From a Land Down Under travel blog

Eco tour on the creek at the tea tree plantation

Trish & Fran on pontoon boat

Claudie in tea tree plantation

Byfield fern

Koala at zoo


The Tropic of Capricorn

Cafe / store at Heritage Village

Church at Heritage Village

We visited several interesting places in the Yeppoon area. First was a tour of a Tea Tree plantation at Byfield which is just 30 minutes north of our house. Tea trees are native to this area. They do not grow naturally anywhere outside of Australia. Tea tree oil has many medicinal properties especially for skin problems. It is named Tea tree because Captain Cook made tea from the plant when he discovered Australia in 1770. Claudie is from Quebec. She & her Aussie husband have owned this property for 12 years. We started with morning tea (including lamingtons) then on to a ride up the creek on their locally made custom pontoon boat. It has electric engines so it is silent, making for a really enjoyable ride through the rain forest. We saw water dragons, heard a whip bird, saw the many huge paper bark trees. Next came a wagon ride thru some of the 80 acre plantation (80,000 tea trees). The trees are at various stages of development, they are harvested every 8 months so they generally harvest 1 week a month. Once cut the trees are steamed & the oil is distilled yielding 100% pure oil. It must be kept in brown bottle.This pure oil is exported all over the world. They sell the mulch for $11 a bag and can’t keep up with demand. A pretty simple & profitable business I think! We visited Nob Creek Pottery the same day.

Another day we went to the zoo and timed it to catch the koalas at feeding time when they were more active. The botanical garden is right beside the zoo and we had lunch under enoooormous fig trees and stopped for a photo op at the Tropic of Capricorn. Another day we took in the Heritage Village which had several houses, school, hospital, church etc circa 1850-1950. There is an old shearing shed which was taken apart & reconstructed board by board. It was very interesting.

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