This is going to be a short one compared to recent posts. Much like our stop in Cairns it was time for a pause and a break from driving. Also time for another service of the 110, amazing to think we have covered 10,000km since Alice Springs – we had very nice Range Rover Evoque as a courtesy vehicle, nippy but far too small.
Townsville – Sun 25th to Fri 30th Oct
From Big Crystal Creek it is a short simple drive to Townsville. Townsville itself is pretty simple to get around, with a large part of the city on a rough grid layout.
There are various caravan parks, of these Rowes Bay offers probably the best location, a couple of km north of the town centre and a couple of minute drive from The Strand waterfront. It also provides piped music in the amenities, which is a bit weird.
There are various Sunday markets each month, including Cotters Market on Flinders Mall; a large arts and crafts market, which kept the girls amused whilst I set up camp.
This is the esplanade which runs along the seaward edge of Townsville. There is plenty to keep the kids amused, with a playground, waterpark and other activities along the km or so of its length – thankfully also plenty of parking.
There are a couple of netted swimming areas here, and plenty of signs warning of marine stingers (complete with bottles of vinegar hanging from the signs, better than the alternative source of weak acid available to most……..)
Bowen – Sat 31st Oct
Bowen is a pleasant but quiet little town on the coast, exactly 20 degrees south of the equator. The Big4 campsite here is small but very well set up, no playground but a decent pool to keep the girls amused. We had timed our visit well, the town was having its annual parade, with various floats circling the route, all good fun.
Bowen is also known for the Big Mango. Actually there are two, but we didn’t know that – the one in town, which we saw first, is a bit of an anti-climax, it is rather small (and there is nothing at it to indicate there is a much larger one to be seen).
The real big mango is on the south road out of town, and much more impressive in size.
The beach outside the campsite is quite pleasant, if a bit rocky. However just to the south is Horsehoe Bay, a small patrolled beach at the end of a headland between rocky outcrops – a lovely spot, although the marine stinger warnings didn’t encourage diving in.
Of course, at this time back in Sydney the girls would be dressed up and out trick or treating. Which they enjoy more, the dress up or the sweets, is never clear. However this year was back to more traditional games, doughnuts on string and apple bobbing, very amusing.