This should really be a restaurant tip but because Nebo is so far from Mackay I thought it would be better as an off the beaten path tip.
About an hours drive south west of Mackay is the small dusty township of Nebo. Situated along a dry desolate stretch of highway between Mackay and Moranbah it was always just a 'blink and you'll miss it' kind of place. Well probably it still is except for the fact that with the huge mining boom out west it has become a very thriving community.
The major attraction to the town is the famous Nebo Hotel. This pub was built in the late 1800's and has been recently restored. What is most amazing about it though is the fact that it has recently been sold for millions of dollars. Rumour has it around 5-7, give or take a million.
Now unless you have been to Nebo this would not be so surprising. But really Nebo is a tiny little outpost of a town. Though rich in history and character, there is nothing there. Nothing that is except for the billion dollar mining industry 'going off' around it.
Friends and I went out there one Sunday for lunch and had a wonderful experience. The pub was everything I had imagined and the food was good and the service quick and efficient. I had a steak sandwich and chips...$12. They had other items on the menu ranging from Chicken Caesar Salad...$13 to Warm Thai Salad...$14.
On the road south from Mackay towards Rockhampton is the Flaggy Rock Icecream and exotic fruit garden. A lovely place, we screeched to a halt and stopped here.
I had a mixture of Macadamia nut, lychee & ginger and coconut & rum icecream for AU$3.40, lovley.
That's what I find a lovely little thing about Australia, you can mix ice creams, you can't do that at all in the UK. We sat eating in a lovely tropical garden.
Home made by Hans and Janice Plessing.
For those interested in opera Melba House is a place to visit. It is the former home of Dame Nellie Melba who once lived in the pretty town of Marian outside Mackay.
Before she became an opera star she married Charles Armstrong who was the Marian Mill Manager. The marriage was short lived however due to Nellie heading off to Melbourne to persue her career. Life in a small country town was not her destiny.
They married in December 1892, moved to Marian where their son George was born late in 1893. Not long after Nellie moved away. She was remembered singing in church and social functions.
The house was moved from it's original place near the Mill to now sit on the banks of the Pioneer River.
He doesn't have a name but he is an elusive little bugger. "He" is the wild crocodile that lives in the Gooseponds - a watercourse or beautified creek which meanders through the suburbs of North Mackay. He measures 1.5 metres or about 5 feet in length and spends his days lazing around in full view of neighbouring residents or whoever happens to be strolling past. The Gooseponds has been done up over the years with landscaping, pathed walkways and playgrounds etc. Efforts to catch him have been unsuccessful so far. To date he has behaved himself and seems to like his urban lifestyle. His presence has been a controversial issue for some time.
A pleasant National Park within 2 hours drive of Mackay in Queensland. I highly recommend the rustic accomodation at the Platypus Bush Settlement, where huts are open sided and built no stilts so you ake up not only to the sound of birds, but also to the sight of them perched just a few metres away. The site backs straight onto a pool in the creek where platypus can be seen in the evenings - a great opportunity to see these reclusive animals.
An easy walk in the area takes you through rainforest and past beautiful waterfalls - a couple of spots are great for swimming.
Trips can be arranged through the Youth Hostel in Mackay.
Pleasant scenes like this one make for a nice drive. Looking towards the township of Walkerston in the distance.
You can always take a drive around the countryside. This row of mango trees was planted years ago near Pleystowe.