Very pleasant day catching up with my oldest friends, Cheree and Alan who took us for a drive around town and to the lookouts. Gladstone Harbour is a muti-commodity harbour exporting primarily mining-related resources. 70% of Australia’s coal exports go through this harbour, and we can certainly attest to incredibly long coal trains running parallel to the road as we travelled in.
On Curtis Island they are building export facilities for the gas from the inland coal-seam gas projects. And of course bauxite smelters and alumina exports are synonymous with Gladstone. We had a very restful time with Cheree and Alan – nice to not have to wonder where the loo is in the middle of the night! They have a lovely home high on a hill with views to the ocean – and the smelter, which actually looks very pretty all lit up at night.
Because of their lush tropical garden they have lots of birds and have encouraged them by feeding them each morning.
Monday morning we headed off to Eurimbula, a national park just north of Town of 1770. We stopped at Miriamvale to partake of what it is famous for – crabs! We both had a crab sandwich for lunch – yummo! It was a 15K drive in to the Eurimbula campsite on a 4WD-only track (ie narrow, rough, corrugated, loose gravel and the last 7K on sand). Needless to say after such a tough drive in we expected to have the place to ourselves – not so!! It was about half full with fisher-people. We set up camp right beside the beach, but the kayaking and beach-walking weren’t calling us due to a strong onshore breeze, and swimming in salt water is no fun if you don’t have a fresh water shower to go finish off with, which the campsite didn’t (and our open-air shower is a bit ‘revealing’ when there are other people around). Bit of a ho-hum stop for us, though we did enjoy a lovely walk along the beach at sunset.