SHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No. 54. December, 2015.
Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley.
Greetings from down under where there is a heat wave with temperatures soaring to 40 degrees and more. Raging bush fires caused by lightening and summer has arrived.
What better time to escape on a cruise with five P & O magnificent ships in port a special event took place with the viewing of each of the ships at their berth. Called Meet the Fleet with fireworks and complimentary drinks.
PACIFIC ARIA with luxurious penthouse suites, two pools, delicious food, and a premium cinema. Cruising to Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Cairns, Cooktown, Willis Island, Moreton Island, for this Christmas Cruise.
PACIFIC EDEN a floating oasis with hanging chairs, cushioned cabanas, Chef’s table, Spa, two Pools and much more. Visit Noumea, Lifou, Mystery Island, Mare, New Caledonia and her Loyalty Islands.
PACIFIC DAWN Three storey atrium, Roll the dice at the Casino, or dance the night away in the Dome. Mini-suits – Balconys – an Adventure Park at sea. Retail therapy. Brisbane, Noumea, Lifou, Port Vila, Brisbane. Barrier Reef Discovery.
PACIFIC JEWEL. Eleven levels of hidden gems. Aqua Spa, Six restaurants. Edge Adventure Park. The Pantry, Salt Grill by Luke Mangan. New Year. Melbourne, Burnie, Robe, Port Lincoln, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Portland.
PACIFIC PEARL. Eleven levels, Marquee Theatre, Movies Under the Stars, Six Restaurants, De Luxe Accommodation. Interior family rooms, Mini-Suite, Plantation Restaurant. Four nights Sydney, Moreton Island for R & R break. New Year. Noumea, Champagne Bay, Port Vila, Mystery Island, Lifou, Isle of Pines, White Beaches of Port Denarua, Snorkelling in crystal-clear of Mar, or Jet boating around Vila.
PACIFIC EXPLORER. P & O’s newest edition and coming in 2017.
Bundaberg Region in Queensland is known as the Southern Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and is also famous for its Rum. Bundaberg Distillery was born in 1888 and the first batch of rum was produced in 1889. In 1936 a lightning strike sparked an explosion and destroyed the distillery and it was not rebuilt until 1939. In the 1940’s visiting U.S. Soldiers enjoyed the rum and Bundy and Cola was introduced as one of the world’s first mixed drinks. With a long and fascinating history in 1985 Bundaberg Rum sets up its vintage of Bundaberg Black. 1988 and one hundred year centenary a cocktail competition is held and Rummy Bear and Bundy Bombshell are born using the famous Royal Liqueur Blend. In 1993 Rum and Ginger Beer is produced called Dark and Stormy. 2008 sees Bundaberg Red Lands and in 2011 The Master Distillers’ Collective and they produce top shelf limited release rum that casts a spell over rum lovers worldwide. When Queensland was hit by a second devastating flood in three years, they put on a fund-raising event and raised $250,000 for flood relief. 2014 celebrates its 125th with a special anniversary bottle and keeps producing the rum Australians know and love. They also clock a record 250,000 fans on Facebook.
Just off the coast of Bundaberg are Lady Elliott Island and the Gentle Giants of the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Turtles and Mantra Rays are among a cabaret of sea creatures. On the Island you can immerse yourself in nature’s underwater playground, snorkel, dive, and sail, take a scenic flight or charter a boat. Lady Elliot Island is a twenty five minute scenic flight from Bundaberg and the closest taste of the Great Barrier Reef to Brisbane. Visit the Coral Gardens Dive Site with maximum depth of around 12 metres. This is an extremely good night dive site with all types of marine life like the Painted Cray. Lighthouse Bommie Dive Site off the Island is a group of small coral outcrops packed with marine life. Batfish, Stingrays, White spotted, Shovelnose Rays, Green and loggerhead Turtles, Sea Snakes, Moray eels, Coral Trout, Reef Sharks, Trevally, Barracuda and many others. Leopard Sharks are seen during summer.
Fraser Island, off Australia’s Eastern Queensland Coast, is the world’s largest sand island stretching over 120km. panoramic viewpoints include Indian Head, a rocky outcrop on the island’s easternmost tip, and the Cathedrals, a cliff famous for sculpted ribbons of coloured sand. World Heritage listed it ranks with Australia’s Uluru, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef. A place of exceptional beauty with its long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by coloured sand cliffs, and over l00 fresh water lakes, some tea coloured and others clear and blue. Ancient rainforests grow in sand along the banks of fast flowing crystal clear creeks. Fraser Island is the only place in the world where tall rainforests are found growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres. The low “Wallum” heaths on the Island are of particular evolutionary and ecological significance, and provide magnificent wildflower displays in spring and summer. The wetlands include rare patterned ferns, Mangrove colonies, Sea-grass beds, and up to 40,000 migratory shorebirds. Rare, vulnerable or endangered species include Dugongs, Turtles, Ant-Blue butterflies, and Eastern Curlews.
Here at Shelly Beach the birds are still visiting on a regular basis and two Crimson Headed Rozellas were among the visitors. Pixie the Pomeranian is doing fine, but we lost some beautiful hydrangeas due to the excessive heat which was a great shame. My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, and Wallis the Woman I Love,” are available on Amazon and www.patriciasartworld.com