AUSTRALIA- 6 Week travelogue . Summer of 2022

This travelogue maps our 6 weeks visit to Oz in the summer of 2022.         I'm going to add pix soon.       

                           FIRST LEG OF THE JOURNEY

  Australia, as you can see on the map, has a lot of nothing in the centre. That doesn't mean that nothing happens there, it's just not the sort of place we like to visit. There will be certain areas in the centre with ranches, cattle spreads and mining but it's too dusty and remote for us soft British, well me anyway.

  Luckily there are enough exotic, interesting places in and around the coastal areas, and in particular, the East coast which we have visited these several times over the years.

  We've flown into Sydney some time back, where we visited an old friend who had moved there from Wales some years before. Then drove out to the Blue Mountains where the Eucalyptus trees give off a blue haze, and explored a bit of the Pacific Rim, an area that lies between the East coast and the Outback.

  However, this trip in 2022 we had decided to travel to Brisbane and explore the Sunshine coast in Queensland. This extends up to the Great Barrier Reef and has a very comfortable climate, rarely falling below 10 and reaching highs in the 30's.  When we were there it was mostly mid 20's, very nice !

  We flew with Qatar Airways which was as comfortable as a long flight like that will allow, it was well organised with no hitches and glitches. We boarded the first part at 10.50 pm, this was to take us to Dohah in Qatar where we would transfer to our flight to Brisbane. No drama's, just a long flight, but it allowed us to sleep by going at that time.

  After spending a few days in Forest Lake (near Brisbane) with our dear friend Helen, we took a flight up the the coast to Townsville, named after Robert Towns, a master mariner who decided to settle in Australia in 1843, a civic leader, he gave his name to the town as is such for a lot of Aussie towns. He started a cotton plantation, this was due to the shortage of cotton coming from America which was suffering port blockades during the civil war.

  We found the sub-tropical region in and around Townsville lived up to its reputation, and was indeed,  an extremely pleasant and relaxing place to visit.

  This is part of the Perfumed Garden Park in Townsville, where we saw giant succulents and cacti, and although spring was only just arriving, the whole park was already full of exotic plants.

  There are no fewer than nineteen parks in Townsville ! sadly we did not have time to visit them all. We stayed for eight days in a nice apartment just back from the beach called the 

Madison Ocean Breeze. The promenade could be a little breezy at times but nothing dramatic, and it stayed warm for the whole period.

  We came across this "Siren" that had coloured lights inside

that indicated the temperature of the water at any give time.

  Pauline used the electric scooters that could be found everywhere, but I did not feel confident enough so I gave that a miss. We'd only been there a couple of days when I realised I'd bought too much stuff, this was going to be a very warm holiday so T shirts and sandals would have done.

                                                         'Castle Hill" lookout

                                               The views from "Castle Hill"

  Our next stay was on Magnetic Island which is 20 minutes by sea-cat out of Townsville. The island got its name from Captain Cook, who when sailing by noticed that his compass was being adversely affected by something and he put it down to strong magnetic forces emanating from the island. He named the island "Magnetical Island" which was later shortened by the islanders. It has since been found by scientists, that no such force is to be found on or near the island, and its thought that he had just had a bad compass.


  We stayed for 3 nights in Nelly Bay, in an apartment which was only partially open as it was still out of season. The complex "Amaroo on Mandalay" was a haven for the famous Kookaburra seen here close up, they were in the habit of being fed by the staff, so they had become used to humans, although they can get aggressive when they see you eating and won't share with them.

There's more to come, I am just collating the material and will upload soon, don't forget to come back now!