Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Isisford & Oma waterhole 26th to 30th April

 Saturday 26th
     Left Ilfracombe on Saturday morning travelling about 90km to Isisford. On the way we stopped off at a site known as the 12 mile, used to be a hotel here, the photo tells the story, also the countryside is very nice but mostly unchanging, at least there is grass!.

As this view out the window shows.

On arrival at Isisford we
 had a spell and decided to head out to the Oma waterhole on the Barcoo river. Had no idea how far it was and the gravel road was pretty mean. It was only about 12km.

When we got there ,we drove along the edge of a water hole, the road was full of small wash-outs which did the interior of the bus, not much good at all, but all O.K, just put it back together when we finally found a spot to camp, we set up and as usual, took a rest. Jim put the Yabbie pots in to catch a Red Claw or two, lit a camp fire for me to cook dinner on, then that was another day over.

     Sunday 27th

     Awoke to another great day, walking the pups this morning along the bank of the Barcoo River  and this sight beheld me, had to take a photo, what a way to start, again!!!


      A bit later in the morning we checked the yabbie pots, there was one eel tailed catfish, a throw back, nothing else, reset them and went back to camp. Had a great day doing nothing much, had a few beer's in the 'arvo, cooked a lovely stew on the fire and tucked into bed.

     Monday 28th
     Walking the pups this morning, this camp area is huge, don't know how big, but plenty of space and you can't see the next camper, all on the river bank and there are hot/cold showers and nice and clean too, all for only $3.00 per night or $15.00 a week. Also came across this mob of goats, don't know if they are feral or farmed, but they are all the colours of the rainbow (nearly) and the horns are huge too, I decided not to muck with them.
     I decided to have a fish this morning, only unpacked the hand lines and using the pups meat for bait managed to catch  small jungle perch, which I threw back. I caught the landing line of one of the yabbie traps on my hook and had to pull it in to get the hook back. There was a good sized red claw in, and some more eel tailed catfish. I gave one of the fish to Yip to play with and she had a ball, deciding that this fishing caper is pretty neat fun after all. There were 2 small yabbies in the trap which put on my hook live, lost the first one straight off, and the next one I threw back after a while with no result. Took the red claw up to camp and cooked it on the open fire for breakfast.

      Tuesday 29th
Major Mitchell Site

      Travelled back to Isisford township today, on the way we stopped at the Major Mitchell site, it's the place where he crossed the Barcoo river on 15th September 1846 on his return journey to Sydney. Jim looks like he was meant to be here then and now. We are spending the night behind the pub in it's van park. The owners are new, only been here for a week, they have a lot of work to do.
     Went for a walk down the main street this afternoon, the town is mostly a display of times gone by. there is a post office, general store, and some other, but the baker, butcher and refreshment come general store, are display only. I actually took my wallet into the baker when we got here on Saturday to buy some fresh goodies!!! I did feel a bit silly and hoped no-one saw me.(the door was open and the fresh baked goodies in the window looked good to me!! Ohh-h- dear me)

     Took the pup's walking in the free camping area on the  banks  of the Barcoo river, they went for a swim at the weir, and it made a lovely photo in the afternoon sun, we will probably move there tomorrow to camp for a day or two before moving on to Blackall.

  Wednesday 30th
     Last day of another fun filled month.
     We have shifted to the council camp ground on the Barcoo river right on the edge of town this morning. I have spent a bit of money at the local grocer, mainly a bit of fresh stuff. We will be here until Friday 2nd May when it will be time to head for Blackall. Will leave you with this photo of Isisford's main street. having a ball still, will catch you sometime in May.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Winton to Ilfracombe 17th - 25th April

Thursday 17th
     Drove back into Winton today, to the Tattersals Hotel Van park for a day or two to do a bit of touring around the town. Found some funny things, like this old Fordson Major sitting at a park at the western entrance to the town (no idea why they painted it these colours though)

      Then in a private residence this old tow truck which I found hilarious, all in the fun of the town, I guess!

I visited the Corfield and Fitzmaurice building, it is heritage listed,one of Australia's most perfectly preserved old style general stores and has quite a display inside, this one of all the old miners tools etc took my fancy, they also had a full size Dinosaur display depicting the dinosaur stampede at Lark Quarry, 95 million years ago, apparently this huge one caused a stampede of all the other dinosaurs and left all the footprints in the mud which is on display now. We didn't go out and have a look, quiet a long way on very rough gravel road.

Went walking around town, discovered this wall," Arno's wall" it is called, it reaches two metres high and is 70 metres long. Made of concrete and rock bought in from Arno's opal mine and is studded with old lawn mower parts, boat prop's and all sorts of machinery as well as the kitchen sink.

      Also visited the birth place of Qantas, situated in the Winton club, it was the first meeting place of the Qantas board. It is told that the second meeting was held in Longreach because it was too wet for them to get to Winton, now there is plenty of conjecture as to who has the right to spruik about being the Qantas beginning, I don't know, I'll leave it to them!!
    Saturday 19th
     Went to Longreach today.

    We were going to camp for one night at one of the rest area's on the way
to Longreach, but when we stopped at the first one the flies nearly picked us up and carried us away, same at the next one so we proceeded all the way to Longreach along these extremely long straight roads that are the norm' around these parts we have discovered, they're all the same, long-straight-no feature, but all is good. Arrived at the town of Longreach about 2pm, and ended up driving back about 4km to a rest area called the Longreach waterhole which is a straight stretch of the Thomson river, allowing a maximum of 4 days stay, set up camp by 3pm and had a cold one.

      Monday 21st
     Dawned a beautiful day again, this photo is the Thomson river at daybreak from an old bridge over the river next to the camping area. There is a huge area here, not all for camping but about 1000 acres of dirt tracks to discover the area and the locals kids use it a lot for trail bike riding.

     Went for a drive with the puppies about 5km up the Longreach-Muttaburra road, 2km of very corrugated gravel road, to have a look at Lilly Lagoon. A very nice area but no camping, would be delightful to camp here though. The lagoon has these trees all through it and a few lilies were in flower, very pretty they were too.
Tuesday 22nd
Had a neat 3 days at the waterhole. The long weekend is over so will replenish the larder in Longreach this morning and are heading for Ilfracombe, only about 20km down the road. Staying at the Ilfracombe Caravan park for a few days and checking out this little town which seems steeped in heritage and displays of old days gone by.
              Wednesday 23rd

This photo of early morning over the country side in Ilfracombe was my first morning sight in the area, very nice but the country is so devoid of much flora, the farming land is pretty dry still.

Walked the length of the town today, the buildings are well preserved, this is the Wellshot centre which is actually the information centre, housing a wealth of heritage stuff, out side is the town lock-up and this old boundary riders hut which was in use back then for  accommodation for the workers who looked after the outer area's of the station, very basic and tiny, but that was the way it was.

The whole of the main street, (which is the highway through) is a museum on it's own, there is a mile of machinery, vehicles and exhibits of all kinds. The general store has a coffee shop and some basic grocery items and lovely stuff all through. This picture gives an idea of how many items of machinery and vehicles there are in the one mile of museum on the road side all the way along the length of the main street.

    Also a cottage full of Bottles. This is the collection of Hilton and Ike Jackson, brothers. This is only a small part of the collection, as down the road a bit is a shed, chokers full of bottles, any kind that you could think of is here I reckon. I met Hilton Jackson while having a look at this huge mass of stuff, also there are rocks, hubcaps, petrified wood, chains etc, etc and he has been collecting all the goodies for over 43 years. An amazing collection.

          Thursday 24th
Another day of taking it easy. Ilfracombe is an amazing little town, the locals are friendly and I think I walked the whole town. Went and had spa this afternoon, it is an artesian bore, the water is very warm to hot, and is supposed to have medical properties, the only thing I can think that it did for me, was make me very tired, but it was a great way to spend a half hour or so, then cool off in the cold water swimming pool.

              Friday 25th
Our last day in Ilfracombe. will spend the day making sure I have seen it all and I suppose we will have to prepare to head off in the morning, we are going to another little outback town, Isisford. will get back to you on that experience later. Catch you soon.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Burdekin Falls Dam & onward 2nd to 16th April

3rd April
     Arrived at the Burdekin Falls Dam caravan park before lunch today, set up camp and spent the afternoon relaxing except for unloading the Jimny ready to have a look around tomorrow.

     Friday 4th
     Took a drive to the top of the dam spillway this morning, took this photo, it is absolutely spectacular!!
After admiring it for some time we drove to the boat ramp to check out fishing possies, found plenty of good looking places to put the red claw pots and to catch a fish or two, all happening tomorrow.

    Yeah! the fishing is good, Caught this beauty Grunter this morning before breakfast, after Jim put the Yabbie pots in to soak for a while, hopefully they will do as good.

     Next morning found 5 Yabbies in the traps, I caught a couple of sleepy cod, fantastic eh? Some of the red claw where giants, as the picture shows, with Jim doing his best to keep a grip on them,
(ha ha!!)
I was in for a treat, talking to the ranger about the dam spillway I  mentioned that I would like to go to the bottom of the dam wall (the road is closed because water is over the road) he said I could walk down if I wished, but offered to take me down in his Ute, well, I jumped at the chance.
It was AWESOME!! I never imagined the power of the water, but it's pretty Awesome all right. Got my photo taken beside the spillway to prove I'd been there and done that. Dan (the ranger) offered to take Jim down if he wanted, I said I was sure he would love to, so he is picking Jim up tomorrow.
     True to his word the ranger took Jim to the bottom of the spillway, only he was luckier than me, Dan took him inside the dam wall. Jim said it was very loud with the sound of the water rushing over the wall and he looked through a tunnel which runs the length of the wall and was showed some of the workings of the hydraulics and other stuff. He was very impressed and also said it was AWESOME! when he got back to camp.
     Another great day had by all, caught 5 more red claw and 3 grunter today. Bring it on!!
Tuesday 8th
     We may run out of beer! (oh no), have to take a trip into the nearest place to replenish the drinks and that place is Ravenswood, 80 km back up the road. Loaded the pup's in the Jimny and set off. Ravenswood is a mining town so not much there, this photo is of the only shop we could find and it was closed!! oh well, we had a drive around and a look at the mine site
which entailed a walk up a hill to overlook the hole in the ground filled with water,(looked like a good swimming hole but couldn't find the gate to get in and it never had a diving board). The town has 2 pub's, a post office and the little shop, that was all!. The post office had a few grocery items, of which I purchased some.
We went to one of the Pub's to procure the needed carton of beer and headed back to the dam and camp.
     On the way in we encounted  a mob of cattle being mustered, they were still there on the way back, a huge mob which we had to manoeuvre our way through, not hard really. They were a fine looking lot of cattle and would probably bring a nice price at the sales.  We took the rest of the day off relaxing (again).The next couple of days were spent fishing and walking, I even washed the Jimny of Thursday, badly needed it, he was coated in cow sh-- from the trip to Ravenswood. Anyway, the word is, there is a cyclone headed for the coast up by Cooktown, due to cross late Friday evening and we expect to experience flooding, not knowing how the local creeks and rivers react in flood times we have decided, (regrettably) to head west again on Friday.
Friday  11th
Back on the road. We stopped for breakfast at Macrossan, there is a free camp here but have decide to go to Charters Towers to restock the larder and everything before carrying on west. The rail bridge over the Burdekin dam very impressive and the river is running fairly fast at present (something to do with the rain we have had). We stayed over night at the
Gold City Roadhouse, treating ourselves to takeaway for dinner. On the way in to Charters Towers this old boat is sitting in a paddock beside the road, it is pretty funny and I can't resist taking photo's of strange and weird things, so that brings another day to close.
Saturday 12th
On the road to Corfield and eventually Winton, stopped at Campaspe rest area for breakfast and a nanny nap then on to Prairie overnight to catch up with the guy's at the Pub. Had to take time to have a chat with the guy's at the fruit stall in Pentland on the way through.
Sunday 13th
One month to the day since leaving Kooroorinya, we are on our way to explore more of this great land.  Heading for Winton (eventually) we paused in Hughenden to grab a bit of fresh fruit before  cruising down the Hughenden - Winton road. The country-side is pretty sparse with (notably), not much in the way of big trees, as this pic' shows which I took through the bus window.
Parked at Stamford for a rest stop, Stamford used to be a major rail link for the cattle industry but is deserted now.
     On to Corfield, home of the famous once a year Corfield Cup horse race day, the Pub is the only thing there, with 5 private residence and the free camp that we stayed at, and, of course, the race track, but I couldn't find it, must be here somewhere!! Oh well we had a lovely afternoon, Jim had a beer or two at the pub while I went mad with the camera again. Mother Nature was smiling on us with this beautiful rainbow over us, then later in the evening the sunset was superb.
Monday 14th
Carrying on to Winton today, I did a bit of the driving for a change, experienced some yukky road works on getting close to Winton and the under side of the bus is caked with sticky black soil mud. Did not much enjoy driving in the conditions and handed the driving back to Jim as soon as I got the opportunity. On to Winton where we discovered a flat tyre on the trailer, off to a Tyre repair shop to get it fixed, it had picked up a screw, Oh, the joys of travelling!, no drama, all in the fun of it.
Went to the Information centre to gather some literature about Winton, parked out the back of the information centre to have a cuppa, then to The Long Water Hole, a man made waterhole which is available for free camping, only a couple of km out of town. This photo of the water hole has some menacing looking storm cloud over the back.
It is a very beautiful place although there isn't much here except for the water, you need to be fully self contained to camp here. The ground is mostly dirt and the first night gave us a couple of showers of rain which turned it to sticky mud the next morning and caked the pup's feet(and mine) terribly, much to Yips disgust, she wasn't keen on it at all, but seemed to thoroughly enjoy the open area to run around in, as did Dot.
We will spend a few days here probably, unless the threat of rain becomes too great, but it doesn't look as though it will.

 Tuesday 15th
The day has dawned a great sight for my eyes, as the above photo's show. The reflections in the water are a beautiful way to start the day.
Been having a ball again, cooking on the camp fire, and all the good things in life. Haven't had much rain and we have had the whole place pretty much to ourselves, it is so peaceful and quiet, where else would we want to go. The weekend is coming up and we reckon it might get a bit crowded as it is the Easter long weekend public holiday, so we will be moving on again in a day or so.
That's it for now, see you later.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Left Burdekin Falls Dam

Friday 11th
     What a week we had at Burdekin falls Dam, the weather was perfect, the fishing was great, the setting absolutely beautiful.
      Here is a sneak preview of the views we have been enjoying, there are more, I will get them together later and show you.

     We are now at Charters Towers again, have restocked the larder and will refuel tomorrow before heading west to where ever we get to. There is a cyclone off the coast of Cape York due to hit land fall tonight over Cooktown, it is a category 5 system, NOT nice, with winds up to 300km an hour and lots of rain, that is why we have left the dam area 'cause the road in, is subject to flooding and we didn't want to get stuck there, not to mention the fact that we don't want to be any where near anything that looks like a cyclone ever again after going through cyclone Yasi, so we can keep driving for as long as we need to make sure we don't have to.
     I will catch up with all the happenings at the dam at a later date, with all my photo's to show, catch you then.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Travelling again 1st & 2nd April

Tuesday 1st
Still in Townsville at present, waiting to get parts for the bus which is one of the items we came to Townsville to achieve, unfortunately for us there are no filters available in Townsville and are waiting to get them up from down south.
     In the mean time, we have been camping in the workshop, we have camped in some unusual spots but this has got to top the lot for originality, although I couldn't recommend it to any-one, The view out the window (see photo of truck) leaves a little to be desired and the bird song isn't exactly what I would call beautiful to say the least.

But it's not all bad, we have been doing some walking and sightseeing with the pups and there is this neat man-made lake which the pups reckoned was great for swimming. The hill in the background is the famous Castle Hill, the views from up there are fantastic. Also enjoyed watching the bird life on the lake, There were plenty of them around.
     The bus is finished by midday and we went a couple of blocks to Currajong, spent the night there with a friend.
Wednesday 2nd
       Packed the Jimny on the trailer this morning and travelled to Charters towers. Will refuel etc tomorrow and are going out to the Burdekin Dam for a week or two. Supposed to be good fishing, so after getting a permit from  here in Charters Towers, that is where we will be. There is no mobile phone or Internet coverage out there so will be off the air for a while, catch you later.