After my day in Noosa, it was up early for the six hour drive to Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast. In the past I would done this drive straight up the Bruce Hwy but after checking out Google Maps I decided on a slight detour that was actually a short cut. That meant diverting west after Gympie to the Wide Bay highway and north via Woolooga and Biggenden and picking up the highway again between Childers and Gin Gin. First stop was the Rusty Ute cafe in Woolooga. Its owners were rock and roll fans and the cafe is laid out with musical paraphernalia and even a small stage. I asked the owners about it and they said they wanted to attract musicians to play there on weekends. Did I know of any, they asked. I didn’t, but if you are keen on a country gig in lovely surrounds 40km north-west of Gympie, the Rusty Ute would love to hear from you.
Then it was on past some pretty country and very little traffic (with a short gravel road section) near Biggenden. The photo below is of the granite outcrop of Mount Walsh which has its own National Park.
I arrived in Rockhampton around lunchtime, checked into a motel and then drove another 40km to Yeppoon, the biggest town on the Capricorn Coast. Yeppoon has a relaxed and confident air about it. Hard to believe the town suffered considerable damage less than two years ago in Tropical Cyclone Marcia.
Directly behind the main street is Yeppoon beach which stretches for 1.4km from the low intertidal rocks at Spring Head south to the mouth of Ross Creek, where there is a small breakwater. Erosion has plagued the beach and it is backed by a seawall. High tide goes all the way to the seawall. The beach is protected from waves by the Keppel Island group, and waves average only half a metre. This view below stretches south to the Keppel Island ferry at Rosslyn Bay Harbour. But that is tomorrow’s fun.
After lunch in Yeppoon I head south along the tourist drive to Bluff Point. Starting from the beach there is an enjoyable 2.5km walk that goes over Bluff Point with great views along the way.
This view is from the top of Bluff Point looking north to Rosslyn Bay. Further north still is Byfield National Park behind Yeppoon where smoke from a bushfire can be seen.
This view from Bluff Point is to the south to Mulambin Beach, Mulambin Creek and another bushfire this time near the Flat Top Ranges near the Fitzroy River estuary. I drove back to Rockhampton hoping to enjoy the view from the top of Mount Archer which dominates the town. Frustratingly the road to the summit was closed to repair damage from TC Marcia.