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Date: 22 Nov 2012 04:07:37
Title: Australia - Bundaberg - Pictures

We didn't know what to expect and Bundaberg was a lovely surprise. The Marina was 14km out of town, but in a lovely setting in the countryside on the river bank, not far from the river mouth. The grounds were meticulously kept and it was a good introduction to Australia and the wide open spaces. Late afternoon wild kangaroos could be seen out in the open on the grassland behind the marina. We did venture out one afternoon to see them and saw a group of 3 at the same time they saw us. When the largest stood up and was clearly quite a bit bigger than us, we decided that maybe we had gone close enough! With cockatoos in the fields and ibis walking around the roadways and gardens, it was very clear that this was quite a different place! Bundaberg itself is a medium sized modern town with the whole range of shops that you would expect - big supermarkets (Coles, Kmart, Woolworths - yes they're still here, but quite different to the UK, with modern shops selling food, just like Sainsburys), hardware superstores, the lot. In fact Australia seems to be full of shops!
 
The marina with lovely blue skies. Apart from 1 day of rain, the weather was like this every day 
- clear skies, hot during the day and cool at night 
 
    
The marina buildings with restaurant, chandlers and gift shop.
 
A load of sugar!  A large cargo vessel heads down the river passed the marina having left the
sugar mill just up stream.  
 
An Australian White Ibis. They are everywhere - in fields. gardens and village streets. 
 
Another making its way across the car park.
 
Galahs - pink and grey cockatoos - are in the trees and fields close to the marina.
 
An Australian style level crossing. They have a good rail network here,
although we have yet to see a train!
 
The old lighthouse that stood at the entrance to the Burnett River, to guide ships up to Bundaberg,
or the sugar mill just a little way up the river from the marina. Sugar cane is a major crop in
the surrounding area and they have ships of 500ft or more calling at the mill to collect the sugar.  
 
The new replacement lighthouse. More functional, but not as pretty!
 
The VMRs are the equivalent of the UK Coastguard, except that they are a volunteer service,
like the RNLI in the UK. VMRs exist all the way up and down the coast and you can log a
passage plan with them. However, unlike the UK Coastguard, if you don't log off after a passage
they will chase you. You have to give a mobile number as well as all the boat and passage details,
and if you're overdue, you will get a call on VHF and the mobile. If they can't reach you, they start
the search procedures!  
 
Foreign imports! They had a local small-town festival nearby over the weekend with local
crafts and produce for sale, music and rides for the kids. 
 
This is looking good - real cream apple turnovers in Bundaberg! New Zealand was a bit poor
 for it's cakes and despite it's massive dairy industry, you hardly ever saw cream cakes. Looks
like we won't have that problem in Australia!    

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