3-4 September: Heading south & back into NSW

Author: Mrs A

Monday – Location: Noosa to Coolum Beach, then to Brisbane

We were all sad to say farewell to our friends Ray and Wendy in Noosa, particularly Tassie, who had become accustomed to her choice of laps and enjoyed her days relaxing on the daybed watching the activity on the river. But it was time to collect our Zone from its couple of days of pampering and head on our way.

We called into Belmondo’s on the way out of Noosa, finding ourselves spending a ridiculous amount of money on a handful of items, before heading south to Coolum, the home of Zone.

Before long, we were pulling away, and heading on the highway south to stay the night with our fellow Zoners, Libby and Phil.We had a brief whirlwind of time to transfer our cases and food back into the caravan, dig out the smart clothes and get changed, before the four of us drove into Brisbane for the evening.

The weather has been tumultuous – really cold for Brisbane (about 15 degrees centigrade!) and wet – but as we arrived at South Bank the clouds lifted to give us a fabulous display across the river into the city.After this, we parted ways, Phil and Libby ending up at a pub helping celebrate a nephew’s birthday, while Mr A and I joined three lovely ladies for dinner in a French restaurant beside the water.

I’ve been invited to talk at the Australian Society of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery here in Brisbane next March regarding my work with the rare disease I have, idiopathic subglottic stenosis. Two of the ladies we met were paediatric ENT surgeons here in Brisbane, and the third worked at a pharmaceutical company, supplying equipment for the surgeons, and a sponsor for the event.

We had a lovely evening, delicious food, and I got to talk about a cause very close to my heart (and airway!). I’m looking forward to next year’s event already and all the good it can potentially do.

Our very generous hosts collected us at the end of our meal, and whisked us back to their home for warm drinks and conversation. Such incredible kindness from friends we only met for the first time in March this year!

Tuesday – location: Brisbane, Samford – Queensland and Woombah, New South Wales

Breakfast was our first port of call, the four of us heading down into the nearby village of Samford to Phil and Libby’s favourite café, Black Sheep. Delicious Eggs Benedict for three, and a breakfast wrap for me, and we were all happy campers, definitely not in need of lunch today!

We had a chance to admire the five plus acre property we’re staying on, full of birds, rolling hills and bushland – just beautiful – before our hosts escorted us on our way via their secret route to the main road south.

There followed a stressful few hours on the M1 motorway, packed full of tailgating semitrailers and road trains going much too fast for the wet conditions.

We finally pulled off the road at the little settlement of Woombah, breathing a sigh of relief as we left behind the noise and the traffic and set up camp in a site with a fabulous view.We have probably driven past this area a dozen times without any awareness of what’s here, but it’s a lovely rural settlement sat on the banks of the Clarence River close to the estuary. There are over 100 islands in the wide river here, the nearest to us being Goodwood Island.

In need of fresh air and exercise, we set up camp, donned our rain coats and headed off for a walk.The sun was starting to set so we only went a couple of kilometres, crossing over the bridge to Goodwood Island and checking out the wet sugar cane fields before returning for the evening.More rain and thunder entertained us, a novelty after the dry and drought of the inland areas. Sadly, it seems the rain is sticking to the coast, not helping out the farmers this time.

We’ll continue our journey south tomorrow, and with a continued forecast of rain, have not made any plans for where we might end up…all part of the adventure!

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