Tags: Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Coolum
On the road heading South to Brisbane Hi there, here is just a quick rehash in case you have missed the first episodes from ‘The Bribie Islander’. My short stories are all about our family, Richard my hubby, Ginger our daughter and myself, going on a 15 month trip of misadventure in a “big rig” around Australia, on a mission to find the place to call home. A few weeks ago we picked up my Dad, Herbert (Opa for granddad) at the airport in Cairns, who came for his first visit within my 27 years of living in Australia.
We had lots of fun at Palm Cove, Mission Beach, and Rolling Stone, but now it was time to head south towards Brisbane for his return flight to Austria. We revisited Bowen, Clairview, Kinka Beach and Woodgate, ending up at Coolum Beach, where we celebrated my Dad’s 80’th birthday. We only stayed a few nights at each place taking him stargazing at Bowen where lying on the beach with a glass of blue Schnapps, Opa discovered to his total surprise and disbelief that the star constellation was upside down! But we usually did not get much time to lie around and my Dad kept his fitness up by running up the boulder lookout each morning.
Even the bikes got another workout at Woodgate where we did a night ride to the local pub and after lots of red wine, Opa started to tell us stories from way back in Austria. When he was a young inspector at the Austrian Post he was travelling to very remote places to inspect the running of the local Post Offices. In winter some of the roads were closed and snowed over and he could only reach them by getting onto his skis. It was normal for the ‘Posties’ to deliver the Post on skis in those days. Maybe its due to those harsh Winter conditions that people don’t move around much in Austria and usually live most of their lives in the house the grew up in.
Since I came to Australia I moved quite a few times within Melbourne and then of course ten years ago we had our big move to Queensland. My Austrian family and relatives were in absolute shock to hear that after we finally finished renovating the house in Mapleton we would pack it up, rent it out and move into a van to travel around Australia like Gypsies!! Like my Dad said, who in their right mind would go through so much trouble just to be homeless! Coming from Europe, he never heard about ‘the Australian Dream’… However, after he spent a whole month with us travelling, packing and unpacking his tent and hours on the road, it re-kindled his explorer spirit and he mentioned that if he was younger, he would want to do it himself, get a rig and go and explore the centre of Australia.
Dad said that in Europe if one tried to embark on a trip like ours one would just go from one village to another, whereas here you can explore and experience the vastness of the country and lose yourself in so much space. You can’t come to the Outback…the Outback has to come to you. Anyway, that is my answer to my own pondering of what the Outback is all about. But at that stage, we were back in civilization doing some last minute sightseeing with Opa visiting Noosa, Bribie, and spending a day in Brisbane.
My father loved Bribie and understood why we thought Bribie was the best place we had seen so far to settle down. On the last night, we took Opa to the Sunshine Beach Surf Club, where Richard and my Dad demonstrated how they would order two more beers, which of course in the film ‘Inglorious Bastards’ exposed the German spy. In Germany, Austria and some other European countries, we use the thumb when showing the number two, compared to the English, which use the pointer and the middle finger. Needless to say, my Dad left Queensland in high spirits and fully inspired by the Australian Dream!
Actually, he was so inspired that he embarked on a trip to Morocco and walked through the dessert with a Camel! I will leave you with this ‘sandy’ thought and I hope you can join me in the next edition of ‘The Bribie Islander’, when we head to Victoria on the ‘The Long Way Round to Bribie!