Friday, July 15, 2011


Last weekend saw us (Shar, Jill, Shirley W, and I) pile into Shar’s car and head west.
The reason for the venture was Shar’s XX Birthday and we were in celebration mood so a stop at the top of the range at the Eungella Challet started our weekend with a lovely lunch.
Eungella is a mountain range about 85 kms from Mackay which gives incredible views of the Pioneer Valley below and on clear days you can see the ocean.  The picturesque valley is a sight to be seen at this time of year with the little pockets of different colours where in some cases cane has been harvested, in some plants are very small and green and in some cane is ready to be harvested and the cane has gone to seed and the "Arrows" are a vibrant creamy pale green.

                                               Me standing in front of cane ready for harvest

My grandfather and my father standing in front of a stand of cane in Mackay in late 1930's or early 1940's.  It was definitely a larger variery of cane and todays varieties are not quiet as tall.

Shirley, Shar, Jill and I in front of the large fireplaceat the Chalet
The Chalet is situated just at the top of the range and was significantly damaged in the last cyclolne that ravaged Queensland but is now well and truly up and running again.

                                          Standing in front of the lookout on one of                   the many walks that take you to the edge for more views into the valley

There were some great items on the menu but as we knew that all (well most) rules would be broken regarding food we went for the home made pies, mushy peas and chips – all that is except Shirl who, not being a Queenslander couldn’t come at the mushy peas.
On to Broken River Resort where we got our rooms sorted, settled in, had a cuppa and then down to the river to see if there were any of the very illusive platypus lurking about. They are mainly seen just on daylight and dusk and as we agreed that nothing on this earth save an earthquake was going to get us up at daylight we thought we would head back down later that afternoon.

At about 4ish someone decided it was probably 5 o’clock somewhere the wine came out and we enjoyed a quiet hour not saying much (no! I lie) we 3 caught up midst a reasonable amount of laughter and talking while Jill painted her toe nails (was it something one of us said)

By the time we got down to the river to do some platypus spotting there were quite a number of people wanting to do the same. It wasn’t long before we were rewarded with a little bit of a splash and this tiny 50cm or less Ornithorhynchus swam under the bridge.

Dinner saw the arrival of Pete and Shirl and Lorrelle and Jeff who completed our party. The dining area and bar had a large central fire which kept Jack Frost at bay..........
Jill, Shirl and Shirl in the restaurant waiting for our table
Peter and I sitting opposite the girls also waiting for our table
Shar, Narelle and Jeff - yeah same as before
                             .........and then it was back to Shar’s room for the birthday cake.

Notice the candle - stolen from the dinner table because we didn't have any other

All the rooms appeared to have wood fires except mine which had an oil heater that wasn’t working so I froze all night. Breakfast was back in the restaurant and after a quick checkout we left Eungella and headed back for the coast.

Just out of Finch Hatton we made a left turn into Senini’s Road which led through the cane paddocks, across Cattle Creek to a lovely spot that I earmarked for the drive further at a later date.

What a pleasant couple of days with good food, good company and good wine.

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