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Brisbane to Bargara. A road trip, driving with arthritis. Places to visit, eat and stay along the way,. Dear Diary.
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Day 1: Brisbane to Bargara

road trip brisbane bargara

Armed with my self-care kit, and pre-prepared with my anti-inflammatory tablets that I have been taking for a week, today was the day that we started our Ultimate Road Trip Adventure

Oh my goodness – it was a very soggy start to our road trip today! The skies were dark grey and the rain was set to a continuous downpour setting. That rain dial only turned off shortly before arriving at our evening accommodation in Bagara  

My Irish nephew John knitted us a “Buddy” teddy last Xmas, so he has become our travel buddy for the holiday. He kept guard on the bags of lollies to make sure Paddy didn’t devour them all in one go. He also waved to the kids in the bus on one of the many long traffic queues leading out of Brisbane. Rain and traffic are NOT friends!

WAZE is better than Google Maps

Stuck in traffic. Paddy driving. Boredom set in.

So, I began to start exploring my iPhone. Many moons ago I met a friendly Uber driver (during the time that I could not drive and I was in shock believing that my OA was actually a work injury.)  This driver took a different route from my workplace to get me back home and I questioned why he was doing so. He told me that he uses the app called WAZE instead of Google Maps and that he could avoid traffic hazards and learn what was happening on the roads in real time. I had downloaded the app whilst in the car but had never taken the next step to explore it.

Waze  is a free, ad-supported interactive navigation app with benefits. Not only does it use your GPS-equipped smartphone to calculate routes from one place to another, it uses social media-based crowdsourcing to alert you to what to expect while you’re on the road.” Digital Trends 

What a find! I can’t tell you how much we used it over the course of the trip. I would highly recommend looking into using this app. Learn more here


Places to Visit

Ginger Factory

The continuous downpour meant that we chose to bypass the Ginger Factory that we had initially thought to visit. We will come back on a better day as its only just 60 minutes drive north of Brisbane airpots and is open 7 days a week from 9a,-5pm (except for Xmas Day)

Tiaro: Hippie Garage, Christmas Cottage

The town of Tiaro was a surprise find. Situated just over 3 hours drive north of Brisbane it is well worth a short stop. Look out for:

The Hippie Garage

Christmas Cottage (open 7 days a week from June to December )

Lychee Divine

Don’t fill yourself up too much in Tiaro.  20 minutes north of Tiaro is the family run business Lychee Divine. Grab award winning liqueurs, wines and balsamic vinegars. A  gourmet lovers delight. You can grab an afternoon Devonshire Tea and don’t leave without sampling their famous Lychee Ice-cream

Meal Stops

Learn what we thought of the places where we chose to eat. We are the kind of people who don’t really research prior to going to a place and prefer to just rock up and take a punt. We like a variety of venues:and can be found in haute cuisine venues to pub/cafe fayre. We do love our food however, and are on the constant “see food, eat food” diet. It’s always a battle to avoid food envy and not be looking at the others plate, wishing we had made a different choice! So we turn it into a competition. Keep an eye on the scores as the trip continues.

LUNCH: Empire Hotel, Gympie

We arrived 20 minutes after the 2pm cut off time for meals. However we were beautifully accommodated and encouraged to order from the full menu, as long as we didnt choose the steak. To keep it simple for the staff we chose to have pie and chips. I chose the Chicken Camembert Pie and Paddy the Beef and Pepper pie. Paddy loves a peppery taste and it was bery fortunate, coz boy did it live up to its name….actually it should have been called Pepper and Beef pie. He loved it. I definitely scored the most points for food porn. Check out the Empire Hotel, Gypie website or find it on Facebook here.

Food choice winner: Creaky Me

DINNER: Kacy's Restaurant, Bargara​

We highly recommend this restaurant. We had looked at Ricky’s opposite to it – but they were not doing the social – distancing that COVID-19 was necessitating very well. People were crammed in on top of each other. We were glad we chose Kacy’s. The garlic bread was to die for – oozing melting butter with a robust taste of garlic. IN fact I would go so far as to say THE best garlic bread we have had outside of our home – cooking. Paddy went for the double Roasted Duck with sweet potato gnocchi, shiitake mushroom, cinnamon, star anise glaze, shallot and sweet pickled ginger. I chose the Speical of the Day: Grilled barramundi with creamy scalloped potato. Both were awesome in both presentation and taste,  however Paddy was the hands down winner in the food porn stakes.

Food choice winner: Paddy

Food Envy Score
Creaky Me 1
Irish Paddy 1

Bed for the night: Don Pancho by the Beach

We were limited with the choices that we had for accommodation. Places book out very quickly in Bargara. We were able to book a pool side room at Don Pancho by the Beach. It was practical, served the purpose of giving us a bed and a roof over our heads. It was clean, but looking rather dated now. It was a short walk to the beach and a 10 minute walk into Bargara main street. You can purchase basic food items at Reception, but if you want a good meal.

Warning: I had stated in my room request that I needed to avoid steps. There is no way of avoiding steps to get to a pool room. The alternative is a very steep slope, which I personally find can be equally as difficult to navigate. The private hotel access to the beach involves more than 20 steep steps. However you can get to the beach via the main road and public access (a good 5 minute walk) I imagine that none of the rooms are accessible without stairs or a steep slope - so my advice is to check in with hotel management prior.

Creaky Me

My daily discoveries for more comfort, less pain

Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of the bleeding obvious! Sometimes we just have not discovered this adapation. Below are my daily discoveries as I learn the process to adopt, adapt and become adept with living with the joint pain of Osteoarthritis.  The car self-care package was incredibly useful as was the advice my fellow Swell Gals – Arthritis Queensland members gave me. Regular stops to stretch and move outside of the car. were an important key to achieving more comfort and less pain on my journey.

1. If needing to use gel and elasticated bandages on sore knees during a driving trip. DO NOT wear form fitting trousers, otherwise you end up sitting in just your knickers for the larger part of the journey. Wear a skirt, shorts or baggy trousers so you can access those knees easily and put on your bandages with ease and privacy

2. Wear sandals that have velcro straps rather than closed in shoes. As your feet swell and become uncomfortable you can adjust the fit of the straps to accommodate.

3. AVOID crossing your legs at the knees and even at the ankles when you are not driving.

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