Winter At The Beach - Queensland Style

July 13th 2010

I know I've been telling you about how lovely it is on the Granite Belt in Winter but I have to admit to sneaking north to warmer climes for a week. It's amazing the difference a few hours drive can make to temperatures. One day we watched the weather and the top was 11degrees in Stanthorpe, while we'd enjoyed a top of 24 degrees south of Bundaberg. The children swam in the ocean every day and even I plunged into the water as the children's ball started heading for the horizon faster than they could swim. The water was so clear and I was surprised to find myself staying in longer than necessary. The ball couldn't be saved, by the way. After a fair bit of swimming I realised that it was travelling faster than me. I could see the headlines 'woman dies trying to save $7- ball' and decided to wish it luck on its' adventure.

Woodgate is an amazing place, sandwiched between a long sandy beach with calm ocean and a national park filled with native flora and fauna. Visitors new to the area will be amazed to see kangaroos lazing in front yards, casually observing passers by. This doe and joey were on our front lawn one morning. The joey was actually too big to be carried in the pouch but it wasn't above putting it's head in and suckling. The doe was alreading raising her next joey in her pouch.

On our way to Woodgate we stopped into Clovely Estate Winery, near Murgon. As we're distantly related to their talented winemaker, Luke Fitzpatrick, we felt it our family duty to call in and try their current lineup. Now, the clear instructions on the Semillon Chardonnay was to serve with Australian King Prawns and who were we to argue with such a specific recommendation? The very helpful person who served us at Clovely Estate suggested we call into Bundaberg Cold Stores for our fresh seafood. She even rang her husband to get clear directions. And so it was, after stocking up on wine, we headed off to Bundaberg to load up with king prawns, fresh Queensland scallops in shell, whiting and smoked salmon to cook up a lunch to be remembered.

This is the stuff of my childhood - the kind of memories I wanted to pass on to our children. I was lucky enough to enjoy pumping yabbies with my Dad, fishing with my Mum (Dad was usually too busy replacing bait and removing fish), running about on the beach and jumping waves with my brother and sister until hunger finally drove us home. Then, we'd always be served healthy food - wholegrain bread, avocadoes, bananas and when we were lucky, seafood. We'd stay inside during the middle of day to avoid the sun and head out again in the afternoons to do it all again.

The girls enjoyed every minute of their time away - you can see they've just been swimming, made a sandcastle and it's getting dark. An amazing Queensland winter, don't you agree? Holidays for farming families, particularly those with animals, can be few and far between. Sometimes we forget just how important it is to take a break and enjoy being together as a family, without the endless list of chores nagging at us. This will be one to savour.


Hi Melissa, great photos and entertaining blog. It bought back happy memories from my childhood too! Thanks for the kind words, hope you are enjoying the winter chill. Regards, distant cousin Luke
July 13th 2010
Hi Melissa Thanks for pointing me to your blog and Im so glad you enjoyed your holiday in Woodgate! Its a beautiful place - great to wind down and live at a slightly slower pace :) And MUCH warmer than down here BRRRR
July 13th 2010
Hi Melissa, The photos of your holiday are great, especialy the one of PRAWNS. I am envious!!!! Im sure Hannah suggested that one. Lovely warm weather here in Roma, no jumpers today. Olwen
Olwen Thomas
July 13th 2010
Hey Melissa! I love your blog! Im with Olwen.... the prawns are making me hungry! I love words & I was interested to see that you called a female kangaroo a doe. I didnt know that! I havent been to Woodgate in 25 years & youve definitely given me the idea to go back. Looking forward to the next installment. Drink wine sensibly & lots of it.... g
July 13th 2010
Hi Melissa! Some how we missed Woodgate! We would have loved it from your description. I loved the ocean and the warmth of Australia. David and I really enjoyed the wines of Australia. Love your website and will keep checking your blog! Connie
Connie Baird
July 17th 2010
Hey, I love your site, keep it coming!!
August 3rd 2010
We both enjoyed the Granite Belt (stanthorpe)so much we cant wait to get back... great wines food and markets not too mention the friendly people.. We are actually envious and hope to get ther in March 2011 Signed the Gold Coasters Lazz Kath
Lazz & Kathy
November 28th 2010