Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday 23rd September

Wednesday 23rd September: Travel from Glenlyon Dam to Moree. Head wind all the way in one of the biggest dust storms that NSW (Australia) has ever seen. The photo attached show the view that we woke upto this morning. No there is nothing wrong with the picture the colour is actually what we woke upto.

Tuesday 22nd of September: Left the Gold Coast after a week, head for Texas in QLD, why you ask because Leigh sings a song about it so I had to go and have a look just to say we have been there. We didnt quite get to Texas, Jenny found a Caravan park at Glenlyon Dam (near Texas) very nice place and great if you are a fisherman.

Monday the 21st of September (Cassidy's birthday); Cassidy thought we where leaving the Gold Coast however we surprised her and stayed another day and took her to Movie World. Picture speaks for itselfs. Went on many good rides, the Superman excape was more than likely the best one that I went on. Cassidy chickened out.

Sunday the 20th of September; Went to Andrew and Christy Huths house in Brisbane for lunch. Had a great day and Thomas was crying when we left as he did not want Cassidy to leave. Thanks, Huthy, Christy, William and Thomas for a great day.

Saturday 19th of September, spent the day looking around Surfers Paridise, went to Sushi Train again for lunch and had a look a number of shops (again).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday 18th of September

Friday the 18th of September, well it was off to White water world" today, Cassidy and I had a ball riding on all of the water rides and Jenny just laid on one of the one thousand banana lounges in the Park. The first ride we went on was the Hydro Coaster then the Green room. The Photo below is of Cassidy and I coming out of the Green room. The Green room is a water ride that has a very steep drop and you end up being dumped into this giant funnel which you go from side to side and then out the end into a swallow pool. Great fun.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday 17th September

Thursday the 17th of September. We have been on the Gold Coast now for a couple of days and have spent today having a look around Surfer Paradise and the shopping Centre. We went for a ride on the Mono rail which runs from Broad beach shopping centre to Jupiter Casino and luckily I was able to keep Jenny out of the Casino. We also had a walk around Pacific Fair shopping centre. This morning we went and had a look at the Wax Museum. They have many different people on display and down stairs a chamber of horrors.

Wednesday the 16th of September it was up early and off to Dream world. Cassidy and spent a lot of time waiting for rides and Jenny spent more time waiting for us. The only ride that Jenny went on for the day was the white water rapids ride, which Cassidy and I went on three times. We also went on the three different roller coasters at Dreamworld. The Runaway Repter (Nickelodeon, this was to warm Cassidy up) then after Lunch we waited 40 minutes for the Mike Doohan Motor Cycle roller coaster and then the Cyclone, on which I heard Cassidy say "Your dead meat dad". We went on other rides however the one's named where the best. The photo show Cassidy and I on the Mick Roller coaster we are on the second lot of bikes.

Tuesday the 15th of September, travelled from Maroochydore to Helensville, via Brisbane. Man are they doing some work on the road between just north of the Brisbane river to where the Gold Coast highway joins the Freeway. They are completely duplicating the Gateway Bridge.

Monday the 14th of September, what a big day, it was up early and off to Australia Zoo. What a great place. The Irwins have done a great good with this Zoo and the message they put across in everything they do (a message of conservation of all animal life). This I think was one of Jenny and Cassidy's favorite days. The picture is of them and a Wedge tail eagle. The also had their photo taken with an Iguana. Shown below.
Sunday 13th of September, Cassidy and I hired a Kayak and paddled around the Maroochydore river and after lunch went for a drive out to the big pineapple. Things sometime dont really change. The big pineapple is the same as I can remember it 30 years ago. The parfait's at the big pineapple where as good as they where 30 years ago. Jenny and Cassidy of course had chocolate and I had a Mango one. Just great.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday 12th of September

Well how slack am I it has been over a week since I last updated the blog. Today was a kick back day in Maroochydore. Arrived here yesterday from Possum Park which is a very nice Caravan Park 20 kilometers out of Miles. Possum Park was a world war two ammunition's storage site which the government closed down in about 1956 and sold off every thing. The bunkers have been turned in accomodation. Great little park with heaps of character. Well today we just went shopping again. I dont know what it is with women and shopping but their whole life could more than likely be spent in shopping centres. Maroochydore is full of plenty of beautiful people, and we found some good coffee and that is coming from someone who prefers tea.
Friday the 11th of September spent most of the day in the car getting from Possum Park (Miles) to Maroochydore over 400K's. Some very interesting road and it is easy to see where most of the votes are in Queensland, the roads really improve the closer you get to the Sunshine Coast (I also assume Brisvegas and Surfers also) All caravan manufacturers should road test the vans on out back Queensland roads. They need lessons on how to build roads from the Victorians. The van however is still in one piece and the Navara is going well.
Thursday the 10th of September. Pulled out of Carnarvon Gorge heading for the coast. Nearly ran out of Diesel as I had not calculated correctly, having an empty jerry can which I should have filled in Rockhampton. Also with the great Queensland roads if you dont have the windows on the canopy locked they will eventually open, which they did coming down the Carnarvon development road. Also the fridge door came opened and the contents opened into the van (no great problems here) and thanks to a great truck drive who alerted us to one of the windows open on the van. Arrived at Possum Park caravan park (Miles). Louise/Bill thanks to another recomendation from the Caravaning book you gave me a birthday or two ago. This book has proved very helpful recomending a number of great parks and things not to miss on the way.

Wednesday the 9th of September. Hiked the Carnarvon Gorge, Cassidy and I made it to Wards Gorge (12.5+ Km) and Jenny had to pull out just before after climbing in and out of the Amphitheatre. What a great hike, nothing too strenious. I would like to go back in the wet and hike the whole gorge. Photo's are of the King Ferns and the Amphitheatre. Wards Canyon is one of the only places left in the world where King ferns still grow as it has a continuous supply of water all year round. Which the king fern needs to survive as the ferns are held up by the water in their stalk.

Tuesday the 8th of September. Travelled from Rockhampton to Carnarvon Gorge. Another day spent largely in the car on the great Queensland road system. We actually left Rockhampton around 11am as I had to get the front end of the Navara aligned. I would assume that it didnt like the 9,874,000 corrigations on the Cape York developement road. On the trip from Rockhampton to Carnarvon a highlight was the climb up to Mt Morgan an old mining town. The little 2.5 litre diesel did a great job pulling the caravan up the 5 plus kilometers of up hill winding road.

Monday the 7th of September. Left Airlie Beach for Rockhampton stopping at the Sarina mini sugar mill. This is a tourist attraction built by the Sarina shire to give the tourist an insight into the sugar industry. At the Sarina Sugarshack we saw a video about the Sugar industry and then one of the volunteers gave us a tour of the Sugar shack, crushing some sugar cane and showing us how they use the sugar juice (making things to sell to us). The tour guide of course was an ex school principle and gave us a great tour involving the kids and making them think.

Sunday the 6th of September (fathers day) after getting some lovely presents and my daughter cooking me breakfast, Cassidy and I went for a swim, and then for a ride on a go kart that the Park hires. We then went into Airlie Beach and had hogs breathe for lunch. This place has changed since the last time we where there. less lay back and more tourist focused.

Saturday the 5th of September. Left Ayr for I thought Rockhampton but on the way we called into the Bowen tourist centre where Jenny and Cassidy found a great caravan park in Airlie Beach. Not the cheapest park we have been in, however it was certainly the easiest to get in and out of. The spot we had allowed you to drive into your spot and after un hitching, then thru a common grassed area and park your car behind your van. When we left you just had to hook on again and drive out Great. Cassidy and I spent a lot of time in the Swimming pool and that evening went to see Bolt at their open air picture theatre. Photo is of Cassidy and I in the pool. Great pool with two water slides, the park also has a jumping pillow which Cassidy loved. I dont know if I really liked it that much.

Friday the 4th of September. Travelled from Mission beach to Ayr. Spent most of the day in Townsville getting the Laptop fixed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday 4th September

Friday the 4th of September, travelled from Mission Beach to Ayr. Spent most of the day getting the screen replaced on the laptop. The guys at P3C in Townsville where very helpful, however in replacing the screen and the mother board they crack the boarder around the monitor which will need to be fixed when I get home. Jenny and Cassidy thought it was a waste of a day however we have covered another 300 kilometers in our travels. Happy birthday Andrew Elliott and Max Medwell. Thursdays the 3rd of September we went on a trip from Mission Beach out to Dunk Island and then onto Beaver Cay which is a tiny sand island about 29 kilometers from Mission beach out on the great barrier reef. What a great day, Jenny was a little sea sick going out but one of the ladies on the boat (catamaran) gave her a ginger drink on ice and suggested a better place on the boat to sit. Lucky for us she didnt throw up. When we arrived at Beaver Cay, Cassidy and I had already decided that we where going to snorkel from the boat to the island, Cassidy was a natural at snorkelling, I on the other hand have a problem and it is called facial hair which does not allow the face mask to seal so the water gets in. However it was great swimming with my daughter, we saw many reef fish, magical blue star fish. The brightest blue I have ever seen in nature. There where many parrot fish and one large Barracouta (nearly five feet long) which hang around to be feed each day. After lunch Cassidy went back in the water and the Barracouta swam within 30cm of her, right past her face. Also after lunch we went for a ride on the glass bottom boat which is left at the Cay and saw many other fish and some giant clams. Then it was back to Dunk Island and Mission beach.

Wednesday the 2nd of September: We where hoping to do a reef trip this day however they could not get enough people so we decide to go to Paronella Park and the Tully gorge. Jose Paronella built Paronella Park back in the 1930's what a visionary. He purchased 12 acres of land which has the most beautiful water fall and river running through it (fish and turtles are still abundant in the river, I have never seen so many turtles in the wild, the even have a colony of micro bats in a tunnel the Jose built), then he built many building based on a spanish theme (lots of concrete) and then planted the most beautiful gardens. The history of Paronella is varied and had it's ups and down, however the current owners purchased it in a run down state in 1993 and have lovingly restored and are continuing to restore it ( they have also had their set backs what with cyclones, flood etc our guide Matt we found out was one of the owners sons, who has lived there most of his life). Even to the point of restoring the 1930's hydro power station that Jose had the foresight to install. It was the first Hydro power station in far north Queensland, if you are ever up near Innisfail you must have a look. It is one of the top 100 things to do in Australia. After Paronella Park we went into Tully and then up the Tully gorge. The Tully gorge has many white water rafters on it. The Tully gorge runs all the time thanks to the Hydro station which is in the gorge. We still have not seen a Crocodile in the wild and let me tell you we are looking. I think someone must have shot them all. I might have to throw Jenny in a river and see if that brings one in. Tuesday the 1st of September, had a couple of nice walks on the beach and checked out Mission beach itself. We where staying at South Mission beach, the caravan park was only 50 meters from the water. Monday the 31st of August; Left Port Douglas and headed for Mission beach, went via cairns and did a little shopping and developed a number of photos at the same shop I purchased the Sony from last year. Sunday the 30th of August (mum's birthday) Cassidy and I went to Church at the Anglican church in Port Douglas, lovely service, church and people very friendly and the morning tea was very good. After church we went to the Caravan park, picked Jenny up and went to the beach markets in Port Douglas, then it was off to our favorite cafe where I had Chimechanga (for those who don't get the joke you need to watch repeats of two and a half men). Jenny and Cassidy had Barra and chips, then it was back to see if we could find Fluffy the Croc who supposedly lives in a river near the Port Douglas Big4 (bullshit) and back to the Park for a Swim. Saturday the 29th of August (my dads birthday (if he was alive he would have been 93) just for you Peter). It was off to Mossman and the gorge, however of course we had to go via the shops in Port Douglas as the girls wanted one or two things and ended up buying about 10. Mossman gorge is a great place to swim and it gets very busy, however it is only the Southerners that get in as the water temp is pretty cold this time of year about 24 degrees. The photo is of Cassidy and all around her which is not very clear in the photo are fish. Friday the 28th of August we went to the Habitat wild life park in Port Douglas. Well worth the money if you are in the area. Cost was around $110 for the three of us which included an all you could eat lunch which included Barra, Steak, soup and salad etc. great. During lunch one of the guide's Jose bought a bird around for people to have their photo taken with it and of course it shit on me. Jenny and Cassidy thought it was a great joke. Jenny and Cassidy also had their photo's taken with a small fresh water croc and a Olive python. Cassidy was (freaking out). Jenny was off her face. This park has the biggest Croc I have ever seen, he must have been about four and a half metres long. Habitat is a great place to see birds and other animal of northern Australia. The mating jabiru's being one of the many high lights. Friday was also the day we said goodbye to the Mansfields again. They are heading west and we sadly are now heading south.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thursday 27th August

Kicking back now at Port Douglas after returning from Cape York. It was great getting to the Cape however I thought the road to Wiepa was bad, well it had nothing on the south By Pass road. On the way to the cape from Wiepa we caught up with the Mansfield family again and travelled with them all the way up to the Cape. The first night out from Wiepa we stopped at Elliott Falls, what a great place to stop and swim. The kids and I swam at both Twin Falls and Fruit Bat falls, The woman and Stuart swam at Twin Falls. The camping at Elliott (Twin) falls was free, no showers however the toilets where well maintained by the rangers. Picture shows the kids at Fruit bat falls and some fat guy. After Fruit bat and Elliott (Twin) Falls it was off to the Jardine River Ferry. These buggers earn more money than Doctors, we where on the ferry for 40 seconds (tops) each way and it cost $99 return. Then it was off to Bamaga, after driving around Bamaga and Seisa for about 10 minutes we decided to drive out to Punsand bay (they had a pool for the kids). We stayed there for three nights on one of these days we went to the tip. Stuart, Sam and I walked over the top and then around the beach back to the car park. Picture proves that the Medwell's have made it to the tip. On the third day we where at Punsand bay we took a trip to Thursday Island. The northern most part of Australia. Very interesting recent (World War two) history with a fort and all sort of other great things. The trip to Thursday Island was made even better as it was on the boat that I learnt that the mighty bulldogs had beaten those cats. Go dogs lets hope they can bet Collingwood (my tip for the flag). The first night on the way home from Punsand we stopped at Moreton Telegraph station, great camp and the night life (Frogs) where great. Rocket frogs everywhere and very small green frogs that live in a prosapine bush. The second night out we stayed at Musgrave, then it was off to Laura. The cultural centre in Laura was very good and the paintings at split rock worth the 30 minute walk. That evening we where back in Atherton and it was time to start cleaning up. It took Jenny and I a full day to wash clothes and clean the car. Red dust in every thing, the shit is still come out of things. The Navara has handled everything we have thrown at it with the exception of jack knifing the trailer draw bar into it whilst trying to park it at Elliott Falls. For all those animal and frog lovers the following picture is of a white lipped Green tree frog in the phone box at Punsand bay.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday 18th of August

Spent Last night and tonight in Wiepa. A little bit of civilisation after two days on the PDR. Most of the way up the PDR was dirty and some of it very corrugated. However everything is hanging together very well. Red dust now in everything, apart from the back of the camper. It is in every crack of the Navara and the back is full of red dust. I am trying to keep it out of the Engel however I think I am fighting a loosing battle. To answer Kaths question about the "porta lou" yes we have one however we have not had to use it yet. The first night on the PDR we stopped at Coen and stayed behind the shell service station and shop. They had toilets and showers, last night and tonight we stopped in the Weipa Caravan park. Good facilities and a great swimming pool. As I am writing this it is 9pm and still about 28 degrees. This morning we went on a tour of the Rio Tinto Bauxite mine. This must be the easiest thing in the world to mine, they take off the top soil (approximately 1 metre) and then the next 5 to 6 metres is Bauxite. They load it with a 16 tonne front end loader into 190 tonne trucks, cart it off to have the dust removed and water added, loaded onto a train for a short 30 kilometer ride to the wharf and then loaded onto small ships to be carted to Gladstone or overseas. Most to Gladstone. Not much else in Wiepa as it is still completely run by Rio Tinto.
As most of the PDR is unsealed and a lot of dust, there is very little wild life along the road. Much less than any of us thought we might see. Even the road kill is few and far between (unlike coming up through out back Queensland and New South Wales). We have meet up with a family who have sold up everything and are travelling around Australia for a year. We got talking to them as our caravans are made by the same people (Kingdom Caravans). They have six children (thats eight of them) and at the moment they have also left their caravan down south and are camping in a tent. They all fit into a Toyota Prado, with only the tent and a pack on the roof. As Stewart said today "if we roll, not much will happen as we are packed in so tight". I dont think even Louise could get this much in her Prado. It is amazing eight of everything comes out of this Prado. Well that's it for now, or when we get back from the top, maybe there will be mobile phone coverage up there. There more than likely will be as the communities seems to get everything they want. Elliott falls and Fruit bat falls tomorrow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday 15th of August

Spent most of our 26th packing ready to pick up the Camper trailer from Atherton Bluegums on Friday. Did the last minute shopping for the trip up north. Friday the 14th we picked up the camper, dropped the caravan at Grahams and off to Cooktown. The drive from Atherton to Cooktown is on a very good sealed road. A few hills and a couple of great lookouts, The photo is off Jenny and Cassidy at Bob's look out. Jenny thinks it is significant as that will be the name of my new dog when I get home. When we arrived in Cooktown we looked up Vicky at "chop suey louies" to get rid of the bloody, buddy (Buddy Franklin) photo that we have been carrying since we left home. Vicky was like meeting a long lost friend and really looked after us. Saturday the 15 we went to the small market in Cooktown, then a look around the town, going up to the lookout that Captain Cook used to find his way out through the reef. Again Jenny and Cassidy at the lookout. Then it was off to the Botanical gardens for a look around. For such a small town these are very nice gardens. In actual fact Cooktown is very nice and friendly. Tomorrow morning it is off north into the dust that is the Peninsual developement road to Weipa and Bamaga

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

thursday 13th august

Thursday the 13th, well I have been pretty slack and not updated the blog for a week. After Karumba we went to Mt Surprise and stayed at the Bedrock Caravan Park. This is the best caravan park we have stayed in so far. On the first full day there (Friday 7th of August) we went on a tour of Undara Lava tubes. Well worth a look. They are believed to be over 160 thousand years old and once ran for many kilometres. The tour actually took us into three tubes which many years ago would have been the one tube. However over the year the tube has caved in at many points. The photo show the end of one tube where it actually dropped over the edge of a cliff. The tube also turned and that is the way we went out. In the tube there where bats (very small) frogs (also very small) and large cave spiders. The photo is of one of the smaller spiders I found. Jenny, Cassidy and I where the only one’s on the tour to find any creatures apart from the guide. The following day (Saturday 8th August) Cassidy and Jenny went to O’Brien’s Creek fossicking for Topaz. They found a couple of pieces and of course I am now paying for them to be cut. That evening we had Pizza for tea cooked in the out door wood oven at the Bedrock Caravan Park. The meals, cafĂ© etc at Bedrock are just wonderful. By the way there is nothing much more in Mt Surprise. Another Caravan park, Gem shop, a small museum, a Hotel, Police Station and a community health centre. Sunday the 9th of August it was off to Innot Spring for a swim in the six mineral pools. The water for these comes out of the ground at over seventy degrees, the pools range from 42 degrees down to a spa at about 30 degrees and then a swimming pool that was air temperature. We only stayed in Innot springs over night. Then it was off to Atherton (Monday 10th of August) (Yungaburra) where we have been all week. Monday was a catch-up day shopping and starting to get ready for the trip to Cape York. We went to one of the local dairies where we purchased four of their locally produced cheeses. (Tuesday 11th of August) It was off to Nerada tea for a tour of the factory. Currently they are not picking tea as they recently had a frost and you need to wait 6 weeks from a frost until the tea is ready to pick again. Also they are installing new dryers which will make their tea even better. After Nerada it was off to Mungalli Creek Dairy for some Lunch. Very nice dairy which we visited last year and we had to go back again to get some of their Mango Chutney. Hopefully this time we will be able to work out what is in it and make something ourselves which will be similar. On the way back to camp from Mungalli Creek we stopped off at three of the districts water falls. The last one being Milla Milla falls which is the one in all the postcards of the Artherton tablelands. Wednesday the 12th. Very busy day sorting out the camper and buying stuff for the big trip, ended up at Yungaburra having a hair cut and Jenny had a massage. Whilst Jenny was having a massage Cassidy and I sat in the local park with the laptop updating our spend spreadsheet. Thus so far we have spent over five thousand. Thursday the 13th our wedding anniversary also Larry Fraim birthday. Happy birthday mate. Spent most of the morning sorting out the stuff we are taking north. Cooking and vacuum sealing and then freeze pasta sauce (which I cooked). Had prawns for lunch and then Cassidy and I went swimming in Lake Eacham. Which is a crater lake. Water was crystal clear with many small fish. Not too cold either. Staying at Lake Eacham caravan park, very small, however Jenny feels right at home with Chooks and chicks running around, a rooster crowing a 4.30am, a pig, a goat (no Masonic jokes) and an Ostrich. Well better go and see how to set up this camper. More update when we next get mobile coverage. Maybe a fortnight. Just for Larry this pig is at the Caravan park at Lake Eacham and is walked everyday. Jenny had the shit frightened out of her when she came wondering up.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday 6th August

This morning left Karumba and head for Mount Surprise where we are currently camped. Last night we went to the Karumba point tavern and watched the Sunset. Caught up with Hannah (cook from Wondoola) her brother and fiance and had a champagne whilst the sun went down. By now you can work out who is in the photo. I cannot remember what caused the dot in front of Jenny. After leaving Karumba this morning we headed back into Normanton and had a walk around. The Burns Philp building and the Bank of New South Wales building are lovely building built in the early days of Normanton. Just for Neenie I took a photo of the Bank of New South Wales building. After leaving Normanton it was off to Croydon where we stopped for lunch. Very good little take away at the mobile garage. If passing I recomend this spot for a bite to eat. Then it was off to Georgetown for some more diesel and finally into Mt Surprise. Haven't yet seen much of Mt Surprise however we are off to the Undara Lava tubes tomorrow. The caravan park we are staying in is called the "Bedrock Village Caravan Park" plenty of room, with some of the best facilities we have seen to date. All of the advertising for the caravan park has pictures like in the Flintstone's, toilets are not male and female they are Fred and Wilma. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday 4th August

Tuesday and Wednesday spent in Karumba, we went to the Barramundi Discovery Centre. This centre is run by volunteers, they breed and then release many fingerlings into the gulf river and water systems. There are approximately 16 different types of Barra in Australia and the ones breed in Karumba are the Gulf Barramundi. The fish will only breed in this area and in salt water, however they will live in fresh water and many have been released in the water supply at MtIsa and Croydon as well as the guld rivers (which are salty). The above photo is of Jenny feeding one of the Barra at the breeding centre. They suck the fish right out of your hand. The fish I feed also covered me in salty water.
The caravaners at Karumba are unlike the ones we have meet everywhere else, they come here and stay for many months, not a couple of days like us. The people camped behind us Ivan and Aileen love fishing and have been here since early May, Tuesday we were just about to go and buy fish when they offered us a heap, all I had to do was clean them. Aileen showed me how to fillet them (Glenn I should have taken more notice wiuth all the fish you have filleted out on the bay) very easy and Aileen skinned them. We have enough fish for four days. Now most of which is in the freezer. We also went down to one of the many fish shops and bought some prawns, we eat these and fish for tea.
Wednesday is pretty quite had lunch at Ash's fish shop which is famous up here. We bought far too much and had to bring some home. After eating at Ash's it was off into town again to buy Barra and Prawns to take on the trip. Prawns $12 a kilo and Barra $18.50 a kilo. No one up here takes caltex card so it was the first time I had to buy diesel. Just to keep everyone informed the Navara is going really well and the caravan survived the 30 km in and 30 km out on the dirt road to Wondoola station. Covered all the vents with plastic and tape and kept most of the dust out. As you could image it is very dry up here, that's why they call it the "dry season".

Monday 3rd August

The station crew where up early and with us camping beside the garage we where woken earlier with the sound of tyres being changed. After we had our own breakfast at a reasonable time 8am. Cassidy went in with the girls and sat in on some of the lessons that they do with the help of their governores and the course provided by the school of the air. Cassidy said it was very interesting. Jenny and I at the same time caught up with

Georgie and the crew for the last time over morning smoko. Above is a picture of the girl in the dinning room. Yes they where just about to go back to work. What a very happy crew they are at Wondoola. I would like to thank them for the warm welcome they extended to us. A big thanks to Karen. At about 11.30 we left Wondoola for Karumba on the way we stopped at Normanton and had lunch in the bakery. After the bakery we stopped and had a look at Kry which is a replica of the biggest crocodile even shoot. It was somewhere around 8.5 metres. Then it was off to Karumba for three nights. Not much to do at Karumba if you dont fish, however it is very relaxing.

Sunday the 2nd

Sunday was a bit of a lay back day. Georgie took us for a trip around a very small part of the station. We where in the bus/truck for about two hours. We saw many many many cattle and the bird life around the water wholes was incredible. The above photos are of the bird life and the cattle. Sunday afternoon was pretty laid back, we had a little lunch and then played boule on the grassed area outside the social club. Sunday evening we had steak, vegetable, pancakes, strawberries and icecream. It was an early night as the station crew have a 6pm start. Jenny and Cassidy saw their first Green frog in the toilet and we saw many toads outside trying to find wet places. At one tap there was a huge toad and a green frog huddled together with a baby toad just beside them.

Saturday 1st August, travelled from Cloncurry to Wondoola Station, stopping on the way at the Burke and Wills roadhouse for lunch. When we arrived at Wondoola Georgie came out to meet us. As it was the weekend some of the station crew where away and the manager was at Cloncurry for the R0deo. The rest of the crew where in the Social club tiling the bar, which I might say looks a treat now it is tiled. The picture below shows the bar. Saturday evening the station put on a BBQ for all. We had many drinks and a fun night was had by all. Below is a picture of some of the crew around the fire.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday 31st of July Arrived at Cloncurry for an overnight here. We went out to the Local water supply and then did a bit of shopping to buy chickens before heading up to see Georgie at Wondoola cattle station tomorrow. Thought we would take in 6 chooks as they eat mainly beef at the station. At about 5pm we went down to the town again as it is a big weekend in Cloncurry "Curry Merry Muster Festival". They have the Rodeo and Mardi Gras. The Mardi Gras is a really a street procession which was very good for a town of only 3000 people. The picture below was Jenny's favorite. The bull was very placide.

Thursday 30/7/2009 Mt Isa: went on an above ground tour of Mt Isa Mine, now owned by a Sweedish company Xstrata. I want to know what the fools who run Australia are going to do when the whole lot is sold overseas. Boards, CEO's and government. Very interesting tour, we did not get out of the bus, however saw copper, Zinc and Silver being mined through to production. The Silver is extracted from the Zinc in Britain. Should be done here. However all the copper is produced in Mt Isa and Townsville. Photo is of one of the masive trucks that are mainly driven by younger ladies between the ages of 18 and 25. After the tour of the mine we went to visit the under ground hospital, however it is only opened between 10 and 2, so we took Cassidy to a new playground that the local council and xstrata built jointly with variety. Best playground that Cassidy, Jenny and I have ever seen, free to get into. It had many climbing frames and spinning wheels. A splash pad that if you stopped the water it would play music. Just great, the picture below gives you some idea. Some fat little kid said "this is getting old" the playground was only opended in June. spoilt little s--t. This is the play thing that Jenny didnt fall off of. Cassidy also did a little piano practice.
Wednesday 29th. MtIsa this was a relax and catch up day. I had the car service at the Nissan dealer. (20K Service) and Jenny had her hair done (coloured). Apart from that it was the first time in weeks that Cassidy had seen KFC, cold Rock Icecream and McDonalds. Went to KFC and cold rock. We went out to the Mt Isa water supply (Lake Moondarra), Mt Isa was the first place in two week where you didnt smell after having a shower. Water is that good I filled the tanks in the Caravan again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Got told off for not posting enough photos the following photo is Cassidy in the egg and spoon race at the Winton Camel races. For those interested Cassidy didnt win but she came third. . Cassidys partner was a little girl who was very careful like Cassidy. Below is a wall in Winton, it was built by a local called Arno who collected all of the bits included in the concrete wall from the local tip. All sorts of stuff including many motorbikes, video recorder and Televisions. He must have too much time on his hands. A must see in Winton.

Saturday 25th Sunday 26th of July travelled from Longreach to Winton. Upon arrival we checked into the Winton Caravan Park. Weather was wonderful both days around 25 /28 degrees. Saturday we went to one of the four hotels in Winton, and then it was off to the Camel races. Jenny won back nearly what she out layed and I lost $30. Cassidy lost $2. Sunday it was breakfasts at the Medwell's camp where I cooked pancakes, then it was off for a drive around the local area. Off road no real need for 4 wheel drive. Lots of dust, I now need to work out how I can seal the rear of the Navara. On return to Winton we caught up with Les and Sandy. Then it was off to the pub for a couple of beers, and off to the RSL for chinese and a few more beers. Most of the clubs in NSW and QLD seem to have good chinese. The photo above is of one of the areas off of the 4WD track that we went on. To the right is a big drop off and some water at the bottom. It would be good to see in the wet.
I would like to welcome all those who are following our trip. To answer a couple of questions. All is going well with the new van. Bill the Navara is just as heavy on diesel towing as the petrol version was. Averaging around 14 miles to the gallon towing the van. Setting up the new van is only taking us about 10 minutes, then we are ready for a beer. Hi to Kath, Jenny has your hot spots already noted and we will try and get to them all. OJ the oldies are all the grey wanders that are out here on the road. Angela, Cassidy says hi.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday 22/7/2009 Arrived in Longreach. On the way to Longreach we stopped at Ilfracombe and had a beer in the Wellshot pub. Very nice place many hats and money stuck on the ceiling of the hotel. As you enter Ilfracombe there is a machinery Mile with all old tractors, bulldozers and assorted other equipment. The attached picture is of the four adults taking Cassidy off, as she always seems to pose like this. Barcaldine was the stop before Ilfracombe, Barcaldine is the home to the tree of knowledge (which is now dead) however there is a very nice piece of Art built around the dead tree. The worlds largest wind chime (I think)

The photo above I am lying on the ground looking up into the monument. It is all timber. We also visited the Workers Heritage museum. All about worker and the Shearers stricker that basically started the Union movement in Australia.

Monday / Tuesday. Spent these two days in Blackall and basically had a chill out and spent a fair bit of time swimming in the Artesian Pool and SPA. Blackall was the home of home of Jack Howe the famous shearer who holds the hand shearing record.

Saturday Sunday in Charleville. Went out to the Cosmos centre where they have a three 15" Telescopes and let you view a number of star and star systems. Cost for the three of us was $48 for an hour, however it was worth it and the centre is a credit to the people of Charleville. After the Cosmos centre we went to the Save the Bilby centre. This is ran by volunters. Bilby's do actually exists and not just at Daryl Lee at easter. Two guys who work for the department of Nature resources in QLD have spent the past ten or so years creating awareness of the bilby's and setting up an area for them in the wild safe from ferrels. Previous night we had a camp fire dinner at the caravan park. Good meal, all of the oldies where in bed about 15 minutes after the meal had finished.

Friday crossed over into Queensland (no more long pants for Gregory)stayed over night in Cunnamulla, this was our first introduction to the Artesian water. The smell of sulphur (rotten egg gas) in the water was so strong that the girl would not even shower there. Peter and I didnt have a problem. Very tidy town and well worth a look.

Thursday Bourke. went for a ride on the paddle boat Jandra up and down the Darling river. Bourke is a very interesting town. Roller shutters on all of the shops and as Geoff said it all shuts up at 5.30pm. The caravan park here was wonderful. Kidman Camp and if you are passing this way, it is well worth stopping at. The next morning we checked out the Back O Bourke centre. Lots of reading, however interactive displays and videos as well. Ahead of its time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 5 Spent an hour at the Cobar BOM site, very interesting checking all of the manual weather instruments with the meteorologist, The highlight of the morning was the release of the weather ballon at 9.15am. This ballon will rise to about 25km and will finally come back to ground about 100 to 200km away after transmitting it information back to the BOM head quarters in Sydney. Then it was off to Bourke. Stayed at a lovely caravan park called the Kidman camp. The road from Jerilderie to the Queensland boarder is called the Kidman way. The road in most parts is very good. Travelling conditions have been very good so far for towing a Caravan. In Bourke we went for a ride on the paddle boat PB Jandra. Day 5 we went to the Back O Bourke centre which depicts the history of Bourke and the Darling River. Then it was off to Cunnamulla. We where going to stay in Bourke two days, however we decided to leave Bourke after one night and break the trip to Charleville by staying in Cunnamulla over night. Tomorrow it is off to Charleville.

Cassidy at the Queensland boarder, tried to talk Cheryl into staying at Barringun however she said over her dead body.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 2. Started off a little slow, went to the Shearoutback in Hay. Very interesting, attraction depicting the history of sheep and shearing in outback western NSW. This picture is of Cheryl, Cassidy, Jenny and Gregory in the door way of the shearing shed. This shearing shed is well over 100 years old. It was dismantled from an historic station in Swan Hill (Murray Downs)and reassembled at the shearoutback in Hay. Watched a shearing demonstration and had lunch. Went to see the Bishop Lodge which is a historic old house that was constructed for the first Anglican bishop of the Riverina. External walls are constructed from corrugrated iron and the walls are insulated with saw dust. The original paint is still on the corrugrated iron some 120 years later. The walls are protected by very large verandar. A must see if visiting Hay.

Day 3: Left Hay and headed for Cobar (430km) got away berfore 9 am, stopped at number of small towns on the way. Now on the Kidman way and the road from Goolgowi to Hillston very good. Along the road there appeared to be cotton, so we had to stop and check it out. If it wasn't cotton it sure felt like it. Heading between Hillston and Cobar road not quit as good and very few areas to pull off and have a break. When we finally pulled over only about 4 Vans, 4 Cattle road trains and 4 cars went by in 45 minutes. Arrived in Cobar at about 3.30pm it is amazing how quickly these Caravan parks fill up of a night and empty out of a morning.

Day 4 Had a look around Cobar, it has basically been raining all day. The Great Cobar Heritage centre well worth a look. History of mining Copper Zinc, and today Gold as well. Mining seems to be all under ground now with the entrance to the mine at the bottom of a reasonable size open cut. No where near as big as "the big pit".

Sunday, July 12, 2009

After leaving home half an hour late we arrived to meet Peter and Cheryl at Elmore just before 11 am Sunday 12th of July. Jenny had been up all night in the Toilet. Cassidy spotted this Minature railway (Jenny asleep on the back seat of the car as she only had two hours sleep). Of course Cheryl, Cassidy and myself had to have a ride. The track was very long 1 kilometer. A must if you are visiting or passing through Elmore. Travelled onto Echuca and had lunch at the Beechworth bakery, then onto Deniliquin and finally arrived at our first spot, Hay. Very nice caravan park "Top Tourist". We went out for tea at the Jolly Jumbuck Bistro. Where Cheryl paid her bet as Geelong lost to St Kilda in the previous week.