Willis Island Queensland

IMG_0005 Willis Island is the only permanently inhabited island in the Coral Sea Islands Territory, an external territory of Australia, located beyond the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. The island is located some 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Cairns, Queensland. It is the southernmost of the Willis Islets…

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a weather monitoring station on the island.[3] There are usually four weather observers, one of whom is Officer-in-Charge, and one Technical Officer (electronic engineering) living on the island. The Willis Island weather monitoring station was established in 1921 and equipped with a radio transmitter in order to provide a cyclone early warning service for Queensland


The most common inhabitants are wedge-tailed shearwaterssooty terns and common and black noddies. Their numbers are usually quite high and bird cries continue day and night on the island. Several species of booby migrate through the Island including maskedbrown and red-footed boobies, and also the lesser frigatebirdcrested terns are also seen to migrate, although not as often.[10] Other birds mentioned by John King Davis are the buff-banded rail as a resident, wood sandpiper, and sacred kingfisher and red-tailed tropicbird as occasional visitors


Cruise Ship Pacific Aria


Seven Day cruise trip from Brisbane to Cairns, with a stop at Hamilton island and an hour at Willes Island where the Weather Station island. The Pool was in the middle between the restaurants on one side, and the gym, Casino, Marque and Dome Bar on the other side. My room was front/starboard and every meal time I had to walk past the pool, which is a better option than the long passage below. The swimming pool was below

I had breakfast at The Waterfront Restaurant, lunch at The Pantry, and dinner at Angelo’s, Waterfront, or once at Dragon Lady, which was always booked out, why I do not know as it was the last choice for me.  Every evening was dress up time with a theme that I followed because I had done the cruises before with P&O….cocktail, black, white, Gatsby and Halloween this trip. The last night was my birthday and that was made special when Angelo’s provided a cake with a candle, and a team, who happily sang ‘Happy Birthday’ while making sure the surrounding tables joined in too.


The meals were thus fun. I shared a table with Leonie from Maleny and Lola from the Gold Coast and we enjoyed all the evening fun and got on very well together. Lunch I mostly had alone and linked up with a German Trio..Peter, Gabi and Inge, so that was fun too. Days were casual, I was happy to sit on the Balcony alone, and go on tours every day in Port. Breakfast was always at the Waterfront for me, because I enjoy a formal sit down breakfast complete with juices and Tea and if lucky, a happy waiter. Mostly they were grumpy in the morning, and the maitre D’ would come and apologize.

Meals were very small as you can see above, but as there were 3 courses, that was not an issue. We enjoyed the food and the dining together. Lunch was in The Pantry where there was a selection of different types of food…Mexican, Roast, Sri Lankan, Bakery with filled bread rolls and sandwiches and a Salad Bar. At the two ends there was the drink corner with tea, coffee and water. It was basic and adequate. If you had bought a drinks Card, which I had done for $49, soft drinks were available, and I was able to get the ladies a drink on my card too in the evening. I mostly drank soda with a slice of lime and sometimes, bitters. All food was served at the food bars, so portions were controlled somewhat, but many went back for seconds.

Halloween Night was fun and many came dressed in weird and wonderful costumes. We simply wore black. It was fun laughing with others about what they were wearing. I made the comment that we three were the best looking there..as many were painted with blood, black lips, white faces, and wearing what they thought were ghoulish looks. It was a fun evening. The Marque had a Dance show the evening before with some macabre dance moves with futuristic screaming changing lights and effects that were dramatic and characterized a ghostly cemetery with awakening ghouls perfect  for All Saints Night.

I did enjoy the Jazz quartet that played every evening. I sat there one evening and took these photos… There was music in many areas of the ship. One could party all day and night if one so chose to do this. Mostly people just sat around and watched. They were a very quiet group of cruisers and extremely well behaved. Everybody sat in their couples or small groups of 3 or 4 and just watched.  One lady sitting behind us at the show, was talking loudly, so when Leonie pointed this to to me, I turned around and said, “Shush!!” and to my amazement, she did and never spoke again for the rest of the evening.

Ooncooncoo Bay Russell Island


Ooncooncoo Bay is the front bay of Russell Island between Lamb Island and Russell Island. Bay road homes look onto Ooncooncoo Bay, which means Bay of Swans.

The ferry travels from Russell island Jetty to lamb Island going over Ooncooncoo Bay.

I have tried to find out about the name, but maybe there were swans in this area as it is a mudflat and has an area where swans could frequent at certain times of the year when they come to the Island.  The lifestyle of the Quandamooka people was nomadic, moving between semi-permanent campsites. They built shelters of various kinds, ranging from simple lean-tos for an overnight stay to more robust huts used at well-frequented campsites The Quandamooka people used several local food sources, including many from the ocean. The collection of these resources was often segregated by gender. Canoes were used to fish in Moreton Bay for Mullet, and to hunt Dugongs and Sea Turtles. They were also used to travel to the mainland to hunt

I would say that the Bay was where the swans came to nest and mate and was named Ooncooncoo, which means, Bay of Swans.

The fishing website has said Ooncooncoo Bay is good for fishing. People who live on the shore do fish from the edge, and when I was taking these photos, fish were jumping out beside that mangrove tree. A neighbor was also swimming in the water

Pomona Queensland


I decided to stay at Pomona for the night. That is all I could have stayed as the weekend was Show time and the Caravan Park was being cleared for the Show. The cost was $19.00 for the night. I set up next to the Kitchen and the toilet facilities. Pomona Caravan park is situated on the beautiful Pomona Showgrounds with amazing views of Mount Cooroora  over the Arena/oval. Its an easy walk to the Botanical Gardens and the Outdoor Exercise equipment for use along the bike and walking track.

We have a food booth preparation area with covered shelter for use. There is also a BBQ available for Groups to use. There is access available to Squash Courts and Tennis Courts that are on site, for a small hire fee. We have hot showers and two amenities blocks. There are also basic washing facilities, including a dryer.

We are part of the Noosa Trails experience, there is a beautiful creek walk at the bottom of the grounds.

About 4.30pm every evening, a resident has been feeding the kookaburras and they all come and eat and preen and chatter next to the office. They were tame and friendly and a delight to watch.


Chatsworth Park Gympie


I stayed overnight at Gympie in the Chatsworth free rest Area which is absolutely beautiful. There is a lake on one side, and excellent toilets and a playground and barbecue/picnic area. It is well maintained and also well used.I was lucky to find a small corner for my van when I arrived at 5PM.

Chatsworth Park is noted for the large numbers of water birds that frequent the lake. This time a 4WD drove over one of the long time residential turkeys and we said goodbye to him and placed him by the bins.There are beautiful trees and gardens in the area and it is a peaceful relaxing place to camp overnight when traveling north or south..