A Few Days in Hua Hin

7th to 13th September 2018

Spent time in Hua Hin solely with the intention of relaxing; no rushing about on this trip.

The railway station is a tourist attraction in itself – there is even a royal waiting room though it doesn’t seem to have been used for a long time.

Hua Hin Railway StationHua Hin Railway StationHua Hin Railway StationHua Hin Railway StationHua Hin Railway Station Royal Waiting RoomHua Hin Railway StationHua Hin Railway StationHua Hin Railway Station 

The hotel was supposedly 3.5 stars but personally I doubt that, there was nothing wrong with it and it’s main point was its convenient location but it wasn’t a patch on the Royal Pavilion where we stayed last time. You get what you pay for – this was much cheaper.

Hua Hin Tanawit Hotel and SpaHua Hin Tanawit Hotel and Spa

A lot of time was spent eating; good food especially seafood was everywhere. There was one notable restaurant which was always crowded. When we first came across it there was a queue waiting for a vacant table.

Hua Hin RestaurantHua Hin Restaurant

In the event we ate there several times and by coming early never had to queue. Most of their food was delicious.

Hua Hin Restaurant FoodHua Hin Restaurant Food

They were popular (famous?) for their claypot, personally it, like the similar steamboat, left me cold – I just don’t like boiled meat; boiled fish is OK but boiled meat? Not for me! The rest of their food was fine.

Hua Hin Restaurant FoodHua Hin Restaurant

Hua Hin has plenty of other restaurants.

Hua Hin Restaurant FoodHua Hin Restaurant Food

There was food on the jetty, at the night market and just about every street in town.

Hua Hin JettyHua Hin JettyHua Hin JettyHua Hin JettyHua Hin JettyHua Hin Day MarketHua HinHua Hin Night MarketHua Hin Night MarketHua Hin Night Market

A short walk from the hotel was all the usual sights and sounds of urban Thailand.

Hua Hin WaterfrontHua Hin WaterfrontHua Hin WaterfrontHua Hin Hua Hin Hua Hin Hua Hin Hua Hin WaterfrontHua Hin BeachHua Hin BeachHua Hin WaterfrontHua Hin BeachHua Hin BeachHua HinHua HinHua HinHua HinHua Hin

It is definitely the off season with only a few Europeans about; there are a few pommie accents but the majority seem to be German or Scandinavian. The mainstay of the tourism industry at this time of the year seems to be coach loads of China Chinese visiting for a few hours (that is my observation only it might not be the case).

7th May 2018–Hughenden

Distance:  284 km

Only about 250km to travel today so no rush to set off. Nowhere to stop on the way because today is a Queensland Labour Day public holiday so everything is shut. It was a pleasant drive under a cloudless sky

Stopped at White Mountain NP Lookout for the view and to stretch my legs.

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Arrived in Hughenden at about midday, found the caravan park and checked in for a couple of nights. Because it was so early thought I might as well take the opportunity to wash my dirty clothes – didn’t need to but good opportunity.

Afterwards I went for a drive to look round the town.

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Doing the Time Warp…

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Big surprise – the Tourist Info and Dinosaur Museum is open. Hughenden was the site of the second discovery of a fossilised Muttaburrasaurus. The Museum was only $5 entry and the girl was most helpful – giving me brochures about the Gorge I want to visit tomorrow.

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After the museum there is still plenty of daylight left so I took a drive to Mount Walker which is supposed to have 360’ views over the area. Once at the top you could believe that once the area was beneath the Eromanga Sea which stretched from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Lake Eyre in SA. The surrounding land is very flat. The sea existed during the Cretaceous Period when Australia was about to separate from Antarctica; a few years before Cook arrived.

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On the return from the lookout came across a razorback that must have been run over by the local drunks.

180507 102 Razorback Hughenden

Now it was nearly sunset so took a drive to a local Chinese Restaurant which seemed to be the only other place open in town. Bought a Chilli Squid and fried rice meal back to the caravan park to have with a beer. A nice end to an interesting day.

180507 108 Hughenden Caravan Park180507 109 Hughenden Caravan Park

2nd May 2018–Cooktown

Distance: 285 kim

Mareeba

It must have rained during the night, the car and camper were quite wet. It can’t have been heavy rain because the top vent was fairly wide open and during heavy rain some water “bounces’” in but the bedding was completely dry.

The sky however was clear as the sun rose. When I went for a shower I noticed several hot air balloons floating nearby.

180502 002 Mareeba180502 004 Mareeba

Didn’t leave until nearly 9am so I could go to Coffee Works for breakfast. Not exactly what I expected but the food was nice if expensive.

180502 011 Mareeba Coffee Works180502 008 Mareeba Coffee Works

On the Road

The drive to Cooktown was through some interesting and varied scenery much hillier than previous Queensland landscapes with some very steep climbs and descents.

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Early in the trip it actually rained a couple of times, not for long and not much, but the sky cleared and clouded over several times during the trip.

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Cooktown

Arrived in Cooktown about 1pm so, after unhitching the camper and having a coffee, I set off to explore Cooktown.

Most of its attractions are near the water front (the Endeavour River). There was the wharf built for the Queen’s visit, the place where Captain Cook actually landed and repaired his ship after he ran into the Great Barrier Reef plus various statues and monuments.

180502 038 Cooktown180502 039 Cooktown Capt Cooks Landing Place180502 040 Cooktown Capt Cooks Landing Place180502 041 Cooktown Capt Cooks Landing Place180502 043 Cooktown180502 046 Cooktown180502 045 Cooktown180502 051 Cooktown Capt Cook Statue180502 054 Cooktown180502 059 Cooktown Capt Cook Memorial180502 060 Cooktown Capt Cook Memorial180502 066 Cooktown180502 068 Cooktown180502 070 Cooktown180502 072 Cooktown180502 074 Cooktown

Grassy Hill was a pretty spectacular lookout overlooking the town, the river and the Coral Sea.

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Back in the Caravan Park I was watching  a Kookaburra catch its food in the creek when it came and perched close by.

180502 129 Cooktown Kookaburra180502 131 Cooktown Kookaburra

4th November 2107–Texas to Goondiwindi

Distance: 145Km

Did my washing this morning so that I have enough clean clothes to get me home. Didn’t leave the park until after 9am but it didn’t matter we were only going to Goondiwindi which is only about 100km away.

First stop was Texas Rabbit Works. Now a museum but for a very long time, until myxomatosis wiped out their business, it was a thriving industry from the 1930’s until it closed in 1992. It provided rabbit meat, pelts and fur for hats. There was a video showing the whole process of making an Akubra hat. BTW Akubra now have to import rabbit fur.

Still had the cooling rooms with massive pipes carrying the ammonia coolant, the steam engine and the cooling compressors. It was well worth the visit and cheap at $7.

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BTW I have absolutely no idea what sort of boiler that was, too much is missing.

The journey to Goondiwindi was along minor roads shadowing the border with NSW. They were in good condition and made the Gwydir Hwy look like a goat track.

Arrived at a suitable caravan park at about midday and booked in. I had wondered whether it being a Saturday would cause problems but even late afternoon the park is largely empty, about a dozen vans and tents.

171104 079 Goondiwindi

Set up quickly and went into town to look around. First stop was Gunsynd’s Memorial on the banks of the Macintyre River.

171104 052 Goondiwindi Gunsynd

Nearby was the Tree of Knowledge, not the Labor party version but a tree where he locals came to view the possibility of flooding which happened regularly before the 1956 levee was built however the levee has been over topped a few times since.

171104 060 Goondiwindi171104 058 Goondiwindi171104 059 Goondiwindi

Drove into NSW across the ‘historic’ bridge (the river is the border) past the old Customs House from the days when NSW and Queensland were separate colonies.

171104 056 Goondiwindi171104 064 Goondiwindi

BTW there is an election on both sides of the bridge; the Queensland State election has been called while on the other side Barnaby Joyce’s New England byelection is happening.

Bought a 6 pack to top up my depleted beer supply then drove and walked around the town checking out the landmarks and weighing up the options for tonight’s meal. Two Chinese or a Thai restaurants are currently favourite.

Dinner

After a shower ventured back to town for food. Decided to try the Chinese Malaysian restauant Bao Bao. It was very good and reasonably priced; $46 for the two of us – main meals, desert, tea and a beer.

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24th May 2017–Broome Day Three

Distance: 30 km

My temperature estimates yesterday were a bit off – Day 32’C Night 19’C.is more like it.

This morning I was shocked to see clouds so I took a picture of them.

Smile

170524 002 Broome Cloud

Went to the Visitors Centre this morning to book a cruise if one was available for today. I was lucky and booked a sunset cruise on Roebuck Bay. They would pick me up at 1.40pm at the Visitors Centre.

As it was only 9.30am I had plenty of time to do other things. I returned to Chinatown for a coffee and time to plan the rest of the day.

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The Sun Picture Gardens is an open air cinema, the oldest in the world, built in 1913. It is still in almost original condition.

Next up was a visit to Broome Museum because it had a display about the pearling industry and the attack on Broome in WWII. Normally I avoid small town museums because they tend to be just like visiting my Grandmother’s or Great Aunts’ houses but as country museums go this one was quite interesting.

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After the museum I had a look at the Pioneer Cemetery and Town Beach complete with mangroves.

170524 023 BroomeTown Beach & Cemetery170524 024 BroomeTown Beach & Cemetery170524 028 BroomeTown Beach & Cemetery

In a day when one cemetery is never enough I also visited the Japanese and Chinese cemeteries. One thing I learned at the Broome museum was why there are so many Japanese and their descendants in Broome – it is all to do with pearling – the White Australia Policy and the notorious English test was not applied to Japanese pearl divers however they and their Australian born descendants were all interned during WWII.

170524 030 Broome Chinese and Japanese Cemeteries170524 033 Broome Chinese and Japanese Cemeteries170524 034 Broome Chinese and Japanese Cemeteries170524 036 Broome Chinese and Japanese Cemeteries

Zoomed back to Chinatown for lunch I thought there was a Thai restaurant there but I must have seen it somewhere else (I’ll find it tomorrow). I could only find one Chinese restaurant among all the cafes and bars so I had lunch there – to be fair after I had eaten and was leaving the area I saw at least two others.

170524 041 Broome

Went back to the caravan park for a shower before the cruise. At the back of my camper was a lizard – he scuttled up a tree.

170524 045 Broome Lizard

I was only waiting at the Visitors Centre for five minutes before the cruise bus arrived. We picked up the rest of the passengers before driving onto the beach next to the wharf. A launch came from the boat to pick us up.

170524 048 Broome Sunset Cruise

…and drove right up the beach.

170524 049 Broome Sunset Cruise

I’d never seen anything like it but the bloke reckoned he bought it ten years ago.

The cruise was quite interesting (in my opinion all cruises I have ever been on go on far too long. Water can only hold my interest for so long). We did see plenty of Snubfin Dolphins, some Flatback Turtles, a Hammerhead shark, a Dugong and some fish – the first photo is Batwing Fish (or something like that). I have lots of photos of empty water but these are a few with something visible.

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The turtles, shark and dugong got away.

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It was a sunset cruise…