After a bit of drizzle overnight I left Balgal Beach for the long drive (.5hr) to Jourama Falls, before Ingham. It was an overcast drizzly day but that meant the bush turkeys were out in force and I saw 4 before having a cuppa at 10am.
I drove the dirt road to the end where you can walk to the falls but it was closed so I went to the first stairway to see a small cascade. I could only see 5 camping set ups including myself so that suits me. It’s a bit humid but I have my trusty USB fan thank goodness. I really do enjoy National Park camping as it offers the most green and peaceful surroundings (excluding humans). Worth every cent!
Yesterday I used my solar shower bag but today I’ll have to boil the Billy for a shower tonight. I’ve camped up towards the amenities and I’m very content to have my trusty van, Margo and all the comforts of home to enjoy. A day of reading. I’m not sure how my solar panel will cope with no sun all day but tomorrow night I hope to plug in with electricity at my brother’s house in Babinda.
Thu 3rd June
2.75hrs to Babinda. After stops to look in shops in Ingham, coffee break at Cardwell and Innisfail op shop, I bought grilled fish for lunch. Arrived 2pm to visit my brother and catch up. Thanks Bro for the combo Laksa.
Fri 4th June
Departed 7am to Cairns for the big unpack, washing and to clean van inside and out. My trip has taken me around 8,000kms and only 6 weeks as I cut back on some central Qld stops.
I can honestly say I’m a bit biased towards FNQ and really loved Cobbold Gorge as the most interesting tour. I enjoyed Litchfield NP and was surprised how much I felt at home at Banka Banka Homestead in NT. The whole trip has been interesting and my little van has been a gem. And even more amazing the sun is shining in Cairns and my washing is almost dry already!
Isn’t it funny how a return trip always seems shorter. I was prepared for the awful bumpy road south of Belyando Crossing this time. Probably going over it early in the 375km trip to Charters Towers made it much easy than I expected. I refilled my gas bottle and got petrol before arriving back at the Big 4 Oasis Park in time for lunch at 1pm. Then I had nap before relaxing for the rest of the afternoon.
Tue 1st June
I was thinking of going to Ravenswood but changed mind. Another time. I drove to Townsville but got on the by pass and ended up at Riverview for a cuppa before going to the Myer Centre for a wander, I went to Balgal Beach for lunch and ended up near the boat ramp where there is a lovely little park with good seating. Then I noticed a camp next door and across the road from the cafe (good prices and fresh fish and chips). I booked online with Townsville Council even though it is a free camp and again got the last spot. I also booked for Jourama Falls campsite for tomorrow night on Qld Parks website.
I had planned to go to Mystic Sands but decided to risk the sandflies and listen to the waves all night instead. Such is life.
Well today started off with a warm breakie in the Camp kitchen at Rolleston and petrol at Springsure before stopping at Capella to stretch my legs. I didn’t notice these images across from the Newsagent last time I came through and I also found out about the Pioneer Village. What a bonus that it is open Sundays and Thursdays.
Th Pioneer Village is close to town on the LH side towards Clermont. It has the largest restored drop plank homestead in Australia (no nails in the walls) from Peak Downs. What a magnificent building. My how the rich could have multi roomed luxurious surroundings. Two fire places and chandeliers in the lounge!
Gordon Downs station Woolshed is spectacularly displayed as pics show There is also the shearers quarters, and Stations Store.
With 17 buildings to explore including a cinema this display is very well labelled and for value for money at $15 for up to 4 hours exploration it out and out beats Herberton’s Historic Village in my opinion.
This morning I went for a drive to Bauhinia which is half way to Moura. It was very scenic and had abundant crops, cattle and trees. When I drove the 60km to the turn off to Carnavon it reminded me of the poor scrub on the Cape. It was another 40km off the highway to the Gorge so I didn’t get there till 11am. There were lots of cattle grids and also large pasture crops making green swathes on both sides of the road.
The signage isn’t that great after seeing the Northern Territory National Parks. I first went to look at the Rock pool but was put off with the rocks to cross the creek as they were partly submerged. After I came back for lunch I did cross the creek with the aid of a waking stick and got these pics. This bird landed on the rock after I took my selfie.
When I found the day use area I went and looked in the Information building. The model of the Gorge has ight above this area. It shows just how big the gorge is so I think the best way to see it is by helicopter.
Then I went on the Nature walk where I saw lots of birds dipping down into the creek. These stepping stones were at the start of the walk and were 3 times bigger than those at the end of the walk and also at the Rock pool. There was a gigantic gum tree too.
It’s Sunday tomorrow so I’m headed back the way I came through Emerald to Clermont, and then back to Charters Towers on Monday. I’ve decided to go east to Townsville and up the coast rather than the inland route.
Leaving early again I stopped at Emerald for a few groceries before going to Springsure to top up fuel. I didn’t realise they had a show day today and that meant Rolleston businesses were closed as well. Got a good site at the caravan park and then went for a walk around the block in town. Very windy and chilly so another 5 degree night due.
I liked the gecko painted on the plant box at the caravan park. Here are some pics from the walls of the local school. There was lots to see in Beazley Park.
Tomorrow I am going to Carnavon Gorge 70km away. I’m looking forward to seeing it at alast before I turn round and head north back to Cairns. The developmental road from Charters to Claremont was very rough and I’m not lookiing forward to going back over it.
Made it to Clermont with an early start. Here are 3 murals on the train at the Clermont Station. Next are the wombats at the park where the sprinkler has given mum a two tone face. This is Hoods lagoon on the LH side just as you enter Clermont.
I stopped at Copperfield Chimney on the 22km drive to the dam.
Here are some pics I took from the Water tank hill of the surrounding landscape. And finally, after two attempts to find the turn off, here is the Dam. It is a commercialized version of the Clem Walton Park I found near Cloncurry and even more packed. Facilities and boat ramp with unpowered camping for $15.
Rolleston tomorrow ready for Carnarvon Gorge on Saturday!
Good trip east to CT with brief stop at Torrens Creek where I saw the Indigenous artist I bought a painting from in 2019. I had cold omlette for lunch before going to Perry’s Bakehouse for Chai Latte and Snowball. I’d highly recommend the Zara Clark Museum if you have a few hours to spare as I so enjoyed it on my last trip.
I found an Indigenous Art shop that had some excellent works. This cat whimsy caught my fancy. I also loved the Xmas tree from horse shoes. Very inventive. After wandering around the shops I drove up to Tower Hill.
On the way to the Big 4 Van Park I saw a sign to Weir Park 13km and thought why not. I’m sooooo glad I did. What a great place to have lunch or just a drive and the view is spectacular.
Tomorrow I’m off to Clermont and I have already fueled up so I can get away promptly in the morning.
1.5hrs to Julia Creek. Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre is an outstanding attraction featuring the Dunnart which was nearly impossible to photograph as he/she was a Speedy Gonzales. Julia Creek RSL has an interesting Light horse sculpture.
1.5 hrs to Richmond. Kronosaurus Korner and Info Centre $20. Lake Fred Tritton behind Lake View Park $30 pwr. Cambridge Downs Heritage Centre building.
Tue 24th May
Porcupine Gorge is about 67km out of Hughenden. It is a spectacuar gorge although there is no swimming. It is part of a National Park and there is limited camping so it is a long way to go unless you have a tent or van to get a spot.
Tomorrow I’m changing direction and driving 2.75hrs to Charters Towers where I’l stay overnight before the next leg. Clermont is 4hrs from CT, then another 1.25hrs to Emerald.
2hrs to Mount Isa from Camooweal. Early start meant I had time to do a big shop at Coles and go to chemist for Polaramine. I think I may be allergic to the dust and or the flowering plants out back. Lunch was nice warm chicken. Then I cooked Chevaps for tea and have spare for 3 other meals. Tomorrow I’ll do a big pot of lamb stew before I leave.
Sun 23rd May
1.5hrs to Cloncurry makes a short drive today. About halfway between Mount Isa and Cloncurry is Clem Walton Park which I drove into for a look. What a beautiful spot to free camp. No wonder it is so popular.
Easy tea tonight and I will pack extra meals for freezer. I contemplated driving further but as I’m ahead of schedule and felt a bit tired I didn’t bother. Washed van again 4pm. Tomorrow I go to Julia Creek and Richmond where I’ve never been before. I went to Hughenden on my 2019 trip so it will be a turning point to go south where I’ve never been either.
Returned from Adelaide River to Katherine. I bought a bee sting and banana from Mayse’s cafe at Pine River and had coffee and half slice in park. This time I stayed at Manbullo Homestead 12km west of Katherine, under big old trees on side boundary. Property borders the Katherine River where the early morning mist rises.
Tues 20th May
Cutta Cutta Caves tour
Wed 19th May
3.5 hours from Daly Waters to Banka Banka. Singer guitarist, Matt Scullion 6pm. Loved his songs , particularly the last one on the CD.
Thu 20th May
3 hrs Barkly Homestead. Washing day. At around 3.30pm lots of army trucks rolled up for the night. They disappeared again around 5am.
Queensland Fri 19th May
2hrs Camooweal and I had to forward my clocks .5 hour. Museum tour 1.30pm