So, the week that was…and a mini break to Bundaberg…
I could tell you about how busy the partition job was, I could tell you that I got my copy edit back for I Want You Back, and I could tell you about a new place we tried for lunch on Friday – Chances at Mooloolaba. It was good.
I could also tell you about the lecture I went to on Tuesday about the state of the reefs around the Sunshine Coast – it was put on by Reef Check Australia and it was seriously informative. But I’m not going to tell you about any of that. Instead we’ll talk about the mini break we took this weekend… Oh, and a warning…the weather was dull – really dull…so my photos are too.
Where we went
Bundaberg, or Bundy, as it’s known locally.
Originally a timber town, Bundaberg today is known for sugar and rum – and is the gateway to the southern islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
It’s a few hours drive north from my home on the Sunshine Coast, and we could only manage one night away, but a break is a break, right?
What we came for
I wanted to see sugar cane. I had images in my head of fields of tall sugar cane against an impossibly blue sky. Sadly, all we got was grey skies and drizzle. I managed one shot with some blue sky behind it.
It’s not all about the sugar cane though. The soil around here is incredibly fertile and we saw fields of rockmelons, fields of berries, and fields of sunflowers.
Meanwhile back home in Buderim
The rain sheeted down. We’ve had 2 months worth of rain in 2 days – with more to come.
Where we stopped
All good road trips – even mini ones like this – need a good stop. On the way up we stopped in Maryborough. Yes, it was raining, but this town, on the banks of the Mary River, has some beautiful heritage buildings. One of its claims to fame is that PL Travers, who wrote Mary Poppins was born here.
We had breakfast at a little café in Customs House, A Spoonful of Sugar, and marvelled at just how high the floodwaters had got over the years.
This is a town that I’d like to spend more time in. The history fascinates me and, well, let’s just say I’d like to get under the covers some more.
Where we stayed
Bundaberg Spanish Motor Inn. It was clean, comfortable, blissfully quiet and a great price. The hosts provided a really friendly welcome. I’d absolutely recommend it.
Where we drank rum
Nope, I’m not a rum drinker – unless it’s in a cocktail by the beach. The thing is, Bundy is known for its rum and this weekend happened to be the Bundy Rum Festival – or something like that.
Despite the weather, they’d turned up in hordes to drink the stuff. Some dressed for the occasion, others just covered up in plastic ponchos.
Where we drank beer
The Bargara Brewhouse in Bundaberg. We each had a tasting paddle – and the beer was good. We were there a bit too early for lunch, but I’m told the sliders and chicken wings are worth sampling.
Where we sampled other fizzy stuff
Another thing Bundaberg is known for is ginger and, specifically, ginger beer. They do make other flavours as well – I use the lemon, lime and bitters to make scones, although apparently the ginger beer is good for this too.
I don’t really drink soft drink so the tasting was wasted on me, but you can really taste the fruit in their range – mostly because they use fresh fruit to brew the drinks. Yes, the soft drinks are brewed – just like beer is. At the end of the process though, the alcohol is heated off so you’re left with just the taste. Cool, hey?
Oh, and if you’re on their website, check out the recipes. I think they should turn the recipes into a cookbook…just saying.
Where I would like to spend more time
Bargara. Ok, the beaches aren’t like Mooloolaba but, let’s face it, I’m pretty biased about what I like to think is my beach. The black rocks are quite striking, and it’s a great foreshore area with, I think, the best ever playground I’ve seen.
We had breakfast at Rick’s on the Esplanade. I had the corn and zucchini fritters with bacon and eggs and it was good.
What I’m coming back some day for
Regular readers of the old and anyways blog know that I have a thing about sea turtles. They truly represent sea voyages and exploration and are the sign of the navigator. Anyways, female turtles also return to the beach where they were hatched in order to lay their eggs – and Mon Repos, just north of Bargara, supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and has the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific region. I borrowed that last sentence from the website blurb.
The turtles nest between November and January and then 6-8 weeks later, from January through to late February/March, the little hatchlings emerge to scurry down to the sea. What makes this truly special is just how much the odds are stacked against these babies – just 1 in 1000 are likely to make it to maturity. I could go on, but I can see many of you glazing over already.
Suffice to say, I’ll be back.
How was your week?