely people in tourist info places, shops and garages, when we have leapt out of our van saying ‘we’re on a mission to find big things, do you know where the big…... is?’
Our first day in the van was a rather short one as we had unexpected things to sort out before leaving, so we eventually headed off, re-planning where our first stop would be as we were so late. We plumped for Woombye and were delighted to discover that we were just down the road from a huge, very tacky Big Pineapple, with visitor‘s centre inside (it‘s a big pineapple growing region). The nearby Big Macadamia Nut was closed for restoration, but we managed to get into the grounds and get a distant shot. We detoured to Tewantin where we were devastated to discover that the Big Stubby (stubby bottle) made from bottles had been demolished, along with the House of Bottles outside which it had stood. Our journey was not completely wasted, though, as there was a Big Shell in the same town. Our favourite for the day was the Big Ned Kelly at Ned’s Petrol Station in Maryborough.
We decided we needed to take in a bit more culture other than just the big things and stopped for a wander around Maryborough. There are some lovely old colonial buildings in the town and lots of street sculptures relating to both the current life and history of the town. We were also surprised to find that it was the home of PL Travers who wrote Mary Poppins
Eventually we got to our destination, Torquay, in Hervey Bay. We were up bright and early in the morning to go whale watching. Every year approximately 7000 humpback whales pass through Hervey Bay during their migration back to Antartic after breeding in the sub-tropical waters. We sailed out into the bay on a catamaran to look for them fearing that the whole area would be full of boats. However, this was not the case and the few boats within our view were in contact to help spot suitable cases. We saw saw several mother and calf pairs swimming, spouting, breeching and slapping their fins during the course of the day, and were not disappointed with our experiences. In particular, one whale a bit further away went through a whole series of gymnastic exercises for us, tail up, leaping out of the water and spouting furiously. However, the best was yet to come; close the the point of nearing to turn round and make back to the port, two pairs rose quite close to the boat and spent a while swimming around us and cavorting for us. The experience of being so close to these huge creatures was breathtaking and quite humbling in that we have so little understanding of what they are doing, trying to project human emotions onto them seems really pointless; what actually motivates a whale?