A Travellerspoint blog

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Day 1 Queensland to Western Australia

Brisbane - Goondiwindi

It was 9.15 am when we eventually left home in Queensland with our Caravan in tow. The morning was cool and sunny, lovely after the previous frosty mornings - A great start to the day!
We made our way to Beaudesert and onto beautiful Boonah in the Scenic Rim. This town is a favorite of mine. It's situated in a pretty area with magnificent views of the Great Dividing Range, I always reach for my camera here!

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Great Dividing Range near Aratula

Then next town on from Boonah is the small village of Aratula where we make a stop before making the climb up and over the range to the fertile valley beyond.
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Great Dividing Range near Aratula

On Warwick side of the range, the surprise was the price of fuel, 146.9cents litre, compared to 160.9 at home, what a difference! Of course, the price made us stop and top up with fuel, have a quick lunch and toilet stop before making our way to Inglewood. Travelling along this road, we see a tremendous amount of road-kill, mainly Red and Grey Kangaroos, even a massive Wedge Tailed Eagle who was too slow escaping from the many semi-trailers that travel this road.

SAM_5945S.jpgInglewood is only a small town, but one we usually make a break at, today was no exception. First we stopped at the park to have a look at an interesting Sundial and to use the toilets before travelling further along the main street where we found a Cafe open so we stopped for a caffeine break.

Pity it wasn't lunch time as they had Roo (Kangaroo) burgers on the menu. The shop walls were adorned with old types of agricultural pieces.

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Goondiwindi is a border town and our final destination for the day. We crossed the McIntyre river which is the border between Queensland and New South Wales and continued to the small, mainly Aboriginal town of Boggabilla. About 9kms from there, we found a free camping site at Whalan Creek, away and hidden from the highway.

Posted by balhannahrise 02:53 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes road trip queensland free camps Comments (0)

Day 2 Queensland to Western Australia

Whalan Creek to Brewarrina

We woke to a fine and sunny day after a good nights sleep at our Whalan Creek free camp.

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Time to hit the road again and travel 100kms across the Moree plains to the Spa town of Moree. This area has some of the world's richest black alluvial soils where sunflowers, safflowers, canola, mungbeans, olives, oats, barley, sorghum, wheat and cotton is grown. July, and the farmers in their huge tractors were busy ploughing the paddocks ready for the next crop.

Wheat is usually sown in late May or June, then harvested from November through to December. The wheat is then delivered by truck to local grain terminals for transportation to various mills for domestic use or seaports if being exported.
The Moree plains is the largest cotton producing region in Australia. Cotton season was over, but still balls of cotton lined the roadside. To see Cotton growing, September/October is when its planted, then picking takes place between March, April & May of the following year. Even in July it was interesting seeing the hundreds of 227kg cotton bales at the Gins waiting to be taken by Semi-Trailer to a Port where they are sent overseas for spinning. I find what ever time I come to this area, there is always something of interest to see.SAM_5962.jpgcotton bales

The road from Moree to Collarenebri was another littered with dead Kangaroos. At least we didn't see any dead Emu's, only plenty of live ones! We passed by a couple of Cotton Gins on this road and a Semi-Trailer loaded with Cotton bales. The road is wide and had more grass on the side than in the paddocks. We saw "Cattle on road" signs, meaning that some-time we would be coming across Cattle drovers. Sure enough, we passed three on this road.

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We hadn't been to Collarenebri before and were rather disappointed with the town. It's a small mainly Aboriginal town with not a lot to offer, we couldn't even find anywhere to buy lunch! Luckily I had some food in the Caravan, at least we didn't starve!

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Out this part of Australia, a lot of the towns have a large majority of Aboriginals living there. Walgett is one such town. As we had been here before, we didn't stop, just took the turn-off that would lead us to Brewarrina.
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Fish traps

Brewarrina was quite a surprise. Located on the Barwon River, it is thought to have the oldest man made structure on earth. The Brewarrina Aboriginal fish traps are estimated to be 40,000 years old. Unfortunately, many were washed away when the weir was built, so new ones were built at the weir. Obviously the Pelicans know there is fish to be found here!

On the roadside wall where the fish traps and weir are, children have told the dreamtime story by the way of descriptive Aboriginal paintings!

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There was other artwork in town, like the fish near the Tourist Information centre.

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If your after a Kangaroo hide, then head here for all sizes at pretty good prices.

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Well, time to look for somewhere to stay! The Brewarrina Caravan Park had plenty of powered sites, so this is where we stayed the night. A very pleasant Aboriginal caretaker greeted us and told us the ropes. Even though the Amenities block was old, it was clean, the showers were hot, there was a Laundry with coin operated machines and a free bbq!
All for the bargain price of $20 night for 2 people!

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Posted by balhannahrise 00:47 Archived in Australia Tagged parks park landscape new south road trip wales caravan aboriginal Comments (0)

Day 3 Queensland to Western Australia

Brewarrina to Wilcannia in New South Wales

We had a good night at the Brewarrina Caravan Park. First thing, I rode my pushbike around the town, easy riding as it was all flat going! It had rained a little overnight, so when we reached Bourke in Outback Australia, we had to ask at the information centre if the Darling River road was "open" or "closed."

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Bourke Information centre

Roads in this area are made from red soil, so when only a few mills of rain falls, they can become so slippery and dangerous that they are closed to all traffic. As it happened, the road was open.

Bourke is located on a bend in the Darling River and is the traditional country of the Ngemba people. Alongside the River is lovely lawned picnic areas, a wharf and trees where about 100 Parrot's squawked their way to a perch!

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Darling river @ Bourke

First we had a look around Bourke and were quite impressed with what we saw. There were lots of historic buildings in the busy main street.

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Then we took a drive to the historic cemetery where there are many old graves, but a more recent one is of great importance. This is the grave of Fred Hollows, the famous eye surgeon who spent his life helping those who couldn't afford basic eye care. He gave sight to these people and Indigenous Australians and to those living in the poorest communities in the world. In 1990, he was honoured with the title " Australian of the Year" for all the work he had done.

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Fred Hollows grave

Leaving Bourke behind, we began travelling south along the wide red dirt road known as the Darling River road tourist drive. This follows the Darling river and I imagine would be quite scenic if the river and backwaters were full of water, unfortunately, the river didn't have a lot of water.

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Darling river tourist road
We did see many goats, a blow of the car horn soon had them running off the road!

There are only a couple of very small towns along this route, so when we saw the notice advertising food at "Louth" we made this our lunch stop. The Louth Hotel is a one stop destination. It is Hotel, shop, runs a few powered sites for caravans and a couple of cabins for travellers. A few locals were in the Pub and were on for a chat, thankgoodness for that as it was a rather long wait for our two chiko rolls to be cooked!

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Louth Hotel

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Louth Church

Finally we reached our destination for the night - Wilcannia. The Caravan Park was located in a very pleasant situation amongst the red gums and alongside the Darling river. We booked in and settled down for the night.

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Wilcannia caravan park

Posted by balhannahrise 12:41 Archived in Australia Tagged landscape new south road trip wales fred bourke hollows Comments (0)

Day 4 Queensland to Western Australia

From Wilcannia in New South Wales to Peterborough in South Australia

Wilcannia Caravan Park needed its facilities upgraded to make it a really good park. It was nice and quiet here, so the noise from the Semi-trailers didn't bother us. First up, it was to fill the car with fuel in Wilcannia, not the cheapest place for sure. It is outback Australia so prices are very high. Unleaded Petrol was 185.9 litre and LPG 120.0 litre. Having travelled this route many times I knew today would be rather boring. Hundreds of miles of saltbush and low lying shrubs and some trees, every now and then a dry creek with some river gums before reaching the mining city of Broken Hill. We only stopped for food and fuel before moving on to find somewhere to spend the night. If you have never been to Broken Hill before, then a few days spent in the city is well worth doing.

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One of the many lovely buildings in Broken Hill

It is along the stretch of road to Yunta that we start seeing small Road Trains.

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Road Train

Before entering South Australia, there is a check-point where we must stop and surrender any fruit and vegetables we are carrying. This is done to stop the spread of Fruit Fly into South Australia.

We are noticing the countryside is getting a green touch the nearer we get to Peterborough. Just 2kms from Peterborough, we see a nice free camping spot and pull in there for the night.

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Peterborough free camp

Posted by balhannahrise 12:52 Archived in Australia Tagged landscape outback new south camp wales free Comments (0)

Day 5 Queensland to Western Australia

Peterborough, South Australia to Port Augusta, South Australia

Brrr! That was a really cold night, only 3° and a white frost in the morning. I slept with a beanie on and still was cold!

Well, at least a frost meant a nice sunny day which it turned out to be although on the chilly side because of a cold wind blowing. Early morning and we head into Peterborough. Only the garage is open, the rest of the town is dead, far cry from the days when Peterborough was a very busy railway town.
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Today, the shops have been restored and the old homes painted, tourism is where the money for town comes from these days.
It still has kept its link with the Railways though! The tourist information centre is located in an old railway carriage, there is an old steam train in the main street and the massive Steam town Museum.

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The next town is Orroroo. In the centre of the road are some marvellous sculptures made out of iron of the early pioneering days. I loved the one of the old draught horses pulling the plough.

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Orroroo

We are heading to Eyre Peninsula, so from Orroroo, we have to pass over the Flinders Mountain Range.

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Lower Flinders Mountain Range

The road we take is through Horrock's Pass. In summer of this year, a huge bushfire devastated this region, today, the grass was green and the trees looked very fresh with new foliage sprouting from their burnt tree trunks.

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This pretty drive through the gorge brought us out to where we had wonderful views of Spencers Gulf. We turn right at Port Wakefield road and follow it into the industrial city of Port Augusta, located at the head of Spencers Gulf.

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Port Augusta

As we have been here before, we stop at the Shoreline Caravan park again. We are given a waterfront view site, trouble is, the wind was so cold and strong that we couldn't sit outside to enjoy it! Our stay here was to buy more groceries and to do the washing. We bought what we thought was a nice lunch from a Bakery in town, only later we both had food poisoning which must have come from what we ate there. Dinner was at the nearby Sharks club. Meals were cheap and good, service was terrible and two drinks cost $17!
Today - the scenery was good!

Posted by balhannahrise 13:46 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes park australia south caravan peterborough Comments (0)

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