Showing posts from September, 2009

A thousand diamonds strewn across a blue plain

We arrived back in Mackay (our original starting point on this tour de Queensland) with a few days to spare. Mom & I decided to pass on the Reef/Whitsundays because the trips are very expensive, we both get seasick, it would be a rushed trip, and we were both a bit terrified of snorkeling in the open water of the Pacific Ocean. That night we enjoyed our usual favorite: Hawaiian pizza from Eagle Boys! We opted to rest in Mackay at a caravan park and be local beach bums the next day. Plus, I wanted to show Mom the marine life I'd previously found at Harbour Beach during low tide.

However, we awoke to gray clouds and raindrops. Determined to let my Mom actually swim in Australian water we got on the road for Townsville, hoping to encounter better weather. Like the majority of Queensland in the dry season a.k.a. their winter months we found abundant sunshine just an hour's drive north on The Bruce.

On the last leg of our road trip, sweating profusely from the sun beating thro…

Into the night

Mom & I left Australia Zoo -- an hour north of Brisbane -- in the late afternoon, embarking north along the coast. We had no particular time schedule to adhere to; no specific places to stop; just the wide open road & a few days' time until we should arrive in Townsville where I would stay with my au pair family & Mom would return to the States.

Queensland seems designed for the road traveler. The coastal drive on The Bruce a.k.a.A1/Bruce Highway has major towns in four hour increments from the southern end to the top of the state. So, from Brisbane it would be 4 hours to Gladstone - Rockhampton - Mackay - Townsville - Cairns (pronounced "Can-z"). We hoped to make it almost to Rockhampton that evening, putting us halfway to our final destination. Now the trip took on a different scope because we were free to do whatever we wanted! I borrowed a ton of books from the library so I leafed through Cassowary Crossing & Lonely Planet: Queensland for ideas. Our t…

All I want for Christmas...

Image Meg, a Southern Hairy-Nosed wombat!The more I learned about wombats the more impressed I was. Not only are they adorable and plenty of braun, but they've got brains too! Here are a few impressive facts I learned at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo:
There are only three species. The Northern Hairy-Nosed wombat is so endangered there are only 139 left in the wild in Queensland. Baby wombats are also called "joey"s and like its cousin -- the Koala -- their pouches face backwards. WHY? So when burrowing all the dirt doesn't go directly into the pouch/baby's face.Of the three species, Southerns are the most social with others and humans.
Now for the unique details that made me aspire to be like a wombat:
They are the smartest marsupials.Wombats have few predators in the wild. Their defense? A piece of rock hard cartilige over their butt. Yes, you read it correctly. To protect themselves they'll run into their burrow with their sturdy rear end as a barrier. If …