Australia
Central Highlands

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38 travelers at this place

  • Day46

    Journey to Mon Repos

    November 26, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Mon Repos is the home for a newly refurbished turtle sanctuary and education centre - they educate the public, not the turtles. It’s currently breeding and nesting season so turtles are coming up to the beach to lay eggs. We thought we’d go there to watch this.

    The journey was 641km, not far shy of 400 miles. Bertha is a 1995 truck with a Winnebago accommodation unit on her back. She runs really well and is delightful to drive in a rather old fashioned way, akin to driving my old 1965 Hillman Minx. Manual gears, gear changes to go up hill, no cruise control, a/c that cools rather than chills the air; coupled with the fact that she is not aerodynamic, she is subject to crosswinds and the funny areas of turbulence that spring from nowhere, driving her requires a lot of concentration. We started at 9:00 and arrived at 6:35 having stopped twice for fuel and a very brief shop to get some dinner. By the time we arrived at Mon Repos, we knew we’d been driving all day.

    The creeks we had driven over two days before, now had water in them. We also had to go across a shallow river ford. We passed a memorial to the crew and passengers of a plane that crashed in the war.
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  • Day43

    Capella

    November 23, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Capella is simply a place to stay between A and B. The site had decent reviews.

    When we arrived the site was almost empty. We chose a pitch and made the most of it by putting out the awning for the second time since we’ve been travelling. We are almost getting proficient at that task. We had a quick swim, did some washing, domestic stuff etc, then walked into “town” to find a local beer.

    Whatever Capella has to offer, we couldn’t find it. We did find a pub and we sat enjoying a beer. Back to Bertha for dinner and an early night as we have a long drive tomorrow to get us to Carnarvon Gorge.

    The metal sculptures refer to the Armoured Corps and how they earned the right to wear emu feathers in their hat. The story on the sculpture differs slightly in that it states that a couple of the soldiers caught an emu, took some of the feathers and put them in their hats. This started the tradition. The other story goes ....

    The Emu Plume

    Slouch hats worn by members of the Armoured Corps are adorned with Emu plumes, a tradition that originated with the Queensland Mounted Infantry during the great shearers’ strike in Queensland in 1891. During this time, the Queensland Mounted Infantry were called out, as soldiers to aid the Civil Power.

    As time permitted, the soldiers would participate in a sporting activity where they would ride their horses alongside the emus, plucked the breast feathers, and placed the feathers on their hat. The Gympie Squadron was the first to wear the feathers, a fashion soon followed by the regiment.

    The Queensland government permitted the Regiment to adopt the plume as part of its uniform in recognition of its service. In 1915 then Minister for Defence Sir G. F. Pearce granted all units of the Australian Light Horse permission to wear the plume , which they refer to as ‘Kangaroo feathers’.

    Emu tufts of approved design and dimensions are now worn by all members of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps as an item of dress. All Royal Australian Armoured Corps personnel were given authority to wear Emu plumes in the slouch hat, brim up or down in 1996, this was extended to all personnel serving in the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Regiment in 2000.
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  • Day44

    The Gem Fields

    November 24, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We left Capella and headed for the gem fields with towns such as Emerald and Rubyvale- although we were told that Rubyvale was actually named after someone’s daughter, there aren’t any ruby gemstones there.

    We visited an old mine and went on a very interesting tour. I’m not sure that I would have had the nerve to mine as they did. Again, we were given another experience of being plunged into absolute darkness to reinforce the challenges they had ... along with cave-ins etc.

    There were a number of colonies of micro bats (rather than giant bats such as flying foxes and fruit bats), with a number being on their lonesome. We were told that they may be “lookouts”; if they were, they weren’t doing much good.

    The temperature had recently exceeded 40c in the area, so we were pleased it had gone down to a more reasonable mid-30s, but still felt hot. We could imagine the guides fighting one another to get back down the mine where the temperature remains a good bit cooler.
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  • Day99

    Fossicking for sapphires!

    June 21, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Well if you'd asked me a couple of days ago what I'd be doing on Wednesday I can guarantee I would not have said 'I'll be fossicking for sapphires', but that's exactly what I did today!

    I knew I was coming to the gem fields area - settlement names like Sapphire, Rubyville, Emerald - though that last one is supposedly after the Emerald Isle rather than gems, but I'd come in the hope of seeing wallabies at my camp site and had no idea I was stumbling into a subculture.

    I've had a fabulous day. I went to a place, the Miner's Cottage, that supplies a bucket of 'wash' for $15 and you sort through it. The advantage is that you have some to show you what to look for. They also supplied tea, scones and drinks of chilled water, essential fossicking supplies 😉

    Honestly I thought it was a bit of a mug's game and I'd fossick (rummage through the wash) and find nothing, but I've had a great time and found loads of blue, green, yellow and a red sapphire - the latter is commonly called a ruby!! People come back year after year and I can see why. The regulars all have jewellery made with stones they've found. I think I've gained some insight into gold rush fever! The hunt can be addictive. What a day! 😎
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  • Day98

    Through Emerald to Sapphire

    June 20, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Another big driving day. Once I winkled myself away from my overnight spot I carried on down the Gordon Development Road, over the Tropic of Capricorn, to Emerald then another 50 km W to the gem fields of Sapphire. More of that later!Read more

  • Day331

    Rijden tot de zon komt

    July 13, 2016 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 19 °C

    Vanuit Brisbane rijden we naar het noorden, richting de zon. Het is winter in Australië maar dat zegt gelukkig niets. Rondom Sydney en Melbourne mag het dan koud en nat zijn, in Queensland schijnt de zon en is het droog. Heerlijk. Hoewel het zuiden van Australië absoluut nog op ons lijstje staat besluiten we ons deze trip te beperken tot Queensland. Het moet natuurlijk wel lekker weer zijn ;).

    Met een nieuwe camera op zak (de oude slr heeft het helaas begeven na de miljoenste foto dit jaar) hervatten we onze roadtrip. We maken veel kilometers en vinden iedere nacht een plekje op een (bijna) gratis camping. Die gratis campings verschillen enorm: Sommige campings zijn prachtig gelegen en heerlijk rustig, andere campings bestaan uit niet meer dan een parkeerplaats langs de snelweg. Soms hebben we weinig keus. In de winter is het hier om 18u al donker en de wegen zijn niet verlicht. Rijden in het donker doen we dus nooit, veel te gevaarlijk met al dat overstekend wild. Australië is op deze manier trouwens onverwacht goedkoop. Omdat de kosten voor ons campertje zo laag zijn en we iedere dag zelf koken zijn we eigenlijk alleen veel geld kwijt aan brandstof en (lekker) eten. Achteraf gezien hebben we in totaal zo'n €45 per persoon per dag uitgegeven en dat is voor een duur land als Australië erg netjes :D.

    Hoe verder we naar het noorden rijden, hoe meer we het naar onze zin hebben. We zoeken naar mooie wegen, watervallen, uitzichtpunten, strandjes en natuurlijk bijzondere lunch- en slaapplekken. Langs de kant van de weg spotten we zomaar ineens onze eerste rondspringende kangoeroes. Te gek om te zien. Helaas wordt het weer almaar slechter.. Na een paar dagen ouderwets Nederlands weer (oftewel: het regent pijpestelen!) vinden we de billboards langs de kant van de weg die Queensland aanprijzen als 'the sunshine state! where the sun always shines!' niet meer zo grappig. Het is koud en nat, en dus rijden we maar door. ̶L̶o̶p̶e̶n̶ Rijden tot de zon komt, zoiets. Bij Rockhampton besluiten we een detour te maken via Blackdown Tableland NP. Gelukkig maar want het park is ongelofelijk mooi, en precies op het juiste moment breekt het zonnetje door. En ja hoor, we zijn er weer helemaal alleen. Heerlijk.

    Als we een keer voor een duurdere camping gaan om onze laptop op te laden en de was te kunnen doen (en om eindelijk weer eens te douchen ;)), ontmoeten we voor het eerst de 'grey nomads', welgestelde gepensioneerden die iedere winter massaal de zon opzoeken in Noord-Australië. Het voelt alsof we honderd opa's en oma's om ons heen hebben die ons maar al te graag willen verwennen, zo lief! Als we ons paleisje op wielen parkeren naast de gigantische glimmende campers en trailers worden we meelijwekkend aangekeken. Als we vervolgens in het donker met hoofdlampjes op een maaltijd in elkaar proberen te flansen komt direct een vriendelijke zeventiger aangelopen om ons een lantaarn te lenen. En als we de volgende ochtend genieten van ons vertrouwde bakkie havermout komt onze buurvrouw bezorgd vragen of ze niet een 'proper breakfast' voor ons mag klaarmaken, dat doet ze graag. Super lief, ik zei het toch?

    De volgende dag rijden we weer verder naar het noorden, na een kort bezoekje aan de botanische tuinen in Emerald (niet de moeite waard, wel leuk als je in een melige bui bent ;)). Onderweg is het even spannend als het tankstation waarvoor we net 50 kilometer terug zijn gereden helaas net verbouwd wordt en we het maar nét redden tot aan het volgende tankstation ruim 100 kilometer verderop. 's Avonds zetten we onze bus weer langs de snelweg op een gratis plek die volgens onze app goedgekeurd is als campsite. Helemaal prettig voelt het niet zo langs de snelweg in ons eentje.. De regen slaat nog steeds tegen de ramen dus we kruipen maar snel in ons bed. Als we eenmaal onze schuifdeur hebben dichtgetrokken voelt ons paleisje gelukkig als een ondoordringbare bunker. Vanuit ons bed kunnen we zo een flesje wijn uit de koelkast opentrekken (doen we niet te vaak, Mongolië zit nog vers in het geheugen), een filmpje opzetten, en even later onze tanden poetsen. Alles binnen handbereik, geweldig toch?
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  • Day11

    Day 11

    July 14, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Bye bye Bundaberg, we are off heading further north, on the road to Gin Gin on the Bruce Highway then a right turn north, we stopped at lowmead picnic area for a cuppa and then onto Miriam Vale to the dump point and a look around town. Back in the Ute to Calliope and we turned off on to the Dawson highway and stopped on the side of the road in a farm driveway at mount Alma for lunch, next stop was Biloela for a diesel top up. We then went direct north up the Burnett highway and passed through Dululu and then onto the Leichhardt Highway for a short run before a left turn onto the Capricorn hwy heading direct west, we made it into Duaringa at 3:30 and decided to stop the night at Mackenzie park the local rest are that has toilets, showers and a dump point, lots of vans here a little cool with a slight breeze, sitting in the van with a bevie, stew and mash spud for dinner 👍👍Read more

  • Day109

    No hoax!

    August 30, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We had started calling it the Great Crested Hoax!!
    Friends had seen the Great Crested Grebe at Theresa Creek Dam! So we walked for miles around the dam for 3 days, only to see it in the late afternoon of our last day just down from where we were camping!!
    Our patience had been rewarded!
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  • Day15

    Carnarvon National Park

    June 4, 2015 in Australia ⋅ 🌫 28 °C

    Lightning Ridge to Carnarvon National Park

    We took off from Lightning Ridge bright and early (10.30am) for Carnarvon along the Castlereagh hwy heading for our first overnight stop at a town called Surat. Never heard of it? Neither had we. Apparently Cobb and Co had a change over stop there for their stage coaches.
    We were told Surat had a great Free Camp. On the way we bought home made Pies from the General Store in Hebel which was also recommended for our lunch.
    Surat was great with adequate toilets and a nice shower block behind the civic hall which the local council encouraged people to use. We met some nice people around the camp fire that night and in the morning while preparing to leave for Carnarvon got to speaking with a bloke in the caravan next to us and discovered he had a lotus Cortina and 2 other GT’s along with the bloke next to him who also had a Cortina GT500. We left at around 11.30am.

    We decided we couldn’t make Carnarvon that day so we decide to drive to Roma and check out our options. Roma is quite a large town so we stocked up there.
    Roma has a large Stock Auction happening every Tuesday and they have turned it into a bit of a tourist attraction to support the Town. We didn’t stop to see them as I was an old hand at stock auctions having accompanied Max to one. The lady in the Tourist information centre suggested we stop overnight at a place called Injune and fill up with fuel as it was the last fuel stop until Rolleston. Never heard of that either. We stayed at the local Horse racing track which had 16 powered sites with water. The next day we set off for Carnarvon Gorge after filling up with fuel.

    Now Heather’s turn for some Blog input…. We had an interesting arrival at Carnarvon Gorge National Park. The last 15 km of rough dirt road produced a few problems!! On checking the caravan fridge I discovered one stubby of beer had released most of its contents over everything, the lid had popped off a yoghurt container (beer flavoured Yoghurt for breaky) and other items had become missiles inside the fridge also. Lesson learned – secure all lids with rubber bands and pack all free space with old towels to prevent any movement when driving on dirt roads. I WAS NOT HAPPY!! The dust problem coming from the wheel arches under our beds, which are storage areas, was not solved either. (More silicone and tape required). After cleaning up, calming down and having lunch we decided to head off on one of the short (3 km) walks to one of the canyons. We were amazed at the sheer stone cliffs which rose about 100 metres above us and gradually became narrower until we could reach each side with outstretched arms. The next day we headed off on a much longer walk to a large sandstone overhang where we saw Aboriginal stencil paintings and carvings (our first rock art experience). Then on our homeward trek we visited three other spectacular canyons, each quite different with lovely little creeks, ferns and moss covered rocks etc. All up we walked 16 or 17 km., rock hopping across creeks and climbing up and down many steps. This is a truly outstanding National Park and well worth a visit if anyone is ever up this way.

    To Gayle and Alan, if you plan to visit the Gorge take good Hiking boots and keep up the Gym visits. My ankles ached from climbing over all the stones and rocks, my calves and thighs ached from the thousands of steps and stairs, my shoulders ached from carrying the backpack, my ribs ached due to the continuous gasping of my lungs for oxygen. Oh yes and by back ached just because everything else ached.
    The cattle grids are particularly nasty on the way in to the gorge and as the sign says the roads are Unmaintained. Lower your tire pressures, a lot.
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Central Highlands

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