A Travellerspoint blog

July 2018

Week 7

Winton to

sunny 30 °C

Day 43 - Tuesday July 24
We called into the New Matilda Centre on the way out of Winton. The old one burnt down a couple of years ago and they have spent $23 million in creating the new one.
We drove on to Longreach. We saw a fence at the combined Graziers Association loaded with bras.
We filled a small gas bottle for the heater in our van, bought some meat at a butcher shop, had lunch the headed off through Ilfracombe towards Isisford. On the way, Hiroe took a photo of Georges van on the single lane road all the way from lfracome to Isisford.
We have camped in the towns free camp beside the barcoo River.

Day 44 - Wednesday 25th July
We departed Isisford early this morning - 8.05 and drove the almost single lane road for 123 km to Blackall where we had morning tea. This town is noted for the feat by Jackie Howe a sheep shearer.
John Robert "Jackie" Howe (26 July 1861 (?) – 21 July 1920) was a legendary Australian sheep shearer at the end of the 19th century. He shot to fame in pre-Federation Australia in 1892 when he broke the daily and weekly shearing records across the colonies.

Howe was born at Killarney near Warwick, Queensland. On 10 October 1892, Howe shore 321 sheep in seven hours and 40 minutes at Alice Downs station, near Blackall, Queensland. This was a faster tally than any other shearer had achieved before. In the week beforehand, Howe also set the weekly record, shearing 1,437 sheep in 44 hours and 30 minutes. Howe's daily record was beaten by Ted Reick in 1950, but Reick was using machine shears, while Howe's hand shears were little more than scissors.
There was a dummy sitting on a bench outside the bakers so took a photo
On then to Tambo for lunch and a quick walk around before continuing on to Augathela where we have camped for the night. We have brought the rain here and the farmers must be loving it.
A rather spectacular sunset tonight

Day 45 - Thursday July 26
Left Augathela early this morning (8.00am) and drove to Charleville where we refuelled then drove on to Cunnamulla where we had lunch a visit to the Info Centre and a quick walk around town before refuelling again.
On the way between Charleville and Cunnamulla we came across a rail bridge which looked like a bomb had hit it.
information from the Info Centre told of a truck carrying 53 tonnes of ammonium nitrate caught fire and crashed then exploded at 9.50 pm on the 5th September 2014.
The blast radius was more than 1 kilometre and the affect of the blast was felt over 10 kms away. A police car cravelling to the scene was damaged about 200 metres from the blast. The explosion site looked like a war zone with the complete demolition of theoad bridge and destroyed the Agellala rail bridge that had stood since 1897.
We continued on down the road till we crossed the state border into New South Wales at Barringun where we have camped for the night in the rather primitive Bush Tucker Inn's yard.

Day 46 - Friday July 27
Not very much to report today - We departed Barringun just after 8 and drove to Bourke where we did a little shopping and had morning tea before continuing on towards Cobar stopping about 60 km before reaching there and had lunch. The rad surface has improved a lot since we crossed the border.
We finally arrived at Cobar and set up in the free cam just 1 km out of town near the old copper mine.

Day 47 - Saturday July 28
After a quiet night we refuelled then left Cobar and headed down the Kidman Way till we reached Mount Hope where we had morning tea. There is nothing here except for the old Royal Hotel which is still operating.
Continuing on we eventually reached Lake Cargelligo in time for lunch overlooking the lake.
It has been raining all morning and while we had intended staying here for the night we drove on to the small village of Tullibigeal where the free camp here had toilets hot showers and even electricity. The town is quite run down and not too sure how the folk still living here survive.
Guess the rail siding and grain silo keep some busy.

Day 48 - Sunday July 29
No photos today. We left Tullibigeal at 8.00 and drove to West Wyalong where we refuelled then carried on to Harden. Not long afterward Georges GPS Navigator took us on a circular tour through a small locality of Galon (only a cemetery there) and back to where we had started (37 kms.). We finally paid no attention to his GPS and found our way eventually to Binalong where we were going to camp for the night. The site was quite wet and the wheels on our vehicle were spinning so George hooked his caravan to our car and with little effort at all pulled us 1.2 metres to solid ground. He will not let us forget.
We decided to have lunch then drive on to Gunning for the night.

Day 49 - Monday July 30
Well this is it - The last day of our winter escape holiday to Queensland.
Last night was very cold (-2 deg) and we put the extra doona on the bed.
This morning we drive into Goulburn and refuelled before the run down Route 92 to home, arriving there just before lunch time.
We had a good 7 weeks with George and crossed a few things off our bucket list of things to do or see. - Camel races at Boulia and Porcupine Gorge to name 2.

We travelled 8,293 kms
We spent $3,700.66 on fuel, groceries, accomodation and other items
We used 905.17 lts of fuel
We were away 49 days

Posted by Bobnhiroe 23:22 Archived in Australia Tagged winter of trip our 7 week 2018 Comments (1)

Week 6 of our winter trip 2018

Boulia to

sunny 30 °C

Day 36 - Tuesday July 17
A very quiet day today. We visited the site office for the camel races and obtained our wrist bands for entry on our prepaid tickets.
After lunch went back into town for some more water and a bit of shopping.
Saw 2 young policemen helping a lady on her own with a caravan change her tyres. As soon as I got my camera out of the car they disappeared into a shed. Don't expect to see that sort of service very often. WELL DONE lads.
A couple of camels came down the street towing a cart with tourists aboard.
Took a photo at sunset tonight - It might have been a little late as it was better some 20 minutes ago.

Day 37 - Wednesday July 18
Went into town this morning and did a bit of laundry, did some shopping (not much) and checked out the rattle I can hear in the car but no-one else can. The Mechanic told me to turn down my hearing aids The car was running well and what did I expect from a 9 year old vehicle with 195,000 km on the clock, especially on these outback rough roads.
When we returned to the van and after having lunch, George took us on an exploratory tour of what he had found on the site while we were in town - Stage area etc.
Took a video of sunset tonight.

Day 38 - Thursday July 19
Very little to report today. We emptied the black waste at the local dump point. George did some washing at the local laundramat and then paid $45.00 for a swap gas bottle. We washed our vehicle in the towns truck wash facility. Tomorrow the action starts here at the racecourse.
A quite different sunset tonight.

Day 39 - Friday July 20
George and I went into town and got some water to fill the van tanks.
After lunch we all went back into town got more water and some food items.
After dinner tonight we went and watched the lawn mower races and the twilight camel race. It was too dark to photograph the camel race.

Day 40 - Saturday July 21
We are still at Boulia and there are 8 camel races today as well as other activities including some fireworks and performances tonight.
Took a photo of a kite looking for lunch.
Tried to take some video of the camel races with limited success - too many folk in the front row. (sorry I can't edit the end of the video out).

We've had a wonderful week here so far; As well as the camel races and children's activities live entertainment till midnight for the last 2 nights with Owen Blundell, The Roo Wranglers, Mick Lindsay, and Kim Boath performing a tribute to Pink and then there was the fireworks tonight which enthralled everyone especially the children.

Day 41 - Sunday July 22
Took a photo of George and Hiroe with a couple of camels this morning - don't know if they are thinking of going for a ride.
Boulia is a very small town, In fact the whole Shire which covers 61,102 square kilometres has a total population of only 491.
We went to the final of the Camel Cup and George put $20 on a camel to win. Unfortunately soon after the start, his camel turned around and ran the other way and is probably back in Afghanistan now.

Day 42 - Monday July 23
We left Boulia just after 8.00 and drove towards Winton which hopefully will be our stopping place for the night. It is single lane bitumen road again all the way (371 kms).
We stopped for a photo shoot with some nice red hills.
We stopped again near Cawnpore Lookout to take some more photos. We have been here before many years ago and hike to the top of the lookout.
Onwards again till we reached the Middleton Hotel which is in the middle of no-where. We had lunch here.
We finally arrived at Winton just on 3.00pm and after a bit of shopping and refuelling we set up camp at the free one just 4 kms out of town on the Jundah road.

Well, that's week 6 finished. Won't be long and we will be home all being well.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:40 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Week 5

Hughenden to Boulia

sunny 29 °C

Day 29 - Tuesday July 10
We camped overnight in Hughendens free camp at the showground and for the second night in a row it was cold.
We all got into our vehicle and drove north to Porcupine Gorge (73km). On the way we called into Eaglehawk Gorge Lookout.65c77960-8403-11e8-a6a4-0590bc12eeb8.JPG7af672a0-8403-11e8-a6a4-0590bc12eeb8.JPGd699ba00-8402-11e8-a6a4-0590bc12eeb8.JPG
Next stop was at Bottletree Ridge Lookout. A bit of a climb on the black Basalt rock.
Onwards to Porcupine Gorge Lookout. This was the best scene so far this morning.
We drove some more kms to Pyramid Gorge Lookout. There is a rock formation quite like a pyramid down in the gorge.
Back into town for a rather late lunch then a qiuick trip around town to take a photo of the 35 ft windmill at the western end of the main street.

Day 30 - Wednesday July 11
We departed Hughenden just after 8 am and drove west to Richmond. A dinosaur skeleton (Kronosaurus Queensladicus) was found near here in 1926. It was estimated to be 112 million years old abd was collected in 1931and taken to the USA. It took 25 years to assemble the bones and is now on display at Harvard University.
There have since been found other Dinosaur skeletons in the area.
We drove on tp Julia Creek intending to stay for 4 nights here in the free camp by the creek however, Hiroe is running out of one of her medications and we have to move on to a bigger town to arrange supply. We have rung ahead to a pharmacy there.
This free campsite right at the edge of town is quite good.

Day 31 - Thursday July 12
Took a photo of Georges caravan across the creek which was very still and good reflections this morning.
It was good to just sit around, look at the water and watch all of the birds until morning tea. After that we went for a drive into Julia Creek to have a look around. This is a very small village however we noticed a sculpture of a light horseman outside the local RSL.
We did a quick walk up and down the main street then some shopping in the supermarket before returning to the vans for lunch.
A very lazy afternoon sitting in the sun then a lovely "Happy Hour" before dinner.

Day 32 - Friday July 13
We left camp at Julia Creek rather late this morning (10.00am) as Hiroes medication wouldn't be ready at Cloncurry till after lunch (137 kms away) The medication has to come up from Townsville - about 774 kms east.
we did some clothes washing inmachines at the rear of a service station, had lunch and refuelled then drove another 63 kms west to the bankc=s on Corella Dam at Clem Walton Park. It is about 2 kms off the highway so nice and quiet. There are over 200 recreational vehicles in here tonight and the place is still not filled. It is a lovely camp.
Lake Corella was created in 1959 by the construction of the Clem Walton Dam to provide town water for Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine. When full it has a surface area of 320 hectares and holds 15,300 ML of water at an average depth of 4.8 metres, however a hole in the dam wall prevents this reservoir ever being full

Day 33 - Saturday July 14
We drove into the large town of Mt Isa - A lead zinc mining tone. Visited a supermarket to stock up for the week or so we will be in Boulia and heaven knows what will be available there - it's quite small.
We then headed for Dajara some 150 kms south. It is a single lane road which required vehicles wanting to pass to slow down and pull over onto the gravel.
We came across a tree decorated with old bicycles so took a photo. What they are doing out here in the middle of no-where is anyones guess.
We finally arrived at Dajara and set up in the towns free campground then did a short walk around town. Most interesting building is a small museum'
In the afternoon a flock of galahs flew over and landed in a nearby tree.

Dajarra is a town in the far north-west of Outback Queensland, Australia, near the border with the Northern Territory. It is about 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Mount Isa on the Diamantina Developmental Road. In the 2011 census there were 429 people living in Dajarra.

Dajarra once had importance as a railhead for the cattle industry, the railway giving connection to the ports and markets of the east coast of Australia. Dajarra Post Office opened on 7 November 1919 (a receiving office had been open from 1917) But the advent of the multi-trailer road trains has made this part of a bygone era.

The older people of the area who remember Dajarra's heyday say that the area trucked more cattle than Texas in the United States of America. Cattle drovers on horseback would bring cattle from as far away as Western Australia to put them on the train at Dajarra.

More recently, some opportunities for local employment have come with the development of the nearby Phosphate Hill phosphate mine and fertilizer production plant. The mining company has assisted the community in developing a better water supply for the town.

The town has a rich Aboriginal heritage and is home to Aboriginal tribes from around the Diamantina River, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Northern Territory. An Aboriginal language is taught at the school, along with how to make boomerangs, what wood to use and what timber is best for didgeridoos. They know where to find bush foods and the 'bush lollies' on the gidyea trees after rain, and other traditional foods.
I took a photo of Hiroe waiting on the platform for the next train. I think she will have a long wait somehow.

Day 34 - Sunday July 15
We departed Dajerra just on 8.30 and followed the single lane road to Boulia (148km).
The traffic this morning travelling the opposite direction meant that we had to slow down and pull off the road to let passing traffic go by and it took quite a while to reach Boulia.
When we arrived in Boulia it was to find the main street CROWDED with caravans and motorhomes - hundreds of them and still bumper to bumper coming in from the opposite direction. They had all been to the Big Bash out at Birdsville. (9000 tickets sold for the activities there last Friday and Saturday. We joined the que of about 4 blocks to get fuel and it took over an hour before our turn arrived.
After refuelling and topping up the water tanks we drove about 3 km out of town to the Racetrack where we will stay for the next 7 nights for the annual camel races and entertainment.

Day 35 - Monday July 16
We went into Boulia (4 km away) and looked at the local gift shop, supermarket, Information centre, and George posted off some cards to his daughters and girlfriends.
We emptied our emergency water containers into the caravan tanks and refilled them in town
Took a photo of George and Hiroe at the RED STUMP and another of Hiroe practicing fo this weeks camel races.
Well, that's about it for week 5 of our travels. Be back again with week 6 next Monday
Love to All,
Bob, Hiroe and George

Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:17 Archived in Australia Tagged night and at but hot lovely days cold cold. Comments (1)

Week 4

Gargett to Lake Elphinstone, Charters Towers.

sunny 27 °C

Day 22 - July 3
Last night took a photo of a black bull in the cattle yard
This morning we departed in our vehicle for Eungella and then on another 5 kms to Broken River to have a look at some Platypus swimming as well as a few tortoise. half way up the mountain we entered the cloud so it was quit difficult to get any good views.

The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), sometimes referred to as the duck-billed platypus, is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. The animal is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species appear in the fossil record. The first scientists to examine a preserved platypus body (in 1799) judged it a fake, made of several animals sewn together.

The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate hoax. It is one of the few species of venomous mammals: the male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognisable and iconic symbol of Australia; it has appeared as a mascot at national events and features on the reverse of the Australian twenty-cent coin. The platypus is the animal emblem of the state of New South Wales.

Until the early 20th century humans hunted the platypus for its fur, but it is now protected throughout its range. Although captive-breeding programs have had only limited success and the platypus is vulnerable to the effects of pollution, it is not under any immediate threat.

We returned to Eungella for morning tea then drove back down the mountain stopping for a few photos on the way.

We drove back through Finch Hatton then out to have a look at the gorge there. George stayed with the vehicle while Bob and Hiroe did the 1.3 km climb up to the Gorge and Araluen Cascades. We didn't go for a swim though - the water was too cold.

On the way out from Finch Hatton took a photo of a white bull
Backtracking the 1.3 km was much easier as it was all down hill then after waking George up be drove further down the mountain to Pinnacle where we had lunch at the Pub there then back to the vans.

Day 23 - Wednesday July 4
We left Gargett at 8.00 this morning and drove back to Eton then turned west on the Peak Downs Highway till we reached Nebo where we had morning tea and topped up the water tanks in the vans.
We drove out to Lake Elphinstone where we camped and will be here for about a week.
Lovely views even though the water in the lake is quite low. The birds seem to be loving it.

Day 24 - Thursday July 5
We took our vehicle into the town of Glenden this morning to have the oil and filter changed. After that we did some shopping and returned to the vans in time for lunch.
This evening took a photo of Lake Elphinstone with the sky blue and pink and the water a nice pink.

Day 25 - Friday July 6
The water in Lake Elphinstone is quite low and the weed on the bank has a bad smell so we have decided to move on. The sunrise over the water looked very good. Took a photo of our vans here.
George has devised a plan to take us via a shortcut to Belyando Crossing. The road he has selected can hardly be seen on the map however we went. There are many coal mines along this road and the first sign we had of them was a very large crane.
On then for about 80 kms of nothing but mines and the mining villages. Towards the end of all this and just before Blair Athol we passed some very ind32fa780-80e2-11e8-877e-5767f6784164.JPGd4e2d5c0-80e2-11e8-877e-5767f6784164.JPGc79009b0-80e2-11e8-877e-5767f6784164.JPGteresting volcanic plugs sticking up out of the landscape.
We finally arrived at Belyando Crossing and have camped about 5 kms passed the service station down a side dirt track. 356 Kms today.

Day 26 - Saturday July 7
We drove from last nights roadside camp into Charters Towers this morning to find that all of the caravan Parks here were full so we opted for the showgrounds which has given us power and water.
After setting up we all got in our vehicle and went into town to a laundramat then to Macca's for lunch (My opinion of Macca's hasn't changed - it's rubbish). Took a photo of Charters Towers main street
We did some shopping at a supermarket then returned to the vans.
We got back in our car and took a bit of a tour of the City and took some more photos.
We drove out to have a look at the Venus Gold Battery but it was closed (Tours 10.30 am daily) so then up to the Towers Hill Lookout.

Day 27 - Sunday July 8
A very long trip today - just 22 km to Macrossan Park free camp next to the Burdekin River and near the Railway bridge.
There are a lot of caravans and motorhomes here.
While out walking a train came over the bridge.

Also saw a bush turkey not far from our caravan
We are going to stay here for one night before continuing on this voyage.

Day 28 - Monday July 9
It was quite cold again last night (only 3 deg in the van this morning). We drove back through Charters Towers then followed the Flinders Highway west to Hughenden. On the way a tripple tanker past us going the other way and threw a rock onto our windscreen and created a star shaped chip. When we reached Hughendedn luckily there was a repair facility and it only cost $50.00 to have it fixed.
We are now in the heart of the dinosaur country of Australia and there is a statue of a Muttaburrasaurus in town.
We have camped in the towns showground - it's free for up to 7 days.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:48 Archived in Australia Tagged end of 4 till week then Comments (1)

Week Three

Bundaberg to Gargett

overcast 27 °C

Forgot to add week 2's map to the last entry so here it is now.b303d920-79dc-11e8-81fb-21805aa901f9.jpg

Day 15 - Wednesday 27th June
We all went for a drive in our vehicle this morning and firtst stop was at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery where we purchased some rum for ourselves and for our good neighbors (Jim and Joan).
Next stop was at the Big Barrel where they produce as well as Bundaberg Ginger beer a lot of other soft drinks.
It was then a trip out to Alloway Fruit and vegetable markets to stock up supplies since we will be leaving here tomorrow morning, then back into town for lunch and a visit to a supermarket.
Bob had a haircut today beside our van and is feeling considerably cooler.

Day 16 - Thursday June 28
We left Bundaberg at 8.30 this morning and drove to Gin Gin where we didn't stop much to Hiroe's disgust then on to Boolboonda Tunnel and we stopped to take some photos. George refused to drive though so Hiroe and Bob walked the 196 metres to check it out. It is very high and would easily take a caravan.
Boolboonda Tunnel is an abandoned heritage-listed railway tunnel at Tunnel Road, Boolboonda, Bundaberg Region, Queensland, Australia. The tunnel is 192 metres (630 ft) in length making it the longest unsupported man-made tunnel in Queensland. Its construction represented an important engineering feat for rail transport in Queensland. It was built from 1881 to 1884 by O'Rourke & McSharry. It is also known as Boolboonda Railway Tunnel and SEQ-6Q 1. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 24 September 1999.
The Boolboonda Railway Tunnel opened 12 November 1883 following a construction period of two years. It was built by Queensland Government Railways as part of the Bundaberg to Mount Perry railway line, constructed to service the Mount Perry copper mines. It took two years to dig and was officially opened on 2 November 1883.The line was deviated in 1960 and tracks removed the following year. The section of the line between Tirroan and Mount Perry closed in 1960 and was removed in 1961.
We continued on to Mt Perry and again we didn't stop but drove on till we reached the Burrnet Highway where we turned north and arrived at Mulgildie and took a photo of the Bunyip statue there.
The legend of the bunyip has lived long in Australian history.
Elders and long-time cattlemen have told of bubbling water, disappearing cattle and eerie sensations throughout the generations.
Several communities claim the mythical creature lurks in their local rivers, but residents in one small Queensland township insist they have the waterhole where the bunyip resides.
The Bunyip Hole at Mulgildie in the upper North Burnett is unsettling.
It's a still pool blanketed with green slime, silent except for the occasional buzz of birds and flies.
Known to bubble and gurgle, some Aboriginal elders believe the hole is connected to a network of underground waterways.
Joan Farrell is the president of the local Bunyip Committee, and says the bunyip has a strong presence in the community.
"I came here in 1975 and I kept hearing about the bunyip at the Bunyip Hole," she said.
"Now, you don't go out there especially on dark and don't swim in it, because you can get dragged down never to be seen again."
Monto at 12.30. We set up in the almost free camp near the old railway station ($5.00 a night).

Day 17 - Friday June 29
Next morning we drove on to Rockhampton via Biloela, (where we had morning tea), Dululu and Westwood. After setting up and having lunch we visited the Info centre for advice then Bunnings for George to get some bolts to secure his caravan fridge and back to the vans.

Rockhampton Bull Statues

Six bull statues representing the main breeds of the area are situated throughout Rockhampton in recognition of Rockhampton's Beef Capital of Australia title. Follow this trail to see these statues, but keep your eyes peeled for other life-size bulls decorating premises around Rocky. These fun and quirky statues are part of a competition run in conjunction with the tri-annual Beef Expo, which has become an icon event for the Australian beef industry and a major event for the State of Queensland.
It really has warmed up today.

Day 18 - Saturday June 30
We drove into Rockhampton City this morning and visited the railway museum at the old Archer Park railway station. It was closed for the day so bad luck.
From here we went down to Quay Street which runs along the Fitzroy River frontage. There are many nice old buildings along here some of which are the Heritage Hotel, The old Customs House etc.
We then took a drive out to the Heritage Village some 10 km north of the City. We have been here before but George wanted to have a look.
Back then to a large shopping centre where we had lunch before returning to the vans for afternoon tea.

Day 19 - Sunday July 1
This morning was washing day and both Hiroe and George took over the laundry in the caravan park. In the afternoon, George took us for a drive up to Mt Archer lookout (603 metres above Rockhampton). It was quite cool and cloudy hence no very good photos.
We continued on for another 44 kms to Emu Park where we stopped for photos of the beach front and the Singing ship which was sculptued to commemorate Captain Cooks visit in 1770.
drove around the town then on to Roslyn for a cup of coffee then through Yepoon before returning to our vans for "happy Hour" and dinner.

Day 20 - Monday July 2
We departed Gracemere just on 8.00 this morning and drove to Marlborough for Morning tea then on to Carmila where we had lunch. Lots of traffic this morning on the highway and the road surface is very bumpy. On then to sarina where we turned off the highway and took back roads to our campsite for the night at Gargett.


Posted by Bobnhiroe 23:22 Archived in Australia Tagged of 3 trip our week Comments (0)

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