Posted by: Malpass Oz Adventure | April 19, 2011

Here we are Queensland!

It’s been a while since our last post from the fields of shining opals at Lightning Ridge.  We spent our first couple of nights in Queensland in Nindigully, the ‘township’ is really just the 150 year old pub that offers free amenities for campers (Camps5 site 824).  The camp sites on the banks of the Mooney river are great, the amenities at the pub are fine for a free service, but the cost of the counter meals more than compensate for the free camp site if you feel that you should give the pub some of your custom as we felt we should.  Jake caught his first fish on the Mooney river, just a little-ey though so had to be thrown back… but the yabbies – the biggest we’ve seen yet and we caught a great meal of them.

Nindigully Pub, free beer yesterday!Yabbies from the Mooney RiverNindigully Pub, est 1864

We had a whirlwind stop at Goondiwindi skate park to wait for the Toll delivery man to make a school drop to us and then onto Toowoomba for the night.  We were on a mission to get to the theme parks at the Gold Coast before the NSW school holidays began.  We’ve changed our plans around Brisbane a little, deciding not to go to Stradbroke Island in the end – the cost of getting there and back was too much for the couple of days that we had planned stay, we’ve decided to push on and spend more time on Fraser Island instead.

We found a great campsite in Canungra (Camps5 site 703), about 30 mins from Wet ‘n’ Wild and Movie World, so decided to stay there for the week while the kids got their thrills at the theme parks. My favourite was the ‘Kamazee’ ride at Wet ‘n’ Wild and the dolphin show at Sea World. Ben’s favourite ride was Lethal Weapon at Movie World and Aqua Loop at Wet ‘n’ Wild. Indianna loved Tweety bird and Buccaneers’ Bay at Wet ‘n’ Wild. Jake loved the ‘Flowrider’ at Wet ‘n’ Wild, the stunt car show at Movie World and the Jet Rescue ride at Sea World.  Tobey’s favourites were Mach 5, Flowrider and the Black hole at Wet ‘n’ Wild, the Jet Rescue ride at Sea World, the stunt car show, the 4D movie, the Scooby Doo ride and the Batman ride at Movie World… so the majority of things then!

Jake on the FlowriderIn the wave pool at Wet 'n' WildComing out of the Black HoleThe Black HoleWaiting in lineBen on FlowriderBen after his Aqua Loop rideRacer boysTweety bird ride at Movie WorldStunt Car show at Movie WorldBefore the 4D movie, nice glasses!New caps!With the Pirate Show cast - Sea WorldTobey on the Sky Climb at Sea WorldJake on the Sky Climb at Sea WorldWith Count DraculaCuddles with Cookie Monster and ElmoGood-bye Sea World

Whew!  That was a hectic few days, far too much for the laidback life we’re becoming used to!

On our journey north from the Gold Coast we picked up a couple of stragglers… myWith Nanna and Poppa, Mt Beerwah in the background parents have joined us from NZ for a couple of weeks.  They have their tent and have hired a car to travel along with us.  It’s great to see some familiar faces again and the kids have been so excited at the prospect of Nanna and Poppa joining us.

So travelling in convoy we made our way north to the (soggy) Glass House Mountains, we’re starting to see the dampness that Queensland has been suffering through for the much of the summer, there is no significant flooding, but the ground everywhere feels waterlogged. Despite the rainy weather we loved the area around Jake about to round up some cattle!the Glass House Mountains and a little further north into the Sunshine Coast Hinterland with it’s cute little villages (like Montville and Mapleton). We made it to the famous Eumundi Markets too and Jake finally picked up his much-wanted stockman’s hat… he’s starting to look like a real jackeroo now, we might lose him to the next campdraft!

We’ve had another smaller companion on our journey for the last Tobey catches the stow-awayfew days (or weeks… really who’s to know?) When emptying the car out in preparation for new tyres in Brisbane we found evidence of a “mouse in the house”!  We have no idea how or when he (or she) got in there but he had made a nice little nest in a tissue box that had found it’s way under the seat.  Have no fear though, hunter Tobey was on the case with a mouse trap and a spoon of peanut butter.  Got-cha!

My cousins Tania and Lisa with Lisa's son CoreyThe highlight of the Sunshine Coast was to stay with my cousin Lisa for the night, so good to catch up again and see the cuzzies!  And we had the second night of our trip under a solid roof!

Next stop… Fraser Island. We have really been looking forward to Fraser, you hear only fabulous things about the place, but I have to admit I was a little anxious in the days before getting there.  With the warnings about dingos and tides and limited campsites I was hoping this wasn’t going to turn pear-shaped!  We had a few logistical issues to sort through to get all seven of us from the mainland to the campsite (as our extra two seats in the back of the car are not accessible when the car is packed up). We made it eventually though, no thanks to the discontinued barge service from Urangan Boat Harbour (be sure to book your barge crossing from River Heads if making the crossing at the mid-way point of the island) or the crossing of Eli Creek in the dark (be sure to slow down at the 30km sign!). We stayed at the Dundubara campsite, choosing this partly because there are more limited options when you have a camper and partly because is has a dingo fence around the campsite.  It’s a great site too with hot showers (be sure to take your $1 coins) and free gas BBQs and the ability to have open fires, which some of the other campsites in the more forested areas do not allow. 

We LOVED Fraser Island.  It is so diverse and so beautiful in many many ways.  Playing on the Wungul SandblowThere are obviously the white sand beaches, but the forests are incredible. To think that everything that grows on this island grows in sand is amazing… there are some pretty enormous trees growing in that forest!  Then there are the perched lakes and the crystal clear creeks running all over the Woo hoo, caught one!island, the fishing, ship wrecks… just wonderful.  We spent a week there and got to see about half of the island.  The inland tracks are in pretty good condition, but they ARE sand tracks and your travelling times anywhere are slow because of that.  As for the beach – Lake McKenziethat’s like a highway, footpath and airstrip all rolled into one! We did get to see a dingo too, for all the warnings of mating season and aggressive behaviour we thought we may have left Fraser Island without spotting one dingo at all, but we managed to see three of them and Dingo with the Discothey all acted in pretty much the same way – they were not scared of coming near at all, they’d have a sniff around and then continue on their way along the beach.  Pretty cool seeing them in the wild, the three we saw were Floating down Eli Creeknot at all skinny like they are often meant to look. For our next trip to Fraser (for I’m sure there will be another) I think we’ll probably opt to camp at the hundreds of sites available along the beach. There are so many beautiful spots and the dingos or goannas really don’t seem to be a major problem.

Racing up the Waddy Point sandunesTrees in Pile ValleyMaheno wreckThe main road from Eurong to Central StationChampagne PoolsThe view out to Indian HeadTough walk at Ocean LakeNosey dingoPrivate ferry service home

We’re in Bundaberg now and while stopping in at the information centre I had a lady come up to me and say “Are you the Malpass family?”, the very first people to recognise us on the road from our blog site!  Jacquie and Peter Croft are from Inverell, travelling with their two boys and they are telling their story here, I’m sure they’d love you to have a read.  Safe and dry travels Croft family, who knows, we may bump into you again as we make our way to Cape York too.



  1. Great update have been waiting to see where you were at. Tom and Taz say I wonder where they are today lol. Stay safe and have a great time.

    • Thanks Wendie, tell Tom and Taz that today we were avoiding the rain!!! Lucky we’re in a town and had inside things to do hey! Hope all is going well for you. Maria

  2. Hello Malpass family! As usual, a wonderful read. Maria, we are missing you at bookclub and we’ll be sure to keep your “spot” for your return!

    • Hi Rachel,
      You will all be SOOOOO impressed with how I’m getting through my books!!! Not like I haven’t got a little time on my hands now! I’m almost done with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (I know, everyone else read those ages ago!). Have been trying to get into the Australian history/literature as we go too. Read “For the term of his Natural Life” by Marcus Clarke after visiting Port Arthur… bit of a hard one to get through with the ‘ye old english’ language, but reference to so many places we saw was great. Can’t remember what else I’ve read – plenty of tourist brochures that’s for sure! Missing our literary chats though – so intellectual that they are! M

      • I recommend you read “Water for Elephants” and “The Help”. Happy reading!

  3. Hi Guys, you are having the time of your lives, definately making me envious ! Love the updates, keep it up. Big kiss to all xxxxx

    • Hi Vetty, can’t wait to catch up with you guys. Have just rechecked our itinerary and we’re still on track to be with you mid to late July. What do we need to do to get to you? M

  4. I was getting worried as we hadn’t heard from you for a while. Very relieved to know you are still all alive! Sounds like you are realy making the most of your adventure!

  5. Absolutely amazing amazing amazing photos Maria… so glad to see some blue sky in those Fraser island photos.
    Can you send me the full resolution of these photos pls
    the one of Jake and Indi lying down like they are Mick Dundee and his daughter and the one of the truk on the beach with the dingo and the one of you all in the water as a family.. the close up one.. great page to scrap.
    have fun.. hope it stays dry for you. two more sleeps til Dani gets here … hehehehehehehehehhehehehehehehheheeheheh

    • Yeah,thank goodness we had great weather on Fraser. Have a wonderful time with Danielle and I’ll get some pics to you on a disk. Btw, I haven’t sent Nana a letter yet… You better not have shown me up!

  6. Your pictures are amazing!!! I love reading your posts. Safe travels!

  7. Been following you guys and you are certainly making the most of your adventure out there in the ozie world . Thinking of you ,and keep safe . LOve to you all . Oh and our Lisa loved having you to stay .. Love the picks .

  8. Hey Hey. You finally made it to Sunshine coast… Amazing photos and update! Hope you guys been well and had a great time travelling so far, it’s not even half way yet.. As for A8, still not the same without you, but it is still very busy which is good.
    Cheers Hung

    • Hey Hung
      Thanks for the note and keeping in touch. We are in Winton which is where all the dinosaurs seemed to hang out 90m years ago…glad to hear that you are still busy as ever and even though we are having the time of our lives i still miss the A8 team.
      Cheers Ben

  9. hey there,we both enjoyed our travells with you all, just ashame it wasn’t longer.
    The pics are amaizing, where on earth did Indy get that frog from, and those stockmen with those hats, real coooool. Have you got any more hat pins Jake? All you need now is a horse and a stockwhip and you could be a real Jackaroo.
    Love to you all Nanna and Poppa xx

    • Ha ha, she found the frog in the toilet block at Emerald. It reminded me of a photo taken about 30 years ago… do you know the one I mean?

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