Australia
Central Highlands

Here you’ll find travel reports about Central Highlands. Discover travel destinations in Australia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

21 travelers at this place:

  • Day99

    Fossicking for sapphires!

    June 21, 2017 in Australia ⋅

    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 ⋅

    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!

  • Day331

    Rijden tot de zon komt

    July 13, 2016 in Australia ⋅

    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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  • 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!

  • Day15

    Carnarvon National Park

    June 4, 2015 in Australia ⋅

    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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  • Day597

    Carvarvon Great Walk

    April 27, 2015 in Australia ⋅

    After I tryed to gather some information about the "Great Walk" along the 700km into the Queensland outback.
    Finally I got there in the moning and once I had picked up the map. I got ready, so stuffed the last things in a pre packed Pack.
    Let's go on the 88km 6day hike.
    On the first day you walk along the gorgeous gorge. With unbelievable colours, the withe of the sandstone cliffs, the green of the trees, and of couse the blue sky. So all together a pretty laid back day. This is what most people do here.
    Which changed the next moning. You have to climb out of the gorge up on the Tabelland. Which is very, very steep. But you earn amazing view over the withe sandstone gorge winds through the green valley!
    The next days were nothing really exciting. You just fight your way thru, the man's hight, tall grass and try not to run into one of the million spiderwebs.
    I got a bit sick end of the third day. Therefore I started early on the fourth , so I could take a big lunch brake and smach the next smaler section as well. The last day I started just on first light to get back before the heat comes. Again very high grass. Good views while ascending the tabelland. But then it came, a small river crossing and the path vanished! Not that I didn't lose the way befor, but this time I couldn't find it at all! I went back to the last marker. I had a close look at the map and compass, all seemed to be on track. I looked around for 2h and it warmed up. Eventually you go thru a bottle of water as well. So I needed a solution!
    There it was, I remembered (you need to know the area got a lot of wild pigs, which dig around a lot) a little path going away, which I didn't give much attention as it looked like a pig track. And I followed the a good path. After another kilometer, a couple of junctions, there was the next marker! Anyway while this was so irritating is because the rivercrossing in the map and turns ect. Is exactly the same a short time after where I stucked!
    The rest was fairly easygoing, lost a couple time more the way, nothing major. You still have a few awesome view, but i just wanted to get back to the van, because my condition got a little worse.
    I was pretty much done at the lookout before you descend into the Gorge, but finally after four days I saw some people!

    Nachdem ich, mit eher mäßigem Erfolg, versucht habe, ein paar Informationen über die 700 km zum National Park, zu bekommen. Daraufhin habe ich mir morgens eine Karte aus der dort ansässigen "Ranger Station" geholt.
    Noch schnell die letzten Sachen in Rucksack gestopft, dann ging es los. Der Weg führte entlang der prächtigen Schlucht. Die weiße Sandstein Klippe bildet einen guten Kontrast zu dem blauen Himmel und dem Grün der Bäume! So war es ein recht ansehnlicher und gemütlicher Start.
    Doch das änderte sich mit dem nächsten Morgen, die nächste Etappe führte sehr, sehr steil aus der Schlucht, oben an das Plateau. Oben angekommen hatte man einen unglaublichen Blick über, die sich aus dem Tabelland schlängelte, Weisse Schlucht.
    Die nächsten Tage waren unspektakulär man versucht seinen Weg durch das hohe Gras zu bahnen und nicht in eines der zahlreichen Spinnweben zu laufen. So kam ich gut voran.
    Zum Ende des dritten Tages bin ich dann etwas krank geworden, sodass ich einen früh am Morgen wach war. Dadurch konnte ich eine sehr ausgedehnte Pause über Mittag (die wärmste Zeit des Tages) machen. Danach habe ich mich sogar entschlossen die nächste kleinere Etappe gegen Abend auch noch in Angriff zu nehmen.
    So der letzte Tag war da! Ich startete noch früher, mit dem ersten Tageslicht, um der Hitze zu entgegen. Als man durch das mannshohe Grass etwas von dem Hochplateau hinabsteigt, hat man eine recht gute Aussicht.
    Die guten Aussichten änderten sich schnell für mich! Als ich, nach einer Bachüberquerung, den Weg nicht mehr finden konnte! Also zurück zur letzten Wegmarkierung (es wäre ja nicht gerade so, als hätte ich in dem Gras nicht schon gefühlte 100 mal den Weg verloren). Auch ein guter Blick auf Karte und Kompass konnten nicht helfen. Nach zwei Stunden suchen, wurde es dann endlich warm, und die Wasserflasche neigt sich auch langsam dem Ende.
    Also brauchte ich eine Lösung (vom zurück laufen, war alles dabei). Doch dann - habe ich mich erinnert irgendwo einen kleinen Pfad gesehen zu haben (hier sei angemerkt, dass in der Region sehr viele Wildschweine leben und den Boden umgraben!), deswegen habe ich ihn für einen Wildschwein Pfad gehalten und keine rechte Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt und stattdessen dem GUTEN Weg entlang gefolgt bin, bis zum Bach! Doch 1 km später, entlang der Schweinestrecke und ein, zwei weiteren Kreuzungen, war dann die heißersehnte Wegmarkierung!
    Wieso das ganze so irreführend war, ist: der Abstieg, die Bachüberquerung, sogar wie der Weg, der eine Kurve macht, kommt alles genau in einer etwas größeren Ausführung 1,5 km später! Unmöglich das in der Karte zu lesen.
    Jedenfalls zurück auf dem Weg, gab es noch ein paar gute Aussichten. Jedoch wollte ich nur zurück zum Van, Auch wegen meiner körperlichen Verfassung (Kränklich). Sodass ich dem ganzen relativ wenig Aufmerksamkeit schenkte. Am letzten Aussichtspunkt war ich ziemlich fertig, bevor es die 300 m steil runter, zurück in die Schlucht ging.
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  • Day38

    The Big Easel - Emerald

    June 27, 1991 in Australia ⋅

    Leaving Bruce highway I will now continue with the big things I have found on my way along Capricorn Hwy and then back to Brisbane on Landsborough and Warrego highways. The area around Emerald and the gem fields is in particular seeded with plenty of Big Things,

    From Rockhampton the first 50 kms of the Capricorn Hwy are really slow due to continue road reconstruction on the way, then two hours from Rocky and my first stop, Blackwater and fond memories of my stay here in 2004/2005. After getting some water and fruits at Woolies continue to Emerald another 50 minutes ahead.

    The first big thing on this route and one of the most beautiful is the "Big Easel" which is a representation of Van Gogh Sunflower paintings and is located in the middle of park, the view is simply amazing.

    Time of visit : January 2013
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  • Day40

    The Big Pick, Shovel & Sieve - Sapphire

    June 29, 1991 in Australia ⋅

    Continuing my search for Big Things in the Gem fields, leaving the Big Sapphire behind I head back on Anakie - Sapphire road for another 15 minutes before arriving to "Sapphire", there are 3 Big things here.

    The first of this is the "Big Pick, Shovel and Sieve" as described in Wikipedia, for me there are the BIg mining tools, anyway they are probably 4 times the size of the normal tools and represent the tools used to extract sapphires, a common activity in the area.

    After some photos I continue to the Big Sapphire Ring

    To get there from Emerald turn right at the intersection of Capricorn highway - Anakie Sapphire road, continue 15 minutes to Sapphire. The Big mining tools are located outside "Blue Gem" jewellery store which is one of the first houses in town, adjacent a small Servo on the left. Simply "keep your eyes to the left as soon as you enter town".

    Time of visit : March 2013
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  • Day40

    The Big Ring - Sapphire

    June 29, 1991 in Australia ⋅

    Next in the list is the Big Sapphire Ring. Located outside "Pat Gems" jewellery store one actually walks through the ring to enter the store.

    This was my second visit to the place, I stopped here 2 months earlier on my way to Barcaldine (the photos are from that time).

    Inside, the store offers all types of precious stones at reasonable prices, good for souvenirs, and also had a good restaurant.

    To get there once in Sapphire and after passing the Big Shovel, pick and sieve, continue on the main road for another kilometre, the shop will be on the right.

    Time of visit : January 2013
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  • Day40

    The Big Spanner - Sapphire

    June 29, 1991 in Australia ⋅

    Last big Icon in Sapphire, the "Big Spanner". This Big Icon is not as amazing as others I've seen, in fact is made of wood instead of steel.

    I am guessing the owner was delighted with other big things in town and wanted to highlight his mechanical workshop.

    The Big Spanner is located nearly at the end of town on the right, to be more precise is nearly at the end of the 50kph zone. It can easily be missed if attention is not paid.

    Time of visit : January 2013
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Central Highlands

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