Was met with no wind and no rain but quite a few people messaging us concerned that we were in the middle of the Newcastle/Sydney storm… turns out that we must’ve punched through the storm on our driving day and were sitting above it. The girls are doing a fantastic job being in the car for so long. We were actually going to break this drive up and take two days to reach Hallidays point, but thanks to Mel’s wool the girls were happy doing finger stitch and watching movies that we reached Halliday’s Point in 1 day!!! Also getting around the outskirts of Sydney didn’t take us that long either. Sadly the storm brought big swell to the beach Matt had planned to fish that day so instead we watched surfers charge the waves at the Blackhead Point with a latte in hand while the kids played on the beach.
The best laid plans… we had hoped to see Thunderbolts Lookout in Torrington before pushing on to Bald Rock, however very windy roads through hilly rainforests coupled with poor planning by us meant we only made it to Torrington. We stayed overnight, arising early to set off on our walk to see Captain Thunderbolt.
In the morning we got to do our first hike of the trip to Thunderbolts Lookout. Matt got pretty nostalgic as he had been there on a previous holiday and the kids loved the caves. Really great lookout at the top with a 360 degree view. We then travelled to Bald Rock Conservation Park, set up and lit a fire and cooked potatoes in the coals.
Walking the 3km+ route to the top of Bald Rock was always going to be a good litmus test for how our family would cope on walks and with Lucy having a minor meltdown within the first few 100 metres it wasn’t looking good however we have learnt that distracting Lucy with different techniques works. We did the hike in about 2 hours, which included a long rest at the top and breaks in all the caves on the way up. After our walk we drove (nearly) to Bunya Mountains to feed the birds by hand… however the road didn’t recommend caravans so after a few corners we did a U-turn and headed out. 5km up the road was an amazing free stop off with power ($1/hour or $2 got us all night) and $2 showers in a place called Kumbia. That day we were approached by locals to march in their Anzac Day Parade and then attend the service.
There was no Anzac Day dawn service at Kumbia but a march at 8am and the service to follow. 6 helicopters did a fly by during our service which was very cool. We were going to go back to Bunya but Felicity discovered a caravan park that did bird feeding each afternoon in Cania Gorge which was near Monto. But first we travelled to Kingaroy and bought lots of peanuts from the Peanut Van. Unfortunately Kingaroy doesn’t do peanut tours anymore, seems with OH&S & the like its all become too hard, so we pressed on, but not before (by chance) seeing an F18 flyby! We arrived in the caravan park at 4.30pm and made haste as the bird feeding was at 5pm and the girls were star struck by the water park. They had a ball, heading down the waterslide even though the water was freezing. In the morning they loved sharing breakfast with the local kangaroos very close by.
We left the park early and hiked the “Dripping Rock/ Overhanging Rock” hike. At the end Lucy told Matt matter a factly “that was an easy walk” even though it was longer than she had ever walked before. This was a really great walk. Emma delighted in the fact that we walked 296 steps to get to the Overhang. They loved counting along the way. We drove until we reached Marlborough and then stopped behind a servo with what turned out to be quite a crowded spot. The kids were happy as another family turned up and 4 dirt piles turned into islands… who needs a playground when you have an imagination? After dinner the girls experienced their first Bubble O Bill… they were pumped! We made them wait till the morning to have the bubble gum… I think all the hype died down quickly as they couldn’t work out how to actually blow a bubble and that it very quickly lost its flavor!
So… we’re writing this at the Whitsunday’s… but thats for another blog 🙂
As you can see we’ve got them doing the dishes!