Oct 5, 2000

When we woke up and left the motel in Mundubbera, we decided we had to see the Big Mandarin to see how it compared to the Peach on the Beach in Penticton. We turned left to go into town, looked all around and checked all the sidestreets and couldn't find it anywhere. We finally came across an information sign in one of the parks and followed the directions to get there. After taking the picture below and congradulating ourselves on finding it, we looked across the street and saw the motel we stayed in. When we drove out of the parking lot we would have hit it if we didn't turn into town. Time for coffee.

Mundubbera calls itself the Citrus Capital of Australia as they grow oranges, lemons, limes, etc. Very pretty countryside and the irrigation keeps it green.

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We took a shortcut across to Gympie to get back onto the Bruce Highway, and it was extremely narrow. Just one lane with a little gravel scattered on each side to help when pulling over to pass. As you can see by the truck in front of us, there is not much room. The speed limit is 100 km/hr - no kidding. This truck driver pulled over after a while and let us by, but even though I like to go fast, I had a hard time doing the speed limit. In some areas, I was comfortable at 60.

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We drove up to Malany, which is at the top of a hill with great views in all directions. The area is populated by a lot of artists in addition to the farmers, etc. and they were having a scarecrow contest. In front of many of the houses on the way into town and in the businesses in town, there were all types and sizes are scarecrows and some were hillarious. To see more, I think their web page is at http://www.scarecrow.com.au

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As we were coming down off the hill from Malaney, there were some specular views of the coastline. It was a clear day, so we could see several towns and islands from this spot. The towns are pretty small in this picture, but you can get the idea of the countryside.

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We got a picture of the big mandarin, so we had to get a picture of the Big Pineapple too. We didn't pay the admission to go into this place, but it is quite the facility with a train ride around the property and talks on how they grow the pineapples as well as information on the other fruits and nuts they have. Of course, they also have a big restaurant and gift shop so this place is quite the tourist destination/trap.

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We kept the afternoon low key and quiet, reading our books and relaxing. At 6 we left for Brisbane and met Phil and Marg at a fancy seafood restaurant. After a great time, we arrived home at Phil and Margs around 11 pm and dropped off to sleep very quickly.