So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

15 October, 2012

Airlie Beach, Mackay and Carmila Beach

On Sat 6th October it was time to drive out of Townsville, bound for Airlie Beach.  On the way south, we stopped at ‘The Big Mango’ to take some photos and have lunch.
The kids at the Big Mango, South of Airlie Beach

Overall, the kids travel really well.  Sam drew a 'cool car'

When we got to Airlie beach, we pulled into the caravan park and setup the caravan.  It was a pretty hot day, so we went for a refreshing dip in the pool at the caravan park before jumping into the car and having a look around town.  After a quick drive around the township of Airlie beach, we drove out to Shute Harbour to see where all the boats leave to head out to the Whitsunday Islands.

Airlie Beach, Whitsundays

Shute Harbour, Queensland

The next morning, Liz had a stroll through the shops on the main street.  After lunch we decided to go and swim at the free lagoon pool in the centre of Airlie beach.  It is a huge pool, resort style pool that is a great asset for the area.  We spent an hour there enjoying the beautiful pool in the warm weather.  Unfortunately the Midges (Sandflies) were really bad at Airlie Beach and we all got pretty sick of them even in the 2 nights we were there.
Airlie Beach's free "resort style" lagoon pool

Term 4 of School started on Monday 8th October, so we did some schoolwork in the morning and then drove out of Airlie Beach at about 10am.  We stopped at Proserpine to pickup some post, and then kept on driving to Mackay.

Mackay seemed very big and busy to us (even having spent a week in Townsville – which is twice the size of Mackay).  On Monday afternoon, we went to the visitor information centre to grab some information on the town, and then we did a big food shop to restock our bare cupboards.  When we had finished shopping, we drove to the free Lagoon Pool in Mackay (called the Bluewater Lagoon) and had a swim and a play there before it closed.  The Mackay Lagoon Pools were huge, with a water slide and a kids water park.  We were very impressed with this free pool and knew we would be back the next day.

We did quite a bit of school on Tuesday morning because the kid’s seemed to be coping quite well with the start of term.  By Lunchtime, all the school was done so we headed out and about.  We drove out to the Harbour (which has a large breakwall you can drive onto).
Watching a tug come into the Mackay Harbour

After a look at the Harbour Beach and the Marina, we drove back to the ‘Bluewater Lagoon’ and spent a few hours swimming, using the waterslide and playing in the water park.
The waterpark at Bluewater Lagoon in Mackay

Bluewater Lagoon, Mackay

We didn’t feel that we needed to see anything more in Mackay, so we left Mackay on Wednesday morning, after a bit of schoolwork, and we drove to a free camp about 100km south of Mackay called ‘Carmila Beach’.

When we pulled into Carmila Beach, it was really hot but there was a nice breeze blowing which made it bearable (and kept the Midge's away!).  Carmila Beach is a beautiful beach and we were amazed to see the difference in the waterline between Low tide and High tide.
Carmila Beach at Low tide

Carmila Beach at High tide
After we’d had lunch, we needed to go ‘collecting’ for a school subject that Josh and Natalie were doing (making a windchime), so we went for a long walk along the beach and collected driftwood and shells that would be a part of Josh and Natalie’s windchimes.  The rest of the afternoon was spent designing and constructing their windchimes – which they really enjoyed.

Josh, Natalie, Sam and Liz at Carmila Beach

The finished product of the windchimes that Natalie and Josh made as part of their schoolwork
We left Carmila Beach on Thursday the 11th October after doing a morning session of schoolwork.  It was quite a long drive (for recent times) but we drove a few hundred kilometres to Rockhampton.  As we drove south, the weather started to turn bad and we drove through some rain for a while.  When we stopped for lunch at Marlborough, it was raining quite hard on us (and it felt cold) but this was quite a novelty for us considering the fantastic weather we've had for the last year.

Josh showing off one of his lego creations - our car and caravan


Anonymous said...

Hi Masons, this all looks so lovely - glad the weather is perfect for swimming. You should write a book about "free pools to keep your kids busy" - you're experts by now!! Hope Mike's wrist heals - he's going to have to do better than that to keep up with Liz!! (joke - take it easy!) Say hello to all the kidlets from me too! :-) Tracey D-S

THB said...

can we have an update of all the bigs in this country... didn't know about the big mango...