Woke this morning in Yeppoon, about 50km north west of Rockhampton and the gateway to Great Keppel Island. We are right on the the tropic of Capricorn (yay tropics at last), and I woke to a tropical shower, our first rain since Melbourne except now I can already feel the humidity rising. Love the tropics.

We left Harvey Bay around 9:30am yesterday, as we were packing the owner of the Big 4 kept popping around and trying to get us to book another night so we could spend the day whale watching. I made it pretty clear that wasn’t going to happen (we were already half packed), but it didn’t stop him from trying. Zac started to think it was like Lotus Casino from Percy Jackson… once you are in they never let you leave… his reasoning was that is why there are no kids in this park… only old people!!! Lucky we escaped!

Actually the owner was pretty good about it, and offered some advice about heading north. In fact it was on his advice that we made a beeline for Yeppoon, so we pushed out of the caravan park, stopped at Coles Express for fuel, Coles for food and Dan Murpheys (no Coles variety of liquor here) for alcohol. All stocked up, we pointed north.

Probably got a good 30 mins up the road this time before we got the call on the CB “Craig… can we pull into the next rest stop… Mattie needs to go” followed a few minutes later by “…actually so does Kate!”. As it turned out, she was not alone with most of us needing to go, so a quick side of the road visit to the caravan and we were off again… going to be a long trip if we can only make 30 mins in the car!!

Stopped for lunch at a roadside travelling area. This is like a huge camp ground with lots of caravans and campers stopping in the shade for lunch. You could sleep here I guess, but a sign indicated that you could be fined if you stayed longer than 20 hours. This is a short term stay, not a camping ground!

As we were pulling out, I saw a great little van that had been converted into a mobile coffee shop. What a great idea, so I stopped to chat to the guy… oh and get a large coffee! Who would have thought I could get a real coffee out here! No Bella Barrista, but was delicious anyway.

Lunch, coffee and wee stops done, it was time to get some kilometres behind us. The kids were great in the car and at one stage I said to Fi “you wouldn’t even know they are there!” The wonders of modern technology with mobile internet and an iPod or iPad you can entertain kids for hours. Mind you there is a danger. Zac got a few iTunes cards for his birthday, so I loaded them into his account. $50 worth of purchases… awesome…err except that I discovered that so far he has spent about $200 of his $50! He thought it would run out and tell him, but of course it just started running up Dad’s credit card!

He was very ashamed when I showed him last night, and I have removed my credit card from his account for the moment. Oh well, my fault for not monitoring closer, guess it could have been worse!

Anyway, after a much more comfortable day driving with no (or less that is) mad Queensland drivers to contend with, we arrived in Yeppoon about 4:45pm and went straight to the Information centre to see what Yeppoon has to offer. Lucky we did, as we were informed that the caravan parks were all full except the Big 4 and we had better book quickly.

She was most distressed that we didn’t have a booking and it was so late in the day. We rang the Top Tourist park on the beach where we thought we would stay, but sure enough it was full. No issue at the Big4 though, a large and reasonably new park among new real estate (maybe Mark and Kate could live here) we found sites next to each other with no issue. Nothings a problem!

The park is actually awesome, with a massive waterside! I’m sure the kids will find an excuse to visit that today!

Was as we were setting up that Mark realised that he had lost another tyre! Second one for the trip, or third if you include the spare with the bubble. This one was a ripper with the tread coming right off the wheel. See the picture below. Lucky the van is dual axel, or that would have been a nasty change on the side of the road.


Guess that will mean a trip to Kmart tyre and auto once we are back on the road for a few more new tyres. Obviously had re-treads on it when he bought the van.

Anyway, today we will explore Yeppoon, make sure we have enough snorkelling gear, maybe finally get to a beach and try to book a boat to Great Keppel Island tomorrow. Some of us are making the most of nowhere to go today with a bit of a sleep in (half their luck). Me? well blogs done, rain has stopped and two little girls have just woken up… must be time for breakfast!

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