After leaving Hervey Bay for the Fraser Coast region, we made our base at Standown Park, a tranquil van park half way between Tin Can Bay and Gympie. Pam and Rod Elkington have built a mini paradise here and enjoy welcoming veteran visitors along with many other caravanners. Their gardens, kitchen and shared areas are delightful, and sitting around a big fire each evening soon saw us finding new friends! So sad that it was only a short visit this time but we WILL be back.
A short distance away was Maryborough, a beautiful heritage town settled in 1847. As the biggest state port at that time, many 19th century immigrants first entered Australia here. The typical Queenslander homes here are stunning – some are heritage and some modern reinterpretations but all built on leafy streets …. just lovely. There is a huge convention centre and theatre so this town of about 22K people regularly hosts conferences.
Tin Can Bay is a small fishing port and popular tourist spot – so we were sorry to be too early for their annual September seafood festival! However our chat with the local newsagent and one of his lovely customers persuaded us that we must visit Rainbow Beach to see the ‘Carlo sandblow’. After walking through a forest track we found a beautiful white moonscape with dunes leading down to a cliff face with coloured sands below. Many families were expending lots of energy here – a great spot to run, jump, slide and make up your own fun. There were also many paragliders enjoying the strong winds!