Let’s hit the road again.
If you remember, Gladstone was the Second Stop on My Queensland Coast Road Trip and from there I headed 110 km further north to Rockhampton. So far on this road trip I had tried to avoid the Bruce Highway where possible, preferring back roads instead.
Travelling from Gladstone to Rockhampton though, it’s hard to no go on ‘The Bruce’. So I did. Here’s what it looked like…
The Fitzroy River
Rockhampton city centre
What did surprise me a little about Rockhampton was how much traffic there was in and around the town. I suppose having driven along so many very quiet roads and having spent the last two days in the much smaller towns of Bundaberg and Gladstone, the amount of cars I saw in Rockhampton took me a little by surprise.
No real traffic jams though, as you can see. Rockhampton has a population at the moment of around 80,000 and their main shopping centre, Stockland Rockhampton, is the largest you’ll find between Maroochydore and Cairns.
I stayed in the Welcome Motel, which was actually on the main A1, the Bruce Highway.
I was quite excited about having a beer in this other pub, it had a rather special name. It was called The Red Lion. Call me a romantic old fool, but I met my wife in a UK pub called The Red Lion, and we don’t get too many pubs called that in these parts.
So, at exactly 8:22 PM on a Tuesday night, I excitedly made my way towards The Red Lion, eagerly looking forward to raising a glass of beer to my marriage, all on my own, whilst (probably) wiping a nostalgic tear of joy from my cheek.
But when I got there, it was shut…
And it was shut?!
I had driven past it a couple of hours earlier, it was open then. I think this is something pubs often do in some Australian towns, if they are quiet or there is no one around, they just close.
The irony was as I walked back to the main street, I passed a Happy Jacks, that’s the Australian equivalent of Burger King. They were open, of course, and I could hear the sound of happy six-year-olds playing in the enclosed playground attached to the fast food chain.
I found myself thinking ‘It’s not fair!‘