Ken and Sheena - Living the Dream! travel blog

How beautiful is he

cruising up the Noosa river

Noosa river


Noosa river cruise

Lake Cootharaba

Lake Cootharaba


First stop at the education centre and a walk along the boardwalk

The Noosa River

The education centre

Time for a morning cuppa

The beautiful Noosa everglades

A visitor pops in for morning tea


Some of the amazing reflections on the water

Sheena and friend take a stroll together

Jackie outside Harrys Hut - an old loggers hut

The 'other' boat stuck on the sandbar and the poor wet passengers!

Getting the boats nice and close ready to do the people transfer

Can we come aboard?? Passengers from the other boat join us

So happy to be in a dry boat again!

View from Mary Cairncross park with Glass house mountains in background

Sheena and Jackie at Mary Cairncross park

Sheena and Ken at lookout

Wandering through the rainforest at Mary Cairncross park

View over the Sunshine Coast hinterland

view from Montville

Another view from Montville

Time for lunch in Montville

Exploring the cute little town of Montville

More of Montville

Jackie in Montville

Night out in Caloundra

Sheena is finally part of the band

Ken gets friendly with the help

Ken leads the way

Ken, Trisha and Jackie at Velvet Waters

Big grins - just so happy to be together :)

Trisha and Sheena

Elvis joined us for part of the night

The entertainment at Velvet Waters - love those swing dancers!!

The be bop girls did a great job

Jackie at Noosa main beach

Sheena and Jackie on the Nut mobile

Jackie at the Big Pineapple

Ken opted out on the Nutmobile ride!

The Nutmobile

Jackie has a go at cracking some macadamia nuts

How cute am I - baby koala at the Big Pineapple

This little fella was just so cute


Ken and Jackie at the Big Pineapple

What a lovely visit. From the moment Jackie had said she was hoping to come over to visit I was very, very excited. I managed to swap a few shifts at work so that I could spend the maximum time I could with her while she was here.

Thursday – up at 3.30 am to drive down to Brisbane airport. We managed to time it very nicely so that we arrived about 5 minutes before her plane touched down. It was very chilly outside this morning so we were hoping she had brought a jacket with her – people often assume that sunny Queensland doesn’t get cold. As the passengers started coming up the corridor I waited and waited for a glimpse of that gorgeous smile, and at long last there she was!!! She looked great – tired - but great. How wonderful to wrap my arms around her again. We picked up her bag, walked back to the car (yes she had a jacket!) and then drove back up the coast again. Ken dropped me off at work on the way through (I had a 7.15 am start) then continued on to take Jackie back to the house so that she could collapse into bed, before he too, came to work. All day I kept thinking of her back at our house and just couldn’t wait for the day to finish so I could go and pick her up. 1.45 finally came around and I was off. Drove home to find her well-rested and ready to head out. We drove down to Mooloolabah for a quick look around until Ken finished work at 3.30. When we went to pick him up I took her for a bit of a drive around the caravan park and introduced her to my work mates. We then headed down to Cotton Tree and while Ken was at the chiropractor we had coffee and bought a few supplies for our lunch the next day. Back home we took the dogs for a walk on the beach then dinner and lots of catch up.

Friday – both Ken and I had the day off so we packed up a picnic and headed into the hinterland. First stop was the Mary Cairncross Park where we took in the views of the Glass House Mountains, had a coffee stop and then a walk through the rainforest. Next stop was Maleny where we had a quick look in the shops then stopped at the Cheese Factory to stock up on some yummy cheeses and yoghurt. We then continued on to the quaint town of Montville taking in the beautiful views along the way. When Ken and I have done this drive in the past we usually drive from north to south but this time we decided to do it the other way around. It is amazing how different it all looks seeing it from the opposite perspective. We arrived in Montville with grumbling tummies so decided it was time for lunch. Ken and I had come for a drive up here a couple of weeks ago and had found a great little picnic table tucked in behind a quaint little church - nice and sheltered from any wind and with a lovely view. There were many more people in town this day and yet nobody had found our little table so we were really happy. We spread out our yummy lunch – fresh bread stick from the Swiss bakery, fresh peas in the pod, cherry tomatoes, ham, avocado, strawberries our Maleny cheeses and a nice cold bottle of white wine – YUMMO!

With our tummies now happy it was time to shop. Montville is a gorgeous little town with rolling hills as its backdrop and lots of cute little shops to browse in. The highlight I think is the clock shop. This is packed with cuckoo clocks of every description, big tall grandfather clocks and a variety of other Swiss merchandise – lots of oohing and aahing but not much spending as it is all quite pricey.

Conscious of not wearing Jackie out too much, by 4.00 we decided it was time to head back home to nibble on more cheeses and then attack the pot roast I had left cooking in my thermal cook pot.

Saturday - Ken was back to work today so Jackie and I headed out to the Eumundi markets. This is another place I never get sick of. There is so much variety and the thing I love the most is that most of the products on sale are hand made by local people. Parking can be an issue as it is a very popular venue but we scored a spot right in the main street for the first 2.5 hours and then on a side street for the rest of the morning. The weather was just beautiful – lovely sunny day. I tell you it was all turned on for us! After spending the morning browsing and shopping we then drove up to Noosa where once again we scored a parking spot in Hastings Street – this is unheard of on such a busy day so our guardian angels were still with us. The first thing I did was pop into a shop to buy a T-shirt. I had come out in a jumper as it had been quite chilly in the morning but by this stage I was cooking. Oh well – a good excuse to buy a new top J

We went for a short stroll along the boardwalk of the Noosa Main beach up to the surf club where we found the perfect seat overlooking the beach to have some lunch. We then wandered back to the car along Hastings Street and then home to Mudjumba via the coast road.

Time for a short rest then shower, change and out to pick up my aunt Trisha for a night out at Velvet Waters in Caloundra. Ken had spotted this little place on one of our days out and we had always wanted to come here for the dinner and show. As I usually work on Saturday evenings we hadn’t been able to do so but now we had our chance. The Blue Velvet is a Rock and Roll venue where you are provided with a lovely 3-course meal and then entertained with music form the 60’s and 70’s. It was such a lot of fun with music, dancing and audience participation. I even got to be part of the band as I was chosen to play a jambe (drum) and help lead the congo round the room! Yay finally I was in the band and not just a groupie!!! It was such a special night for me as it brought back so many memories of all the times Jackie and I have danced together over the last 32 years. I was so happy to see her smiling, dancing and just generally having a good time – very different to the last time I saw her.

Sunday morning Jackie managed a bit of a sleep in while we took the dogs down to the beach for their walk and then went down to the shop to get the makings of a cooked breakfast. Steve (my brother in law) arrived and he and Ken headed off to the Tewantin Hill car racing. As I had to work today Jackie had taken the opportunity to catch up with a friend of hers who drove up from Brisbane for the day. We all hooked back up again in the evening to share our exploits of the day.

Monday – Jackie and I had booked in to do a cruise up the Noosa river into the Noosa everglades. After a bit of a scenic drive up there (I still get a little lost sometimes!!) we arrived just in time to board the boat. We cruised up the river past Boreen Point and Elanda Point – two places Ken and I had visited by road a few months ago. We stopped off at the Kinaba Information Centre, built on pylons over the water of Lake Cootharaba and we disembarked to take a wander along the boardwalk through the mangroves.

Back on board to cruise further up river to our morning tea stop at Fig Tree Point. So far on the cruise the water we had been traveling on had a soft green tinge to it, caused by the tannins of the trees and vegetation on shore. As we entered the Everglades however the water darkened becoming black and creating mirror-like reflections. It was absolutely magical cruising up these tranquil waters soaking up the sun, and taking in the pristine views. Our guide, Trevor, suggested that once we reached our lunch stop we may like to take a swim in these beautiful waters but, after spying a snake swimming across the river no one took him up on the offer!

Our lunch time stop was at Harry’s Hut – once a logging hut, then a weekend getaway for fishing and pig catching, now a camping and day use area for those who venture this far up the river. Whilst we explored the area Trevor cooked up our lunch on the BBQ – choice of steak or barramundi, salads, wine, beer and soft drinks – all very yummy. We had just finished eating and were starting to pack up when the weather finally gave in and it started raining. A break in the showers allowed for a quick run back to the boat with all the lunch gear and then it was the gentle, relaxing trip back up the river, this time viewed from a different perspective with the gentle rain. As we came out of the mouth of the river we spied the afternoon cruise heading our way. Well actually they weren’t really heading anywhere as they were stuck on the sand bank!! Some of the brave people on board had climbed out of the boat onto the sandbank to try to lighten the load enough to free the vessel but unfortunately to no avail. They were now standing in the rain soaked to the skin and the boat was still stuck!! After consultation by phone with the other skipper Trevor went in to pick up the stranded passengers, took them back to the information centre where they could shelter and then back to the grounded boat. He maneuvered the two boats close together and then asked the remaining passengers to climb from one boat to the other. This lightened the load enough to enable the first vessel to free itself from the sand. We then clambered onto this boat and finished our trip back to Noosa in their boat and they took ours. There was lots of laughter surrounding all these happenings and we felt it all just added to the excitement of a truly wonderful day. (Hope the people on the other boat thought the same!!!)

Tuesday – our last day with Jackie. We all decided that she couldn’t do a trip to the Sunshine Coast and not do the Big Pineapple so off we went and on for the train ride and the nutmobile ride. After spending the morning here we drove out to the Ginger Factory then the Sunshine Plaza shopping Centre for a quick look around. Back home to put the bags in the car and the very sad drive back down to Brisbane airport. As I watched Jackie board the plane I felt such a surge of love for this beautiful lady who has been my very special friend for over 30 years. I was very sad to see her go but I was also very, very thankful for the wonderful few days we had just shared.

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