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Rocky Road Trip Stops 4 & 5: Gin Gin & Miriam Vale

We pulled off the Bruce Highway at Gin Gin, approximately 51 kilometres (32 mi) west of Bundaberg and halfway between Brisbane and Rockhampton.

Our stop was fairly short and uneventful, except for our chance meeting with some intriguing fellow road-trippers. This was their mode of travel.

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With a a population of approximately 1,190 people, the town name has sometimes been said to derive from a local Aboriginal word indicating “red soil thick scrub”. It is also possible the name comes from the Western Australian locality of Gingin. 

British occupation of the region began in 1848 when Gregory Blaxland Jnr (son of the explorer Gregory Blaxland) together with William Forster brought their flocks of sheep up from their squatting leases on the Clarence River. The area they selected extended all the way to the coast and they called it Tirroan. Strong resistance from the local Aboriginal people was encountered resulting in the death of several shepherds and the killing of Blaxland in August 1850. Two large massacres of Aboriginals were conducted by local squatters and their stockmen as punitive measures to these deaths.

The Gin Gin district is nicknamed Wild Scotsman Country due to the capture of one of Queensland’s few bushrangers, James Alpin McPherson, in the area on 30 March 1866. McPherson, who went by the same nickname, was captured at Monduran Station, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north of town.

We left the Bundaberg Region behind and entered the Gladstone Region, and the population plummeted as we entered Miriam Vale, rural town of approximately 512 people.

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Historical Queenslander style house now home to Lifeline charity store

 

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Rainbow captured above Miriam Vale

Miriam Vale is renowned as a traditional cattle growing area, and also supports timber, beef and dairy cattle. Tourism is an emerging industry within the shire and the town is a gateway to the tourist resorts of Agnes Water and Town of 1770. Miram Vale is on the North Coast railway line and is serviced by the Miriam Vale railway station.

In the 1970s signs at the entry to town proudly proclaimed “Welcome to Miriam Vale – Cattle, Tobacco, Timber and Dairy”. The tobacco industry faded in the late 1970s followed by the dairy industry in the 1990s.

A car rally passed through Miriam Vale in 1924; the stretch of road between Miriam Vale and Gin Gin was said to the roughest of the rally.

Across House Creek there is also evidence of an old speed way ground (circa 1970s) and if you look around the district you can find history in old horse race tracks.

Miriam Vale has a nine-hole golf course with small greens and mature gum trees. At times in its history the course was stretched to twelve holes but the members and district could not sustain the extra work needed to keep these holes open.

We’re nearly there! Next stop- YEPPOON!

 

 

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The Rocky Road Trip: The First Leg- Mount Coolum

After leaving the Gold Coast, I stopped in Mount Coolum on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast for a day to spend time with family before embarking on the Rocky Road Trip. I was joined there by my Mum, who had been living in Yeppoon for several months prior to my own relocation there, and who was helping me with the big move from the Gold Coast.

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11 km north of Maroochydore, Mount Coolum is a residential suburb whose boundaries enclose the Mount Coolum National Park (north section) and the topographical mountain (207 m). The name is thought to derive from an Aboriginal word describing the blunt or cut-off summit of Mount Coolum. The craggy mount contrasts dramatically with the lowland heaths and wetlands.

Land selection around Mount Coolum began in 1871, including the future adjoining suburbs of Marcoola, Yaroomba and Coolum Beach. All had swampy parts, but drainage schemes during the 1910s-30s produced land for cane farms and dairying. A cane tramway from Nambour and Bli Bli included a passenger service, bringing visitors to the area. Among various beach-subdivision proposals there was the idea of tobogganing on Mount Coolum.

Coolum Beach’s surfing and fishing were more realistic attractions, and the beachfront population came to a few thousand by the mid 1980s. Developers turned their eyes to the mountain’s subdivisional potential, but a successful preservation campaign instead brought about the national park. Land south of the national park had already been acquired for a golf course (1976), to which Mount Coolum is a stunning backdrop.

Mount Coolum has a stretch of beach further east.

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Mount Coolum beach from Point Arkwright

 

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Sunrise at Mount Coolum beach

 

Well-known authors from the Sunshine Coast include Emily Bulcock, Kathleen McArthur and Nancy Cato.

Emily Bulcock became a well-known poet and was awarded an OBE for her services to literature. Emily was a foundation member of the Queensland Country Women’s Association and a member of the Queensland Authors’ and Artists/ Association.

Kathleen McArthur was a gifted wildflower artist and author and, in 1962, co-founded the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland. Kathleen’s home in Midyim, near Kings Beach, was named after the native sandberry, and was the first native garden in Caloundra. In 1967, the first Wildflower Show was held in Midyim and continued there until 1971, when it outgrew the space and was moved to Coolum.

A friend and associate of Kathleen’s was the acclaimed Noosa author Nancy Cato. Nancy was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to literature and the environment and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1991. She wrote for more than 50 years, producing a vast amount of work includign an accalimed environmental book titled The Noosa Story first published in 1989.

In 2017, local author Jess Townsend was dubbed the next J. K. Rowling with her first novel Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow touted to be the next generation’s Harry Potter.

Join me next at Gympie- the first stop on my Rocky Road Blog Tour!

 

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Books By The Beach: Asha’s Story Part Two at Kirra Beach

Welcome to Kirra Beach, the second last stop on my Books By The Beach tour! It is hard to believe it is almost over!

The small rocky headland Kirra Point separates Kirra Beach to the north and Coolangatta Beach to the south, and is noted as one of the world’s premier surf breaks. In the past the surf break was known for producing high quality barrels. Today sand pumping across the Tweed River has filled it in and changed its character.

The Quiksilver Pro, an event on the World Surf League, is often contested at Kirra when the surf is not contestable at Coolangatta.

 

There’s variations on what the word Kirra actually means, but some believe Queensland Aborigines named it after a boomerang. Which makes sense as Kirra wraps evocatively around the bend separating Coolangatta and Kirra beaches and in front of Kirra Hill. Surfers flock to Kirra bend for its world-class breaks, and Kirra has also hosted the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro surfing competitions.

One of the Gold Coast’s most laid-back beach destinations, the suburb is home to Kirra Surf, which surfers consider the one-stop shop for surf gear. Like it’s neighbouring Tugun, Kirra is not a place you’ll find glitz and glamour, with plenty of weatherboard beach shacks still standing among the burgeoning apartment scene. The iconic Kirra Beach Hotel has been trading for more than 50 years.

In this post I am sharing with you my book Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two.

Three years after daringly stepping into the world of stripping, Asha has left The Runway, the club that made her an exotic dancer, to make a fresh start at at rival venue Mademoiselle’s. Here she is faced with a whole new set of challenges, including an interstate adventure to Melbourne’s glamorous strip club scene. Asha’s personal and professional lives collide in unexpected ways, in the lead-up to the grande finale of her stripping adventure.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing the Paid To Dance books on Amazon/Kindle. My books are not currently available on Amazon/Kindle. Instead you can download a free PDF of the first chapter of Asha’s Story Part Two HERE: Paid To Dance Asha’s Story Part Two excerpt

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

I hope you have enjoyed your time with me here at Kirra Beach. Last stop- Coolangatta!