Month end Odo reading: 1,658
April 2009
 9 April     Distance:  5km 

Took delivery today, after first taking the motorhome to Queensland Transport to change the registration from a cab/chassis to a motorhome - this resulted in a reduction of the 3rd party insurance premium. We also found out that it was not necessary taking the motorhome or any documents other than the registration papers and a Change Details form. We then went back to PMH, to get a few last things done then went to Camping Plus just down the road to buy toilet chemicals and chairs, then groceries at Woolworths then we drove to our camp for the next 2 nights.
 
We stayed at the Broadwater Tourist Park in Southport on the 9 & 10th. It is situated right on the beach and walking distance to many Gold Coast sights. After checking into the camp Yvonne & I virtually sprinted to Bicycle World, where we had bought 2 bicycles the day before, we had to get to the store before 18:00, we just made it.
 
Camp not too bad at all but very busy. Ablutions old but very good, neat & clean. It is rated 4.5 stars and it qualifies for that rating.  Many caravans and tents. Went to Sea World, which was great, especially the Dolphin show
11 April      Distance: 216.5

Southport, Gold Coast to Casino, NSW via Kingscliff, Pottsville, Hastings Point, Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Ballina & Lismore..
 
Drove down the coastal road through Brunswick Bay, Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Ballina & Lismore on our way to Casino.  There was a music festival in Byron Bay - tens of thousands of people walking to the grounds, women all in "Wellies".  Very pretty and trendy town, a place to re-visit out of holiday season . Some beautiful beaches along the way. Raining heavily when we arrived at Casino.
 
Casino Village RV park is well laid out, tidy but ablutions old and very "tired" - a real disappointment. We joined in the happy hour and met some friendly Aussies.
Km's for the Month: 1578
Odo reading at month start : 80
12 - 16 April    

Planning to stay at Casino Village RV Resort so we can do a thorough check of all the systems and equipment.
 
Cycled into Casino town on Easter Sunday, it was pretty deserted but seemed a neat, typical Aussie town. Sussed out where all the stores are we need to visit during our stay. Walked into town on Wednesday and collected 15 maps of Australia from NRMA (NSW version of AA). Also had our first "begging" experience by an aboriginal who wanted a silver! Fantastic NextG reception.
16 April     Distance: 230.5

Casino to Gold Coast in all the back mountainous roads. The route took us through, in order from South to North - Kyogle, Woodenbong (pop. 600), then Rathdowney, then Beaudesert, Tamborine and Tamborine North, Oxenford & finally Gold Coast RV park at Helensvale.
 
A lot of our trip was through rain forests and the road was narrow, twisty and tortuous - a lot like the East Cape road in NZ, but not quite as rough or as bad. I had to take a photo of Yvonne at Woodenbong, the sign said Yowie, and Connor's name for Yvonne is Wowie, so it seemed so appropriate. Very poor NextG reception at Gold Coast Holiday Park, only 3G.
17-20 April     Distance:  137

Gold Coast Holiday Park (Helensvale) to Arundel, then south to Burleigh Heads, then back north to Brisbane.
 
We took our motorhome back to PMH for a few items to be adjusted and repaired. The one major item was the slide-out. The wiper seals were not wiping so when the slide-out was brought back in, any water on the top and one side ended up inside the motorhome. Worse still, when I braked I was flooded with about a 1/2 litre of water.
 
All items were repaired (except fitting the chrome wheel trims) by 12 noon, then we took the motorhome to Grand Mercedes in Burleigh Heads to have them reset the SRS warning light (airbags). Within 30 minutes that was done, so we headed north again for Newmarket RV Park in Ashgrove, a suburb of Brisbane.
 
18 April  -  We had a very enjoyable BBQ with Noela Hunter & her family, who were out from the UK. We last saw her and her daughters about 11 years ago.
 
19 April  -  Francis & Melvin Lowings picked us up just after 10am and took us to Mt Clooth-tha, where one can get a stunning view of Brisbane. After that we travelled up to Sandgate, Woody Point, Redcliffe, Scarborough and Deception Point. Beautiful beaches all along the way. We stopped at Morgans Seafood in Scarborough to have some fish & chips.
 
20 April  -  Decided to stay an extra night in Brisbane. Went into downtown Brisbane by bus.
21-22 April     Distance:  117

Ashgrove, Brisbane to Caboolture, then Caloundra and finally Golden Beach on the Sunshine Coast.

Golden Beach

We headed for Sandgate, from there we travelled along the coastal road along Bramble Bay, Woody Point, Redcliffe. We then had to go inland slightly to get onto the Sunshine Highway until we got to Caboolture, a busy mid-sized city. Then it was back onto the Sunshine Highway until we turned off for Caloundra.

22 April  -  Rode our bikes into Caloundra and Kings Beach. after that we rode back to Golden Beach but then went further down to Pelican Waters a  really neat canal suburb.

23-25 April     Distance:  37

Golden Beach to Maroochydore
 
Instead of driving on the Sunshine motorway we took the scenic route from Caloundra to Mooloolaba Heads along the coast road through some really scenic beach resorts. There are literally hundreds of beaches, many with picnic spots and some of the picnic spots even had outdoor gym equipment! We took about 4 hours to do 37 kilometres! We stayed at Cotton Tree Caravan Park, right at the entrance of the river to the sea - an extremely scenic palm tree lined camp with tremendous views of the river & sea.  A phenomenon we discovery while walking on the beach in front of the camp is that the sand "squeaks". I videoed this for proof.

That night we met Frank & Catherine Trim  and John Taft for dinner.  I went to primary school in Durban with both Frank & John, and later went to the same high school as John.  Frank lives in Perth and John in Maroochydore.  We had a fantastic evening catching up on "old times".

24 April  -   we drove to Noosa in a car I hired for 24 hours. We took a slow drive there and back following all the smaller coastal roads. After returning to Mooloolaba we went to the See restaurant at the Wharf near Underwater world, where we had a really great lunch with Frank & Catherine. John Taft visited us in our motorhome in the evening for a few drinks and a further catch-up. So far, our trip to Maroochydore has been really great and we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the area - it's much better than the Gold Coast.

25 April  -  At about 4:30 this morning we heard the National Anthems of OZ & NZ being played at an ANZAC dawn service in the park next door to our camp.

Rode our bikes into Maroochydore - it is ANZAC DAY so all the stores were closed. After riding around checking the deserted town we then rode to Mooloolaba along the walkway, great ride, although it was very hot.

Besides our 15 km ride we had a rest day. Earlier in the morning we had a Skype call with Scott & family.

26 April     Distance:  181

Maroochydore to Southport
 
Travelled on the Sunshine, M1 and Gold Coast Highways, so nothing extraordinary report. Staying at Broadwater Tourist Park in Southport again.  Peter & Marion Brennan popped in for visit, nice catching up and discussing Paradise Motorhomes, his custom-built specialised 4x4 motorhome is due to be delivered on 15 May.
27 - 28 April     Distance:  15

Southport to PMH and back to Southport
 
27 April  - Chrome wheel trims were fitted, in addition our central heater was repaired. Thankfully I decided to check the heater before heading south and it did not work.

Scott arrived in Brisbane on business and met us after work at Broadwater Tourist Park. We went out & enjoyed a really good meal in Surfer's Paradise.

28 April - We decided to stay an extra day in Southport.  Spent an enjoyable day with the Brennans, we visited Tamborine and we all particularly enjoyed our visit to the Bavarian Cuckoo Clock shop - not too mention the fudge shop and chilli macadamia nuts we bought at the same shop! 

After that we went shopping at Dick Smith, I bough an iPod and a weather station for the motorhome. My Eclipse AVN2210p sound/navigation system does not connect seamlessly to the iPod, it appears it requires a special cable which no one mentioned at PMH. Peter bought a USB Digital TV receiver/tuner for his laptop.

That night we had a really magnificent buffet dinner at the Versace Hotel. We then said our farewells to Peter & Marion, hopefully we may next meet up again, possibly in Darwin.

29 April     Distance:  203

Southport to Caltex Truck Stop, 6kms north of Warwick, Queensland
 
 First thing we did was go to PMH to meet Martin to get a "dedicated" iPod cable, unfortunately he didn't have one so I settled for an AUX cable until the correct one arrives in 4 weeks time - at least we can now use the iPod through the vehicle stereo / navigation. As soon as the AUX cable was fitted and tested we began our 'real'  big Aussie adventure trip starts. We travelled north to Beenleigh, then southwest to Beaudesert, Boonah and Aratula until we arrived at the truck stop where we are spending the night. The distances in OZ are enormous, we did just over 200kms today and on the map it looks like we did nothing at all!
30 April     Distance:  433

 6kms north of Warwick, Queensland to Narrabri, NSW
 
 Left the truck stop just before 9am as we wanted to walk around Warwick after the stores had opened, otherwise we find towns a bit deserted. As it turned out Warwick is a neat country town, known as the rose town. The name became apparent when we saw the main street with rows of beautiful roses of all colours down the middle of the street and along the sides. Many buildings are constructed using sandstone and are pretty substantial.

The drive from Warwick was uneventful other some shockingly bumpy and very rough roads - as bad as any road we have experienced in NZ. One bump on the highway was so bad I thought our bicycles had fallen off - I switched on the back-up camera to check - they were still there! There were 100's of 1,2, & 3 trailer trucks. We travelled through the towns of Inglewood, Goondiwind (pronounced Gundiwindi), Moree (large population of indigenous Aboriginals) and finally, Narrabri.

After battling to find the Narrabri show grounds for over 30 minutes, we eventually did find the grounds after dark and parked alongside horse stables and plugged the electricity into a socket I found on a pole.

Broadwater Tourist Park, Southport
Yvonne typing emails
Hastings Point
Yvonne at Woodenbong as "Yowie"
Yvonne, Noela & Taryn
Brisbane, view from Mt Coot-tha
Morgans, seafood, Scarborough
Scarborough harbour
Scott's Point, Redcliffe
Golden Beach
Outdoor gym, Mooloolaba Heads
Cotton Tree Camp, Maroochydore
Frank Trim & John Taft
Sandbag breakwater, Maroochedore
Cuckoo clock shop
Marion being silly
Sunset at Southport
Truck-stop parking
Sandstone Post Office
Interesting sign