Thursday 10 & Friday 11 May: Musings on Finch Hatton

Author: Mr A

Location: Mackay and inland up to the Mackay Highlands, Finch Hatton & Eungella (pronounced young-gallah) National Park

Thursday

There’s always some maintenance, repairs or reorganising to do on the truck or the Zone, and today we ticked a few more off. Things like putting a Velcro strip acros the front of cupboard to prevent the contents tipping out after some bumpy roads. A very good idea courtesy of Mrs A.

It seems the residents of Mackay are not big on fresh veggies or Arthouse movies. Let me explain. We did try to go veggie shopping, but in the whole of Mackay there’s only one shop, which was very ordinary. I exclude Coles and Woolies from the definition of “fresh vegetables”. What a contrast to Bundaberg with its local market gardening scene. Perhaps the soil is different around Mackay? Sugar cane certainly loves it!

We are both big fans of Tim Winton, and were very excited to go and see the movie based on his bestelling book Breath. We were amazed to see only one other couple in the cinema. This is Australia’s greatest living author by any measure, but garnered no interest in Mackay.

Friday

Packed and off, we only had a short trip today into the hinterland, heading for a place we have visited before, Eungella National Park. We honeymooned in the Whitsundays 16 years ago and took an impromptu trip down from Airlie Beach to this area since it is the place you are most likely in Australia to see platypus in the wild. And we did.

We had chosen a showground as our base again, in the small settlement of Finch Hatton. Pulling in we were immediately taken with the place. The green paddocks framed by the lushly forested hills.
We left Tas for a much needed afternoon nap after her power sleep on the drive up, and headed up the range in the Cruiser. What a drive! Ben and Bev Mitchell – all credit to you for pulling your Zone up here! The views at the top were magnificent.


So we popped into the Information Centre and got the low down of where the platypus might be spotted. She pointed to the bridge about 50 metres away! We immediately saw a little fellah cruising around.

Turtles were also about, and one of our favourite birds the kingfisher.
What a spot!

We headed back and Miss Tassie was ready to come out for an explore – she took us on a stroll around the cattle sheds, tractors and hay bales, all apparently full of irresistible smells.We decided to go to the pub for dinner. Not bad…always some interesting characters about in these country pubs, and plenty of local knowledge to tap into. It feels like a very friendly little community.

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