Bob & Shirley’s ‘Yetaboon’ Pilgrimage
[Reporter: Gerry PECK; Photographer: Margaret PECK; ‘Ead ‘Itter: George MILLIE]
Days Four & Five – Queanbeyan
Monday 19th April
We took Bob and Shirley back to Brisbane Airport Domestic Terminal. They were going to visit with Bob's cousin Olive, who lives nearby in Queanbeyan, just over the border into NSW from Canberra in the ACT, for a couple of days and had to fly to Canberra, the national capital, some 1,600 km away.
Day Six –
Wednesday 21st April
hiatus of two days, we picked Bob and Shirley up from the Domestic Terminal
and I had arranged to take them across to
‘Popeye’ and ‘Brutus’ aboard the waterbus
on the way to
It was just after 14.00 hrs when we alighted on “Coochie”. We headed for the general store first up and surrounded a hot dog each. After the heady excitement of my plastic chair folding under me, we wandered back to the jetty and caught the island minibus. This is presently being driven by a retired lady who regales visitors with facts, figures and anecdotes about the island and its interesting history. We covered every aspect of the island during this drive, from its picturesque setting in the bay, its 9-hole golf course, the very varied architecture of the islanders’ homes, which range from humble timber shacks through to log cabins and some very palatial and ultra modern edifices. Oddly enough, the disparate styles and varying degrees of opulence do not clash at all.
took in the views from the modest cliffs opposite the mainland at
Day Seven – The Gold Coast
Thursday 22nd April
for a trip down south to the Gold Coast, after a good breakfast we headed off
down the Pacific Highway, an eight-lane freeway (four each way) that links
Queensland and New South Wales. We were headed for a locality known as
Labrador where there is an outstanding shopping mall known as
Bob, Shirley and Gerry take the weight
off their feet at Harbour Town Mall,
slowly through the complex, set up as an external
mall rather than an indoor one, and decided to partake of lunch at one of the
many reasonably priced eating establishments within the mall. After a
prolonged study of the various types of cuisine on offer, it was unanimously
decided that a seafood basket would be the way to go. These were priced at
just $9.50 a serve (A$1 =
As we tucked into this very tasty feed, a possum charged up the trunk of the palm tree next to where we sat. It remained clinging to the palm trunk just above head-height for several minutes before carefully picking its way between the sharp spines at the base of the fronds adorning the top of the palm tree. The café provided us with a chilled bottle of water with which we gratefully slaked our respective thirsts, and oddly enough, this complemented the meal better than a glass of wine or beer might have done.
out of the way, we returned to the car and headed off down the Gold Coast
highway towards Currumbin, about 10 km from to the NSW border where all the
so-called ‘Mexicans’ live - (“South of the border, down Mexico way”). Along
the way, as we entered the area known as Surfers Paradise, the
The first disappointment was that UK Pensioner concession cards were not valid for the entry discount offered to Aussie pensioners. Progressing into the sanctuary we were greeted by “closed for refurbishment” notices on several exhibits and the entire place had a slightly rundown appearance. On that basis the repairs were no doubt well due! Bob and Shirley were nevertheless very interested in the reptile house exhibits including the world’s most dangerous terrestrial snakes - the deadliest, the ‘Fierce Snake’ or Inland Taipan, and the world’s most dangerous snake, the Coastal Taipan, growing to a length of 4 metres is notoriously aggressive if disturbed or provoked.
rode the miniature train running through the complex to the first “show” of
the afternoon, a free-flight display by some of
From here we walked through the complex so that we could see some of the more exotic rare birds and of course watch the Koalas being given some Manna Gum leaves for their afternoon feed. The Roos’ enclosure was next and almost all of the mob of Kangaroos were waiting patiently for their grub, which consisted, or so it seemed to us, of the very plain pellets earlier enjoyed by the Wombats. Wishing to participate in the feeding of the wild Rainbow Lorikeets, we headed for the pick-up point for the train. During the ten minutes or so that we were waiting, we were all subjected to the sight of the culmination of a Kangaroo courtship. Much stamina and enthusiasm was displayed.
reached the area to which the wild Lorikeets come as feeding time approaches.
There seemed to be only a small flock of the birds hanging about, so we all
became instant pessimists, expecting to see very little action taking place.
As it turned out we were quite wrong because, some four minutes or so after
the issuing of the tin plates that visitors are given in which the
honey-based solution was to be held, the birds began to land on people. Bob soon
had seven on his plate and arms and then, believe it or not an eighth on his
head! Figuring that the longer the birds stayed on a person, the more likely
the odds that one of us would cop a packet, we took some photos and then set
off for home as the early evening progressed. We made good time via the
Bob feeding the Rainbow Lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (note the one perched on his head)
Published: April 2004