Day 058, Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Distance travelled – 78.0 km
Avg speed – 21.0 kph
Max speed – 37.1 kph

Calen, Proserpine

We had a very comfortable and quiet night at St Helens Garden Caravan Park. Given its proximity to the Bruce Highway this was surprising but we discovered that the gardens seem to muffle out any traffic noise. It is a small park with only 21 sites with the owners planning to expand. We would recommend this park to anyone and if passing we will stop here again.

The town of Calen is about 800 metres further along the highway across St Helens Creek. We did not ride into the village but we could see the important pub, general store and a number of other businesses.

We stopped on the other side of Calen to take some photos of the sugar cane fields and the mountain backdrop. In the past couple of days there have been some spectacular views over the sugar cane but it has not been safe to stop or when we did stop we no longer had the same view offered by the extra height we had from sitting on the bike. So today I was determined to come away with at least one photo of the cane fields and mountains behind.

Our first stop was about an hour north of Calen and as we pulled over the couple who stayed next to us last night pulled in for a chat. They had just taken a quick drive to Proserpine to look for a place to stay for a week and Ron wanted to pass on his findings. They were still booked into Calen for another night but Ron was pleased with the rate he was able to negotiate in person rather than over the phone. Cash still gets a better price.

The previous evening Ron had told us he had done a lot of the grader work on Canberra’s roads in the 1960’s before turning to coach driving. He was one of the first coaches into Darwin after Cyclone Tracey to help with the evacuation. In his retirement he was still driving graders building dams on outback properties. His wife told us he was having trouble retiring.

Thirty years ago I cycled from Caloundra to Proserpine and to date I have not recognised any of the country we have been through.  As we got closer to Proserpine I was interested to see a skyline that looked familiar. Although I visited Proserpine in the 1990’s I did not approach it from the south, and did not go any further south as I flew out of Hamilton Island. So I was pleased to at least discover one memory from the 1979 ride in the grey matter still remaining.

We stayed at the Proserpine Tourist Park, which is adjacent to the Olympic Pool and managed together as a single unit. Camping fees also include access to the heated pool. I would have liked a swim but the disadvantage of our lightweight travel towels is that they do not take too much to get wet so I had to pick between a shower or swim. After today’s ride the shower was more important. At this rate my swimming goggles may get a trip round Australia without getting wet. Perhaps I should save a couple of hundred grams and post them home! I wonder how much faster I could go up hills without them.

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


View just north of Calen


This fellow was leaving the Proserpine Tourist Park as we were arriving, we did not catch his name. He was going to catch the train to Brisbane. He had been on the bike for two weeks, his companion had returned home 4 days earlier and he had decided to do the same as he found it hard by himself. I was interested in how his bike was loaded and how he had used the triangle space for his tool box (PVC pipe). Not sure why he needed a hatchet?

Previous Report

Next Report



Photography by Multilocus - A Division of Multilocus Interactive Pty Ltd
Home | Daily Reports | About | Contact Us | Merchandise | Site Map
© 2008 Mark Arundel