October 24: Charters Towers to Cardwell
We spent a pleasant night in Charters Towers which is a very nice, tidy inland Queensland town and (as a bonus) had a Telstra dealer who also had a new hotspot in stock and told me that when I ran out of data with one of the SIM cards to activate the next one and we would get another 3 gigs of data so there is a saving of $60 and we’ll get a Telstra shop to swap the one that doesn’t work (at some stage).
We drove into Townsville through dry country west of the coastal range and sent our friend Leigh Thomas a message on our way in suggesting catching up for a cup of coffee on our way north along the coast ( he answered in about 10 seconds flat) – we met him at 12pm on The Strand and went down to “Oliver Brown’s”…a Belgian chocolate coffee place which sells the most amazing chocolate creations as well as making very good coffee. Good conversation between the 2 train blokes with some weather thrown in and the most amazing view. It was a very pleasant way to spend hour or so.
We headed north after that with our destination being Taylor’s Beach which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment so we tried the town of Lucinda which had an amazing sugar loading facility (and crocodiles apparently) but not much else and the van park was located right next to it – not somewhere we really wanted to be so we set Cardwell next to Hinchinbrook Island (which has its own cloud) as our next destination in the GPS and headed further north!!!!!
This turned out to be a great decision….the Cardwell caravan park is literally on the water and has a restaurant which sells excellent and enormous servings of take away flathead and chips which was well worth $15.50 each. We wandered along the foreshore to the jetty and back again and then bought a pear cider and enjoyed the view while we waited for our takeaway fish and chips. It’s a nice van park and the southern caravanners who are here in winter have gone back south and the parks up this way are pretty quiet which suits us just fine.
October 25: Cardwell
We like this spot so much we have booked another night – this place is totally underrated!!
Hinchinbrook Island just across the way is amazing – the light in the mornings is beautiful and the breeze in the afternoon keeps the mozzies and midges away. Many palm trees have survived Tropical Cyclone Yasi (Cat 5) but a lot of the other trees along the foreshore were razed and they have now been replanted. There is a brilliant promenade that goes for miles – we know – we have walked it (twice). I didn’t get sunburnt, but Clyve’s feet were a bit tender so we bought some new sunscreen (the one in the van had an expiry date of 2013!)
The restaurant attached to the caravan park/motel would not be out of place in a big city – it’s that good!! We had dinner there….a corner table with a view of of the Coral Sea. Clyve had chicken parmigiana and drank Great Northern beer on tap and I had a Strongbow Pear cider to accompany grilled coral trout. We both finished off with pavlova with mango and berry coulis. We don’t often do this but it was worth it.