7 Day Yeppoon & Maryborough Trip
Wednesday 6 October, after a number of pickup points we were on our way to Yeppoon. We had good traveling, but it was a long day on the road as we left Clontarf at 6:30 AM and arrived in Yeppoon at 5:30PM. Stopped at Lake Alford Park in Gympie for morning tea before heading onto Childers for a one-hour lunch stop around 11:30 AM. Between Gin Gin and Miriam Vale there was a lot of road works, and we got every red light at the construction sites. In one place there were 4 sets in a row. We then had a quick stop at a roadhouse just off the highway at Calliope before making our way through Rockhampton onto Yeppoon. We did do some trivia questions along the way to keep people occupied. Everyone was glad to get to Yeppoon. Once we got our bags off the coach we had a bit of a wait to get to our rooms at Bayview Towers as there was only one lift working and with 32 people and their luggage it took a while. After a freshen up we headed to The Strand Hotel just across the road for dinner. This was our breakfast and dinner location for most of the time in Yeppoon as the restaurant at Bayview Towers was closed.
After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we headed off on our first day of sigh seeing. Our first stop was Hendersons Park Farm where we picked up the owner who took us on a short tour of the property and showed us some of the feed crop they grow plus some of the 1000 head of cattle on the 8000-acer property. He was very informative and passionate about the work they do on the farm. At present the herd is Brahman, Brangus and Droughtmaster cross. The enterprise involves both the breeding and fattening of cattle, and their aim is to produce beef for the feeder and export market and replacement heifers for their own herd. We then enjoyed damper along with tea and coffee at the farm retreat down along the banks of the Hedlow Creek. After morning tea, we made our way to Capricorn Caves where we had time to check out the gift shop before lunch. After lunch we headed off on a Cathedral Cave Tour. This tour showcases the largest and most spectacular caves. We heard about the ancient geological history of the caves network, early explorers, the wonders of wildlife -small bates and special cave acoustics. On our way out some left through the Zig Zag passage and suspension bridges. The young tour guide was very good. It certainly was very very dark in the Cathedral cave when he turned off the lights and we listened to the wonderful acoustics as he played Hallelujah. Made our way back to Yeppoon and went and checked out the old deserted Iwasaki Resort before arriving back at our accommodation with some time to have a drink together in the area outside the closed restaurant before heading off for dinner at the pub.
Friday, we had a little time between breakfast and departing on our sightseeing to have a look at the Yeppoon foreshore. We made our way down the coast to Emu Park and checked out the Singing Ship up on the headland. We then headed off along the road to Rocky turning off to go visit the Koorana Crocodile farm. We had a tour of the farm checking out all the different crocs they have there and saw him feeding some of them. We even got to hold a 3 year old croc. Once again, our tour guide was very good explaining everything they do at the farm and how they look after the crocs. After the tour we had lunch there, did not have croc but it was on the menu. We then made our way into Rockhampton to check out the Rockhampton Zoo. Checked out the different animals including Otters, Emus and Chimpanzees. Cassius, which is one of the chimps has just turned fifty (18/10/2021). It was a hot afternoon in Rocky, glad to get on the coach and make our way back to Yeppoon and the cool sea breezes. We had a quick tour of Rocky CBD before heading back. Once again, we had some time for drinks before heading off to dinner.
Day four saw us heading off for some sightseeing in the Byfield area. Stopped for morning tea at Red Rock Camping Area in the Byfield national park before making our way to check out some pottery at Nob Creek Pottery. A few people purchased some items here. We then drove through the large (kidding) township of Byfield onto Ferns Hideaway Resort for some lunch and entertainment. The owner sang some lovely old songs and some of our group did some singing and dancing. A lovely place on the banks of Water Park Creek which is fed by a natural spring and has lovely clear water. After lunch we headed back to Yeppoon for some free time. Lucky for us there was the Lions Tropical Pinefest on in Yeppoon that afternoon which included a street parade in the main street and markets, rides and entertainment set up along the foreshore. So, lots of things to fill in the time. Tonight, we had a special treat for dinner, hopped on the bus and drove the short distant to Keppel Bay Sailing Club overlooking the water. Some chose to take the short walk home through the markets to walk off dinner.
Sunday morning after breakfast and the coach packed saw us making our way to Maryborough. We started with a short drive down to check out Rosslyn Bay Marina and then through Rocky back onto the Bruce Hwy stopping for morning tea in Mount Larcom. Even thou it was a Sunday they were still working on the roadworks, but we had a bit better luck getting some green lights. We stopped for lunch at Gin Gin. Back on the road we made a small detour into Howard to check out an old home there that takes up the whole block before arriving in Maryborough just after 4PM. We stayed at the Carriers Arms Hotel Motel for 2 nights, rooms were great as was the food. Time to check into our rooms, freshen up and have a drink before dinner in the hotel bistro at 6:30 PM.
After a very nice buffet breakfast in the motel restaurant, we headed off to Hervey Bay. After a short drive up around Point Vernon we made our way to the Historical Village & Museum. We had morning tea there before seeing some demonstrations put on by some of the members of the society including blacksmith and rope making before having some time to check out the village and museum. We then made our way along the foreshore to Urangan Pier for a picnic lunch. After lunch we travelled back to Maryborough to have a look through the Story Bank Mary Poppins Museum. This is the house where the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers was born. On the ground floor was the Australian Joint Stock Bank which her father was manager and they lived on the first floor. Here we learnt the story Helen Lyndon Goff born on the 9 August 1899 in an upstairs bedroom. She later went on to become know as the beloved author P.L. Travers. "If you are looking for autobiographic facts," P.L Travers once wrote, "Mary Poppins is the story of my life." It is not hard to see the connections between the Mr Banks of the novel and P.L Travers’ own father. Even Mary Poppins herself is heavily based upon Travers' great aunt Ellie, who took her family in after her father's death. The building was purchased and restored by the local council and is a very interesting place to visit. Had a short tour around some of the old building in town before heading back to our motel for some pre dinner drinks and a lovely dinner.
After six days of glorious sunshine, we woke up to an overcast day for our trip home. It did not stop us from visiting Queens Park and War Memorial in Maryborough. Great memorial and Botanic Gardens with views over the Mary River. We had time for a quick morning tea before heading down the Maryborough Cooloola to Tin Can Bay for lunch at Barnacles. We checked out the tiny place of Poona on the way there which overlooks the Great Sandy Strait across to Fraser Island. After lunch we made our way back through Gympie onto the Bruce Hwy for our final stretch home. Arrived back at Pelican Park around 4PM after a number of drop offs along the way.
A great time had by all on this trip. Everybody got on well and enjoyed themselves. Excellent driving by our driver Mick and ably backed up by his wife Karen.