After exploring some of Bowen we again joined the Bruce Highway heading south. The road is a trip through the sugar cane, with the cane bordering both sides of the road for as far as the eye can see.
We had decided that we were reasonably happy to have one night stops rather than long days in the car we next stop was Mackay. So our trip today was another two hundred kilometers. We had not booked into a park so had to try a couple before we could get a booking – we never anticipated this. We stayed at the Big 4 down by the port. This park has recently had new management and was undergoing extensive renovations. The tenting area had new ensuite facilities, with kitchen and BBQ areas and was very nice. We were camped next to a wetland area but fortunately there were no mosquitos. We visited the new marina area and then made our way into the city. The city now has a population of around 110,000 and is vibrant with the mining industry just on its doorstep and the long standing sugar industry providing a great base for the area. The main shopping area is adjacent to the Pioneer River and the river walk is a popular past-time with restaurants, picnic facilities and a three tiered lagoon providing stinger free swimming. The lagoon was closed for annual maintenance when we were in town but we did enjoy walking the river walk. Again we only stayed overnight – it was getting cooler by the day and it was threatening to rain and in fact we took the tent down in light drizzle.