Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Isa to Hervey Bay

Judy and I have had a wonderful four months travelling around The Far North of Queensland. We have seen much and learned much. We will return during another season, might be some grass and less dust then.

We pulled out of The Isa not too early on Saturday morning, actually it was just before lunch! We then had to be in Bundaberg to meet our Thursday morning appointment at Warburton Jayco to have some minor repairs completed on our caravan. By travelling about 200 km the first day and then about 400 km each of the following days we should be there safely and on time.

First stop was Fullarton River North RA (Camps 7/365) on the Landsborough Highway. Second stop-over was at Apex Riverside Park (Camps 7/347) at Longreach. Numerous camps already set up when we arrived and many more come in later. We had a local drop by and sell us a dozen fresh hen eggs for $2, great for breakfast next morning. So far it has been easy driving and this continued on the Capricorn Highway till we reached our next stop-over at Bogantungan RA (Camps 7/ 327). We and three other caravan travellers did a little cheating here. The actual RA is quite near the Highway, we drove into Bogantungan township and camped beside the Railway Station. Nobody told us to move and we had a peaceful night away from the trucks. The easy driving was soon to be over as we eventually reached and navigated over The Great Dividing Range. Turning onto the Bruce Highway near Rockhampton the tempo rose immediately. Dense traffic flows and some woefully slow caravan towers had drivers exasperated. I was thankful when we reach Calliope River RA until we drove in and found the area almost totally packed with caravans and motorhomes. We did manage to find an almost level area to stop. For the final leg of our cross State trek we had a reasonably short leg to Wallum Reserve (Camps 7/126) on the Isis Highway and just 28 km short of our Bundaberg destination. An early rise next morning and a short drive to reach our appointment at 8 AM. Following some rapid repairs on the caravan we were parked outside our front gate before lunch on Thursday.

The caravan is now cleaned and safely locked away in storage and that's all we have to report until our next caravanning adventure. We plan on being on the road again about mid November. I will look forward to compiling more Blog Posts as we are driving south along the NSW Coast.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Karumba to The Isa

In our usual manner we covered the short distance, about 600 km, from Karumba to MT Isa in the most leisurely way. Frequent stops with short drives in between. Driver fatigue was not going to wear me down. The road surface on The Burke Development Road is mostly very good, although there are a few single lane sections to take care of. Similarly there are also several single lane bridges to be aware of.

The first stop-over was at "Bang Bang Rest Area", only 112 km South of Normanton and 90 km North of Burke and Wills Roadhouse. This is a very large area that boasts Toilets and a Dump Point.

Another view of "Bang Bang Rest Area" with our neighbours from Merbein and Newcastle.

Everybody seems to take a break at The Burke and Wills Roadhouse. Tour Coaches, Road Trains and many caravanners. Absolutely nothing has changed at The Roadhouse from our previous visit 16 years ago.

There are still a few Cattle Road Trains on the road but far less that what there once was.

Many caravans though.

But not many staying in the Van Park Area.

The second night we pulled into "Terry Smith Lookout Rest Area". This is 103 km South of Burke and Wills Roadhouse and only 78 km North of Cloncurry. This is also a large area with toilets and a Dump Point. I was surprised to have Telstra Mobile reception here so we stayed two nights and posted the previous Blog.

Wide open spaces with many white barked eucalypts.

We called into Cloncurry only to top up the van with water and to stock up on groceries. We then drove 53 km West towards The Isa and pulled into "Clem Walton Park on The Corella Dam" This is the barren, dry and deserted camp and picnic area.

This is the reason no one is camped here, there is no water.

This is what it was like on our previous visit, not many years ago.

As it was deserted at the camp area we drove into the Boat Ramp Area and camped there like everyone else was doing. At least there was a little amount of water remaining.