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:: Saturday, 20 November 2004 ::

DAY SEVEN:
218839 on the clock. Leaving Kingaroy for Buderim in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast between Maroochydore and Caloundra. You cannot simply turn right outta Kingaroy and drive east to got to the coast on account of the huge state forests blocking the way. So you got two choices: north round the top via Gympie or South round the bottom via the Glass House Mountains. Well, alls I can say is: Gympie, Gympie, Gympie, Lovely, Lovely, Lovely.

- Before burning outta Kingaroy, I got a special morning invitation to visit Tabinga Homestead, est. 1846 not far outta town. Fabulous colonial architecture, beautiful grounds, huge white cockatoos flapping about, and a special publication crafted earlier this year to celebrate Kingaroy’s centenary. Reproductions from Kingaroy’s original newspaper – 'The Bog'. …yes, you read that right. Not the Times, News, Mail, Herald, Bulletin, Newsletter, not nothing normal. 'The Bog'. Best not to think about it. Headed into town for supplies for my trip and got stopped by a Kingaroyite talking to my host's Pa, who had driven the Mazda the night before, tootling round the front of the townhall, enjoying the car. He'd been spotted, which I understand was the plan all along. And it musta got round town obviously quick smart.

- Off outta Kingaroy, first personally fueling up on prosciutto and then getting car filled with sweet sweet Shell Optimax. I was heartened by the remark of a bloke filling up at a neighbouring petrol bowser “That is one cheeky little car you got there” and he was so right. Went through Goomeri and Kilkaven and the double word town of the day was Kin Kin. The drive into Gympie was just sensational – all rolling hills, and so much green. I really have been fortunate with this drive cos I have arrived after some decent rains and all is lush and lovely. Saw some Brahmin Bulls on the way into Gympie, which was terrifying but terrific. They are simply enormous beasties.

- Then into Gympie, the Town that Saved Queensland. Meaning that when southern towns Bathurst and Bendigo struck gold Queenslanders were emptying outta the State to go gold chasing, as any sane person would do. But then gold got found in Gympie and everything was fixed. Took a tourist drive round the town and saw some spectacular colonial Queenslander architecture for which Gympie is quite famous. Had a regular lemonade (boo) in the Australia Hotel, a huge weatherboard blue delight, before heading for Eumundi before getting up to Noosa to turn south and get the afternoon sun on the driver’s side all the way down to Buderim.

- Nice roadage on to Noosa Heads too, but the real pleasure comes from following the beaches down, hugging the coast and seeing pure blue (such a sunny day). Spent the drive listening wrapt by the Oz NZ cricket debacle going on near-enough-by at the GABBA, Brisbane’s cricket ground. Michael Clarke getting over the ton, Gilly getting over the ton, and then incredibly Glen McGrath getting something like the second or so highest ever score for a hopeless batsman holding down number 11 in the team. A completely skippy day, except for the sadness of Daniel Vettori for NZ, bowling left arm spin and not getting a breack with any LBW decisions of Buckner….but I digress.

- Now, Buderim is a tidy township, pretty well serviced actually, but it is a fairly moneyed joint, and quite an old joint too. My host this time is on a property that is up high on a hill, surrounded with jungly rainforest type stuff, with manicured bits, and bromiliades out the wazoo, and crazy rock jutting landscapes. Heavenly, really. Not a neighbour to be seen. A top deck off the loungeroom that is made for eating and drinking into the night. Much chatting done last night, consumption of caviar, oysters, prawns and spanner crabs all washed down with the just right amount of cold white wine. Sure nuff, regular as clockwork in the summertime, I was told, a good old storm came in mid-evening. Perfect cover on the balcony, not cold either, just watching the rain through the floodlights lighting up the forest surrounds. Listened to a bit of early Roxy Music and Ferry. Niiice.

Now to sleep the sleep of the sleepy. Tomorrow, Buderim and environs. More to report then. Thanks for the e-‘s.

:: WB 11:10 pm [link+] ::

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