My journey from Bundaberg to Gladstone, at 216 km, was relatively short, but that allowed me enough time to stop off at a few places along the way. So last week’s post, Bundaberg, Queensland: First Stop on My Australian Road Trip, also included my visits to Agnes Water and 1770.
So by the time I was approaching Gladstone on the Monday, it was beginning to get dark…
In the evening, I struggled to find the ‘town centre’ and there weren’t too many people on the streets to ask. So, with the aid of my ‘Around Me’ smart phone app, I found my way to a nearby Irish pub and settled for an evening meal there, saving my sightseeing for the morning.
My big toe on my right foot had turned completely black as a result of too much walking the previous day with one slightly too long toenail. Too much information?
Well, it is slightly relevant because it meant my first Gladstone visit was to a chemist to buy some toenail clippers. That led to a conversation with the local pharmacist who was originally from Scotland, but had lived in Gladstone for many years.
I decided to ask him where the ‘town centre’ was. He said Gladstone didn’t really have much of one and asked if I was visiting and if so, how long for? As I answered him, his face kind of contorted when I said “I’m here for two…..”
His face then noticeably scrunched up until I said the word “…hours” at which point he let out a gasp of relief. The guy seemed genuinely concerned that I was going to say two days or even worse, two weeks. But when I said two hours, he said “Ah, that’s all right then.”
His first piece of advice was not to go to Barney Point, explaining it had been voted the worst beach in Australia on a regular basis. Of course, the first thing I did was go to Barney Point, not just to take a look, but also for somewhere quiet to cut my toenails.
Barney Point Beach
Not too bad. If this really is Australia’s worst beach, Australia is doing pretty good. I did search online, all I could find is that in 2014, CSIRO listed Barney Point Beach as Queensland’s dirtiest beach at the time.
Maybe somebody has cleaned it up since then.
What my friendly pharmacist did then go on to explain though was that Gladstone was very much an industrial town with an emphasis on mining and aluminium. He then pointed me in the right direction to visit a couple of lookout points so I could get a good view all around Gladstone.
So I did.
Gladstone lookout one
Then, after two hours of looking around, I was gone. With it being such a fleeting visit, I clearly can’t tell you what it’s really like to live there, so if you do live in Gladstone or know it well, maybe you can tell us what you think in the comments below.