Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tambo to Charleville 25th to 29th September

Thursday 25th
     Moving on
      We left Tambo today and travelled to Augathella, to a free camp on the Warrego river bank. another pretty campsite, the river is dry, as most are at present.

Giant meat ant sculpture
     Augathella is known as meat ant country - not because of any ants, actually, but the local football team is known as the "Mighty Meat Ants" and are fearless in their attack against opponents, therefore the town earned the nickname Meat Ant Country. This Giant Meat Ant sculpture is at the Meat Ant park in the centre of town.

Campsite at Augathella
     We found the campsite and settled for a relaxing afternoon.


      I took a walk to have a look at the murals that are all along the main street, also wrought iron sculptures. These 2 photos are but a small number of the ones that are there.

Horse sculpture and mural
Mural on Buchans Garage
(no longer a garage)



     Warrego is an aboriginal word for - river of sand - which is very fitting at this stage 'cause that is all there is in the river at this point. There is the race track of course!!

     I took this picture of Dot and Yip next morning while on our walk.
     Augathella was known as Burenda originally, then Ellangowan until 1883 when the town was gazetted and renamed Augathella.

         Friday 26th
     Down the Mitchell highway 90km or so to Charleville today. Such a nice welcome sign on the way in.
      Called into the Information centre to ask about camping at the showgrounds but it's not in use any more. We travelled a further 6km to the Red Lizard Camping Grounds. $25 p/n, very clean and heaps of room.

          Saturday 27th
     Unloaded Jimny this morning and went into Charleville to have look around and get a few provisions.
     This photo of an historic house - now the museum - is one of many beautiful old buildings in town.
Back to camp to have a quiet day.

      The weather is great, it will get to a balmy 28 degree today, much more to our liking and comfort.
       Sunday 28th
Charleville Hotel
 one of 2 or 3 that I found
     Spent part of the day getting ready for our next move. Have to go into Charleville early to get the fridge tended to, needs a new thermostat we think. We will decide where to after its all fixed.        
     I took a drive in the afternoon to have another look. These photo's are some of what I found.

Vortex rain making guns in
     In a park on the road to Cunnamulla heading out of town I found this nice park. We stopped for walk around and found these rain making guns. Apparently in 1902 Charleville was experiencing the longest running drought ever. They found out about these rain making guns (which were in use in overseas countries) and imported them to make rain. There was 6 of them, they were used for scrap metal after the event except for these two.

     Did they work??  No, actually, and the drought broke shortly after they were installed, but it makes for a good story in Charleville. (How's That!!)

The Warrego river has some muddy pools of water at varying places, but surely needs some rain to fill it up, would look fantastic then.
     We will head south again on Tuesday probably, heading for Cunnamulla.

              Catch you then.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Blackall to Tambo 19th to 24th September

          Friday 19th
       Having had a restful night we headed to Tambo today travelling about 100km to spend some time at the Tambo Caravan park. A
This is Yip at the Tambo
Van park
powered site is $25.00 for 2 people and they have good deal where we pay for 2 nights and have the third night free, so we decided to rest up for a week and took advantage of the deal to stay for 6 nights. It is a lovely garden setting and plenty of room, the pups are quite at home here and seem to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Queensland bottle tree
   The town has a population of about 350 or so and is very pretty with some beautiful buildings. A very fascinating thing for me around this area is the Bottle trees, which I mentioned in the last blog, well, there are plenty of them here.

Queensland bottle tree trunk

I believe that there are 2 varieties here, the Queensland bottle tree - narrow leaf (Brachychiton - Rupestris) and the Queensland bottle tree - broad leaf (Brachychiton - Australis). I found the narrow leaf to be the most unusual with all sorts of shapes and  sizes. Here are a couple of my favourite that I found in the Tambo streets while wondering around. Don't you think they are neat? The main street has them down the middle of the road, and they are all over the town and surrounding area.
     Some of the buildings are beautiful as well and I have put a couple in to show you.

Historical court house
built in 1888. the detail is great 

Post office still in use built in 1904

Just Cute!! obviously an old building
but trading as the local butcher

     I spent some time walking around the streets of the town. There is a walk around the banks of the Barcoo river, (which is dry) but a pleasant walk . I found this along the way.

Memorial to the Qantas plane crash site
     There was a Qantas plane crash here on 24th March 1927, a memorial site has been erected in memory of the loss of 3 lives, when the DeHavilland plane came down. There isn't actually anything to see at the site except for the memorial and plaque.

     Another enjoyable few days at a very pretty outback town. We had some rain of Sunday evening and over night with a total of 30mm. Not a big wet but I reckon the local farmers would be happy with it. By Monday afternoon the sun was shining on us again. The weather has been fantastic.
    A nice stay in Tambo.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bundoora to Blackall 15th to 18th

             Monday 15th
Bronze Dingo in Dingo
main street
      Travelled 26km to Middlemount to catch up on the shopping and continued on to a rest stop 75km from a little town called Dingo, mid morning. Had Brunch and a nap until  moving on to Dingo van park at $25.00 per night by mid afternoon.  We had to visit Dingo  --? just 'cause we could.
Street corner in Dingo

     The town is only small but one of the things it is known for is the bronze statue of a dingo on the main street. I took a walk this afternoon and took a few pictures. this one of these lovely flowering trees impressed me, pretty aren't they?,  don't know what they are, just that I like them.

     Found this courtesy car outside the hotel, it says it all!!

     And while taking Yip and Dot for a walk the next morning came across this sign on what looked like the local rodeo ground, Ouch!! don't want to mess with the likes of these instructions so stayed out of the fenced area.


                                  Tuesday 16th
          Time to go, but first had to have a photo shoot with Yip and the bronze dingo.

      On to Emerald today. Stayed over night at the Emerald Botanical Gardens, a council free camp on the Nogoa river. It is right between the road bridge and rail bridge over the river, thought it might bother me but not too noisy at all.

Nogoa river running through
Emerald Botanic gardens
     The gardens were a treat to have a gander through and even the pups seemed to enjoy all the greenery.

Yip and Dot in Emerald Botanic


Wednesday 17th
Did a bit of shopping in Emerald before heading west toward Barcaldine, Passing through some neat little towns as we went.
Blackwater International
Coal Centre
Roadside trees through

     One was the Coal Capital of Australia, Blackwater and another was a little place called Comet.
     Blackwater was fairly large with mining sites all along the way, but Comet was only a street of the main highway we were travelling. All the towns along the way were the same, as they all had at least one pub, just the Australian way I guess!

Alpha park land
     We came across a roadside stop and had a short rest, it was at Boguntungan, just a rail stop and cemetery which I had a little walk through, the oldest grave was 1884 and newest 2013, not fun but interesting.

     Stopped at Alpha for lunch and time out. not much here, this engine was outside the window where we pulled up.

Jericho Camp on Jordan river
     Drove on to Jericho where we found a council camp beside the Jordan River and spent the night here.

     On the way we passed a heap of bottle trees such as the one in this photo.
Bottle Tree on roadside to Jericho
Very unusual looking trees, they vary in size a lot, The trunks are shaped like bottles and some were huge around the girth of the trunk. They were scattered along the way in the roadside paddocks.
     There were Quite a few other travellers at the camp in Jericho, not surprising as it is a very nice camp, requiring only a donation for their trouble.

                                      Thursday 18th
     On through Barcaldine. We stopped to have a look at the tree of Knowledge. The tree is all but gone now but have preserved it in this way as photos show.
Tree of knowledge
in Barcaldine
Tree of Knowledge plaque
Monument in - Barcaldine representing
shear blades

     We travelled on for 30 km to a rest area for a couple of hours then continued on through Blackall (we were here in May -  it got too cold and we hi-tailed it back north) then a further 8km to another rest area. We spent the night here and will continue south tomorrow.
     That's all for now, wait for the next episode of Vannessa's Story when I get back too you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bundoora Dam 11th to 14th September

Bundoora lake and the campsite

     Found our way to this beautiful lake called Bundoora dam today, 26km from Middlemount. about 70km north-east of Emerald.

     It is a stretch of water which is clean enough for me to swim in and may even contain some fish.

Yip at the dam wall
     On our second day here I tried my hand at fishing and managed to catch a heap of turtles, as I don't have recipe for turtle soup I released them all. Jim has set the red claw traps but no luck so far, will leave them in over night again. The only fish I caught were only about 3 inches long, not a good look for my fishing reputation.

 I went in the water for a splash or three and thoroughly enjoyed it as long as I didn't let myself sink too low in the water as it was pretty cold about 18 inches below the surface. The sunset was neat too as this picture shows.

Bundoora dam
On Saturday we had some rain, it started before daylight and was all over by early afternoon and the day was magic again. We managed to catch only 3 red claw for the time we had here.Our stay  has been lovely and could spend more time here but must continue, plenty more places to see yet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Charters Towers to Capella 9th + 10th September

                          Tuesday 9th

     Fuelled Dilligaf  and stopped at the butcher on our way out of Charters Towers this morning, heading south today. With a rest stop on the way we reached Belyando Crossing mid afternoon but continued on to a crossroads 47km south of there.
     On the way we came across a cattle drive, it was a huge mob who had right of way. so around them we traversed (with help of a motorbike riding drover!) 

     We came across the designated rest stop a little before the cattle drive but the drovers had set up their camp there, so we went on to this crossroad to spend the night. The other roads led to Twin Hills 12km west and Avon Downs 20km east. We had a 360 degree view of the surrounding country and it is vast to say the least, making us very small beings on the horizon.

     By this time it was getting pretty late for us, after 4pm.

     I walked the pups and we had a bite to eat.
     Just relaxing, watching the sun going down, I took a few pictures. This one is rather nice, I thought, of Yip and Dot playing in the last of the evening sunshine and the tree looks fantastic too.

                          Wednesday 10th


      Moving on - Arrived in Clermont mid morning, passing this pile at a mine site 18km from Clermont. View taken through the windscreen of Dilligaf, doesn't look much here, but it is huge.

     We bypassed Clermont, but just a little way outside the town at a roadhouse, stopped for a spell. This tree covered in shoes, boots, slippers, sand shoes and every kind of footwear you could imagine was in the car park, funny stuff!!. Obviously travellers and maybe locals have been leaving their footsteps in Clermont for some time.

     A little further down the Gregory highway we travelled on to Capella, about 50 km short of Emerald. We found Capella a pretty little town and are staying at the Capella caravan park for the night. The park is neat and tidy, very green with lovely garden setting and shade trees, at $29.00 per night, very nice.
     A pleasant couple days of travelling, covering 400 or so km in the 2 days which is more than enough for us.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Prairie and Charters Towers 1st to 8th September

                   Monday 1st
     Having a nice quiet time in Prairie. Caught up with a few mates, including the Buffalo out back, she likes to have a head scratch and a carrot now and then, but mind out for her horns, they are huge, she's a docile old animal though.
                    Wednesday 3rd
     Time to move on. Travelled to Charters Towers today spending the night at the Gold City Roadhouse, enjoyed the fish and chips for dinner, as we do, when staying here for the night.
                      Thursday 4th
     Drove through town this morning but have decided to do the shopping tomorrow when we unload the Jimny. Are staying at the Burdekin Duck Roadhouse van park, only $18.00 a night with power, will be here until next week.
                      Friday5th, Saturday6th, Sunday7th
     Did the shopping on Friday morning and washing, all the boring jobs out of the way, later in the afternoon.
"Hurry up, lets go for a swim!!"
"Not me Dot, just a paddle maybe"
"Swimming is great Yip"

     Saturday I took Dot and Yip to the Burdekin river for a swim, they had a great time although Yip was a bit hesitant to get fully wet and I had to help her.

     There isn't a great deal of water in the river at present, a little more than the last time we were here 6 months ago. Was chatting with a bloke who said he had been watching quite large fish swimming around in the river but couldn't get them to take a bait, Oh well, that's the way it goes.  It is still very pretty and the rail bridge down stream sticks out like a sore thumb.

     Macrossan bridge, which is the road bridge looks impressive from the river bed where I took the pups for a swim, especially when a road train passes like the one in this photo.


     The bridge was constructed in 1971 at a height of 13.4 metres above the stream bed, you would think that height would be enough to enable flood free travel for ever, but -  not so, according to the flood marker which is at one end of the bridge, As this photo shows, it has gone under on numerous occasions, the greatest one was in 1946 at a level of 21.79 metres. WOW!! that's a lot of water!.

     We had a nice time playing in the river for a while on Saturday and again on Sunday.
     Apart from this activity our time at the Burdekin Duck has been very relaxing.

                       Monday 8th
     Last day here, time to get ready to head south, hopefully it will be warm enough for us to continue our journey this time.

     Catch you later

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Camooweal to Prairie 25th to 31st August

                                  Monday 25th

     Time to move on today but while out walking Dot and Yip for the last morning here in Camooweal I took this photo of a wedge tailed eagle sitting in a tree not too far from us, one of the finest examples of freedom and wildlife.


     We left Camooweal about 9am and headed for the ww11 rest area only 50km short of Mount Isa arriving in time for lunch and a Nannie nap, we spent the night here.    
     Just after lunch a heap of cars started to pull in to the rest area, they are a bunch of people participating in the Variety Bash from Sydney to Tennant Creek, on the last couple of days of the trip. They only took one week to come from Sydney to here, that's hootin' it eh? The collage on the left shows some of the cars and Jim and a contestant, they had to compare legs, could be related maybe! They had a pit stop here and carried on to Camooweal today then on to Tennant Creek tomorrow, great bunch of funny people all contributing to a great charity.
     Yip watched from a safe distance up on the picnic table.
     What an unexpected surprise for us to have them pull in while we were here to see.

                        Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th
Called in to Mount Isa today to restock the larder, drinks and fuel and departed the city heading to Fountain Springs rest area by 12 noon, half way between the Isa and Cloncurry, continuing on in the morning where we rested at Oorindi for a few hours to wait for the wind to die down, it is very blustery and knocks the bus around a bit and ups the fuel consumption heaps. Mid afternoon  we drove in to Julia Creek. Spent the night at the RV friendly free park. I thought our Rig looked neat reflected in the billabong.

                        Thursday 28th
     Staying at Julia Creek again. I took a walk up to the town information centre to have a look at the Julia Creek Dunnart - feeding. The animal is like a big mouse, pretty rare apparently, cute though.
     Also checked out the museum where this little bulldozer was on display.
     Later in the day while relaxing with a cold one we saw three emu strutting around the park as if they owned the place, was great to watch them for a while and managed to get a photo of one of them. Had a nice couple of days in Julia Creek.

                                       Friday 29th

     We left early this morning in an attempt to beat the wind, which was a good idea, except for the first half hour or so when the sun was a  a bit blinding until it gained enough height not to bother the driver.
     On to Richmond and the Lake View van park which is on the edge of Fred Triton Lake, a man made lake and an oasis for us and the pups who enjoyed a swim.

                       Saturday 30th
     Heading for Prairie today, back full circle in our travels, warmer climate, which we are enjoying and to catch up with some of the folk we met while here, about this time last year. 
      Called in to Hughenden on the way to get some of the butchers sausages and a couple of things from the supermarket. On to Prairie where we will spend a few days camping behind the Pub. All is good for the month of August. Catch you in September.