Australia
Western Downs

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

10 travelers at this place:

  • Day73

    CHARTERS TOWERS TO DALBY 12/7/18 to 20/7/18
    While in Charters Towers we enjoyed walking around the city admiring the lovely historic buildings as well as re-stocking at the supermarket and enjoying lunch in the historic Stock Exchange Arcade. Frank also arranged to have the Pajero serviced while we were there. We drove about 10 km out of town to see the picturesque weir on the Burdekin River which was built to provide a permanent water supply for Charters Towers. We had a very enjoyable three day stay and then headed off on the long drive south to Clermont along the sealed Gregory Developmental Road which was quite rough in places. The countryside was flat and dry with very little grass beneath the eucalypts and the road was straight to the horizon in places. We stopped for lunch at Belyando Crossing (not a town but a general store/service station in the middle of nowhere) and continued our journey. As we drew near Clermont we passed mountains of spoil from the huge open-cut coal mines near the town. After our overnight stay at the caravan park we looked around the town with its wide empty main street – being a Sunday no shops were open. At one end of the main street was a large, well-maintained corner hotel and opposite were four old rail wagons with murals painted on the side depicting the history of Clermont. We also drove to the information centre where there was a huge piece of equipment from the local coal mine, called a drag line bucket which was so big our caravan could have fitted inside it.
    We drove on to Emerald and checked in to the caravan park and enjoyed happy hour entertainment around the fire pit in the evening. During our three day stay we walked around the botanic gardens beside the Nogoa River, the town centre, admiring the restored old railway station and lovely tree-lined main street with its striking sculpture, and neat parkland with a giant easel and painting in the centre. We also spent a day visiting the gemfield towns of Sapphire, Rubyvale and Anakie. The area has lots of piles of dirt which has been dug from small mines. Rubyvale is the larger town and has a few houses, a hotel and some gem shops where gems or jewellery can be bought. I learned that sapphires are not only blue but also red (these are rubys), green, yellow and multi-coloured (called parti-coloured). The golden yellow and parti-coloured gems are the most stunning and highly valued. There is a strong German influence in Rubyvale and all the towns have old rusty mining equipment lying around and lots of character. After looking through a couple of gem shops (but not making any purchases – damn!) we returned to Emerald.
    Continuing south on the Gregory Highway we visited Lake Maraboon where we overlooked the huge lake from a lookout near the Fairbairn Dam wall. The effect of the drought was apparent as the lake level was low and no water was flowing over the spillway. We drove on towards Springsure and the landscape became more hilly as we neared the rocky Minerva Range. The rocky outcrops of the mountain range are a backdrop to the neat little township of Springsure. We drove further through the town of Rolleston and as we continued past dry farmland we encountered several huge herds of cattle with drovers moving slowly along beside the road and railway line in the opposite direction. The yellow, dry grass is obviously nutritious enough for the cattle to be fattened on their journey to the saleyards somewhere north. Each herd had a water tanker and troughs to supply water. We hadn’t seen herds of this size on the move before. We checked into the caravan park in Moura after crossing the wide Dawson River on the edge of town. The next day we had a look around the small town which has a large grain silo next to the disused rail line and little old station. The silo had a beautiful mural depicting a budgerigar and some cotton plants painted on the side. We headed east to the town of Banana (yes, and it’s in Banana Shire) and then turned south down the Leichhardt Highway through more farming countryside. As we approached Miles we crossed a mountain range with rocky outcrops and headed off road along a very rough dirt track to a lookout at a spot called Isla Gorge where had lunch and enjoyed views of the forested and rocky mountains and gorge. Continuing, we crossed the dry Dogwood Creek on the edge of Miles and stopped at the caravan park which supplies towels, bath mats and toiletries in their en-suite style amenities block! That was a first!!
    Before leaving Miles next day we visited the Historical Village Museum where we spent a couple of hours looking through the old buildings in a streetscape setting filled with lots of memorabilia. We then headed south-east along the Warrego Highway passing enormous man-made mountains of spoil from the huge open-cut coal mines nearby. We arrived in Dalby caravan park mid-afternoon and spent a couple of days in the town which has a large business centre.
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  • Day2

    Wandoan, Qld

    January 7 in Australia

    Wandoan offers a delightful camp area at the Waterloo Environmental Park. Quite a large area that is currently with plenty of puddles of water from the recent rain.

    There are quite a few birds and upon a closer look at the reeds quite a large number of very small finches and wrens. A few crows break the chatter of small birds with their raucous rark.

    So far we have this camp entirely to ourselves. I guess it would be unlikely for us to be alone for long though.

    The portable 80 watt solar panel is feeding to the van. We now have extra loading due to the new fridge. We have removed the 3 way gas fridge and gained extra stowage area plus a small slide out compressor fridge. We so far have no real idea of it energy needs. The van mounted panel is a bit short with its 50 watts. We store power with a 60 amp hour lithium battery.
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  • Day3

    Camping at Wandoan

    January 8 in Australia

    The environmental park has proven to be quite a gem. We have been listening to the many Reed Warblers and being entertained by the Babblers.
    There are numerous birds here so Pam is busy photographing them. Butterflies also seem plentiful with many different types and colours fluttering past.

    A group of finches arrived to take a drink less than 20 metres from us. We stayed quiet and watched them for the few minutes they wet their whistles. A left exit with a brief landing in a tree then off to hide in the reeds and continue their bird activities. Several Dotterals descended on the other bank and foraged along for a while before disappearing from view.

    It is hard to know how many little birds are living in this area. There is a lot of noise but they are very hard to spot. Yesterday the miniscule wrens were almost impossible to see, even when they moved. They blend in very well to the background. Getting a photo is simply good luck. The opportunity lasts only a few seconds before they move on.

    The weather is close to perfect at around 30 degrees with a nice breeze. This has been a nice way to spend our third day on the trip to Tamworth Music Festival.

    Amenities wise, this camp is quite well set up. The council looks after the rubbish collection and the clean toilets. There are even hot showers provided. The town is only a short walk away.

    Yesterday I did not bother to connect solar to the car fridge battery. The battery was at 98% at sundown. This morning we were at 89% so I connected the solar panel. This panel is the same as the one we used for the van extra input. By around 10am all the batteries were fully charged so we launched all the iPad and tablet chargers. Looking like my new solar design will work for us.
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  • Day3

    Creatures and Plants

    January 8 in Australia

    Well after dark I noticed an impressive spider web complete with its hairy, eight legged owner. With powerful light I was lining up and composing a photo when all of a sudden.... A hapless moth collided near the bottom of the web.

    The spider was there in moments before the moth could get free of the sticky strands. Another second he would have e been free and on his way. A quick stab of venom and the spider proceeded to wrap his meal for later. There was a stream of breaking wings drifting aside as the spider attached his victim with a strong strand.

    Now the moth was spun rapidly and encased in web until completely wrapped. Once done the supporting thread was cut and the delectable prize carted up to the centre of the web. Here it was hung in place ready for a future dinner.

    Most of the plants are quite interesting. Excepting the triple throned burs. They are a literal pain wherever they spike you. Cactus are more obvious so rarely a problem. Some plants have flowered and scattered their seeds for next season.
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  • Day4

    A Tough day in the Office

    January 9 in Australia

    Although we are tripping around with no "real" boundaries, I do have a little work to be done from time to time. I must say though, sitting under a shady tree doing G business essentials beats the hell out of sitting in a dingy office.

  • Day5

    Tara day 3

    August 6, 2017 in Australia

    Attended the festival today. Walked around for a few hours, saw a couple of camel races and a yabby race, bought a souvlaki and threw it away, looked at some stalls. Glad we only went for one day, there wasn't enough happening to keep me there any longer than that.

  • Day7

    Moonie Crossroads Motel

    July 22, 2017 in Australia

    Drove to Dirranbandi via Hebel. Had coffee in a bakery which is the only one in Australia that makes authentic Russian Pryanick. Cubby Station, that pioneered cotton growing in the area in 1988, is 20 km from Dirranbandi. Majour General Grant, who led the charge at Barsheeba, retired on a station here. Drove to Moonie and booked into Caravan Park.

  • Day6

    Waterloo Plains Environmental Park

    August 7, 2017 in Australia

    At Wandoan, west of Hervey Bay. Free site with hot hot showers. Lots of bindiis. Very clean amenities. Behind the Bowls Club, "town" is just up the street. Good spot for the night.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Western Downs

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