On the way back from our lovely tour of the Sarina Sugar Shed we made a quick stop at Hay Point. There’s a lookout with a great view of one of the largest coal export ports in the world. Look at all that coal! I can’t begin to describe how much coal we could see. They export something like nine million tonnes from this port every month. The coal is transported to the port through a rail system. When we left Mackay a few days later we travelled inland and drove by some of the mines and could see the rail system. This is all such an enormous operation, it boggles the mind. Look at all those huge piles of coal. There are two export terminals here. The coal is transported by conveyor systems out to sea to allow for loading in deep water. We could see the conveyors moving down the track to shift the coal. I think we counted fourteen ships either at sea or being loaded while we were there. Those jetties extend out for kilometres. Huge, this place was huge. As interesting as it was for us adults, it really didn’t hold the kids’ attention too well. But hey, there was a wind sock, so that helped. There was one of those telescope-y things they have at tourist places, so we did get a look through that to see some of the action close up. That was good, too. As I took a picture of this I thought it seemed familiar. We saw another of these at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, though it didn’t have the heritage designation. Although it wasn’t one of those great, fun, interesting stops for the kids, anytime in the future when coal mining comes up we can say ‘Remember when we saw all the coal at Hay Point?’ and it will all seem a little more real to them. I hope. So much of this trip is like that!