After the doggie awesomeness of the Banana Shire, we were still slowly heading south. On the way we took a drive up Cania Gorge. It’s all national park. One of its two caravan parks is dog friendly and reportedly a good place to stay but it didn’t suit the folks this time.
We already had plans to overnight at Monto. This is an old style, Queensland Country town with a main street of shops, a top pub, a bottom pub, a country hospital and most of the services you need to be relatively independent. We drove around town and noticed they had an overnight RV stop at the bottom end of the main street. Good place for it. A lot of towns put them too far out and instead of going to the cafes and pubs, the RV people just eat in their vans. Even a two-year-old dog can see that’s not a good business plan! The folks had a coffee, I met a few nice locals walking by.
We checked into The Monto Caravan and Cabin Park at the north end of town. All the usual facilities, squeaky clean bathrooms, laundry, small pool, dog friendly, run by husband and wife owner-managers, $33. Beside the park is a large mowed gully area where good dogs are allowed off lead to chase a few balls. This place ticks all the Enzo-boxes for a dog friendly stopover!
Still heading south, we pulled over at Goomeri. Just across from the BP Roadhouse is the Goomeri Showgrounds RV stopover, dog friendly, toilets and showers, powered site $20 per night. We later learnt that you can also camp over at the roadhouse. A couple of nice old blokes came around about 4pm to collect the money and give us the lowdown. Overall Enzo assessment – typical showgrounds site. They reckoned the roadhouse across the road is the best meal in town. ”It’s where the truckies eat”, they said. I wondered how the Sparrow would get on over there with her gluten free diet! Later, on our walk around town, the folks checked out the menu, which was very dog friendly; steak, sausage, rissoles, chips, gravy, or for the non-carnivore, fish and chips. To my surprise, the folks chose the pub – The Grand Hotel, with its Chicken Grand Salad and Atlantic Salmon. I’ve got to get them in touch with their inner carnivore! What was even more disappointing was that dogs are only allowed on the garden just next to the pub’s verandah, not on the verandah itself. I had a small moral victory later in the evening when, by stretching my lead to its limit, I could hide under the Sparrow’s chair where I couldn’t be seen.
We heard the bakery was excellent and had planned to have breakfast there, but the next day was Anzac Day and the folks decided to head off early to watch a parade, maybe next time.
Our next stop was the Pomona Showgrounds. This is one of the best showgrounds campsite we have seen. A central grassed arena, which would be ideal for chasing ball, is overlooked by an elevated grassy campsite on one side with trees and mountains in the distance on the other side. It’s a beautiful spot. Powered sited $15 per person, per night, dog friendly, laundry, hot showers, toilets, camp kitchens. It was another place that ticked all the Enzo boxes, if not for the rain it would be pawesome!
Pomona itself is a lovely village in the Noosa hinterland. There’s a lot of history here; it was the centre of the Noosa Shire back in the early 1900s [when Noosa Heads was only a village near a swamp]. It is also a very arty community: school of the arts, old picture theatre, art gallery etc. Quite by accident, we arrived on the weekend of the Pomona Music Festival, so there were a few old musos and buskers in the campsite. It was starting to look like it could be a fun weekend – until the rain started! Unfortunately, it rained continuously for twenty-four hours! The folks caught up on their reading while I caught up on my sleeping. The following day the sun shone, and it was beautiful. I chased a few balls on the oval, then went into town with the folks. It was market day and the art gallery was open. Pomona proved itself a lovely arty little village, Just as I predicted.
We’re heading home tomorrow. This month travelling in SE Queensland has been lots of fun. Now that the folks have the van set up the way they want it, the next trip is going to be the big round Australia loop. I’m ready now, but apparently it won’t be until a bit later this year.