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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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On the way out from Finch Hatton took a photo of a white bull
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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While out walking a train came over the bridge.

Also saw a bush turkey not far from our caravan
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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.
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We have camped in the towns showground - it's free for up to 7 days.
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Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:48 Archived in Australia Tagged end of 4 till week then Comments (1)

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