"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Blogger convention # 2

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
connecting bridges.

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 Hervey Bay pioneer Lars Jacobsen the property was sold to the Stock family in 1930.

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.


Lee said...

It sounds and looks like you had a wonderful time, Peter. How hospitable of Arkarra to offer you the wine option. You don't get that at many places!

You've had a social time of late...good for you...time for a bit of "r & r" at home, no doubt...then you'll be off again! Take care. :)

Puss-in-Boots said...

I agree, that was a really nice offer Arkarra made...quite a change from the usual attitude.

What a lovely place, Hervey Bay is...another on my list of places to go. I do a lot of my work from home for a couple of surgeons on the Fraser Coast.

Pamela said...

who took the picture of the three Brett?

I could handle one of those fruity things... yum

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~~ Great post about Hervey Bay, beautiful scenery, and another
blogger convention. You and Jan and Donna all look well and happy. I hope that helpful waiter doesn't lose his job after offering that bottle of wine.The Fruit Mocktails look nice. I have only been through Hervey Bay on a bus on way to Gladstone.
Thanks for your comments and the
advice on putting photos on at anytime. If I lose a whole post doing this, your ears will burn!!
Take care, Love, Merle.

Willowtree said...

Nice spot Pete. At this rate you'll have met with all your blogging buddies by early in the next millennium.

Anonymous said...

Peter, I enjoyed the visit. Sounds like everyone had fun.

Shelby said...

looks magnificent! great blog here.. I followed your link from Pamela - the Dust will wait..

take care and happy Friday :)

Jim said...

Well, Peter, for once in a long, long, while you can be a 'designated driver.' :-)
Sounds like you and Jan and Donna are enjoying. I hadn't visited Donna's blog yet. I have trouble keeping up with you guys and Caz.
Got to watch out for those 'Southern investors,' someday they will own the whole world.
Please tell Jeanette hello for me.

Walker said...

That was absolutly beautiful.
I love nature and you made me regret not seeing more of Australia.
I'm just going to have to come back.

It was nice of him to offer the bottle and for you to replace it, shows how friendly staff can be.

Great post

kenju said...

That looks like a wonderful place to walk and eat.

TLP said...

Wonderful post Peter. Just wonderful. I've always wanted to go to Australia, but I think I've missed my chance to do that. My husband just can't make that kind of trip, and I can't leave him.

Beautiful pictures.

Cliff said...

Lee: Peter is always a bit 'off' That's why I read his blog.
What a lovely place. I was impressed with the menu. The places I frequent write the menu on the wall with a grease pencil.

Gwen said...

Hi Peter.
Great blog glad everybody is having a good time.
The pics are nice I cant believe Jan knocked that offer back Ha!Ha!

Val said...

I loved reading the background behind those wetlands, and the accompanying photos are great. I hope the "southern investors" take proper care of this place.

Glad you and Jeanette's family are having a nice get together. Looks lovely!

Suzz said...

Hey, Peter, if you ever stop blogging you could be a photographer historian -- and have fun, too.

LZ Blogger said...

Peter - Mini-Blogger convention? Who KNEW! ~ jb///

Jeanette said...

Hi Peter, Nice post and Photo's
of our get together and day at "Akarra" Thank you, Jan