Tag: Toyota Coaster

511. Sunday 25th September 2011. Jupiters Casino and Reminiscing …

Friday 23rd September

Well, today we did something we thought we would never do.

We became members of Jupiters Casino at Broadbeach. Our friend Glenda is a Pearl Member and advised that today the Casino is having a special luncheon for $15 which normally costs $39.90. It was only available to members. We joined a queue to become members. Part of the deal includes $10 worth of credit. More on that later. After getting our membership cards we joined another queue to actually pay our $15 and gain entry to the dining room. With Glenda waving her Pearl Card we got on the short queue and were given a buzzer as the dining room was full. Eventually we were given a table and spent the next 45 minutes trying the food which was laid out much like a cruise ship only on a smaller scale. When we left the queue was still out the dining room door and down a hallway. The Pearl card got us in quickly.

After full bellies we felt like using the $10 credit given to us. So, Poker Machines here we come. I am not a fan of gambling but do occasionally buy a scratch ticket or a lotto ticket.

Occassionally is the operative word.

I used up the credit and continued to play, finally leaving with $11.25 in winnings. Woo Hoo! Big deal. I might buy Tasmania. Total boredom. I guess we have to wait another year before the lunch special comes around again.

After lunch Donnis and I went for a walk along main beach. What a lovely sunny day. We saw a wedding to our left.

Good idea.
Wedding guests everywhere.
Wedding Chapel
Best Man

Hmmm. The bride and some of the guests look somehow familiar. TV actors and so forth. Is that Steve Bisley I see?

Lots of well dressed people at this wedding. Is that Steve Bisley?

Is that Jennifer Hawkins?

Is that Jennifer Hawkins?

Looking right we saw three Asian weddings all taking place at once.

Three weddings

Tonight our Rugby League team, the North Queensland Cowboys, played a semi -final match against the Cronulla Sharks at the Sharks home ground. Last week the Cowboys played a hard fought game against the Broncos and won. All commentators pointed out the hard grind of last week’s game would leave the Cowboys totally physically drained for this week. Deep down I had to agree with them. The final score of 32-20 does not reflect the hard game. The cowboys were defeated but not defeated. We are proud of them.

Let’s have a look at what we did this time in…


We had a converted Toyota Coaster bus and went for our first weekend bush camp with a Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia local Chapter, the Mackay Sugarloafers. We camped at Boulder Creek in the hills to the north of Mackay. We discovered this as a delightful and very popular campsite and visited many times in the future. At the time I described it as a “tranquil place”.


Our friends Geoff and Margaret had been staying with us in Airlie Beach and they were ready to start a slow trip home to Bomaderry in NSW. They agreed to join us as we planned to go to Wandoo Station with the Mackay Sugarloafers. This location is in the mountains west of Sarina Qld and is a working cattle station. We were camped on Funnel Creek. (Funnel Creek is unusual in that it flows west away from the coast. It eventually flows south into the Fitzroy River which does eventuall flow into the ocean near Rockhampton) Regrettably, ownership of the station changed hands a few years later and due to a few incidents with some hoons who camped without permission, the campsite was closed off permanently.


We had traded our Coaster bus on a Winnebago a few months earlier. This weekend I travelled alone to a beautiful campsite at Pinevale on the upper reaches of the Pioneer River. Donnis was at home as she had to work over the weekend. This is another wonderful quiet, peaceful bush camp site. It is a site on private property which has a gazetted road running through it. The property owner must allow cars to use the road but has the right to decline access to his land anywhere else. Each year we would seek permission from the owner to camp on his land. We always ensure the grounds are cleaned before we leave so the owner will always agree to allow us to return. Some people use the site without permission and often leave their rubbish behind. This selfish behaviour will see access restricted in the future.


We had packed our furniture into the garage in Airlie Beach and started on the road full time. First stop was Pinevale (see 2009) then off to visit my daughter Melissa and husband Steve on their property at Finch Hatton. The intention was to stay just long enough for the rain to stop. It rained for another week and the ground was becoming boggy. Too boggy to safely get out of the tractor shed where we were camped. This was the beginning of what we had planned to be a trip around Australia.

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…

A week later we managed to get on the road and arrived at Theresa Creek where we encountered more rain and the first of several floods in several districts right into the New Year.


We are back in Finch Hatton, farm sitting and getting ready to get on the road again. But first we agreed to move to Mackay and help Errol clean up, repair and paint his house ready to put on the market or rent…whichever comes first.


I am in Mt Beauty in the Kiewa Valley in the Victorian Alps. I am house and animal sitting and Donnis is in Canada. There is snow on the mountains all around me and a log fire needs to be fed all day just to keep the cabin above freezing. I am looking after a Mareema, an Italian Sheep Dog and three Geese. All have personalities. One goose is clucky, one is almost friendly, timidly eating out of my hand and the third is a male and very aggressive. (There is an old adage…walk softly and carry a big stick. I always carried a big stick when the male Goose was nearby) The dog just wants to be my friend but he weighs more than I do and has twice thumped into me and hyper extended my knee. I had to be careful as he was too friendly and accidentally caused pain.


We had just finished house sitting in Brisbane and moved to a campground at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast. Alecia arrived from Canada for a few days and we got to see the SWELL Festival at Currumbin for the first time. While house sitting in Brisbane we visited the Gold Coast several times. It was during these visits we first started to seriously consider moving to the Gold Coast. Nothing was immediately available and we first had to sell our Mackay home to finance a purchase. We were ready to head north again as we had decided to move into our house in Airlie Beach for a few months and get it ready to sell or prepare it for rental before we move on again.


I went back to work for almost 12 months while we also prepared the house. Our Mackay house sold and we had funds to buy. A villa became available on the Gold Coast and this week in 2014 we were in our new house and the task of settling in got underway.

492. Sunday 15th May 2016. A quiet week coupled with a parking fine and Animals round off the week…

Sunday 15th May

It has been a quiet week for us. Not boring but we have been busy with medical and dental appointments. We did not visit new locations.

For example on Monday our friend Graham helped us put up awnings on two back bedroom windows and the back door. Graham scored the awning parts from a neighbour. We took them apart and painted all the metal. Graham also scored some near new awning canvas which were all slightly wider but Donnis cut and sewed them to size while Graham and I started on fixing the frames etc to the walls.

On Tuesday I saw the dentist who put in a temporary filling and booked me in for a crown to be fitted. Meanwhile Donnis and Graham finished the awnings. While at the dentist I got a $117 fine for parking illegally.


On Wednesday I got the results of my little op last week. It is a cancer – squamous carcinoma – the doc offered to cut it all out right there right then. It will be just a couple of sutures he said. Well okey dokey let’s do it. A few minutes later I can feel blood running down my face and filling my ear. Afterwards I looked in the mirror and found not a couple of sutures…there are six. It must have been a big cancer. He sent the stuff he cut out to the lab to check that he got it all.


Instead of visiting somewhere new I think it is time we caught up with a few photos which have not been shown on the blog before. This week we will look at animals.

First up let’s look at a Polar Bear. Naturally we did not see this guy in the wild as they live in the Artic circle and even the Inuit Indians do not see them on a daily basis. We saw this fellow at Sea World on the Gold Coast. Nice and cuddly, friendly looking as he appears, make no mistake you would not last more than a minute in a cage with him. This bear lives in a large rocky enclosure with glass walls around his pools and viewing platforms above the entire enclosure. He has lots of toys and I was fascinated by his antics. He still had food left over from his previous feeding so he stuffed whatever it was in a crevice in the rocks below the waterline. Every so often he would stop what he was doing and go back to see the food was still where he put it.

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Polar Bear at Sea World Gold Coast, Qld.

If you ever get a chance to visit Sea World I can recommend it. I found the animals more interesting than the rides.

I found this delightful butterfly on a bush in a small garden created by a local aboriginal group. The garden contained lots of native plants found in the area as well as some samples of native craft. The garden is located in the small but amazingly civic minded town of Morven, Queensland on the Warrego Highway midway between Mitchell and Charleville, about 700 Klms west of Brisbane. Morven has several public gardens with most plants identified. The visiting butterfly was obviously not identified. I still cannot identify it. Morven has a free overnight campsite right in town beside the highway. Longer stays at the football field costs a gold coin donation. Power, hot showers and toilets included.

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Unknown butterfly, Morven, Qld.

The Australian Ring Necked Parrot inhabits dry desert regions. We found this parrot in the dry scrub country near the gemfields of Lightning Ridge. We have been to The Ridge several times and always enjoyed the visit. In fact Donnis worked here for three months a couple of years ago. Finding this parrot was during our first visit and the Subaru Imprezza was put to good use driving through all the back roads and tracks leading to disused mine shafts. It was on one of these back roads we found the parrot.

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Australian Ring Neck Parrot, Lightning Ridge.

Once again we were discovering back road out back of Bourke, NSW. There is an Aussie say when a place is a long way from anywhere we say it is “out the  back of Bourke”. In this case we were way out back on one of those red sand tracks and beginning to feel lost. We had not seen another car for two hours. This emu, like all emu’s know how to blend in with their surroundings.  After another half hour battling deeper and deeper sand tracks we found a sign, pointing to Bourke but no indication of how far away it was. We saw lots of Emu that day, some even running along the track beside us but by then all we wanted to see was a sealed road and sign to take us back to Bourke.

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Emu, Back of Bourke, NSW.

Just about anywhere on lonely coastal stretches in Queensland you can see the Brahminy Kite. They just seem to drift along in air currents, not using much effort at all. They are a big bird and mainly live on fish but will take other small animals as well. This specimen was sighted at a boat ramp at Bucasia on the Eimeo Creek Qld.

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Brahminy Kite Eimeo Creek Bucasia Beach, Qld.

These Oyster Catchers can be seen just about anywhere along the coast of Qld, NSW and Victoria. They feed in the mud flats and sandbars at low tide. Oyster Catchers seems like a strange name as oyster would not be that hard to catch as they do not move once they cement themselves to rocks or tree branches or whatever. The birds are very shy and move away from humans quickly. This specimen was seen at remote Moore Park Beach about midway between Bundaberg and the town of 1770.

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Oyster Catcher Moore Park Beach, Qld.

You can find Welcome Swallows just about anywhere. They spend most of their daytime life on the wing. Flying around looking for food…flies, moths, butterflies etc. They usually like to nest somewhere near water so they can collect mud to make their nests – often under houses, eaves or in open horse sheds up under the rafters. They rarely hold still  long enough to be the subject of a photo. We saw this pair, in October 2011 on a fencing wire at Finch Hatton, a small rural town about 60 Klms west of Mackay.

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Welcome Swallows Finch Hatton. Qld.

In May 2009 we were camped in our Toyota Coaster Motorhome at a free campsite at Moulting Lagoon on Coles Bay at Freycinet Bay, Tasmania. One evening we heard lots of loud honking across the bay. In the morning we were surprised to see hundreds of Black Swan had arrived overnight. These large birds feed on vegetation and it was a pleasure to see them bob for grass or weeds under the water, their bums stuck up in the air.

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Black Swans Moulting Lagoon, Coles Bay, Freycinet Peninsular,Tasmania.

We were walking along a bush track in the Springwood National Park in the Great Dividing Range just a few Klms west of the Gold Coast. Some people just ahead of us let out a squeal and all jumped to one side of the track and clustered themselves together. (German ladies backpacking Australia) They were frightened by a black snake. Black snakes are deadly but being the silly inquisitive person I am, stepped forward for a closer look at this fatter than usual black snake. To my relief it was a large black skink quite plentiful in this park and not really afraid of squealing tourists who were so scared they wanted to turn back. They live on fungi, fallen fruits, invertebrates and are also known as a Land Mullet.

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Black Skink at Springwood National Park, Gold Coast Qld.

Finally one of everyone’s favourite birds, the Pelican.

A funny bird the Pelican

His beak holds more than his belly can.

This group waddled around on a little beach beside a fishing boat ramp. The local fishermen clean and fillet their catch here and feed the scraps to these well fed guys at Metung Beach, Lakes Entrance, Victoria. We were driving our Toyota Coaster Motorhome on our slow way back to Airlie Beach from Tasmania in May 2009 when we stopped here for lunch.

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Pelicans at Lakes Entrance, Vic.