Author: Mrs A
Location: Halliday Bay
Monday: I cannot tell you how hard it was to tear ourselves away from Finch Hatton, waking up to the spectacular scenery every day and seeing Tassie so comfortable and happy there will be so hard to beat. But we decided to move on, much to the disapproval of one blue Burmese cat.
We headed only 60km back to the coast, to the sleepy little hamlet of Halliday Bay. Hearing the sounds of waves washing on the beach is such a change from the silence of the mountains.
Tassie went for an investigation as soon as we arrived, and although there is one boxer dog camped here, she seemed to think it is ok, despite not being nearly as interesting as our previous camp. We are settled on the coastal edge of a golf course, beautiful views out to islands across the water, and our first warning of estuarine crocodiles being potentially on the beach.Mr A and I jumped on our bikes for an explore, our favoured method of getting to know where we’re staying. We rode around the handful of quiet streets that make up Halliday Bay and continued around to the next settlement of Ball Bay, equally quiet and sleepy. The two areas are surrounded by Cape Hillsborough National Park, meaning there is plenty of wildlife, particularly of the feathered and furry kind.
We returned for dinner and a peaceful sleep to the gentle sound of the waves breaking on the beach.
Tuesday: We had a light breakfast and headed off to explore Cape Hillsborough National Park on foot. It was a 15 minute drive to the start of the walk trails. We decided to do the Andrews Point hike which promised 4 stunning lookouts on a 5.2km return steep and rocky track.It certainly delivered on the views, first of all looking over the nearby Wedge Island, and then looking down across the undeveloped coastline north of Mackay.A key feature of the hike were the butterflies – apparently over 150 different species make this little national park their home, and they were out in their hundreds – incredibly hard to photograph, but I snapped a few (with a little patience!).We had worked up a good appetite on this walk, so called into The Old Station Tea House on our way back. We were surprised to see how many cars were parked in the field outside.
The Old Station is indeed an old train station building, originally built in 1903 and relocated in the 1990s to this plot of land. It is surrounded by beautiful tropical landscaped gardens and a treetop deck overlooking water lily filled ponds and vine covered palms.We ordered a couple of home made pizzas baked in their outside oven – simply delicious. We decided to take away a slice of cake each (dairy-free cake for me!) to eat back at camp so we could check on Tassie.We spent the latter part of the afternoon doing a little planning for our upcoming few weeks, with plenty of interesting locations coming up for us. We were invited for pre dinner drinks with our next door neighbours who hail from Newcastle (NSW, not UK), and have previously enjoyed travelling up to Cape York. They shared a few tips and favourite locations with us, helping with our planning process.