In the morning we went and had a swim at the beach across the road, which somewhat redeemed the place for us.
Then we beat a retreat to the highway, through vast plantations of sugar cane in rich red earth - a Mondrian landscape.
We got to Bundaberg around lunchtime. The town, famous for its rum distillery, boasts a botanical garden which we thought would make a good place to eat our midday meal. Most of the area seemed to be under construction with a lot of parched paddock and a Chinese temple in the middle of a tumble of boulders. There was a small but not very well thought out Japanese garden, alongside a good collection of bamboo, none of it named.
We did find a small area near the attractive museum, among bedding plants and some succulents, which was pleasant enough for a lunch spot, but over all, it was a disappointment.
I guess we should have been warned by the billboard entrance. A botanical garden that advertises its presence with a train??
Bundaberg redeemed itself with a good small art gallery, and an attractive main street.
A detour off the highway to the coast again brought us to the Town of 1770, where the local caravan parks were full up. Not wanting to drive further, we took one owner up on the offer of an unpowered spot on a grassy slope at the back of the official array of sites. "It's not level" he warned us and he was right. However, our well-equipped camper comes with blocks which allowed us to more or less level it off, unlike another hapless van nearby which was quite tilted to one side. For the pleasure of this basic campsite we paid $30! Obviously the owners are cashing in because of the distance you'd have to trek back if you decided against it.
Still, being where we were meant we were well away from the inevitable hurly-burly of young families and hormone-fuelled teenagers.