Tags: Touring. Travel. North Queensland. Australia. Bowen. Travel Destinations.
THE LONG WAY ROUND TO BRIBIE! – Bowen
By Sabine Von Graz
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.
After a couple of nights of outback experience at Clairview, we were on our way to Horseshoe Bay nestled on the outskirts of Bowen. This was actually our third visit at this particular caravan park, which is one of our favourite parks when heading North. It’s an older caravan park with even older amenity blocks, one of which did not have any lights anymore and I never saw them being used or cleaned.
This, however, does not keep us or the Grey Nomads away in the Winter months, when it is completely booked out and packed to the rafters. Although this time around the park felt eerily empty, as we arrived out of season in November, it was to our advantage and we scored a great shady spot with the most amazing water views.
We also had the warm pool to ourselves, which we sought out at least two times a day to escape the heat, and due to the lack of other guests, we had the full attention of the charming owner/farmer who also owned a huge tomato and mango farm. As soon as I thanked him for the free tomatoes, we got a pawpaw, telling him how yummy the pawpaw was, we ended up with two large bunches of bananas, mentioning to him the great lemon aftertaste of the bananas…he rewarded us with some watermelon.
Still don’t know the mystery man’s name with his blue twinkling eyes, however, he offered to take us to his farm on our return trip. But the owner and the pool were not the only attractions at Horseshoe Bay. The huge boulder rocks with scenic walks and lookouts, three different swimming bays, a Chinese, Indian and Western cuisine restaurant all in strolling distance from the park.
And not to mention the amazing sunsets over the water along the bike path leading to the Sunday market. However, it’s hard to beat the markets of Bribie Island, with the variety of stalls, entertainment and gorgeous locations.
Apart from Horseshoe Bay, the town of Bowen itself is quite unique with those wide, wide….very wide streets, like in the ‘wild west’ including the dryness and lack of people, who only come out when they have to, making it a perfect set for a cowboy movie, only the brown good looking muscly chests on top of horsebacks are missing…. No wonder this place was used in the movie ‘Australia’ starring Nicole Kidman.
Nearly 10 years ago, we were heading North on our honeymoon on a Goldwing motorbike, just to discover that the whole of Bowen was booked out due to the making of that movie!!! Exhausted, tired and hungry I swore I would never set foot in this place again – I am glad I changed my mind though… This time around however we were not on a motorbike, brought our 9-year-old child and travelled in the comfort of the Dodge, the 5th wheeler and the old Ford station wagon, our support car.
For every trip, I would pack some snacks for the whole family and the wagon, more than occasionally, would end up in a messy state, which Richard turned a blind eye to. Not so however when it came to the Dodge Ram, which on longer drives was fed by Ginger’s lunch box and the shiny black exterior occasionally wearing smeared handwriting like ‘IT WASN’T ME, DADDY’.
All those mishaps, knocks and leftovers earned Ginger the nickname ‘Crumbs strikes again’ (by Daddy), and while working on her assignments for Brisbane Distance Education she occasionally would sign her work with…. ‘Crumbs strikes again’! Ginger is also part of this logo inspiration, where she is hugging the Mango sunset, standing on the rocks at Horseshoe Bay. She loooooves the story how the Mango got stolen… it was big news, heard all over the radio, even being on TV overseas! The huge 10 tonnes, three – storey Bowen Mango was stolen and could not be found!!!!
Thinking off it…. you would need a huge crane and truck to steal it while making lots of noise dismantling it, not to mention all this next to a busy road. – so where did the big Mango go???? Voila, a few days later it reappeared fully installed – so what happened ???? Turned out it was stolen as a publicity stunt by a restaurant chain, who was releasing their new Mango flavoured drink…… Something to keep in mind when promoting your next business idea?
Boulder Rock(below) Caravan Park(top left) The Big Mango(top right)
Leaving you with this inspiring thought I have come to the end of this episode, but I do hope you can join me in the next edition of ‘The Bribie Islander’ when we head North to Forrest Beach on ‘The Long Way Round to Bribie’!