VanEssa: the shakedown trip

Well, it’s been great.

We’ve just spent 4 days at Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays. We took our caravan VanEssa up for her maiden voyage with us, and because Airlie is only 150km/90ish miles away, it was the perfect spot: beautiful, warm, but close enough to home to head back easily in a couple of hours if anything went wrong. But nothing (much) did. With one or two notable exceptions, of course. I mean, it wouldn’t be us if there weren’t at least two issues. Since they relate to the, ahem, sanitary facilities, I’m going to gloss over that bit hastily as no-one wants to hear about things like that. However, on the plus side, VanEssa is amazingly well insulated for both heat and sound, the reverse-cycle aircon is a dream for both heating and cooling, the beds were even comfier than I thought, the fridge/freezer was fantastic, the stovetop worked beautifully, the range hood was efficient. I could go on…

Airlie Beach has always been a bit too close for our holiday trips, and it’s a major tourist centre, but off-season we found it was perfect for the Husband’s 4-day off shift, so we’ll definitely be going back. Because of this, we hadn’t done much exploring in the area, and one of the places I wanted to visit was in Proserpine, about 30km from where we were staying. It’s a small, busy sugar town, not the sort of place you’d expect to find a shop like Colour Me Crazy. From the name and the look of the website, you expect a certain degree of kookiness, but believe me, there’s nothing kooky about this place. It’s crammed floor to ceiling in multiple rooms with utter fabulousness. I can’t describe it, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

The Husband and doggo decided that it was not their kind of thing, and sat outside in the sunshine while I drifted about inside, coveting and fingering the merch. It’s not cheap (although worth every penny, I’d say), and I just couldn’t justify spending the sort of money my acquisitive little heart pined to… Gorgeous clothing, jewellery, bags, shoes, homewares, candles, pictures. aaaargh…

So after I tore myself away we went and investigated Prossy Pies, because it was lunchtime, and you know what I’m like about pies. Nice, but not as good as some we’ve had recently (although Doggo did appreciate his share). Not something I can say about Fish D’vine, where the fish and chips were indeed Divine. The coral trout was off the boat that day, the batter was light and crispy, as were the chips, and we got a generous side order of aioli. Worth going back to Airlie just for that, and the place is very dog friendly, having a large outdoor seating area overlooking the sea and out to the reef.

We did other stuff too, including a short visit to the Peter Faust Dam, which is beautiful, has a very nice unpowered camping area, several pristine picnic huts and is extremely peaceful and beautiful, with an open horizon, distant hills and a remarkable volcanic plug visible on the other side of the water. I’ve been unable to find a name for this very distinctive bit of geology.

Panoramic photo, do click for a larger image

I’d have loved to stay longer, but 4 days is all we had. Doggo, however, is delighted to be home and have his own backyard to zoom around and a wide choice of places to snooze. And now that we’re back, it’s time to fix up those issues, give her a clean and get her ready for our next trip to Cairns in August.

Oh, and I have sewing projects calling my name!