Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Monday 10th May 2004 to Wednesday 12th May 2004

Monday 10th May 2004

We finally made it to Movie World today, after filling the Patrol up with diesel (at 87.9 cpl) and arriving in the car park at about 9:50am.

After gaining entry we walked straight into the queue to the 'Movie Magic Special Effects Show' which demonstrated the methods used to make a man fly, or at least appear to be in the movie clip. There were three stages of the show that covered the use of the 'blue screen, sound effects and special effects such as using miniature models to create real size effects. Although most of us have some idea how it is done, seeing it created in front of you really is quite fascinating.

From the Special Effects show we moved on to the 'Police Academy Stunt Show'. This was all done with stunt work and only a little in the way of special effects. While waiting for the show to start there was a very entertaining 'Police Officer' that was guiding people in to there seats, whilst at the same time taking the 'mickey' out of people as they walked in (In an inoffensive way) and he had the crowd laughing well before the main show started. The show itself was rather ama zing... the stunt work in the cars and right through the show was second to none. It was a laugh a second all the way through whilst showing great stunt skills and it ending with a real Bang!

We had chicken and salad rolls (at $5.95 each) while we waited for the next street show which was the 'Bat Attack'. This was a staged performance featuring the 'Caped Crusaders' Batman and Robin in the ultimate battle against evil. It was not necessarily all that convincing but it was entertaining nevertheless.

We had a look through some of the numerous shops that sell Movie World souvenirs before another street action fight scenario based on 'The Matrix'. Again this was a fight scene that was entertaining but not as real as it would look if filmed from the best angles and screened in a movie.

Immediately after the 'Matrix' we went into the 'Roxy Theatre and were provided with a 3D movie cartoon where we were required to wear special glasses. This is a new style of movie that creates amazing 3D effects that we have never seen before. Not only did the movie seem to jump right out into the theatre, we even felt rain drops when water was being splashed around. It may not become the norm in movies, but it certainly was a great movie experience.

Then came the street parade (or party) that went off with loud music and a lot of movie cartoon and action characters. A great end to a really good day at Movie World.

Next we drove into Surfers Paradise itself and parked near the beach. We had a short walk on the beach before walking down the mall and stopping for a cup of tea and coffee with cake. It was then a short visit to the Woolworth store in the mall before returning to the caravan park.

After returning to the caravan, we packed up the awning and all items that we could in preparation for a move northward tomorrow. This is the end of five good days at Surfers Paradise.

Movie World Street Parade

Sylvester the Cat

The beauty of Surfers Paradise Beach

Tuesday 11th May 2004

Wonders will never cease.... we were up, had the caravan packed up and on the road by by 8:10am this morning.

We first found our way onto the Pacific Highway heading north through the numerous cities or suburbs up to Brisbane, then over the Gateway toll bridge and onto the Bruce Highway. We continued north until we came to the 'Wildhorse Mountain' which has a lookout on top of it. we pulled into the car park and then walked the 700 metres up a very steep concrete path to the top. This walk tested us out but we both made it and the views were well worth the effort. We had a panoramic view over the Glass House Mountains and all around a 360 degree circle that included the cities of Caloundra and Maroochydore. It goes without saying (so why am I saying it?)that we took a good number of photographs from this lookout.

From there we continued north but decided not to call in to the Sunshine Coast as we only have so much time to make it the rest of the way around Australia. We continued on the Bruce Highway which skirts past Nambour, Noosa Heads, Gympie, Maryborough, Hervey Bay before traveling through Tiaro and Childers. Just after Childers we turned of the Bruce Highway and headed east through Apple Tree Creek before finding our way to the Glenlodge Caravan Village in Bundaberg. Within ten minutes of arriving we had been greeted by a really friendly park manager and a further seven other residents, all offering assistance and wanting a bit of a chat. The park is a four star caravan park and is very neat and tidy. It is almost surrounded by fields sugar cane growing to about 2 metres high.

After setting up and having those few chats, we drove into the centre of Bundaberg and bought a chicken from Red Rooster for dinner as we forgot to take anything out of the freezer this morning. Bundaberg is a large city of about 70,000 people and we have been told it gets larger in the winter as the grey nomads move up this way when it gets cold down south.

We have booked in here for two nights but may stay longer as there does appear to be plenty to do to fill in, particularly if we can get out to the Great Barrier Reef.

Glasshouse Mountains from Wildhorse lookout

Sugercane- as high as an elephants eye

Wednesday 12th May 2004

We are not sure if today if the 'Great' or the 'perfect' part of that Queensland saying about the weather: 'Great one day, perfect the next'! Whichever it is, I won't argue with it, blue sky, warm sun with a touch light cooling breeze. If the weather is not the same in your part of the world - sorry, you will just have to 'eat your heart out!'.

This morning we took a drive through Bundaberg and the seventeen kilometres out to the Port and Marina at the mouth of the river that Bundaberg is situated on. Then we drove south to a beach suburb called Bargara Beach and along the ocean to Coral Cove. Bargara Beach was a very impressive little place that has lush green lawn wherever there is space on the ground and the ocean is a beautiful blue green colour. It would be easy to take up residence in one of the beach front houses that back right onto the beach itself. Coral Cove has a very green golf course and resort and all the way between these beach suburbs and Bundaberg City the drive is through fields full of tall sugar cane. This is the Queensland that one imagines it to be.

After this drive we topped up our pantry by shopping for some non-essential food, like meat and vegetables at one of the suburban shopping centres before returning to the caravan for a quick lunch.

Next came the important part of the day, we headed off to the Bundaberg Rum distillery for a tour of the distillery. We arrived just in time and after some minor delays, such as putting the cameras back in the patrol and then securing our watches and everything else we had that may have electronic workings or cause a spark in any way (that meant everything) we finally set off on the tour just after The tour was not a high tech special show, but did show the whole process that goes into making Bundaberg Rum. There are currently three hundred timber kegs (Large vats) filled with rum, each one holding about $5,000,000 worth of the liquid. Work that out and it should come to 1.5 billion dollars worth of alcohol, and the surprising part is that there only 57 people working there (and 17 of them are to look after tourists). It sounds like a pretty good money spinner to me!

After the tour we were privileged enough to sample a couple of glasses of the product and naturally enough, 'one of us' bought some souvenirs whilst the 'other one' bought a couple of bottles of the good drop. One being a liqueur that one of us enjoyed and the other bottle being over proof rum (57% alcohol) Unfortunately due to restrictions we were not able to take our cameras in so could not get any photographs of the distillery.

We initially thought we might take a boat tour out to the Great Barrier Reef from here, however it is about sixty kilometres out to sea and one of us has a tendency to get a little motion sick, so have postponed the reef viewing until a little later in our trip when it may be a little more accessible.

While driving around Bundaberg we noticed a 'Sizzlers' food outlet so the decision has been made that we will visit that establishment for dinner tonight, then tomorrow we will set off north again in the direction of Rockhampton.

Bargara Beach - Bundaberg

Wayne & Cane - outside caravan park