This year we decided to spend Christmas with our Townsville family, meeting them half way in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Our adjacent campsites worked well and we were thrilled to share in the kids’ Christmas excitement.
It took us four not-too-strenuous days each way to travel to our chosen meeting place, no early starts but a LOT of driving. Google maps estimates 1825 kms each way via the Newell Highway but we chose more complex (and hilly!) routes and drove over 5200 kms during our 16 day trip.
On the way we stopped at some great free (or ultra-cheap) campsites, choosing carefully, and were well rewarded with great riverside and bush locations. We also spent a night catching up with one of my lovely cousins.
We actually came across ‘The Black Stump’, or its successor at any rate, the original having been destroyed by a fire in 1908, which also destroyed the Black Stump Wine Saloon close by. Needless to say, the land west of this was known as ‘beyond the Black Stump’.
Our shared holiday was filled with many memorable moments. Among my favourites were the kids giving each other small kris kringle presents – what a wonderful idea, and their close relationship with Grandpa – tickling does pay off, as Cindy said!
Isabelle and Mikayla received roller skates from Santa and spent hours practicing on the concrete at the campsite, making great progress.
Somehow, we also managed to fit in outings almost every day including Eumundi markets, Noosa, Maleny up in the hills, and Mooloolaba for the surf (and ice cream!). Last minute shopping on Christmas Eve turned into a marathon as we stood in a queue snaking around the store to be allocated to a checkout queue!
There’s no surf in Townsville and no sea swimming so the beach at Mooloolaba was a rare treat.
…And the very next day they were gone, the fun and laughter were but a happy memory and we were left once again to our own devices.