Short Stories – Funny Stories

Roger's Humourous Stories from Australia and the World

CALOUNDRA MALENY AND THE PLATYPUS

Written By: Roger Crates - Jan• 30•11
WHERE"S ROGER

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CALOUNDRA MALENY AND THE PLATYPUS

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I love Caloundra, the little sister of all the Queensland developments, I first visited there decades ago and was taken aback by the lack of glitz of the area.

 That has changed a fair bit but there is till a touch of naivety in the place. You can still get fish and chips but it might come in a fancy polystyrene, easy hold, no burn, clip lock container.

As for me, I prefer plain paper, in a perfect world newspaper would do, that allows everybody around you a taste of jealousy as your fish and chip aroma mingles with the vinegar I love to gently sprinkle across the golden whiteness of a slightly soggy lengths of fried potato to enhance the piquancy of the salted, bubbled battered fish that goes with the chips.

The town is picturesque in its own way, you can occasionally catch a fish (me) or if you are anybody with even rudimentary fishing skills, (not me) catch lots of fish.

Gaze over Pumicestone Passage or into the hinterland toward the volcanic plugs of the Glass House mountains. The area now has the obligatory, but very nice waterfront houses ala The Gold Coast and Florida, thanks to the dredging of Lamerough Creek. I have always thought of Caloundra as little Caloundra but she’s all grown up now.

There are some interesting aspects to the area around Caloundra, including the wonderfully anecdote like something brer fox might conjure, regarding the initial exploration of the area.

It seems a Mr William Landsborough was on a winner when he scouted the area, reported back to the Government and my cynical side suspects he told the Legislators of the day that the land was not that great for anything. (My slant on history). He was then was given two thousand pounds for his trouble and then promptly bought up a whopping 2374 acres of prime coastal land in 1882 with his exploration Prize.

The village of Golden Beach now stands at his resting place as he only had four years to fully appreciate this lovely spot. A small memorial stands there today.

The area abounds with tales of shipwrecks like the ‘SS Dicky’ whose contribution was to leave the vessel and an extra forty tonnes of sand on the beach, her ballast to mingle with the sand deposited there by old Mother Nature herself, after running aground in1893.

The famous or infamous case of the sinking of the Centaur by the Japanese during hostilities in the Second World War, occurred some ten miles east of Cape Morton in 1943. The Centaur was a hospital ship carrying 364 patients, medical staff and crew of which only 64 survived. There is a moving plaque on Wickham Head.

As a passing memory there is also an account of the Centaur in a tiny Maritime Museum beside the Old Post Office on Kennedy drive North Tweed Heads, a very interesting way to while away an hour and all for a voluntary donation too, but that of course is another story.

If you get to Caloundra have a look at the historic lighthouse as well, built in 1898 and was replaced by it’s mate in 1967. The old light house has been moved a couple of times and currently resides in Canberra Place as a tourist centre, where it has been so successful not one ship or sailing vessel has hit it.

Now if history is your interest don’t miss the largest Historical Society museum in the region in Manley Street Landsborough which was at one point the centre of Local Government.

Before all this of course were the original inhabitants of the area and Like so many indigenous groups they were aligned territorially to the land, from the sea to a coastal range and beyond and like other tribes, would also gather every year, or in some instance or every three or so years for outlying groups, to feast on the bounty provided by the Bunya pine. This magnificent and majestic tree, although now a rare timber can still be found in the area.

North of lovely Caloundra and inland from Maroochydore is the darling of the hinterland, the hamlet of Maleny in the Blackall ranges, I have called it a Hamlet not simply because of all the drama there in recent years, but because I took the side of the locals (in the intellectual sense)at least) who protested so vigorously against the introduction of a Woolworth’s supermarket which would impinge on the area including mainly the Obi Obi Creek.

This was a severe blow to the existence of the Platypus, that amazing creature known as Australian Duck Billed Platypus or Ornithological Antoninus for those regarded as egg heads. This of course leads me to note the curious fact that the cute little platypus girl is a mammal yet lays eggs and the little boy platypus has a poisonous spike on his back legs, A mammal that lays eggs and defends with toxins. Weird, very cute though.

The history of Manley follows the south eastern Queensland trend of timber felling followed by dairy and finally augmented with tourism. If you like visiting quiet and interesting places, pop up to Montville and Mapleton.

Both are great places to spend a little time in, and if you really look hard, you will find lots of wonderful galleries where the many artists in residence are able to demonstrate their talents and versatility. You can even pick up any manner of bargains at the monthly Blackall Ranges markets in the village of Wikis, which for some may, have mysterious connotations although I must confess I haven’t found out the origins of the place’s name …..YET

If you look a little further from the many well marked viewing areas you will see in the distance the Glasshouse Mountains, an anomaly in itself, and another wonderful destination on my ‘Where’s Roger’ Project.

 

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