Leaving Maryborough, we came soon to the town of Childers, which has an attractive tree-lined main street with service roads on each side. The magnificent facade of the Palace Hotel dominates the central block of shops. In the hotel, now occupied by the information centre, is a touching memorial to 15 backpackers who died in a deliberately lit fire there in 2000.
From Childers we drove out to the coast to Woodgate Beach Caravan Park.
This was not a good move. The park was absolutely packed with families to the point of overcrowding. Our small site was hemmed in on all sides by large campers and large tents. Not surprisingly, the crowd was large people. Not friendly. Although people cut through our small plot on their way to the amenities block, just about all of them avoided eye contact, with not even a casual greeting as they passed within feet of us. Noisy dogs and children on assorted bikes and scooters were everywhere.
We walked along the beach
and followed a path inland to where we believed there to be a boardwalk. On the way we passed a pair of kangaroos (mum with joey in pouch) grazing on the local oval.
The boardwalk meandered through groves of Melaleuca, graceful trees which have the most beautiful pale grey, papery bark.
In some areas where the path was just a sandy trail there had been some preventive burning of the fallen leaf litter, and the ash, mixed with fine sand, left our feet and shoes with ingrained black soot which took days to clean off.
We bedded down to the sound of raucous shrieks and shouts from assorted happy campers.