It’s a new day: on the Sunshine Coast

The kookaburras were laughing early this morning, so the dogs and I took a walk along the Golden Coast, just one of the beaches here at Caloundra.

We’ve travelled to the coast now, after three weeks inland. It’s great to be at the ocean again.

From Leyburn we drove south, visiting an 8,000 acre station on the shores of Lake Glenlyon. James, the co-owner, showed us around. He’s worked hard, increasing the dams on the property from 14 to 40, so now the station can support 1,000 head of cattle. We learnt that cattle don’t like to walk much further than 500m from water, so in order to use all the grazing much more useable water was needed.

Leaving Leyburn, we stopped at Tenterfield for the Friday night at a great free camp alongside the river there. Setting up camp in record time, we ate a campfire supper of crispy fried bacon and baked beans, and as we were enjoying chocolate cake for afters a friendly Aussie turned up for a chat. Josh lives at Brisbane, he informed us, and often came out to camp on the other side of the river with his friends. This young man was a mine of information about where to travel and what to see. He reckoned we’d enjoy the Sunshine Coast most of all, which corroborated our decision to head for there.

On Saturday morning we continued north via Stanthorpe – which we’re told is one of the coldest places in Australia – then on to Warwick and Toowoomba. Toowoomba is a beautiful town. Quite a surprise, it’s really green and lush, being set on an extinct volcano so catching lots of rainfall and having vast 360 degree views of the surrounding forest and farmland. Toowoomba is known for its great schools – and for the fact that more doctors make the town their home than anywhere else in Australia.

From Toowoomba, we felt like we were back in the westcountry as we were made “Welcome to Somerset”. The Australian Somerset is a large region, with some great farmland and also known for its adventurous activities. We continued on to sleepy Esk. We stayed Saturday and Sunday nights at Esk, visiting the area. On Sunday morning Ed was up really early and had climbed up through the forest and craggy cliffs to the top of the nearest mountain – and back again before breakfast. This place isn’t known as “the adventure centre” for nothing.

On Monday morning, we broke camp as the temperature climbed towards the late twenties. We were heading for the coast!

And now here we are at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.

Ed, Tim and Amy have been in the sea non-stop since we arrived – and the dogs loved cooling down in the ocean too.

White sand and mangroves on Golden Beach

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