We may still be close to the coast, but it feels like outback Queensland. Back to reality, after Airlie Beach and the hordes of backpackers. This is Australia, a bit rough around the edges, remote and wild with a pioneer spirit.

We passed through Mackay (pronounced “Maccoy”), the sugar capital of Australia, where miners, covered in dirt and still in work clothes, were shopping and enjoying a pot at the local pub.

Rockhampton, a six-hour bus ride south, is the beef capital of Australia. The smell of bulldust hangs thick in the air and it takes a few minutes to adapt to the smell. Strangely enough, there doesn’t seem to be any steakhouse around here: “Calories Street,” as the Greyhound driver called George Street, a busy thoroughfare where the bus terminal is located, is packed with American fast-food joints and Thai noddle places.

The city lies on the Tropic of Capricorn—there is even a marker at the tourist information centre. It is very spread out and doesn’t really have a city centre but for the old commercial centre. Like in many places in Australia right now, we live under the threat of severe floods and the Fizroy River in Rockhampton was overflowing.

This is a classic Australian town, with its huge pubs, big cars and palm trees lined up in the breezy streets. But there is undoubtedly a cowboy spirit here: wide-brimmed hats, boots and saddleries are right around the corner and rodeo beats cricket any time.

Outback Queensland
Old Australian Pub
Flooded Reflection
The Court House
Tropiic of Capricorn
Flood in Queensland
Flood in Queensland

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  1. Gledwood December 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I have a friend in Queensland who has the most fantastic collection of birds in the garden. The blog is called http://bimbimbie.blogspot.com and Bimbimbie means place of the birds. There are loads of them, rainbow lorikeets, cockatoos, kookaburras red king parrots, etc flapping round wild and free. Amazing. I hope you’re having a fantabulous time. Did you have a barbecue for Xmas day? That’s supposedly the Aussie tradition


  2. Tulsa Gentleman December 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Greetings from Seoul, South Korea. We are on the same side of the planet although on opposite hemisphere. I hope you are enjoying OZ and wish you a Happy New Year.

  3. Yogi December 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    To me, in my not knowing anything about mind, the Australian Outback where the American West left off. I’ve just always pictured it as very extreme.

    Nice photos, it looks very rainy, wet, and gloomy.

    I love the photo of the pub.

  4. khengsiong December 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Is there a cafe next to the Tropic of Capricon? Must be making lots of money for its location, LOL…

  5. Priyank December 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Zhu,
    Oh wow! Not a single human in sight… it seems from the pictures that only spiders live here. hehe! Very leisurely and laid back. Happy New year to you Zhu (you are already having happy holidays!)

  6. shionge December 27, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Yo Zhu…..still having fun and where’s all the Aussie?

  7. Zhu December 28, 2010 at 6:12 am

    @Gledwood – Thank you! Yes, we did have a BBQ (a barbie!) for Xmas, and I loved it. BBQ on the beach in December… a dream!

    @Tulsa Gentleman – I read about your adventures and your trip, sorry for not replying sooner! I have never been to Korea and I do hope you are enjoying it. Traveling is awesome, isn’t it!

    @Yogi – You are right, it does feel like the “last frontier”!

    @khengsiong – Not really a cafe, more like a rest stop… it didn’t seem to be very busy!

    @Priyank – Thank you! Nope, in OZ there are more deadly animals than people I think 😆

    @shionge – Aussie are… not that many I guess! 😆 There are plenty of empty beaches around here!


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