Monthly Archives: June 2013

Carisbrooke Station – Lark Quarry

Matt playing with camera - sunset at Carisbrooke Station Day 2

Matt playing with camera – sunset at Carisbrooke Station Day 2

We had no mobile phone reception out at Carisbrooke Station – so a few retrospective blog posts coming about our time out there – am using the free Wi-fi in the Winton library this morning as the kids read, colour in and play with the toys – libraries are awesome!  It is air-conditioned and there are toilets – wahooo!

On our first day at Carisbrooke we headed out to Lark Quarry Conservation Park– the world’s only known dinosaur stampede site.  Lark Quarry is 110km’s out of Winton and it took us about an hour to drive there from Carisbrooke Station – again along dirt roads but these ones weren’t quite as rough.  We couldn’t get over the endless flat landscape with nothing but dirt & spinifex grass – the photos don’t really capture the vastness of it all!

We all enjoyed checking out real T-Rex and some smaller dinosaur footprints.  A little surreal to see so many of them and realise that dinosaurs were actually right where we were standing millions of years ago!

We had a nice picnic lunch – no coffee shop all the way out there even though Beth did bribe Rod with that hehehehe!

Then it was back to camp to liven things up for the Grey Nomads (we did feel bad for the poor caranvaners that had to share the station campground with us that weekend – our 7 kids were quite noisy!!).  We had yummy nachos for dinner followed by marshmallows around the campfire – and poor Grunda was dobbed in to bring the guitar out to the fire and play for us all!  The Grey Nomads were of course subjected to a family rendition of ‘Free’!

Sunrise - Carisbrooke Station

Sunrise – Carisbrooke Station

 

More camera playing - sunrise Carisbrook station

More camera playing – sunrise Carisbrook station

 

Riley & Jack looking for fossils in the rocks early one morning at Carisbrooke Station

Riley & Jack looking for fossils in the rocks early one morning at Carisbrooke Station

 

Grunda handing out cake before breakfast to the grandkids!!!

Grunda handing out cake before breakfast to the grandkids!!!

 

Tessie Tarago carted the kids all over the dirt roads no problems!

Tessie Tarago carted the kids all over the dirt roads no problems!

 

Trying to get a photo of us all in the wide open space - very difficult to capture!

Trying to get a photo of us all in the wide open space – very difficult to capture!

 

The view from the Nareen Rd Jumpup on the way to Lark Quarry

The view from the Nareen Rd Jumpup on the way to Lark Quarry

 

Walking in to Lark Quarry

Walking in to Lark Quarry

 

The kids liked the mechanical dinosaur

The kids liked the mechanical dinosaur

 

Inside the quarry site - dinosaur footprints everywhere!

Inside the quarry site – dinosaur footprints everywhere!

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The lookout - Lark Quarry

The lookout – Lark Quarry

 

The very easy 'Spinifex Walk' around Lark Quarry - Mum, Lex and I

The very easy ‘Spinifex Walk’ around Lark Quarry – Mum, Lex and I

 

Picnic lunch at Lark Quarry

Picnic lunch at Lark Quarry

 

Kids hunting for dinosaur bones

Kids hunting for dinosaur bones

 

Lex at Carisbrook Station

Lex at Carisbrook Station

 

Campfire time!

Campfire time!

 

All the family singing 'Free'!

All the family singing ‘Free’!

 

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Longreach to Carisbrooke Station

On the 'Old Cork Mail' Road to Carisbrooke Station - quite corrugated in parts!

On the ‘Old Cork Mail’ Road to Carisbrooke Station – quite corrugated in parts!

We left our free camp outside Longreach at 8.30am last Saturday morning (the earliest packup and getaway we have had so far on the trip – getting more organised now!) and headed for Winton.  We were all very excited as we were meeting all the family (my sister Beth and her husband Rod and their 4 boys, plus my mum and dad – just missing Kate!) at Carisbrooke Station today!  It was a short and easy trip to Winton – only a bit over an hour in the car and the scenery was very flat and dry!

After having a quick look around Winton we set out for Carisbrooke Station which was where we were to spend the long weekend.  It was a very rough 80km trip from Winton to Carisbrooke – we opted for the shortest route to the station via mostly dirt road as advised by the owners but it was quite corrugated in parts and took us an hour and a half to get there!  We didn’t let our tyre pressure down on the car or camper as we thought it would only be a pretty short trip but that turned out to be a bit of a mistake!  The road was quite bumpy and we found oursleves looking for the station homestead after only a few kilometres in!  Winton and surrounds are in drought at the moment and everything is very dry and dusty!!!  We were a little shocked at the harshness of the station camp site when we finally arrived and felt a little disappointed as it didn’t look much like the website photos, but once we got over the bumpy ride and settled in a little, we could appreciate the beauty of our surroundings!

We arrived about an hour before the rest of the family and the kids were sooooo excited when they drove in!  So was I because I was a little worried that they may have hit the dirt road and decided it was too rough and turned around and gone back to Winton!! But ‘Tessie Tarago’ and the trusty ute (who is not 100%) came through once again and tackled the dirt road no problems delivering the kids their cousins, aunt & uncle and grandparents!  Our kids after a week on their own were really hanging out for the company of other kids!!

We set up camp and the ground was surprisingly not too hard to bang the tent pegs into and we really did have a good weekend – I’ll fill you in with my next post!

Sunrise at rest stop free camp about 20kms from Longreach

Sunrise at rest stop free camp about 20kms from Longreach

On the road to Winton - very flat, dry and dusty

On the road to Winton – very flat, dry and dusty

Our rig on the way to Carisbrooke Station

Our rig on the way to Carisbrooke Station

The corrugations rattled the stove top loose!

The corrugations rattled the stove top loose!

And also rattled the tops off a couple of bottles of cider we had in the fridge (fortunately they didn't smash!) we also had a lot of dust in the camper - so a mess to clean up when we arrived!

And also rattled the tops off a couple of bottles of cider we had in the fridge (fortunately they didn’t smash!) we also had a lot of dust in the camper – so a mess to clean up when we arrived!

The Campbells and Grammy & Grunda made it!!!

The Campbells and Grammy & Grunda made it!!!

Lex and Cory - playmates getting to know each other again!

Lex and Cory – playmates getting to know each other again!

Kids playing while we set up

Kids playing while we set up

Setting up camp

Setting up camp

Sunset on day 1 at Carisbrooke Station

Sunset on day 1 at Carisbrooke Station

All the cousins together

All the cousins together

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Isisford to Longreach

Longreach

Longreach – Gateway to the Outback

Well we dragged ourselves away from Isisford today after checking out the neat little bakery and general store ‘museums’ which we were free to wander through in the main street.  Really interesting but sad to see a town that used to be such a busy little mecca, now struggling to survive!

Old Bakery Store in Isisford left open for visitors to wander through

Old Bakery Store in Isisford left open for visitors to wander through

General Store in Isisford

General Store in Isisford

Really interesting to wander through the general store which would have up to 6 people working behind the counter on 'movie' nights and would stay open until 3am!!

Really interesting to wander through the general store which would have up to 6 people working behind the counter on ‘movie’ nights and would stay open until 3am!!

Clany Hotel

Clancy’s Overflow Hotel – Isisford

From Isisford we headed to Ilfracombe and spent a couple of hours wandering through the main street which is basically a museum of old cars/machinery, a dedication to Wellshot Station (the largest sheep station in the world, which we drove past today) and an interesting bottle and rifle collection.  Once again all of the exhibits were free (we really appreciate this as a travelling family!) and the best bit was that the kids could climb all over the machinery and cars so they were really interested in it all!

Bottle Collection - Ilfracombe

Bottle Collection – Ilfracombe

Ha - Mareeba tobacco tin - been a long time since we have seen one of those!

Ha – Mareeba tobacco tin – been a long time since we have seen one of those!

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Tobes loved climbing up on to all of the old tractors!

Tobes loved climbing up on to all of the old tractors!

Lex said she was driving 'bobes' to a party!

Lex said she was driving ‘bobes’ to a party!

From there we went on to Longreach where we spent the afternoon getting some jobs done; getting the spare tyre valve fixed, going to the bank, letting the kids spend their pocket money (they saved their pocket money in money tins for the last 18months and we have decided to hand out $2 each Friday – Tobes chose some army men from the cheap shop and Lex a fairy wand, Jacko opted for a chocolate bar!) and we also did a big grocery shop in preparation for the long weekend with all the family.  The best bit was that we got to catch up with a very old school friend who was Matt’s best mate, Kelvin, and his wife Libby and their new bub!  It has been 16years since we have seen Kelvin so it was great to catch up and we might even go to visit him on his family station next week!

Beautiful sunset as we were pulling in to our campsite tonight

Beautiful sunset as we were pulling in to our campsite tonight

Sunset - just out of longreach

Sunset – just out of longreach

Beautiful sunset

Beautiful sunset

Tonight we are camped at another free camp, a rest area about 24km’s out of Longreach on the way to Winton.  It is a little noisy as it seems to be a truck stop for all the cattle trains but there is plenty of room in the bush behind the rest area and there is only two other caravans here tonight.  We are loving the free camp spots!  We had planned to camp at a spot just 2km’s out of Longreach but it was jammed in like sardines with all the Grey Nomads – we haven’t yet got this travelling down pat – we are still arriving at our camp site far too late in the day, so it is always very full by the time we arrive!  We will have to work on that!!  Ok – off to bed as we are hoping to get an early start in the morning – looking forward to seeing all the family tomorrow – wahoooo!

 

Favourite Parts of the Day

Lexi –  having a cupcake from the bakery

Toby – playing with my new army men in the dirt

Jack – having a treat lunch at the bakery (sausage roll & chocolate milk)

Jess – walking up to the shower by myself (ie no kids!) and having a long hot shower to wash my hair etc – heaven!

Matt – seeing a good mate Kelvin again!

 

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Isisford – Housekeeping Day

Housekeeping Day

Housekeeping Day

We decided to spend another night in Isisford mainly because we really needed to do some washing and it is just such a nice peaceful spot (and at only $2 a night – a bargain place to camp!).  So – I walked up to the local shop which has the laundromat attached in a little lean to shed and put 3 loads of washing on (yes – lots of washing because we had one wet the bed, one wet their pants and one have a no 2 accident – aaaaargh!).  The kids were given a free lollipop each from the lady at the shop so they were happy – I bought myself a coke – so I was happy – and we went off to the park to play while we waited for the washing to be done – a pretty good way to spend a Thursday morning!

The rest of the day was spent pulling everything out of the camper and trying to get some organisation happening – we got things a little better but basically just put everything back in a little neater!!  Matt has a new obsession silicon spray and has literally sprayed every zip, door and roller we own!!!  He reckons that he could now be a salesperson for the stuff, he loves it so much!!  Everything is moving/opening/unzipping much better now, so I’ll give him that!

And that was our day really – was lovely to stop and relax for a bit!  The kids played and coloured in and we spent lots of time at the park!  We have pretty much run out of food now though (soup and noodles for tea tonight!) so might move on tomorrow and finally do a proper grocery shop as up until now I had only been buying food a day at a time – a little expensive and doesn’t work so well when you stay on somewhere a little longer than planned!  Dinners for the last week have been – Spag Bol, Pizza, BBQ, leftover Spag Bol, Chicken Stirfry, Fish & Pasta and salad, Bacon & Eggs & Tinned Spaghetti and Soup & Noodles.  Not great but has been easy so far!  Anybody else got any easy dinner ideas for us??  We don’t have a camp oven yet, but have a gas oven and cooktop so can cook most things!

Hope you are all well!

Me hanging out the washing with my sexy washing belt - it works a treat Mum!

Me hanging out the washing with my sexy washing belt – it works a treat Mum!

Kids enjoying some down time to play

Kids enjoying some down time to play

Matt & his magic silicon spray!

Matt & his magic silicon spray!

Rainbow wall in Isisford which Lex loves!

Rainbow wall in Isisford which Lex loves!

Great kids playground in Isisford - the park is also where the awesome hot showers are located!

Great kids playground in Isisford – the park is also where the awesome hot showers are located!

Relaxing at the park

Relaxing at the park

On the banks of the Barcoo River

On the banks of the Barcoo River

We are loving having a campfire each night!

We are loving having a campfire each night!

 

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , | 7 Comments

Charleville to Isisford

Me publishing a blog entry while the kids played in the playground at Augathella

Me publishing a blog entry while the kids played in the playground at Augathella

Finally getting a chance to post this entry from last night!

It is warm – I only have 2 layers on tonight – wahooooo!  We couldn’t believe it when we hopped out of the car at Isisford at 6pm tonight and didn’t have to instantly reach for the beanie’s and extra jumpers!
We have had a looooong day today!  We set out from our free, beside the road camp, just out of Charleville at just before 9am this morning and only pulled in to Isisford at 6pm.  We survived the ‘night in the middle of nowhere’ free camp without any incidents except something had a chew on my thongs and our rubber floor mats during the night!
Our first stop was at Augathella for a toilet stop (as a side note all the public toilets we have used have been really clean out here – and it is a nice feeling knowing I won’t be cleaning a toilet for the next 7 or 8 months!) and to have a look around town and publish last night’s blog while we had reception.  Augathella was such a pretty, tidy little place but very quiet – the kids wanted to know where all the people had gone as lots of shops seemed to have closed down – perhaps as the highway no longer goes through there.
The next stop was Tambo for lunch where the kids were spoilt at the Visitor Information Centre with new colouring in books and a packet of smarties each!  We had a little wander through the historical post office and telegraph office in Tambo which was free and quite interesting for the kids who learnt how to send their names using morse code on an old telegraph system.  We checked out the ‘Tambo Teddies’ store – beautiful teddies but very expensive!
Another hour further down the road we stopped at Blackall which is where my uncle was a bank manager and lived with my cousins for a few years – we even tracked down their old house!  There was another great information centre in Blackall which the kids enjoyed and we loved seeing the Jack Howe statue – unbelievable that he was able to shear 321 sheep in 7.5hrs – a world record that has never been broken!!!!
Things went downhill a little after Blackall as about 20minutes out of town we ran into another muster happening in the middle of the road.  (Uncle Murray I’m blaming you for this because you said it makes for interesting reading!!!)  We were being very touristy taking photos and I was worried that I was in trouble when one of the men rode over the car, but he had come to tell us that while we were stopped to let the cattle pass by he had heard air hissing out of our left hand camper tyre.  Aaaargh – sure enough the valve on the camper tyre was split and leaking all the air out of the tyre!  So we pulled over – of course right in the middle of all the cow poo which Matt proceeded to stand in and put his hand in – and spent the next half an hour changing the tyre – but we are at least pleased to say we had all the right equipment this time and managed the change without drama!!  However, this now meant that it was getting late and it was kangaroo time on the road – not ideal for us still to be out driving!  Luckily though we ended up behind some grey nomads with their caravan and they hit all the kangaroos first (well – they only hit one, but that was one more than us!).
So when we arrived in Isisford it was quite dark.  We drove down to look for a spot on the river but it was quite crowded so we just kept driving along the river track, and driving, and driving because we could not find anywhere to turn around with the camper!  Needless to say we were all tired and grumpy by this stage, and hungry!  Eventually Matt had to reverse the camper in the dark with me walking and guiding him until we found a tight spot to turn around!  During all this Lexi wet her pants because she was busting to go to the toilet and couldn’t hold on any longer.  When we finally just went back to the entrance to the campground and pulled up beside another caravan (they will probably be grumpy that we are camped so close but we will sort that out in the morning!) we were not happy campers!!!
However, we are now all fed and have had our first hot shower in 3 days and we do not need to go to bed all rugged up so we are all feeling much better!!!  I think we have done some big driving days and would just like to stay put for a few days now, but we will have to try to work out our plans in the morning.  Once again we are very tired – this sightseeing and driving stuff is hard work it seems hehehe!
So, off to bed for me!  Here’s hoping QLD has a win in the State of Origin – we had thought we might find a pub to watch the game in tonight but it just didn’t happen!!   Go the Maroons!
Favourite Parts of the Day
Lexi – hopping out of the car and it was warm
Toby – playing in the Augathella meat ant park
Jack – having dinner (we were hungry), seeing the wild pig run across the road
Jess – not feeling cold for the first time and having a hot shower!
Matt – having a look at Tambo – a town trying really hard to attract the tourists and is a nice, friendly place

Meat Ant Sculpture in 'Meat Ant Park' Augathella - made by Ang Graham's Aunt for any Malandarites reading this

Meat Ant Sculpture in ‘Meat Ant Park’ Augathella – made by Ang Graham’s Aunt for any Malandarites reading this

Augathella - the home of 'Smiley' - we will have to get a movie for the kids to watch!

Augathella – the home of ‘Smiley’ – we will have to get a movie for the kids to watch!

Beautiful mural in Augathella

Beautiful mural in Augathella

Great visitor information centre in Tambo

Great visitor information centre in Tambo

Great information centre in Tambo - kids loved the 'Are We There Yet' book pictures that were on the wall in front of the kids table

Great information centre in Tambo – kids loved the ‘Are We There Yet’ book pictures that were on the wall in front of the kids table

Jack in the old telegraph station house in Tambo

Jack in the old telegraph station house in Tambo

Pretty standard old Queensland home in Tambo

Pretty standard old Queensland home in Tambo

Blackall is famous for being sheep country

Blackall is famous for being sheep country

Jack Howe statue in Blackall

Jack Howe statue in Blackall

Blackall - where the saying 'beyond the black stump' originated

Blackall – where the saying ‘beyond the black stump’ originated

Uncle John and Aunty Marie's house in Blackall where my cousins Melissa, Sarah and Michael lived for a few years

Uncle John and Aunty Marie’s house in Blackall where my cousins Melissa, Sarah and Michael lived for a few years

We drove through another muster on the road to Isisford

We drove through another muster on the road to Isisford

Loved the sound of the muster, cattle mooing, cattlemen whistling, horse with bell clanging, dogs barking - wish I had of videoed it!

Loved the sound of the muster, cattle mooing, cattlemen whistling, horse with bell clanging, dogs barking – wish I had of videoed it!

Matt changing the camper tyre - a success!

Matt changing the camper tyre – a success!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Mitchell to Charleville

Good morning everyone – I’m posting this entry from Augathella this morning where we have stopped for a quick look and toilet stop!
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We had a very short day of travelling today.  Mostly because we took a long time to get packed up this morning as it was a) very,very cold, b) it was such a lovely spot, c) we had to spend the time finalising all of our insurance for our home now it is a rental, as well as the car and camper insurance – phew – very glad to have it all sorted now but it did take a good 2 hours on the phone to get it all done and was something we just hadn’t had the time to do before we left home.
Oh – most exciting news today is that we sold our little Toyota Yaris – wahooooooo!  Big thank you to James for hanging around in Brisbane to make the sale happen for us!
Tonight we are camped by the side of the highway in a grassy, paddocky type area on the banks of the Warrego River about 40km’s outside Charleville (hoping not to get woken up in the night and told to move along!) – a little scary camping on our own in the middle of nowhere!.  We met up with an old Butcher’s Creek school friend of mine today in Charleville and she recommended the spot to us!  Great tip Celeste and lovely to catch up all the way out here!!  We have no facilities tonight, so second night without a shower – looking forward to a hot shower tomorrow night that’s for sure – yes we are all getting a little stinky!!!
We stopped in Charleville for lunch today and met Celeste and her bub Carter at a lovely park.  The kids had a great time chasing the geese and playing in the playground.  We even got to check out a funny sculpture in the park which were the Steiger Rainmaking Vortex guns – a contraption built to try to break the drought in Charleville in 1902 by exploding 180grams of gunpowder at the bottom of the vortex gun creating a high pressure vortex up to 6metres above the gun – supposedly forcing the clouds to drop their rain – it didn’t work, but interesting to think the council/town was that desperate for rain they funded such a crazy experiment!
Too cold and too tired tonight to write much more – we have no internet reception here so I will have to post this blog when we get reception on the road in the morning.
Must mention that for the last two days we have discovered prickles everywhere!  We are constantly pulling them out of the bottom of our thongs and crocs (which they go right through) and out of our feet – ouch!  Definitely need to keep our shoes on out here as they are big prickles with barbs on them to boot!!
Favourite Parts of Today
Lexi – having a chocolate biscuit (Tim Tam) at the park
Toby – seeing the very broken bridge (washed out by floods) here where we are camping tonight
Jack – playing at the playground in Charleville, chasing the geese
Jess- sitting at a picnic table on the banks of the river sorting out our insurance
Matt – sitting in the car at Charleville sorting out our insurance – life feeling far removed from home
Today’s Photos

Brrrr - frost!

Brrrr – frost!

Down to 1degree at our campsite outside Mitchell - freezing cold!!!

Down to 1degree at our campsite outside Mitchell – freezing cold!!!

Jess, Celeste and Carter

Jess, Celeste and Carter

Chasing the geese at the park in Charleville

Chasing the geese at the park in Charleville

Rainmaking Vortex Guns - Charleville

Rainmaking Vortex Guns – Charleville

Lovely park in Charleville

Lovely park in Charleville

Our bush camp off the highway in the middle of nowhere!  Nice and quiet but a little scary - I will have to get used to that!

Our bush camp off the highway in the middle of nowhere! Nice and quiet but a little scary – I will have to get used to that!

Afternoon walk to check out our surroundings on the bank of the Warrego River

Afternoon walk to check out our surroundings on the banks of the Warrego River

Cooking dinner - kids relaxing

Cooking dinner – kids relaxing – still some sorting out to do but we are getting more organised each day!

Jerry all snuggled up!

Jerry all snuggled up!

Lexi - look comfy much!  We all love the snuggle rug thank you Grammy!!

Lexi – look comfy much! We all love the snuggle rug thank you Grammy!!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | 8 Comments

Goondiwindi to Mitchell

Picnic with pringles at sunset

Picnic with pringles at sunset

Fireside blog posting tonight, but brrrr – starting to get very chilly so might have to move inside soon!  It is supposed to drop to 2 degrees tonight – needless to say we have lots of layers on!  We are free camping again tonight at Neil Turner Weir on the banks of the Maranoa River just outside Mitchell.  There are quite a few other campers here as it is a very scenic spot and campfires are allowed.  We would love to put the kayaks in for a paddle in the morning but not sure if we will be brave enough – I don’t fancy taking a dip when it is this cold!

We had a fairly late start this morning, not leaving Bungunya until 9.30am, mostly because we didn’t feel like rushing and we did a little more sorting out – each day we are getting things a bit more organised in both the car and camper!    However – the kids got filthy playing in the dirt and gravel piles at the free camp which would usually be ok but when it is difficult to wash I’m not sure what to do – on one hand we want them to amuse themselves in the dirt but on the other they are fast running out of warm clean clothes!!!  How do any campers manage this on the road???  No showers tonight so the kids are in bed a little bit grubby – oh well!
After checking out the cotton fields on the way, we had a stop for lunch in St George on the banks of the Balonne River – another pretty spot.  After umming and aaahing a little over the maps at lunch time we decided to head for Mitchell rather than Cunnamulla and try to get off the major highway for a change.  We were rewarded with a very quiet sealed road and lots of wildlife spotting opportunities for the kids!  In the two hour drive from St George to Mitchell we came across a lost lamb, a turtle, heaps of Emu’s, heaps of kangaroos, a dead cow, a dead pig, flocks of lorikeets and a herd of goats, oh and a pack of wild dogs!
Ok – getting too cold to write much more – so off to bed for me – the photos can do the talking!
Ooops – nearly forgot – favourite parts of the day;
Lexi – putting the sticks on the fire
Toby – seeing the turtle on the road
Jack – looking out the window on the track we went on and seeing all the things there was to see
Jess – looking out the camper door and watching everybody sitting around the fire waiting while I cooked dinner, very close second was evening picnic on the river
Matt – having dinner by the fire
Goodnight All!  Thank you so much for the great comments we have been getting!  We do read them all but we are quite conscious of our internet usage at the moment – we seem to be flying through our data packs so we may not be able to reply until we come across some decent Wifi, but we love hearing from you!

Jerry gaurding our site at free camp ay Bungunya

Jerry gaurding our site at free camp ay Bungunya

Picking cotton - the kids were so interested!

Picking cotton – the kids were so interested!

Toby - cptton fields outside St George

Toby – cotton fields outside St George

Lots of huge cotton bales

Lots of huge cotton bales

Ballone River - St George

Balonne River – St George

Jack having a look at the Hema maps on the iPad at lunch time

Jack having a look at the Hema maps on the iPad at lunch time

Turtle crossing the road

Turtle crossing the road

All in the name of good photos!

All in the name of good photos!

Kids wrapped to see the turtle

Kids wrapped to see the turtle

Emus - lots crossing the road too!

Emus – lots crossing the road too!

Neil Pier

Neil Turner Weir Free Camp

Maranoa River outside Mitchell

Maranoa River outside Mitchell

First campfire for the trip!

First campfire for the trip!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | 13 Comments

Wynnum to Goondiwindi

Beautiful light this afternoon - wish we had have taken the time to stop and get some better photos!

Beautiful light this afternoon – wish we had have taken the time to stop and get some better photos!

Hooray – we finally made it on the road and out of Brisbane today and as promised we sang our Zac Brown Band theme song ‘Free’ at the top of our voices as we were leaving – it was a nice feeling! Video below – please excuse the singing – we’ll work on it!

We decided to head for Goondiwindi first as we have never been that way before. It rained for most of the day and we were getting nervous as we watched the temperature drop from 24 degrees to 14 degrees as we got over the Great Dividing Range – just outside Warwick – eeek! But it is not too freezing tonight – we have fleece liners in the kids sleeping bags and their flannelette PJ’s on and hoping that will keep them snug enough tonight – otherwise tomorrow night we will add a thermal layer to them!
We are free camped at Bungunya which is about 70km’s west of Goondiwindi – we even got free hot showers tonight – awesome and pretty clean to boot! Lots of driving today and not a lot of sightseeing as it was very wet and we wanted to put some kilometres behind us. No incidents today except that I split some delicious home-made chutney (it is soooooo yum Bern!) from my sandwich on my freshly washed pair of jeans which is very annoying when you don’t know when they will next see the washing machine! Lesson No 2 for the trip to be very careful when eating – especially when wearing freshly washed clothes – we already feel that freshly washed clothes is going to be a luxury!!
We finally out drove the rain at Goondiwindi this afternoon so we pulled over for a late lunch at the rest area and checked out the botanical gardens and the McIntyre River while we were there – very pretty! We then drove through a muster happening on the way out of town which was lots of fun to drive through all the cattle! The scenery today was really pretty – especially this afternoon when the rain cleared – we wished we had of stopped the car and taken some more photos but plenty more chances hopefully!!
We need to do some grocery shopping tomorrow and get some meals organised for the next few days but we need to do a bit of ruthless dumping of items in the morning to make room for groceries as we still feel to heavy and crowded in the camper!
Our Favourite Parts of Today (we try to go round the table at dinner time every night and each say a favourite part of the day – I thought I would record them here if I can remember them!);
Lexi – seeing two windmills
Toby – just driving in the car, seeing the Mustang car
Jack – going over the great dividing range, seeing all the cattle on the road
Jess – finally seeing the sun come out and seeing the beautiful late afternoon scenery, driving through the cattle muster as we felt we had come a long way from Brisbane.
Matt – just enjoying the driving and seeing all the different things there is to see from dwarf motorbikes on the road to huge grain silos
Today’s Photos

Rest stop in Goondiwindi

Rest stop in Goondiwindi

Botanical Gardens Goondiwindi - only small but very pretty!

Botanical Gardens Goondiwindi – only small but very pretty!

Beautiful Coolibah Tree - Jack was very excited to read the name of the tree - his first Coolibah Tree sighting - just like the 'Waltzing Matilda' song mum, he said!

Beautiful Coolibah Tree – Jack was very excited to read the name of the tree – his first Coolibah Tree sighting – just like the ‘Waltzing Matilda’ song mum, he said!

Goondiwindi is grain, sheep and cotton country - huge grain silos everywhere!  And yes we did outrun those dark clouds!

Goondiwindi is grain, sheep and cotton country – huge grain silos everywhere! And yes we did outrun those dark clouds!

We drove through a muster in progress just outside Goondiwindi

We drove through a muster in progress just outside Goondiwindi

Was a little funny driving through a herd of cattle with our big rig!

Was a little funny driving through a herd of cattle with our big rig!

Kids writing in their journals while waiting for dinner on day 1 - great idea - thanks Keria!

Kids writing in their journals while waiting for dinner on day 1 – great idea – thanks Keria!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | 9 Comments

The Big Day is Here!

Well – we did finally hit the road and make it out of Samford today at about 1pm …………………. and we made it all the way to Wynnum – about 45 minutes away!

It took us quite a while this morning to get organised enough to get away – and while we are still not packed properly – we do feel like we are a bit more sorted in the camper.  We bid farewell (sniff, sniff) to the Hanstede and Sheil families after finally gathering up the last of our belongings!

Matt’s younger brother James flew back in from five months in the UK today so we decided to have a last night in Brisbane staying with Carla (Matt’s cousin) and Lachie (thank you soooooo much guys!) for a night, who hosted a Fealy/Neary cousins BBQ for us all to catch up.  It’s taken a trip around Australia to make us come over to the other side of Brisbane for a visit!!!

We are very disappointed that our little Toyota Yaris didn’t sell today.  We had a buyer interested from Thursday and he even called at 7.30am this morning to say he was catching a bus from Toowoomba to come and buy it, but after running around to meet him in the city and checking to make sure bank’s etc would be open – he drove it and decided not to buy the car after all – sooo frustrating!.  So we have gone with our plan F – which is for Matt’s little brother James to drive it back up to Far North Queensland for us next week and try to sell it up there for us over the next month or so.  Aaaaargh, so annoying that it hasn’t sold before we head off on our trip – but fingers crossed it won’t take too much longer – otherwise our trip will be much shorter than we expected!  We had hoped that the car would be sold before we left so we could hit the road ‘free agent’s with nothing to worry about, but I am learning (lesson number one for the trip) that best laid plans don’t always come through!!

While Matt took the Yaris into the city – I drove the car and camper to a spot just outside the city (I was not game enough to be driving the whole rig through the city!) and parked to wait for Matt to be hopefully dropped off and the car sold and driven away.  While I was waiting I turned the car off – but did not remove the keys from the ignition which meant the car headlights stayed on.  Consequently, when Matt returned – with an unsold car – he also found I had deadened the battery on the Prado – needless to say we were both happy campers at that point – not!  Thankfully we had the switch to flick over to the second battery and we headed over to Wynnum at last!

The next unfortunate incident occurred as we were parking the car and camper out the front of Carla and Lachie’s house.  Matt was reversing the car and camper up alongside the curb, and due to the fact that the car/camper are now much heavier – we have realised the mudflaps Matt made are too long – unfortunately this meant that as Matt was reversing – he ran over the mudflap and pulled the bumper off the back of the left hand rear tyre.  Awesome.  But we picked it up off the ground – threw it in the car – and decided to think about it tomorrow and enjoy our last night with family.  And that is exactly what we did – a night with family has lifted our spirits.

We will hit the road for real tomorrow.  We have no idea which way we are headed – except the general direction of West -ish.  We think we will just ask the kids in the morning ‘left or right’ as we leave Brisbane and see where that takes us.  We’ll do some more sorting out at our next stop.  We need to find a weigh-bridge as the camper and car feel very heavy and we need to see what weight we are actually sitting at – there may be some emergency dumping required!

It will be interesting to see where we pull up tomorrow! Some photos from our first day ……………

Farewell to the Hanstede family!

Farewell to the Hanstede family!

Jack and his best mate Connor

Jack and his best mate Connor

Tobe and his best mate Patrick

Tobe and his best mate Patrick

Farewell to the Sheil family xoxoxoxox

Farewell to the Sheil family xoxoxoxox

Welcome home Uncle Jimbo!

Welcome home Uncle Jimbo!

Madi & Lex with their 'Tinkerbell' pressies from Paris from Uncle Jimbo

Madi & Lex with their ‘Tinkerbell’ pressies from Paris from Uncle Jimbo

Spoilt nephews with their costumes bought for them in London by Uncle Jimbo!

Spoilt nephews with their costumes bought for them in London by Uncle Jimbo!

Lovely night with the Fealy/Neary cousins - thank you so much to Carla & Lachie for having us!

Lovely night with the Fealy/Neary cousins – thank you so much to Carla & Lachie for having us!

The Fealy Boys

The Fealy Boys

Categories: Planning | 8 Comments

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