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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 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 6 Queensland to Western Australia

Port Augusta to Pildappa Rock @ Minnipa, South Australia

Woke up to a cold, windy and cloudy morning in Port Augusta, unfortunately it stayed like this all day.

Today, we are heading to some new scenery. We are away fairly early and soon are driving past the huge open cut Iron ore mine. The iron ore found here at Iron Knob was of such high quality that it started an iron smelting industry. It is referred to as the birthplace of the steel industry in Australia. Huge dump trucks were working on what looked to be a new mine.

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Iron Knob mine

From Port Augusta, we are travelling along the Eyre Highway which is the main road to Western Australia. What we notice is how green and lush everything is, especially the Blue Bush and Salt Bush,obviously the area has had rain recently for the area to be looking so good.

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Countryside after good rains

It is lunch time and we are near Kimba, the town known as the "halfway point" when crossing Australia on the Eyre Highway.

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Halfway across Australia

It's Saturday and the town is dead! All the shops are closed, but the one where the "Big Galah" is located, is open. A photo shoot is in order!

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Big Galah @ Kimba

The flowering Gum trees are a picture and another photo is a must!

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Flowering Gum Tree @ Minnipa

We see a Brown Tourist signpost pointing to White's Knob. Last time we didn't go there, so today we did. The hill isn't that high although high enough to give good views over Kimba, the Golf course and the surrounding countryside.

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Overlooking Kimba and surrounds

Also at the Lookout are two wonderful sculptures made out of bits and pieces of steel. One if of Edward John Eyre, a famous Explorer who was the first man to cross Australia from Sydney, NSW to the Swan River in WA. The other sculpture is of his Aboriginal helper "Wylie," who he relied upon for his bush skills.

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The expressions on the faces look so real!

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Wylie

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Edward Eyre[center]

As we follow the road downhill and back into Kimba, I glance towards the showgrounds and realize it is Saturday and all the townsfolk are here watching football. The Showgrounds had some very interesting Murals to take a look at!

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Showground Mural

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Showground Mural

Time to leave Kimba behind and follow the Eyre Highway to Minnipa. Along the way we had to stop at the small town of Yaninee because of a funny mural painted on the public toilet block. A good one!

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Toilet Block @ Yaninee

Our last town today is Minnipa, but we aren't stopping there, but following the Tourist signed road 15kms to Pildappa Rock where we will free camp for the night.
Wow! What a sight Pildappa Rock was, just beautiful! Only one other camper was there. He thought Pildappa rock had better colour than the famous WA Wave Rock. First we set up camp for the night near the Free gas bbq and picnic table and benches. A toilet was located a little distance away.

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Pildappa Rock camp area

Next, I went for clamber up the side of this giant pink granite monolith that was formed about 1500 million years ago.

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Pildappa Rock

Pildappa Rock is known as an inselberg. Its outstanding feature is a unique wave form or "flare" structure extending for quite a way, often at a height of 2 - 3 stories high. Pildappa's flared slope is the product of complex chemical weathering below the surface.

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Pildappa Rock

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Pildappa Rock

Located on the top of the rock I found numerous gnamma waterholes, some empty, many with water and tadpoles and plants growing in them.

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Gnamma Holes

Also of interest were the constructed gutters I found made by pioneering farmers to channel water run off from Pildappa Rock. How clever were they, as the gnamma rockholes were the only permanent source of water to be found in this part of Eyre Peninsula. The local Kukatha tribe of Aborigines realized these rockholes were essential for their survival in the dry and arid environment. Early European settlers also recognised the value of such waterholes. I even found the remains of dam walls on the top of Pildappa rock, made by pioneering farmers in order to increase the rainfall catchment area of gnamma rockholes.

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Dam walls on Pildappa Rock

At the base is an extensive system of man made gutters. These gutters were constructed in 1928 and designed to channel water runoff into a huge underground water tank on the northern side of Pildappa Rock.

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Wall around the base of Pildappa Rock

Other points of interest were the mosses growing on the rock and the loose rocks which had been sculptured by the wind.

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And don't forget to take in the wonderful 360° views you get from the top of Pildappa rock, these were great too!

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View from the top of Pildappa Rock

After spending plenty of time on top of Pildappa rock, it was now time to completely walk around the base of the rock. It wasn't a long walk, but another interesting one as I was viewing the rock from a different angle. All the way around was black stripes made by water running of the rock during heavy rains. What a sight it would be in the wet as there were dozens of these areas which would form waterfalls in wet weather.

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Watermarks on Pildappa rock

That a stunning rock this was and with so much historical interest!

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Pildappa Rock

Posted by balhannahrise 04:21 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes australia south camp things free monoliths Comments (0)

Day 7 Queensland to Western Australia

Pildappa Rock @ Minnipa to Ceduna, South Australia

Pildappa Rock - What a great place to greet the sunrise! We had a good nights sleep and were in no hurry to leave this lovely campground. A donation was asked for which we were more than happy to put in the donation box and to sign the book. We head back to the Eyre Highway the same way as we came in. Across the Highway is the Apex Park where the famous "Crappa" Toilet is located.

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We travel through more of the same scenery until we reach the small township of Ceduna located beside the Indian Ocean. We book into the Caravan Park that has ocean views, then go for a walk to check out the town. As it was Sunday, nearly every shop was shut and the town was dead, only Tourist's walking the streets.
There isn't a lot to see here, but I did like the esplanade walk where the Norfolk Island trees lined the edge of the road and the longish Jetty stretched out into the sea.

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Ceduna foreshore & jetty

From the foreshore I could see Silo's in the distance which were at the Port of Thevenard, 3kms from Ceduna.

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Thevenard

In the centre of a cross-road in the town centre is a sign post with umpteen mileages to many places around Australia and the world, quite interesting seeing how far we are away from these places as "the crow flies."
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TOMORROW - We begin our drive across the Nullarbor Plain to Western Australia.

Posted by balhannahrise 05:10 Archived in Australia Tagged hiking scenery rock camping free pildappa monolith Comments (0)

Day 9 Queensland to Western Australia

Nullarbor Roadhouse, S.A to Caiguna on the Nullarbor Plains, Western Australia - 22nd July

Our campsite was great! We didn't hear the traffic as we were back from the road, this gave us a good nights sleep. The morning was sunny but quite cool. Back on the road early and it is mainly Semi-trailers on the road.
Travelling this section of road, we find tourist signs to look-outs along the cliffs. We drive into Stop 1 and soon put on Beanie and gloves because of the cold wind blowing from Antartica.

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Brr! It was cold!

The cliffs were great, but a little dull looking in the morning when the sun wasn't hitting them, would be much better with the sun on them. Still, it was worth a stop as it has proper viewpoints and information boards.

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Stop 1

Some wildflowers had already begun to flower in this area.

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Stop 1

It was here we met a Victorian couple from Geelong. We kept on meeting them at every look-out, our last time was at Eucla, then we didn't see them again. This is the good part of travelling!

We went into all the stops and found each one to be a little different. I was a little disappointed that we didn't see anymore Whales.

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Stop 2

Border Village is where we cross the border into Western Australia. Here is a notice sign beside a picnic area which has distances to all places around the world. Next to it, is a giant Kangaroo which I took a photo of.

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We had our morning tea break and enjoyed our break watching the road-trains pulling in and out of the roadhouse.

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After morning tea, we make our way to the border crossing [Quarantine checkpoint] where we are stopped and asked if we are carrying any fruit & vegetables, honey and other products. We had already got rid of ours, but it you haven't, then you have to surrender them here. The Officer in charge had a look through our car and caravan and gave us the all clear to enter Western Australia.

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At last we are here!
Eucla, home of the old Telegraph station. Fuel is a little cheaper here. LPG is $1.27 litre & unleaded Petrol $1.98. I thought Eucla had the nicest and cleanest looking Motel on the Nullarbor. On this side of the border there is a giant Whale.

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Eucla

We took the drive towards the coast and to the old Telegraph station, must say I was rather disappointed as it was half buried in sand.

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Historic Telegraph station

Of more interest were the monuments at the top of the hill that we stopped at on the way back.
One is the Eucla War Memorial that consists of two granite boulders. It commemorates Australian servicemen and women who have served in all wars and conflicts.

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Eucla War Memorial

A cross next to the War Memorial is in memory of the Christians and other people who helped build the new highway.

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The last Memorial in this area is to Edward Eyre & Wylie who camped in this area.

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Along the highway we see a sign with a Plane with R.F.D.S. Airstrip. This is here to notify people that the Royal Flying Doctor Plane is using the Highway as a landing strip when attending an accident in the area. Of course, people will we be at each end of the strip to notify travellers on the highway that it will be closed for a while. I think we saw five of these signs along the Eyre Highway.

large_SAM_6761t.jpgFlying Doctor airstrip.

As we have been travelling along the Highway, the Fraser Range has been to our right. Now were are going up and over the Madura Pass which is our way through the Range. It is getting late, so time to look for a campsite. Once again, we found a good free camp away from the highway at Jillbunya Rockhole. We quickly set up camp and we finished just as the first spots of rain began to fall. During the night it rained quite heavily.

Posted by balhannahrise 00:15 Archived in Australia Tagged outback road camping trip free plain nullarbor Comments (0)

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