The Call of the North

The Call of the North

Sydney is not a cold place in winter (compared to Hobart, Melbourne, Canberra and many other places around the world). However, when a southerly wind reaches Sydney from the snow covered alps of NSW, it can feel much colder than the temperature would suggest. That is why many “Sydneysiders” consider a winter holiday up north.


This July we went north to Queensland for two reasons; to find warmer weather and to join with relatives from the Gold Coast and Brisbane at a Memorial Mass, celebrating the life of Maggie’s mother, who had recently passed away.

DSC04152View from our balcony at Opal Cove resort

The drive to the Gold Coast QLD takes around 9 hours, so we decided to stop the first night at Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW (approximately half way).

DSC04160Resort, as seen from the beach

DSC04175Looking south, from the resort beach

DSC04168“Wild life” – White Dragon stuck in the sand ???

DSC04191An outcrop of volcanic rock

DSC04207Sun Rise, as seen from our balcony on day 2

Having left the resort early on day 2, we had time for a brief stop at Maclean, NSW. The people of Maclean work hard to promote and maintain their Scottish heritage through various festival and activities. Obvious signs of Scottish pride can be seen in the various tartans painted on telegraph poles.


Day 2 was rounded out by lunch with our friends Ron and Heather at Brunswick Heads Hotel and a timely arrival at our Gold Coast destination, the home of Maggie’s cousin Cathy and her husband Peter. They are wonderful hosts and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to stay with them for three nights.

The Memorial Mass for Maggie’s mother took place on Saturday in Brisbane, with many relatives attending.

DSC04247Family members and friends arriving for the Mass

DSC04298Maggie giving the Eulogy

Sunday morning, Maggie and I headed further north to Noosa for a few days of warm R&R. But not all plans are perfect.

DSC04305Noosa was neither warn or beautiful that afternoon

Fortunately the next day was more of what we hoped for.

DSC04326Waiting for the “Noosa Heads to Tewantin” Ferry

DSC04357Appartments at Noosaville, as seen from the ferry

DSC04373Passing the Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club – we returned here later to meet friends, Ruth and Keith, for lunch

DSC04383Arriving at the Tewantin Marina

A couple of interesting boats at the marina.


Some unusual “Sailors” there too.


Here comes our ferry, for the ride back to the Yacht Club.


On the way “home” (to Noosa Heads), someone said, “look at that naughty cycle”.

DSC04441.jpgIt’s a Nauticycle.

The bloke (in background) leaning against the silver ute must have had something interesting in his binoculars.

If you are interested in spending time on the river you can hire water craft of various sizes. But the “must do” river cruise is the Noosa Everglades BBQ Lunch Cruise (9 am to 3.30 pm daily). During the cruise you can kayak for a couple of sections of the river (kayaks provided – must book this as an extra when making reservation). We did the Everglades Cruise in 2016 (without kayaking) and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. You can read my account in the blog entitled “The Multiple Personalities of Noosa” 24th August 2016.

The beach at Noosa faces north, so the setting sun splashes beautiful orange light along the sand (and across the rocks).

DSC04472DSC04470Ahhh, the warmth!


During our stay at Noosa we had a look at the famous Eumundi Markets, 20 minutes away. It’s open Wednesdays 8.30 am to 1.30 pm and Saturdays 7 am to 2 pm.


From there we decided to climb a mountain, but first we had to find it. We were looking for the pyramid-like Mountain that can be seen in the background of the photo entitled, ‘Waiting for the “Noosa Heads to Tewantin” Ferry’.

There are several pyramid-like mountains in the area, so I’m still not certain that we found “The One” from the Noosa photo. Here’s the mountain we got closest to.

DSC04528Mt Cooroora, taken from the nearby town of Pomona

I hoped there’d be a road to take us to the top, but no. Although, we were able to  “circumnavigate” the mountain by road.

Early the next day we left Noosa to drive half way home and stay the night at Breakfree Aanuka Resort, Coffs harbour. To take advantage of the fading afternoon light it was off to the beach.

DSC04545Resort guest soaking up the last vestiges of the day’s sun

DSC04550Light catching the rocky outcrop, while shadows lengthened over the headland

DSC04577Girl and boy fishing in the nearby creek

When it’s time to go, it’s time to go!

As much as Maggie and I love to travel, and as much as we wanted to get out of the Sydney winter, it was and always is good to go home.

Feel free to leave a comment below.




  • Peter Stanton
    Posted at 18:22h, 07 August Reply

    Beautiful part of our country..was there myself last May…don’t know whether you know Lyn (Jeff’s ex fiancee) lives in McLean? Great photos yet again…makes you feel your right there…thanks AD

  • alistairstravel
    Posted at 18:52h, 07 August Reply

    Thank you Peter, it is a wonderful part of Oz. I may have met Lyn many years ago, but didn’t know she lived up that way. We’ve passed Maclean many times but this was my first visit there.

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