We awoke to a barrage of rain and quite chilly temperatures by Queensland standards. After a delicious finger bun and morning coffee courtesy of the very Australian bakery on Main Street (VERY Australian because there was more bright pink icing than bun) we jumped into the troop carrier (our 4WD machine) and headed North to Mackay.
As we mentioned yesterday, we decided to make a bee line for the tropics. The Tropic of Capricorn runs right through a coastal Queensland town called Rockhampton. We decided to make this our lunch time goal. Unfortunately all that lay between Hervey Bay and the finish line was a long stretch of rather uneventful road and some truck stop roadhouses. Miriam Vale roadhouse was our first stop for fuel, toilets and food, then back in the car and back on the road.
The rain continued to pour down and the wind continued to howl, tossing our car all over the road, but on we drove. After fifteen rounds of playing the licence plate game ( a game where you have to think of a phrase using the letters from the car licence plate in front of you …………………………..for example MAD. 015 could be Mandarins Are Delicious) we ran out of cars.
Most difficult sign to Pronounce………….. Callopieie Creek
Cutest sign………….Ginger Beer Creek
Most depressing sign………Mackay 400 kilometres
Most incorrectly spelt sign…………..Town centa and shoppes two killomeeters
With road signs and licence plates out of the question we tried our luck at the local radio. Firing up the highway all we seemed to be able to pick up was 4MK, the local Whitsunday Island radio station……oh boy….the pickings sure are slim around here! Thankfully, out of the blue in a deserted section of the road (as many were) we miraculously managed to pick up The Goon Show. This is an absolutely mad and hysterical English radio show. If you ever happen to be driving this way, try tuning in to 103.1 FM on the road out of Miriam Vale at about midday. It was surely the high point of the drive………..
At exactly 1:12pm we crossed the border into the TROPICS. This section of the coast is referred to as the Capricorn Coast. Yippee!
Finally around 5pm we reached Mackay, a town located midway between Brisbane and Cairns on Australia’s glorious Queensland coast. With sore legs and backs we alighted from the car, thankful the 12 hour drive had reached the end.
As dark was vast approaching we spent the night in a little cabin on the Northern Beaches of Mackay. Dinner was some fresh Ocean Trout accompanied by an eclectic variety of 60’s and 70’s music on a lovely stretched tape.
Off to bed. Very tired. More on the morrow. We’re in the Tropics at last!