Botanic Gardens and Zoo

We woke up at 8am when the fella from the Glassford Farmstay called us. We decided last night that we definitely want to do this as it sounds really good fun. We arrange that we will catch the bus from Rockhampton to Miriam Vale tomorrow morning at 6.45am and he will collect us from the bus terminal at 8.55 when we arrive.

That sorted we get up quickly, we have to move out of here as unfortunately they don’t have room for us tonight but they have given us the name of another place across the bridge and overlooking the river. We have some fruit and yogurt for breakfast and load up in the van for our lift to Rockhampton Heritage Hotel. It’s costing us 80 dollars (33 quid) for a shared room with 4 bunk beds and no toilet or shower but when we arrive I’m not too bothered despite our rapidly diminishing funds. It’s very atmospheric here, from the outside very pretty with wooden trellising all around the high veranda and a kitsch 1970 look to downstairs. Upstairs though is cool, old fashioned saloon style, I feel like a cowgirl walking around this place.

Rockhampton is described as the beef capital of Australia and there are loads of steakhouses, life size cattle figurines and cowboy hats. Apparently the PC brigade haven’t reached Rocky yet and darl, gal and mate are the general terms of address for everyone here. Suits me I love all that.

We catch the bus to the Botanic Gardens. We have a long walk around the cactus and Japanese gardens before the kids play in the park for half an hour or so. We are joined over lunch by a large number of birds including Lorikeets, Peacocks, Kookaburras and some other tall white things with long bony looking beaks. Next we walk around the small zoo. The animals here are nearly all well known Australian species and we enjoy the opportunity of seeing Koalas, Cassowaries, Wallabies and Dingoes close up. As we are heading back to the bus we stop off at the small visitors centre and the lady tells us about the spiders on display and shows us a baby crocodile in a tank. As the Botanic Gardens are free we agreed it was a great way to spend the afternoon and we have had a lovely time.

Get back to the town centre and while Simon has his haircut me and the kids sit in the bar and have a drink. Tonight is 10 dollar steak and karaoke night and we have our dinner around 8pm before heading off for an early night. 5.30am start tomorrow.