Tuesday 25th November 2014
Reasonably good nights sleep, except from the telephone call from a nurse from the UK wanting to discuss my dad. Fortunately nothing important that couldn’t wait until our return. After getting up we walked a few blocks to a shopping centre and grabbed breakfast in a café; scrambled egg on toast (gluten free for me) before returning to the hotel room to grab some things for the day ahead. We decided to go exploring the surrounding area of Rockhampton, including visiting the Capricorn Caves just north of the city.
There was lots of references to Capricorn which we discovered was due to the fact that Rockhampton sits on the Tropic of Capricorn. Apparently there is a spot in the city where you can stand in both the Equator side and Tropic of Capricorn side, but we didn’t bother finding it. Anyhow, the caves were a nice break from the heat of the morning and the tour guide gave us some interesting facts on how they were discovered and about the bats that frequent them during the summer months (they were just starting to arrive in an adjacent cave when we were there). After the tour and a coffee we then headed for the Coast and arrived an hour later at a beautiful beach at Yeppoon, a town on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. The views of the coral sea were stunning and very photogenic. We bought a packet of chips and ate them looking out to sea, all very British and then went paddling in the warm waters and beach combed for shells before getting ice creams and chilling out in the shade.
We then drove onwards, following the scenic coast drive back towards Rockhampton, stopping off at Emu Park and Keppel Sands on the way. The beaches were empty; apparently the region was out of season for tourists. We assumed the winter months were when they came as the temperatures were cooler and the seas free from jellyfish. Anyhow, it was nice to be able to wander around easily, free from hundreds of families.
Back at the hotel we freshened up before going out for some dinner, finding an Outback Jack restaurant and I had the best steak I’d eaten for a long time, whilst Tina had beef bangers and mash. We both waddled back to the hotel full to the brim, vowing to diet when we got back to the UK.