Don't leave town without seeing all the region has to offer

A NEW year is just around the corner. And with it comes plenty of hope, that we will have another good year and that we'll all prosper and thrive.

But before we get to that point we have to get past that dreaded New Year's Eve, when we tend, once again, to over-imbibe and often do silly things.

I can recall many years ago doing exactly the same.

These days I'm too old to be able to get up to any hi-jinks - in fact I will be surprised if I stay awake until midnight to get that New Year smooch.

The coming year? I'm not exactly sure what it's going to bring for our family.

I'd like to think that we did a pile more exploring the region that we've called home for the past three years - that we will have the opportunity to take a trip out to the Carnarvon Gorge; maybe a trip to Longreach.

Kroombit Tops is a must-do one day soon - and I've been saying that for more than a year now.

We'd like to go back and spend more time in the beautiful Cania Gorge. And more time in the Boyne Valley.

And I would really, really like to head out to one of our nearby islands and spend the day snorkelling.

It would be great to be able to explore the area around Miriam Vale, Lowmead, Turkey Beach and all of that area.

When you think about it, there's a heck of lot to see and do close to Gladstone.

And that's got me thinking. I wonder just how many Gladstonites have been to all of the above places.

Or is it that they just live and work here, keep pretty close to town and don't look too far beyond?

Maybe - and if that's the case I think they are missing out on a heck of a lot.

Too often we think of a holiday as being the time when we pile on a plane and head off into the wild blue yonder - overseas, interstate or wherever, but seldom is the time spent nosing around close to home.

One of the most enjoyable times I've had this year was just a few weeks ago when my wife and I decided to go to the gemstone country - Emerald, and thereabouts.

We drove to Emerald on the Monday, had a look around, kept going and ended up in Rubyvale, where we stayed until the following afternoon before driving home again.

My message: Don't leave town until you've seen the country.