What We Did:
We drove down the coast to the former sugar cane capital of Australia (now a coal mine and agricultural centre), Mackay. It’s our final stop in Queensland, having spent all of our time on the coast. As we were driving into the city, a big yellow tent caught our attention. “Is that a travelling circus?” It is! The kids are the perfect age for an old school circus, so we booked tickets to the next day’s matinee show. The other attraction near Mackay is the opportunity to join the kangaroos and wallabies who show up every day on the beautiful rugged beach of Cape Hillsborough. Raquel and Dad woke up early at 5am for the 40 minute drive, and the timing had to be perfect (the roos hop off the beach minutes after the sun comes up). We parked the car with the sun almost breaking, and made it in time to see a dozen wallabies and a few kangaroos snacking at dawn in front of a dozen tourists. It was Raquel’s first ever sunrise which made it even more special. Two wallabies even had a boxing match for us, and the sky was gorgeous.
We went home, had breakfast (even Raquel loves her smashed avocado toast), and then later headed to the Mackay show grounds to see the largest travelling circus in Australia. From the first acrobat performance to the ponies, the motorbikes in the Cage of Death and whipmaster to the trapeze, the kids were absolutely spellbound at Hudson Circus. Goldie the Clown had Raquel in stitches, and Gali was glued to the pony performance, camels and water buffalo (rescued from meat factories it should be noted). We grew up going to the circus as young kids and we think the expensive and artsy fartsy Cirque du Soleil tends to rob kids from the authentic popcorn and not-always-successful-yet-still-fun acts of a real family-run travelling circus. The show ran for 2 hours, Gali was bombed and had a good afternoon sleep. When he woke up, we checked out the waterpark at Bluewater Lagoon, and picked up groceries for dinner from Caneland Central Mall (the largest mall in the region) at the bottom of our street. After a long, busy and over stimulated day (circus popcorn and snow-cones, anyone?) a few meltdowns were endured on the way home, as one can imagine, and we were glad to retreat to our 6th floor hideaway.
What We Ate:
Lunch: Sushi and kebabs from the food court. Dad is finally over his policy of never eating sushi outside of Vancouver.
Dinner: Mom made Brazilian beef and onions with rice and Greek salad. Go Mom!
Where We Ate:
At the food court in Caneland Central, and in our apartment at the Oaks Rivermarque
My Favourite Pictures Today
Where We Slept:
We’re staying in the new Oaks Rivermarque and the location is just perfect for families. Walking distance to the fantastic Bluewater Lagoon waterpark, the riverfront playground, the huge mall (with its own indoor play gym) and even the circus when it’s in town! As usual everything is modern and spacious and the staff are lovely.
This is random, but we learned that the land on the moon is the size of Asia, and the moon is the one quarter the size of Earth. Raquel learned that “you always have to eat when you travel otherwise you can’t travel.” We learned that kangaroos in wildlife parks are fed protein poor diets to reduce their aggression. We learned that it must be fun and crazy to work at a circus, and that you can teach water buffalo and camels how to do tricks. We learned the the popcorn seller is in the trapeze and motorbike trick guy is also an acrobat. We learned that Mackay used to be the centre of sugar but now services big mines in the area. We learned that Mackay also got hit several times with fierce cyclones. We learned that wallabies can box. We learned you don’t want to volunteer for all the circus acts (the whip stuff was pretty scary!) and if you sit to close to the ring you might get wet. Mackay is also pronounced Mack-eye.
Reflection of the Day
The Best Part:
Watching the high flying trapeze act, and for Raquel: going inside the circus ring during the clown act. If there’s a stage…*sigh*
The Worst Part:
For Mom and Dad: Raquel’s overtired meltdown at the end of the day. For Raquel: the scary jumping castle at the Circus.
Today's Random Thing
A Note from Mom and Dad
We’ve now reached that point where it’s hard to imagine life before the road; before the long drives and flights and hotels and holiday parks; before all the amazing things we’ve done which are blending into a whirlwind. Beyond exhausted, we turned on the TV after dinner and sat on the couch for 25 minutes watching some show about magic tricks, feeling guilty that we should be tidying up or bathing the kids or uploading photos or working on stories or logistics instead of doing what most normal families ado: sit on the couch and watch a little TV after dinner. We won’t lie, it felt pretty good.