Easter holiday has started now.  Nicole and Jorick have no school for 2 weeks. In the first week they wanted to go for 2 days to vacation care, Nicole had a girlfriend to play at home, some days they played at home, did some crafts, games and even created some theater plays.

Nicole reading a book for Jorick. Space Ship 2009 - Jorick van Dijk A grasshopper. A  Garden Mantis.

Then we started a tour to Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island (Great Barrier Reef), The Blackdown Tablelands National Park and Canarvon National Park with the Canarvon Gorge.

Rockhampton is situated around 600 km north of Brisbane and it took us 8 hours to travel. Although there’s a highway to Rockhampton, it only has 2 lanes and driving speed is limited. Following our navigator we took an alternative highway as well with cows along (and on) the road and a nice old bridge.

ollowing our navigator over an older part of Highway to Rockhampton. Memorial Bridge. Welcome to Rockhampton, The Beef Capital.

The original plan was to go camping, but with the weather forecast not being so good we stayed for 5 nights in the Travelodge Rockhampton hotel. Jorick loved it because a good breakfast in a hotel (where you can choose lots of different lovely things) is one of his highlights of the day.

Explorers.Another historical monument: Cave discoverers original fireplace. From there we went to the Capricorn Caves, a unique system of above-ground caves in a limestone ridge. It is privately owned and daily tours are available and you can even marry in the Cathedral Cave room. At several places big roots are coming into the caves from trees growing on top of it. This also breaks down the cave slowly. In several areas some light can get through giving the opportunity for specific plants to grow. The lady leading us through was enthusiast and made it fun for the kids as well. In the Cathedral Cave she made a complot with them to light candles, to switch the light off and than also blow out the candles to put everybody suddenly in complete darkness.

Opening in Capricorn Cave. A complot. Cave by candle light before blowing us into complete darkness (complot). Cave impression.

We experienced Rockhampton as an intriguing city. We saw beautiful (cultivated) gardens. The Kershaw Gardens is a botanical park devoted to Australian native plants with artificial rapids, a rainforest area and more. The Botanical Gardens (since 1869) also has a Japanese gaden and a Zoo. Some pictures also show a few of the several nice/prestigious buildings.  At several locations it gave us a feeling as being in Eastern Europe at one side and in a real cowboy culture on the other side. This perception was probably influenced by the clouded and rainy weather in combination with the quiet Easter time with all shops closed. Beef (and related ranches) seems the core industry. In many restaurants there are lots of opportunities for some gambling.

     Kershaw Gardens.  German 105 mm Howitzer, captured in Palestine by Australian Light Horse Regiment during World War I (Botanical Gardens).  Botanic Gardens.  Again big leaves.

              High bamboo.  Botanic Gardens.  Zoo in the Botanical Gardens.

 Harbour Board building. Buildings in Rockhampton. Building with Tourist Office.

Perhaps the pictures help to get an impression. Next report will cover some other locations.


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