Rod Esam - Australian Tour Diary , by Eve Esam:

November 2003 - October 2004- on the road

Throughout our tour it was my intention to maintain a Tour Diary on our website for those interested to follow us on tour. My nanna always told me “the way to hell was paved with good intentions”. Well I hang my head in shame to those of you who diligently looked to find a new chapter to the adventure of the Esam circus on tour. Unfortunately my time that I should have been writing I spent fighting with my kids in a caravan park somewhere trying to get them to do their school work. So now we are home! I have been asked by many to continue our story so for you I will and is as follows:

Friday 14th of November we arrive in Townsville. YEEE HAAAAA!!! It has been 4 months since we have seen the sea and had just finished the driest trek so far through Central QLD. We set up camp in a caravan park full of excitement and vigour falling over each other to drag the push bikes off the roof, the swimmers and the towels out of the tubs under the bed, the tennis racquets out of somewhere and we were off to the beach. Salt water, sunshine, palm trees what more could we want- well maybe life would have been perfect except we had forgotten about the stingers. All that ocean and we couldn’t get in it due to the highly poisonous Box Jelly Fish. It wasn’t long though and we found to our amazement the best water foreshore area we have ever seen in Australia. Townsville Council 3 years earlier after a major Cyclone had built along the ocean edge of Townsville approx 6 kms of Public Park equipped with bike and walking tracks, BBQ’s, beautiful gardens, exercise points, cafes, a fantastic water park for the kids and a sea pool built like a huge rock pool overlooking the ocean. For the next 1-2 weeks this became our playground as we pretended we were triathletes running, swimming, sunning, biking, playing tennis and paying for it with all our aches and pains.

A great Sunday afternoon gig was spent at Baxtas Bar and Grill a Restaurant full of Rodeo paraphernalia on the canals of Townsville. We enjoyed a day with the kids at the Aquarium and then treated ourselves to a night at a Resort on Magnetic Island, a rugged and picturesque island only a short ferry trip from Townsville. Here we caught up with Rods brother Ryan and his partner Meredith who had won a trip to the same Resort.

It was time to move on down the coast where Rod played at The Merinda Pub near Bowen and the Prince of Wales Hotel Proserpine. Arriving at Maryborough to stay with my father Rod sang at the Maryborough Cricket Club and The West Side Tavern. Rod was asked to sing at the local Nursing home, which he did to the great delight of the residents and to the horror of our children. Not having been into a nursing home before it was a real eye opener to them. The afternoon left Rod and I with a tear in our eye and a lump in our throats, while the kids left dumbfounded and speechless with Zac claiming that he wouldn’t put me in a home after all….hmmmm we’ll see!

Our day in Bundaberg goes down in our books as a “great day”. It started off with a family trip to the Rum Factory. It fitted in well with our school work as Daniel was doing a project on automation and the three boys couldn’t wait to try some rum. To their absolute disappointment they only ended up with molasses on a paddle pop stick, dad and I got the Rum. To finish off a fun day we visited Mon Repo the Turtle Sanctuary. This experience is a must for everyone as it shares one of natures great wonders. On arriving at the National Park set on the beach we spent quite a few hours reading and watching the information provided on the History of the sanctuary and the turtles. During the laying season thousands of visitors each year accompany the scientists down to the beach to quietly sit and watch the wonder of a giant logger head turtle lay her eggs in a hole she has dug on the beach. Such a slow and arduous effort it appears to be for the lonely turtle who then leaves her babies in the sand while she turns back to the light of the moon, making her way back into the dark cold sea. A fascinating experience for us all.

The turtles laid at this time would hatch about Feb- March. Only 1 in 1,000 of the hatchlings survive. They crawl out of the sand down to the sea and disappear into the Eastern Australian current for approx 10 years and are next seen again about the size of dinner plates. In this time they have travelled thousands of Km’s all by themselves. The male turtles never return to land. When the females are about 30 they start to mate having a wild old night in the mating season with as many males as possible. She then stores the sperm and fertilises her eggs intermittently to lay 3 batches of approx 170 (each time )eggs over the laying season. Amazingly the female will return to the same beach where she was hatched after travelling thousands of Km’s for 30 years and more to lay her own eggs. Mon Repo commenced its scientific studies of turtles in the 1960’s. It was exciting to find out the turtle we watched laying her eggs in fact was the very first turtle that was tagged by these scientists 40 years ago. They estimated her to be over 70 years old. We are all keen now to return to Mon Repo during the hatching season to watch all the babies make their way to the surface and run down to the sea. It really was a great day!

We called into the North Pine Country Club Christmas Party and joined in with the artists to knock out a song or too before returning to our local area for Christmas. As our house was occupied we stayed with some friends and enjoyed some beautiful days on lour local beaches getting ready for the Tamworth Country Music Festival.


Another busy year for us at Tamworth, with Rod performing 28 spots throughout.

Rod on stage with Peter Sheehan and Friends
Rod on stage with Peter Sheehan and Friends

Here he is on Peel St and with Wendy at the Golden Guitar.

Rod at The Big Golden Guitar

Highlight of the Festival was that Rod and I were nominated in the TSA Top 5 New Songwriters of the Year with the title track of the Album “Earthmover”.

Only a couple of days into the Festival I had a run in with a security door much to my horror, looking the worse for wear as you can see.

Eve with busted nose

Eve with busted nose. So Rod became a Target as a wife basher and I became one of his best jokes. So next Festival I’m staying away from doors.

This year was our first time to enter into the Cavalcade Street Parade during the Festival. A friend of ours Andy from home had bought our dream car a black F250 and he was kind enough to drive it for us in the Cavalcade.

Rod and Andy in front of F250

Rod wiping trailer getting ready for Cavalcade

Rod wiping trailer getting ready for Cavalcade

Barb, Andy and Eve as the Marshals

Barb, Andy and Eve as the Marshals

Even though Tamworth flooded this year the Council act quickly and campers were resettled quickly. The Tamworth Festival held in January each year, is a must experience for everyone. Even if you are not avid Country Music followers the atmosphere promotes FUN, FUN, FUN with a huge variety of entertainment.

For more information about next years Festival go to or phone the Tamworth Tourist Information Centre 0n 02 67554300.

We’ll see you there!

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