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Adventurers Diary

Mackay – Whitsundays region, so much to see and do


We arrived in Mackay just after Easter (2016) and for the next 3 weeks the region quickly became a place we felt relaxed and at peace with.

With the help of some friends who live in Mackay, we received some great tips on what to see and do and the caravan park manager, Macca, was such a chilled dude it was really hard to stress about anything.Photo1-IMG_6198

We had terrific weather most of the time, all except our day at Cape Hillsborough but we made the most of that day too.

Here are our tips on what to do in Mackay and the surrounding region.


Sarina is a small town just 34kms south of Mackay. Whilst it might be small, it packs a huge punch when you consider Sarina and Mackay provide two-thirds of Australia’s sugar. Sarina is the sugar capital of Australia with cane field farms a key component to driving the local economy.


Whilst staying in Sarina we visited the Sarina Sugar Shed. Adele’s cousin Lyn and her husband David own a local sugar cane farm and Lyn now volunteers as a tour guide at the Sarina Sugar Shed. We were able to take a tour with Lyn as our guide and it was very interesting to go through the process of Sugar Cane farming, taste the sugar cane and then some of the final products such as fairy floss and there own brands of Rum, Rum Liqueur, Butterscotch Schnapps and more.


Sarina is also very close to the coastline with local beaches such as Armstrong Beach and Sarina Beach less than 10 minutes from town.

Hay Point is nearby, just 15kms further north of Sarina and is one of the world’s biggest Coal distribution terminals. We took a drive to the Hay Point lookout where we had spectacular views of the coastline and islands and we counted the many coal ships waiting offshore.



Mackay is one of regional Queensland’s largest towns with a population of approx. 75,000. Several islands are located just offshore from Mackay including Brampton, Keswick and St Bees Islands. They offer great fishing, beautiful beaches and a quiet, tranquil location to visit by boat.

Brampton Island was once a thriving Island resort location until it was closed in 2011 for renovations, which have never occurred. It was reported in 2015 that redevelopment plans had been approved, let’s hope Brampton is back as a tourist destination sometime soon.

Keswick Island offers a range of accommodation including Glamping or a Beach House. Camping is also available on the island.

Eimeo Pub – Ever wanted to relax at a pub with magnificent ocean views, overlooking beautiful islands with boats moored in their coves, where the water is that spectacular blue and green colour and you sit up so high you can see it all and feel like it’s literally at your fingertips.

The Eimeo Pub has all that and more.


The food is also good. I ate a seafood linguini and it was as delicious as any I’ve ever had. Adele enjoyed the Calamari the first time and on our second visit the Pork Belly.

Did I mention the views?


All up we visited the Eimeo Hotel 3 times during our stay in Mackay. Some meals were great, others not always but the views steal the attention, especially on a clear day. It sits high in the mountain looking out over the cliff face to Brampton Island, Keswick Island and the Southern end of the Whitsundays.


Our stay was spent at Bucasia Beach. It’s long beaches and fantastic views makes relaxing and romantic beach strolls enjoyable.

You can fish from the beach or try the mouth of the river nearby. Yabbies are plentiful and make great bait for an assortment of fish you can catch.


The Bucasia Beach Caravan Resort at first glance may not be the most modern park in which you will stay but the facilities are good and clean. Most of all it is right on the beach with incredible views. The park is dog friendly, it has a pool and good free wifi. Talk to the managers about how they can help your stay more enjoyable, it’s amazing what they will do to assist you.

Being dog friendly and absolute beachfront it was a perfect location for MACKS to enjoy numerous swims at the beach. A short stroll across the dune and she was swimming for as long as we were prepared to keep throwing the stick.


Both the sunsets and sunrises from Bucasia Beach were fantastic. We would often take the time to watch as the sun rose in the morning and set in the afternoon.


We also had plenty of local birdlife and Possums to entertain us. Lorikeets, Ducks and Cockatoos would often come to say hello as did the Possums at night. We fed them fruit, mainly apples or grapes. Bread is not ideal and can kill them whereas fruit is much more natural for them.


Like most beaches in Queensland, midgies are an issue so remember to apply a repellent as often as required. Talk to Macca the manager, he has a repellent worth giving a try.


The Mackay Harbour Marina is a new modern facility with 500 berths, a large upmarket residential complex and is also an important base for large boats including Super Yachts.

Locals will often spend Sunday lunch at one of the restaurants or enjoy fish and chips whilst listening to a local band playing. The food is great, the bar has plenty of drinks on offer and the outlook over the marina and the yachts provides an excellent ambience for a Sunday sesh.



You can also take a walk or short drive out to the point from the Marina where a rock wall provides excellent fishing and a great spot to watch the sunset.

Take a drive up to the Slade Point Lookout, which is just 5 minutes from Mackay Harbour, for a fabulous viewpoint back towards Eimeo and down on to Lamberts Beach.

From here you have clear unobstructed views of the ocean and beaches nearby and can see any boats or ships in Harbour.

You will need at least a full day to visit Eungella National Park and Finch Hatton Gorge, a short drive west from Mackay. An overnight trip is probably ideal.


Eungella is one of the few places where you can view the ever elusive Platypus swimming in the wild. Broken River offers terrific viewing locations, you just need to time it right and be a bit lucky. We were lucky enough to find one, swimming and playing in the river and we stood and watched “him” for an hour. Also swimming with our new Platypus friend were a number of turtles of all sizes.


We went for a walk upstream and found some beautiful river streams and bushwalks plus we saw Kangaroos and Wallaby’s and a range of beautiful birds and some amazing rainforest.

Be prepared, the temperature atop the range is normally around 10 degrees cooler than Mackay.

Whilst in Eungella, have lunch at the Eungella Chalet, which provides incredible views out over Pioneer Valley. From the rear of the Hotel, Paragliders would jump off to fly through the valley, soaring high above the range.


Finch Hatton Gorge is located at the foot of the range and within a short drive in from the main road. From the entry point a walk of just 1.6kms begins a journey through Rainforest to the first waterfall. Another short walk and you will find the Wheel of Fire cascades, more waterfalls and a large rock pool. There are some lookouts with fabulous views also.

On our way back to Mackay we stopped at Melba House, the home of Dame Nellie Melba who was a world renowned Australian Operatic Soprano singer in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Born in Melbourne, where she took her name Melba from, the family moved to Mackay after her mother’s sudden death in 1881 where her father built a new sugar mill.

Melba House is full with Memorabilia and information about Dame Nellie Melba and her life as an Australian who made International fame.


Her death was front page news throughout many countries around the world. She died of Septicaemia in 1931 at the age of 69.

A visit to Mackay has to include a stay at Cape Hillsborough National Park. The Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the region. Located just 30kms north of Mackay, a feature is the Kangaroos and Wallabies that make their home throughout the Tourist Park and especially along the beach at Sunrise each morning. In the early morning they go to the beach to eat the weed washed up overnight by the tides.

cape hillsboroough
The Wallabies are much more timid than the Kangaroos who allow you to get quite close, but remember, these are wild animals and not pets. You should never pat a kangaroo in the wild.

There are 3 walking tracks which take you around the mountain with various lookouts with great views. Unfortunately the day we stayed there was 100mm of rain and we didn’t get the opportunity to do the walks. Due to the rain I decided to catch up on some work at reception and was kept company by Bridget and Emily, the local kangaroos who don’t like the rain either, so they shelter in the games area next to reception.


The park also provides other facilities including an excellent big pool, Mini putt putt, pool tables and table tennis.

Birds are plentiful and the black cockatoos and kookaburras are easy to find.

Not far from Cape Hillsborough are the beachside towns of Seaforth and Haliday Bay. Here you can find some beautiful beaches with safe swimming opportunities with stingers nets available. We tried some fishing from the beach without success but it was a very enjoyable few hours on such beautiful beaches.



The turnoff to Cape Hillsborough is just past a tiny town of The Leap. The town consists almost entirely of The Leap Hotel where we stopped for lunch on our way back to Mackay.


The Leap derives its name from an historic event in 1867. Local farmers had been losing cattle to suspected Aboriginals who were spearing the cows for food. The police were called and in those days it has been noted by historians that the local police would actually kill full tribes of aboriginals. Once trapped on top of the mountain a mother with her child jumped from the cliff rather than face the police. The 3yo daughter survived and later married an Englishmen and had 2 children, a boy and a girl. Descendants of one of the children now live in Brisbane.



The Whitsundays are an amazing aquatic playground made up of 74 islands and every one seemingly more amazing than the last. The town of Airlie Beach is the gateway to this amazing marine wonderland of tranquil turquoise waters and pure white sandy beaches.


The Whitsundays provides something for everyone regardless if you are looking for somewhere to relax or an action packed adventurous experience.

Spend the day captaining your own yacht and sailing around the islands or take a tour including free drinks and make your own party. Relax in Airlie Beach’s man made lagoon or go Parasailing. Or try Stand Up Paddleboarding or take a fishing charter to some of the best and closest reef fishing you will find so close to shore. Relax at the many fine restaurants and party at night in the nightclubs or pubs in Airlie Beach.


Regardless of your preference you can find a lifestyle to suit you right here.

For more about Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays read all about it here –


The Proserpine River is known to have the highest population of Salt Water Crocodiles on the Eastern coastline and the Whitsunday Crocodile Safari is fantastic at taking you on an educational tour of the river and spotting Salt Water Crocodiles. They also take you on a Wetlands tour, exploring the area and teaching you some fantastic survival tips and interesting features of the region.


The Mackay Whitsundays region is a travelers paradise. With so much to see and do it will provide something for everyone. A trip to Queensland should always include a visit to Mackay, it’s an area you can always see more than once.

Did we miss anything?

What was your experience of Mackay?

Kev, Adele and Matt


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Adventurers Diary

I Can’t Do 4 Walls

I keep saying it, over and over, to anyone who asks and those willing to listen.

I can’t do 4 walls again.

I don’t know everything about my future and I reserve the right to change my mind, but after 2.5 years of living in Darwinny our Motorhome, I love it so much I don’t want it to change for my foreseeable future.

Adele is happy either way, she loves this life but could also go home. I think that’s mostly because she misses her Mum a lot and to be close to our sons Matt and Cameron.

During our time back home, we just had 4 months in Brisbane, we had lots of times where we were invited to friend’s places, sometimes even offered a place to stay. We received text messages from friends “I’m away for the weekend, the spare keys are under the mat, go relax in a bed and use the pool for a few days” would be texted to us and we were so grateful for their offer and thoughts for us. We love that we have so many wonderful and kind friends.

We did a housesit for my niece and it was awesome, beautiful pool, nice home, Foxtel, heaps of room to park the Motorhome. It was perfect, except I found within just a day or two I was back doing what I used to do, sit and watch TV, stay at home and not be productive. I wasn’t LIVING!!

We visited family and friends in their homes and all I see is “stuff”. The same stuff we used to have. All those possessions I thought that made me happy. Every now and then you’d blow off the dust and get a broom to the cobwebs and use my “stuff” again but for the most part it would just sit there doing nothing. Just money wasted which made us believe we needed to go back to work again week after week to fund the life everyone else has and we were copying.

Our friends and family may read this but I’m sure they’ll understand the context of what we mean. We discussed this with them anyway. We passionately respect and love our family and friends but a house just isn’t where we’re at any more.

When my Dad passed away I found myself asking the question “there has to be more to life than work and do chores”.

We really miss our Mums, both of us have lost our Fathers now, and we miss our sons Matthew and Cameron. We miss our friends. I miss playing cricket and all my mates. It’s not easy to just pack up and leave and it’s even harder to stay away.

For me, my entire life of 51 years before we left was lived in Brisbane. I grew up living in the same family home, we didn’t move house even once, until I was married. Adele had lived in different places and moved around different homes, but I hadn’t. I was very used to routine and stability. Given my personality that was probably a good thing.

We recently spent 4 months in Brisbane and the South East seeing everyone we could, pushing my business and exploring places we had never seen in our own “backyard”. I didn’t enjoy the traffic being back home in Brisbane, the hustle and bustle doesn’t do it for me now, but it’s still home and our Family are all there. It is home and always will be.

It was during this time back in the City that I realised I yearned for things I learnt to love when road tripping around Oz. 3 specific things stood out that I missed.

• Sunsets
• Open fires
• The Stars at night

Nobody at home talks about seeing an amazing Sunset. There’s something special about them that we just love. The colours, the differences when there’s a cloud or fire in the distance, the different views across oceans or rivers, over barren land and between mountains or ranges. Sunsets can be so different yet all so spectacular. We just don’t appreciate them at home.

Cooking over an open fire, sitting around it with a Rum in hand and chatting to new friends, seriously, does it get any better than that.

I love waking up in the morning, getting the coals fired up again and cooking some bacon and eggs. Lighting a fire in downtown Brisvegas is a sure fire way to upset the neighbours and have the local Council issuing a huge fine.

While settled in over that fire at night, it’s so wondrous to look up and absorb the big picture. Who am I, why am I here, what else is out there, what would it be like to go to the moon, how amazing is life and how our planets work. I really enjoy looking up to the stars at night, imagining a life where I get to choose my tomorrow.

Yes, don’t box me in.

How does that song go:

Oh give me land, lots of land, and the starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in…….

Did I mention, I can’t do 4 walls…..

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave


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10 Reasons to Travel Australia Instead of Going Overseas.

There’s nothing better for the soul than travelling, it opens our eyes, our minds and our hearts. The big choice to make is if to head overseas or explore our own country. There’s so much to see in this world but here’s 10 great reasons to Travel Australia first.

1. Australia is Safer. With everything happening around the world right now, I feel pretty safe in Longreach, Broome, Esperance, 1770 and the thriving downtown metropolis of Rainbow Beach 😊

2. Shit AUD. The Aussie dollar is too low to be over excited about heading overseas.

3. Our Beaches. Unless you’ve got to know our own beaches why go overseas to see there’s?

Check out our Best Beaches here –

4. Weather. We really do have perfect weather here. Head north for winter, south for summer and be anywhere in Oz for Autumn and Spring.

5. You will meet really interesting people. We have met some of the most inspiring people on the road such as John, the 72yo former teacher and sheep farmer who I got talking to for 3 and a half hours around the camp kitchen BBQ in Katherine. Fascinating guy and hard to believe he had left Perth, been to Melbourne and was now in the NT travelling at his age…….. on a Motorbike.

John is just one of many wonderful people we have met on our adventure.

6. Learn our History. There’s so much about our own country’s past just waiting for you to discover.

7. Sunsets. The setting sun in 1770, Darwin and Broome just have to be seen. I could name so many more places including most of the WA coastline but I’ll let you discover some yourself.

8. Better for our economy. We hardly manufacture anything anymore, mining took a nose dive and therefore Tourism is becoming a vital industry for our economy. Let’s spend our money here and give our kids jobs.

9. Make friends. Travelling Australia almost guarantees you will make a whole lot of new friends.

10. Children. Your kids will grow enormously and learn on the road. They will thrive by spending genuine quality time together as a family.

As that famous brand says: Just Do It……

Safe travels

Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave


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Adventurers Diary

Detailed Item List For Your Trip

Detailed Item List For Your Trip
This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more but it might help us put some fuel in the tank. Thank you for supporting us.

There’s a lot to think about regarding what to take on your trip around Australia.

No need to stress about it, we’ve made the list here for you.

Space and Weight will quickly prove to be your enemy so pack smart, pack light and limit it to only what you really need.

Of course, you may have other things you need to take and you may not need or want everything on this list but it’s going to give you a very comprehensive starting list to ensure you don’t forget anything.

Remember to pack the minimum you need and don’t exceed your weight limits.

If we have missed anything, please let us know 😊

Alarm Clock – Battery operated
Allen Keys
Aluminium Water bottles
Ampfibian 15amp to 10amp Converter
Anti-theft Tap Handle
Back Pack for hiking
Baking Trays – Lightweight, store in oven to save space
Basket Utility – Collapsible, doubles as laundry basket & stores dirty dishes
Bath Mat
Bath Towels
Batteries – Range of sizes and/or Rechargeable
BBQ & BBQ Lighter
Beach Towels
Beach Umbrella
Blanket/s – Store flat under your mattress
Board Games
Bottle Opener
Bucket – Collapsible and others with lid for fishing or handwashing
Bulldog Clips
Bungee Cords
Cake Tins – Silicon are good
Camera, Accessories, Batteries, Spare Battery, Charger Cord
Camp Oven
Camping Chairs
Camping Table
Can Opener
Cards – Credit/ Bank/ Store cards/Club or RSL Membership
Cards – Insurance/ Roadside Assist/Medicare/Health Fund
Carwash and Wax
Cleaning Cloth
Cleaning Supplies
Clippers – For cutting his or children’s hair if applicable
Clothes – Roll or fold as hanging space is limited. Dark Clothes that require no ironing
Clothes Line, Portable/Fold Up
Coat Hangers – Spares to hang wet clothes on to dry
Coffee Mugs
Coins – Supply of $1 coins for Laundromat
Coolant – Spare supply for vehicle
Cutlery – 3 sets for full day supply
Cutting Boards – Lightweight
Dental Floss
Dinner Plates – Plastic Lge and Sml, also Corelle are good as don’t break
Dishwashing Detergent
Disposable Roasting Trays
Dog bowls, leads, runner
Door Mat
Drain Cleaner
Drill, cordless is best
Drinking Cups
Driver’s License
Drone – Accessories, Charger and Spare Batteries
Duct Tape
Dust Buster/Vacuum Rechargeable
Dustpan and Brush – Long Handle
Electric Beaters
Electrical Appliances as preferred
Electrical Tape
Electrical Extension Cord
Electricity Lead 20metres +
Electrical Power Board 6 Outlet
Engine Oil
EPIRB – Check in date
Esky – Soft Sided Small for Picnics or when away from Caravan/Motorhome
Face Cloths
Fan – 12 Volt or Rechargeable, Ryobi is good
Fan – Sirocco (Hard Wired)
Fire Blanket
Fire Extinguisher – Check the date and that it is full
Fire Starters
First Aid Kit
Fishing Gear, Fishing Net, Tackle
Floor Cleaner
Fly Net Hats
Foam Mattress – Spare stored under mattress for comfort and visitors
Frypans – Lightweight and stackable where possible
Fuses – Spares
Garbage Bags – Large & Small
Gas Bottles – Check still in date, 10 years from manufacture or last test
Glad Wrap and Glad Bake Paper
Glad Zip Lock Bags S, M & L
Gloves – Woollen & Disposable
Go Pro or other action Camera, Spare Battery & Charging Cord
GPS or use Maps on Mobile Phone
Grey Water Hose
Hair Brush
Hairdressing Scissors
Hair Dye – DIY Hair care
Hand Towels – Kitchen and Bathroom
Handwash – Kitchen and Bathroom
Hats and Caps
Head Torch for fishing and going to the amenities at night
Hot Plate for Campfire cooking – Lightweight
Hydraulic Jack suitable for weight of your vehicle
Ice Brick for use on Picnics or Hiking
Ice cream Scoop – Plastic
Ice Cube Tray
Insect Repellent Spray/Creams
iPad and Charger Cord
Jerry Cans – Diesel and Petrol for Generator
Jumper Leads for flat battery use
Kettle or Electric Jug
Laptop and Charger Cord
Light Bulbs – Spares
Light/Lantern – Portable for Outdoor use
Lip Balm
Map of Australia to mark route travelled
Matches – Waterproof
Measuring Cups – Collapsible are good
Measuring Jug – Plastic
Memory cards, for Cameras, Drone, Go Pro etc
Microwave Containers – Store inside microwave to save space
Mixing Bowl – Plastic
Mobile Phones – Charger Cords & Earpieces
Mosquito Coils
Mouse Traps
Mouth Wash
Nail File, Nail Scissors & Nail Clippers
Note Pad, Pens & Pencils
Outdoor Matting
Oven Bags
Oven Mitt & Glove
Pain Relief Tablets
Paper Clips
Paper Plates and Paper Cups
Paper Towel
Pegless Clothesline
Pegs – Loose
Pension Card and Health Care Card if applicable
Picnic Blanket for Picnics and Beach Use
Pillow Cases
Pizza Tray
PJs – 2 sets for Summer & Winter
Playing Cards
Pool Noodles – very handy for snorkeling or floating down springs
Portable Fridge – Waeco or Engel (additional refrigerator/freezer space)
Phone Bank Chargers – Portable
Prescriptions – Scripts to be filled (check in date)
Printed Maps, Atlas or Camps Book
Printer (optional)
Radio – Battery Operated
Raincoat or Rain Ponchos
Razors – Disposable
Reading Glasses and Spare set of magnified glasses as back up
Reef/Rock Shoes
Rope – Great for temporary washing line
Rubber Bands
Runners or “Closed-In” Walking Shoes – Some Tours Compulsory
Salt & Pepper Shakers – Plastic Lightweight
Saucepans – Lightweight and stackable where possible
Scissors – Kitchen and General Purposes
Screwdriver Set
Seniors Card or National Seniors Card as applicable
Sewing Kit for mending
Shampoo, Conditioner and Toiletries
Sharp Knives & Sharpener
Shaver & Charging Cord
Sheets – One Set only (wash and dry within same day)
Shoes – Casual and going out
Shovel – Fold Up and Long Handled for campfires/coals
Shower Bag – Hang up style for CP showers
Shower Gel
Sleeping Bag – Store flat under the mattress
Snake Bite Kit
Snatch Straps
Snorkel Gear – Snorkel, Goggles and Flippers
Spanner Set
Sponge – Clean Caravan or Motorhome and Solar Panels
Spreadsheet with Insurance Policy Numbers, Passport Numbers, important details etc
Speaker – Portable for playing music
Sticky Tape
Storage Containers for storing food, cakes – Stackable or use zip lock bags
Strainer for Rice/Pasta
Supa Glue
Swim Shirt/Rashie and Swim Shorts
Swimmers and Boardies – 2 sets/pairs
Swiss Army Knife
Table Cloth
Tea Towels
Tensions Rods to stop unsettled items falling out of fridge or cupboards
Thongs plus back up pair
Toaster for use when on power otherwise use frypan to dry toast
Toilet Cassette Chemicals
Toilet Cleaner
Toilet Paper – 2 Ply best for breakdown in Toilet Cassette
Tongs – Kitchen & BBQ
Tool Set
Torch – Battery Operated or Rechargeable
Towels – Bath and Beach
Travel Iron (only used a handful of times)
Truck Brush – Long Handled to wash the caravan or motorhome
Tyre kit including Gauge, Tyre Inflator and Tyre Patch/Plug Kit
UHF – In car setup plus Portable Walkie Talkies
Umbrella – Rain and Beach
Wash Basin – Collapsible is great
Washing Powder, Washing Soaker & Washing Spray
Watch – Waterproof preferably
Water Containers – Collapsible 20L ones are ideal
Water Filter – Spare Canister if built into caravan or motorhome
Water Filter Jug and refill tablets
Water Hose – Blue Drinking Water hose
Waterproof Camera
WD 40 Water Based and Silicon Based
Wet Wipes
Wheel Chocks
Wheel Levellers to level the MH
Wi-Fi Dongle
Wine Glasses
Wooden Spoon

Kids Panadol

Box of mixed Lego
Sandcastle Set (Spade, Bucket etc)
Ball Games
Box of Arts & Craft stuff (lots of it!)
Colouring in Book
Scooter & Helmet
A few Books (buy & swap them at Op Shops around Oz)
Card Games
Connect 4
Guess Who Game

Warm Clothes
Summer Clothes
Some good Clothes for going out
2x pairs Thongs
Walking Shoes
1x pair good Shoes for going out


To purchase any products for your trip you can use any of the links below.
Computers – Computers and accessories
Books – Books
Health products –Health & Personal Care
Kitchen and cooking – Kitchen and cooking
Toys and games – Toys & Games

Safe travels

Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave


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