Saturday, October 2, 2010

Qld - Gladstone

Gladstone, a city of 33,000 people has managed to balance a huge amount of industry with beautiful waterways and has one of the highest boat ownerships in Australia. This area lays claim to being the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef with Lady Musgrove , Heron and Wilson Islands only a couple of hours boat trip from shore.

Gladstone is the world’s fifth largest coal exporting port and has the world’s largest Alumina refinery. While in Weipa, on the west coast of Cape York, last year, we watched ships being loaded with bauxite and it was fascinating to see where the journey ends here at the refinery. The final step is the making of aluminium at Boyne Smelters, near Gladstone, which is Australia’s largest smelter.

We stayed at Tannum Sands, a quiet town 20 klms south of Gladstone on the coast. Each morning we would take advantage of the fantastic trails, Mike on his bike and I would walk. Turtleway Bikeway, a 18klm trail hugs the coast and the river, which has great picnic areas along the way. Queensland really knows how to make the most of these areas - here the barbeques, picnic tables, covered areas, play grounds for the kids and toilets facilities are second to none and encourage the outdoor lifestyle.

We loved our stay here but we were glad to say goodbye to the sand flies which made sitting outside at our caravan park impossible.

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