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.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Medwell Rig

This is the Medwell rig hocked up and ready to go.