October 26: Cardwell —–> Mackay
We said goodbye to Cardwell and headed south to Blacks Beach in the northern suburbs of Mackay. We had a bit of a look around Townsville as we drove through from north to south.
The countryside as we moved south gets highly variable rainfall amounts – in just a few km we drove past a salt evaporating facility and straight into a narrow band of tropical rainforest while around the bend we found ourselves back into dry sclerophyll woodland!! This wasn’t an unusual feature of this day’s journey. Stopped for morning tea and had an icecream on the run.
We got into Mackay mid afternoon and had arranged to have a cup of coffee with Belinda McMahon (an ex Victorian who had migrated north to the tropics). She had told us that her partner Shane Ekerbicer (another migratory Victorian) was on call for his job with the railways…..so it was a very pleasant surprise when they both turned up!! We all spent an hour and a half lounging around the motorhome chatting before it got too dark and the mozzies got too friendly. It was lovely to catch up with them again. We waved them goodbye, not expecting to see them again till July next year at the ASWA (Australian Severe Weather Association) AGM in Brisbane.
We had eggs on toast for tea and sat there enjoying the tropical breeze coming in from the Coral Sea – the beach not more is less than 20 metres from us.
October 27: Mackay——> Mundubbera
After a good night being lulled to sleep by the sound of waves we had a leisurely breakfast and set out for southern Queensland and the little inland town of Mundubbera with our route taking us over the ranges and through the towns of Mt Morgan, Dululu, Biloela. The weather is sunny and pleasant for travelling – cumulus clouds are more widespread on the west side of the range but it’s much cooler than you would expect for the end of October. The climb up the range to Mt Morgan (about 340m ASL) was windy but if there is a passenger with a camera you can get stunning photos of the coastal plain. The country dries out the further you get from the hilly country. The road from Dululu to Biloela is still under caution, possibly from damage from earlier flooding.
(to be continued)