The big highlight today was securing our site in the caravan park for the next 6 weeks or so.
As instructed, after spending Thursday night on an unpowered site, we arrived at the Office a little before 9.00 am after having a good look around the park to get an idea as to which of the powered sites we might be able to fit into, and some idea as to which vans might be moving today.
We were third on the waiting list for today and were given two options. It was just as well that we had done a reconnoitre in advance as we knew that we wouldn’t be able to get into one of the two options, so we settled on the other and paid for a fortnight. This site is not only accessible but quite conveniently placed. It is also a big site with shelter from some large trees which will be great when Katie and Mick arrive in a couple of weeks.
It was then back to the van to pack up, hitch up and make our way to the new site which would be home for the next 6 weeks. Once here, we did a proper set-up as we had power, water and sullage and full mobile, internet and TV reception. As we will be here for a while we also set up the awning with the side wall and the back wall which will provide us with protection from the afternoon sun whilst still allowing the beautiful cooling breezes to flow through.
The second highlight of the day was seeing 6 Chinook helicopters flying in formation, very low and very loud, over the caravan park. We later found out that this was the first time in 19 years that all 6 of the Chinooks had flown together, so it was quite a historic moment. Unfortunately we were backing into our new site at the time and didn’t have the camera on hand, so we can’t include a photo of this stunning and extremely noisy fly-over. As a poor substitute we have included a photo of the front of the Townsville Bulletin showing the 6 Chinooks.
After setting up the van we had a tasty lunch into the van and then headed off into town to have a bit of a look around. Parking in the centre of Townsville can be a bit of a challenge, but once parked we heard some music – good 1960s and 1970s music at that. There was a live band playing in the “Perfumed Gardens” as part of the council’s free Music in the City program. The band was pretty good and there were quite a few people up dancing.
From there it was off for a walk up and down Flinders Street, the main shopping strip. It was sad that there seemed to be so many vacant shops in what is theoretically the centre of town, but we then came across the new “City Lane” precinct which officially opens tonight (Friday). This new development is being seen as something of a saviour to the city of Townsville which has attracted new businesses to the city and thus created interest and jobs. A second stage will effectively open in August. We will make sure that we check out City Lane now that it is actually open to the public.
We then made a quick visit to the Visitor Information Centre to find out more about what’s going on in Townsville for the next few weeks. After picking up some brochures we had coffee at the nearby café before heading back to the van to relax for the rest of the day.
Yes, we truly are in paradise! Just to rub it in a little, overnight minimum temperature is forecast to be 16, which is the forecast top for Melbourne. Sorry Melbournites and Canberrans!