Here is the latest in my series of mini Blogger conventions
Jan a friend for about 50 years, I guess you could say we know one another by
now, and her daughter Donna, I gave Donna a pep-talk about her lack of posting
hope it incites her to blog some more.
This is home for a week for Donna and Brett, their three kids and Jan.
The main reason for Donna and Brett's trip to Hervey Bay this Year was
to attend the 40th birthday party of Donna's life long friend Nicki, who
just happens to be the daughter of more of my long term friends Brian
and Carrol, I have another story to relate there so stay tuned for it.
The view from their third floor luxury apartment, as an Aussie I just love the
ocean viewed through Gum Trees, there is a very nice caravan park right on the
waters edge also in this photo.
Just one of the luxury features getting a work-out is this beaut spa pool.
When they want to get more serious about the water there are two pools.
Jan and I left the younguns do their thing and went to lunch at a great spot
"Arkarra Tea gardens" the name is derived from aboriginal,'place of many
ducks' and has been designed around a series of lagoons in a wetlands
Jan is holding a house specialty "Fruit Mocktail" there is a lovely little story
about our choice of drinks, we had settled on chicken and avacado sandwiches
mine on Turkisk bread and Jan's on a Baguette so we ordered a white wine to
go with these, our waiter apologized that he couldn't sell us a bottle of wine
as they only had a BYO license, he then asked if we were stopping in the Bay
area and on learning that Jan was he offered to give us the wine if she would
buy a replacement bottle and bring it back before leaving Hervey Bay.
We declined this very generous offer as Jan would have had to get Donna to
bring her back out the 5 or 6 miles and didn't want to burden her with that
task, but it left a warm glow to have been offered such a service so we took
his advice on a substitute... our "Mock Tails" these were Pineapple and orange
juice with enough "Fruit Salad" left over to provide our sweets.
These lovely Balinese style huts were spread around the gardens as
dining huts, very effective.
Finally a couple of photos of the wetland setting complete with
There are lots of very substantial trees and native fauna with good
walking tracks to meander along, all told a lovely spot.
A brief history follows;
Arkarra Melaleuca wetlands covers a substantial part of the 200acre freehold property first identified as swamp in 1880. Originally owned by
Mac and Freda Stock raised three sons and over the years grew sugar cane pineapples and other small crops as well as both dairy and beef cattle.
During the 1960s Mac was approached to extract and sell bedding sand which was in demand for laying Hervey Bays water mains and sewer pipes. Over several years a lot of sand was extracted and huge lagoons dotted with islands were formed and these gradually filled with water.
The predator free islands became safe nesting grounds for more than 170 varieties of birds, fish and turtles meanwhile made the lagoons their home.
Bill Stock bought the property from his father in 1977 with the intention of preserving this beautiful area and making it accessible to the public.
About this time landowners downstream cleared and drained their properties threatening the future of the wetlands, to stop this happening a levee bank some 300 yards long was constructed to preserve this natural asset.
Over the years Arkarra has withstood the pressures of agricultural development, bushfires, often caused by escaping cane fires, duck shooters, and trail bike riders.
In 1990 Bill and his wife decided to progressively develop the property, creating the exclusive park residential subdivision which surrounds it today.
Hervey Bay Council accepted half of the wetlands area for public open space as part of its development approval conditions.
In 1997 the Stocks obtained approval from the council to construct the original Arkarra Tea Gardens on a site adjoining the lagoons, access to the lagoons and walkways via a wooden bridge.In mid 2003 Bill and his wife leased out Arkarra and it has since been sold to Southern based investors.