Friday, May 29, 2015

May 25th to 31st Charters Towers area

          Monday 25th

Railway hotel at Ravenswood
     The sun this morning shone in such a way as to make the Railway Hotel look like an artists painting, so I took a picture.
     Another beautiful day has dawned and we are heading to Charters towers today. Packed and ready to go mid morning, didn't load the Jimny on the trailer as there's not that far to go.
Nearing the intersection to the Flinders highway Jim has a bit of scare with a Wedge Tailed Eagle - it slammed into the windscreen of the bus and cracked it rather badly!, still in one piece so continue on to the Bivouac Junction camp site to park up at $138.00 per week. Will have to contact insurance co. to get the windscreen replaced. I saw the eagle fly into the scrub on the road side, seemed to be O.K. but will never know if it survived or not.

         Tuesday 26th

Bivouac Junction on the Burdekin river
opposite the camping area
      The camp area is at a junction in the Burdekin river, not much water in the river but is trickling along. The pups are loving the fresh water to swim in and I have found a couple of holes deep enough to get them wet all over. The rocks in the river bed are different, pink, grey, whitish with black streaks through them.
    Despite not much water in the system at present, it is still very pretty.

        Wednesday 27th

Foggy morning at Bivouac Junction on the
Burdekin river
     Foggy morning!! not quiet a pea souper, but thick any way.
     Having a good relaxing time, taking the pup's for a swim 2 or 3 times a day resting and the like,(life is really tough).

     Have had the windscreen looked at and will take the bus into Charters Towers on Monday 1st June to have it replaced. In the mean time - just have to take it easy.

          Friday 29th
     Not much happening around here. We have decided to head into Charters Towers on Sunday afternoon 31st of May, probably to the Gold City Roadhouse for the night so we can get the windscreen people to fix us up early on Monday morning.
       Catch you next month.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 19th to 24th Lake Elphinstone to Ravenswood

Bowen river on the way to
   Tuesday 19th
    We got away from lake Elphinstone fairly early, making our way to Collinsville.
     The land seems to be even dryer around this area than ever, although there was a nice glimpse of blue water in the Bowen river as we drove over it.

     Arrived in Collinsville mid morning after restocking the drinks department we found the free R.V. camp at the show grounds opposite the Miners Workers Club. A visit from the clubs vice president to inform us that the club offered free showers to campers, along with the knowledge that the club had a fine restaurant and nice cool beer, all at reasonable prices. How nice.

          Wednesday 20th
     Early morning visitors today. first an old local gentleman by the name of Bill Aspinall, (celebrated his 91st birthday just before Xmas last year) who likes a good chat and offered some of his wood turned pieces for sale. I grabbed a stubby holder and hand casting fishing reel. Both beautiful articles of fine woodwork, as is the craftsman. (hope I'm as good as he is when I get to that age.)
Fruit park at Collinsville
(help yourself to fruit in season)
     Second, was a bloke from the heritage centre, making us very welcome.
    I got a lift with him to the display centre and walked back. This park I found on the way, offering me any fruit which might be there, to help myself. I couldn't find any though. A lovely day, the folk around here a exceptionally friendly and helpful. WE a few more visitors during the day, all offering friendly advice and/or welcome to their country town. Another great town in the west of Queensland and the outback.

          Thursday 21

inside the "coalface experience"
     The weather is great.
    Acting like a tourist I visited "The Coalface Experience". An informative display at the miners club with video and photo's with full size mannequins portraying the life of the miner back when coal mining first started here and on to the present. This photo is of the banner they used to inform all about the union. A delightful way to spend an hour or two.

Friday 22nd

Bowen harbour
     To Bowen this morning to restock the larder before heading to groper creek(a camping area on the creek edge-good fishing?) After the shopping is over we found the fishing co-op to buy a feed of fish and some bait. Having done that we feasted on hot chips for lunch at a park overlooking the boat harbour.

     On to Home Hill to the turnoff to Groper Creek. We rested up for a while at the comfort stop in the middle of town, then made our way to the camp at Groper creek.

Home Hill rail station
Sadly, they are booked out until Monday next week! It's very crowded too!, decided not to bother coming back later and spent the night in Home Hill at the sports grounds.
     Very tough for Yip! there are chickens running around free and both the pups would like to have a good old game of chassy, not to be though.

     Generally a quiet evening.

Saturday 23rd
           Now to find our way to Ravenswood via the back road!

Burdekin river bridge
north of Home Hill toward to Ayr
     Crossing the magnificent bridge over the Burdekin river toward Ayr, we turned off when the gps said to, eventually getting to Clare.
     Further along  we passed a road sign reading "not suitable for trucks-buses-caravans or trailers", well, we had 2 of these! I looked at Jim! "yeah we'll be right" he said "built tough"

Dry country-side on the back road
Home Hill to Ravenswood
So off we went. passing some very dry scenery and once again none of the creeks had any water.

You may snub your nose Jim! Yes it was a steep

     We reached a station called Hillsborough after finding the gravel road not too unpleasant at all.
      The beginning of the steep climb (which the signs had been warning us about along the way) we came across this mammoth sign only 2 or 3 km before reaching Ravenswood, yeah!, it was very steep, sealed though and our rig handled it no problem. Wouldn't like to be under-powered at all if towing a trailer or van, probably wouldn't make it to the top.

Entering Ravenswood via
the back road from Ayr
    All was good as we came across the welcome sign to Ravenswood. Made our way to the hotel for a quick beer before parking up at the show ground camping area at $15.00 per night for a powered site.
     We were in this area about a year ago when we spent some time at the Burdekin Falls Dam.
     We plan to have a couple of nights here. The town was built during the gold mining era and there are ruins to seek out all over the town, will have a look while here this time.

         Sunday 24th

Burdekin river below the dam. very different
to 12 months ago
      Drove out to the Burdekin Dam to remind myself of the area. Last time the dam was flowing 2 feet over the dam wall, what a difference a year later, 2 metres below the wall and so dry all around. The river flowing into this huge hole in the river bed was roaring last time I filmed it.
      Enjoyed the 160km drive out and back catching some new sights on the way back. An Emu in the middle of the road, I slowed, but the ute coming toward me did NOT, -result- a stone chip and crack in the Jimny windscreen, not dangerous, just annoying!

Wedge Tailed Eagle
road kill dinner at Ravenswood

      Nearing Ravenswood again I spied 2 wedge tailed eagles feasting on a small wallaby road kill. One flew away as I approached but I managed to get this picture of the remaining one. Spectacular creatures!

Old Arch bridge at Ravenswood
                      Later in the day while walking the dogs I found an old arch bridge, beneath the arch when I approached where 3 white peacocks and 2 normal ones. Unusual to my way of thinking but missed a picture of them, too quick for me, so I took one of the bridge any way.
     The rest of the day passed uneventfully, I had a ball.
Tomorrow we head toward Charters Towers.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

9th to 18th Baffle Ck to Lake Elphinstone

             Saturday 9th

Bustard bay from round hill headland at 1770
     Mid morning saw us arrive at Agnes Waters where we stopped briefly to restock the larder and fill Dilligaf. On to the Town of 1770 where I walked the track of Round Hill headland, the view across Bustard Bay was magnificent, there is an old light house on Bustard Head in the distance of this photo, but couldn't make it out very well.

Miriam Vale Hotel
     Had a bite to eat and decided it is a bit too hectic in 1770 and travelled on to Miriam Vale, getting there about 1pm, time for a nanny nap.
     Jim was hoping to watch a game of rugby on the T.V at the Miriam Vale Hotel, so we parked in the car park opposite, where we stayed for the night. Unfortunately the game was not televised so listened to it on the radio. The hotel cooked dinner for us, It was a great end to a enjoyable day.

             Sunday 10th
Calliope river free camp on the old Bruce highway
     Travelling on this morning we ended up at Calliope.  Driving through the town we rested at a small park to find out where the free camp is on the Calliope river. About 4 km north of town is the old Bruce Highway which traverses the Calliope river with camping area on either side of the river. We elected the southern side and had breakfast before deciding on the park-up area beside the old bridge(which is now closed) Might have a go at fishing later, saw a nice one caught off the beach below the bridge.
           Monday 11th

foggy morning on the
Calliope river
     Awoke to a foggy morning, very spooky while walking the dogs. This picture of the Calliope river looks like a thermal spring, it's not though, only fog.
      Went fishing today but nothing to be had.
Calliope river below the old
Bruce highway bridge
great day relaxing. Also took a self guided tour of the Calliope Heritage village on the other side of the river, quite interesting.

          Tuesday 12th
     The weather is just great!! 29 degree during the day, the evenings and nights are a bit cool though with 7 to 10 in early am.

Calliope River road bridge
down stream of the camp site

         Wednesday 13th
     Apparently 13 is an unlucky number. Well, we were going to make tracks this morning but couldn't start the bus!! the batteries are over 2 years old and had it. They have been a bit quirky in the cold weather over the last couple of weeks but thought they would last a bit longer, not to be.
 Any way, we called a mobile battery bloke who arrived about 2 hours later and installed 2 new batteries. Too late to go any where now so will stay another day. 
     Met up with a couple yesterday afternoon that we previously met at Julia Creek in 2013, Deb and Greg and  their  little cocker spaniel, Crystal. They asked me to look after the dog while they went out for the day, no problem, she is a cute pup and Dot and Yip got on with her O.K.

          Thursday 14th

big bull in the round-a-bout
coming in  to Rockhampton
     Taking off from Calliope river this morning we back tracked the few kilometres to Calliope township to restock the larder at the local IGA. All done by 9.30 and made Rockhampton late morning,where we stopped off to shop in Bunnings for a couple of new chairs and a door mat.

Yip is very comfy in the bus on the
way to Marlborough
Chrysoprase in a huge rock
on display in a park in
The rock and Dot at Marlborough
     Mid day saw a us arrive at Marlborough. We are in the middle of no where!! a pub, post office-general store and private residences. Cute little town, another of the many that has passed the "use by date" and slowing dying. We camped behind the hotel charging $5.00 per person.
     Taking the dogs for a walk later in the day I came across a park with this huge rock in it. all fence off, so I thought it must be something special. It was donated by the local mining company for display by the community with a nice sample of the gem which is embedded in it. It is called Chrysoprase, looks a little like Opal. Another piece of Australia we have had the privilege to see. Informative day and fun too!

Memorial at Croydon 12/11/1956
commemorating the Olympic torch
relay Sarina to Marlborough highway
         Friday 15th
    To Lotus Creek (Where??)
A road house in the middle of nothing!! and a camping area where we are headed today. On the way we came across this memorial of the 1956 Olympic  games and the torch relay on the Sarina to Marlborough highway. Yonks ago but a pleasant reminder of the things mankind does for sport.

100km north of Maryborough
Yip looks at Lotus Creek roadhouse

     We reached Lotus Creek to find nothing!! well, almost! only the roadhouse and camping area. We rested here for the night with a powered site at $20.00.
     Since heading out this way we have noticed how much drier the land is, the stock we pass seem to look good, but the grasses are all brown and dry and none of the creeks or water courses have any water in them. A vast difference to the eastern coast area we have been through.

                             Saturday 16th

Lake Elphinstone with a knarly
old tree at the edge
Our rig at Lake Elphinstone
     Away from Lotus Creek early, we stopped in Nebo for a short time on our way to Lake Elphinstone, about a 100km west of Mackay. Nebo is a mining town and we didn't stay for too long. Lake Elphinstone looks like a lovely spot, trouble is it's raining!!, making it a bit uncomfortable. Not to complain, we will put the yabbie pots in tomorrow and see what happens. The afternoon fined up a bit, much nicer.

Lake Elphinstone
           Monday 18th
     We have had 3 days at the lake and never caught anything in the pots. Moving on tomorrow, the cool misty rainy days have chased away. We will make for Collinsville in the morning.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

1st to 8th Takilberan to Baffle Creek

            Friday 1st
      It has been raining all day!, not heavy as such, just a bit miserable.
     Spent the whole day inside the bus at Phil and Wendy's place in Takilberan, the puppies don't like it much but we are bearing up under the strain (Ha ha) Yip enjoyed a song this morning, despite the weather, she wasn't too sure though and needed Jim to help her out, who wants to sing in weather such as we were experiencing, any way.
     It eased by lunch and we will make ready to head off in the morning.
 Saturday 2nd
We left Phil and Wendy's place this morning for Baffle Creek.

Crossing the Burnett river at
 Bundaberg 2.5.15

      Through Gin Gin again and on to Bundaberg to replenish the larder and refuel Dilligaf, leaving the town  by quarter past eleven crossing over the Burnett river on the way.
      We found Avondale Hotel about lunch time and stopped for a beer and a bacon and egg roll.
Keeping on, keeping on, we made Baffle Creek van park mid afternoon and booked in for a week at $185.00. The park looks very nice and clean, the fishing is supposed to be something special, will wait and see if that is true or not.
Sunday 3rd

Baffle Creek from the Van park
boat ramp
Checking out fishing spots today. Firstly the boat ramp at the end of the camping area on Baffle creek- looks promising.
Jim at Rules Beach on the 3rd
Dot and Yip at Rules Beach
     About 5km to Rules beach, which is on the open sea and beautiful surfing by the looks of it,(if only I was I surfer girl) but pristine, sparkling white sand, blue ocean, gorgeous!! Jim was first to get to the water's edge to admire the view. The puppies reckon it is pretty neat too.
     We let Yip off her lead and she went a bit ballistic, running up and down the sand and in and out of the water. This video shows part of her escapade.

  Monday 4th

Cheeky Butcher Bird at camp
      One of the many Butcher birds around here. They have a beautiful song, much like the Magpie, not as strong maybe, but very pretty. Ain't nature grand!!

      This one was going into the tent next door, cheeky bugger.
     Later in the morning I took the pups and my fishing gear to the boat ramp to have a go, a couple of hours before the high tide. I scored one legal size Bream, so I am happy.
                  Wednesday 6th

foggy morning at Baffle Creek
van park (spooky Roo's)
     A cool change in the weather today. A fog has rolled in over the camp, very spooky, but not very thick and a bit patchy, once we headed on our walk up the road it had all but cleared.

                      Thursday 7th

Bird of prey with it's catch
     Awoke fairly early this morning to see this bird of prey beside the tent next door. It had caught another bird, not much smaller than itself and pecked at it's feathers for some time, once it had stopped fighting and was obviously pretty crook, the bigger one flew off with in it's talons to feed in peace, somewhere else.
    That's nature for you! all in a days adventure.

             Friday 8th
     Last full day at Baffle Creek.  Tried my luck at fishing again with no result, the fishing is not much cop I reckon, but we have managed a feed of fresh fish. With the one I caught on Monday and some lovely folk gave me a couple of theirs as they had plenty, we have done O.K.
      Readying the rig for pull out tomorrow, making for the Town of 1770 and Agnes Waters.
     Keeping ahead of the cool weather as we make our way north to warmer climate.  All is good.