It’s a long way to the top, Day 19 – 1770

Day 19 Tuesday June 24th 2014 Maroochydore to 1770

It was warm last night and there is condensation on the windows. This morning is warm and sunny with wispy cloud. Tearfully, we say our goodbyes and hit the road yet again.

The road across to the Bruce Highway is reminiscent of how all this region once looked. The valley is patch worked with cane fields and the hillsides are lush with rainforest. Towards Gympie we leave the rainforest behind for lightly treed grazing land.  At Gympie the river appears innocent but the Aldi and Woolworths stores happen to be built on very tall stilts.

There are now bamboo farms. There are constant delays due to road works and this gives us the chance to really notice the scenery and smell the flowers. Yes, everything is in flower. There are more and more Queenslander style homes, big weatherboard houses with wide verandas and wooden shade hoods over the windows.

Whoopee! Pineapple farms and roadside fruit stalls now dot the countryside. We crawl through this enormous fruit bowl to the historic town of Childers. It has managed to preserve its wide verandas and the footpaths are inlaid with historical mosaics. We grab a couple of pies and press on to Bundaberg.

There are miles of sugar cane farms and macadamia trees. The road works hold us up and it takes much longer than expected. We race to get to the town of Seventeen Seventy before nightfall, mindful of the lack of twilight. Sunset up here means lights out, no ifs or buts. Darkness.

The sun is turning the sky crimson over Bustard Bay and the mainland as we arrive at the Captain Cook Holiday Park. The park is set in rainforest, there are palms, bananas, jacarandas, gums and climbing vines. “where lithe lianas coil, orchids deck the treetops and ferns the warm dark soil”. Yeah, I know sorry about the poetry but it’s hard not to quote Dorothea MacKellar when you’re on the road.

It is so peaceful, the lights twinkle amongst the trees and the air smells warm and tropical. We fall into bed exhausted.   

Travelling Kms: 402Kms

2020 Note: That passion for anything resembling the tropics still hasn’t waned. And for non Aussie readers, the town of Seventeen Seventy is so named because Lieutenant (Captain to most) James Cook and the Endeavour crew came ashore here in … you guessed it 1770.

Window View, Captain Cook Holiday Park, 1770

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