Qld Camping

O’Briens Creek, Mt Surprise.

We finished off our two weeks away last weekend with a few nights camping with family at O’Briens Creek and doing some gem fossicking. My Aunty Leanne wrote a post about it on her blog ‘Travelling is An Adventure”. I thought I would share the post on our blog too as it will probably be a week or so until I get a chance to do our post about our time at O’briens Creek. It was a great weekend and a really lovely spot!! Leanne has some great photos of our time there in her post so check it out!

Travelling Is An Adventure

Well, the picks are sharpened in anticipation of a big weekend fossicking. Bring on the luck and some good weather, but first to pick up the boys.

Murray and I went to Cairns Thursday afternoon to pick up Andrew and Simon who were winging their way to us to go camping and fossicking for a few days with us, Grandad, Uncle Stewart, Uncle John, their cousins and their families. Time of arrival was 6.50pm but they arrived twenty minutes early which was a wonderful surprise. My heart jumped when I saw them both, it had been four weeks since we had left home, and them, and I missed them. There was much chatter and laughter in the car on the trip back to the Tableland where Grandad and Grandma were anxiously waiting to see them too.

Friday morning arrived with much excitement. Packing done, time to hit the road. Mt…

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The Final Leg

DSC_0429Sigh.  Deep Breath …………………………………………………………………..

There is no more delaying.  It is time to bite the bullet and write the final post covering the last day and night of life on the road for the Fealy Family Adventure of 2013.  Aaaargh, so hard.  That means our trip really is over, complete, finished, done.  It was so long in the thinking and planning and all over in three very short, but amazingly good months.  It feels like a dream now.  

Ok, on with it. Continue reading

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Normanton/Karumba

DSC_0172It is physically hurting my heart to write these last few posts about our trip, oh how I miss the days of adventure!  But, I realise there are probably several people out there following our blog who are just wanting to read the last few posts about the trip and wishing we would hurry the heck up and get on with it, so they can then ‘unsubscribe’ and no longer have to listen to our ramblings and be subjected to posts about Chocolate Slice!  Fair enough I guess, so here goes, today and tomorrow will see the last couple of posts about the trip published.

After surviving the Savannah Way, we popped back out into civilisation at Doomadgee and after a quick fuel top up we decided to head for Normanton and spend a precious few nights there.  It was a tough decision to bypass Lawn Hill National Park, but we didn’t think we had enough time left in our trip to ‘do Lawn Hill properly’ and we have decided that will be one of the first destinations that we head to when things finally start to slow down here at Blue Sky Produce.

The Savannah Way – pretty much the path we took back from Broome

Normanton is only a small cattle town, just south of the Gulf of Carpentaria and sits on the Norman River.  It is most famous for its enormous saltwater crocodile ‘Krys’ who was shot in the Norman River.  He is the largest crocodile ever taken, at 8.6metres long, and there is a replica statue in the main street of Normanton to give you an idea of how big he was!  We couldn’t believe how massive – we sure wouldn’t ever like to come across one of those out in the wild!

The kids with 'Krys' the croc in Normanton

The kids with ‘Krys’ the croc in Normanton

We stayed at the Normanton Tourist Park and loved it.  They had a great swimming pool (huge!), hot pool and lovely shady sites (albeit a bit dusty), as well as nice clean amenities.  We had our second ‘Are We There Yet’ blog spotting here at the caravan park and got to meet Kevin and his girls who had been following along on our journey – it was so nice to have a chat to another traveller – thanks Kevin!

We had a very relaxing time in Normanton.  We walked downtown and checked out the information centre – it was great!  Heaps of interesting information in there and plenty for the kids to look at too – I think we spent an hour or two just wandering and reading in here!

The outside of the information centre in Normanton

The outside of the information centre in Normanton

We loved this seat out the front of the information centre - might have to get Matt to have a go at making one!

We loved this seat out the front of the information centre – might have to get Matt to have a go at making one!

Pictures of enormous crocodiles in the information centre

Pictures of enormous crocodiles in the information centre

And another enormous one!

And another enormous one!

As well as spending heaps of time relaxing by the the pool – we were trying to eek out the last of our ‘holiday’ before it was over – we took a just under one hour drive one afternoon and checked out Karumba, a small fishing town which sits on the ocean in the Gulf.  It was really lovely there, just such a bummer you can’t swim in the ocean due to crocodiles, but we had plenty of fun walking along the beach collecting shells.DSC_0280 IMG_3313

We really ‘lived it up’ with a spectacular final ‘treat’ dinner at the Sunset Tavern right on the beach.  It was a really memorable afternoon for us and a special way to close off our trip!DSC_0302 DSC_0310 DSC_0318 DSC_0330 DSC_0328 DSC_0332 DSC_0354 DSC_0388 DSC_0334 DSC_0335 DSC_0360 DSC_0374 DSC_0350

I think Karumba and Normanton will always have a special place in our hearts – definitely stop in there if you ever get the chance!

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Boulia

Spotted our first camel in Boulia

Spotted our first camel in Boulia

Well we are about to lose reception/internet access for about a week so I thought I would quickly try to get a post out about our time in Boulia before we left.  I had planned to do it last night but we ended up having drinks with the Grey Nomads camped beside us instead.  They were two very lovely couples who spoilt the kids with lollies and gave us heaps of good tips on places to visit in NT and WA.  Matt spent the night with a pen and a map on his lap circling good spots as the nomads yelled them out – good fun!

We have had a really good stay in Boulia free camped down on the Bourke River behind the racecourse.  There were toilets and cold showers here but we had to drive to them – if not for that I think we could have stayed here for a week!  We went to the visitor information centre and paid $36 to do the fantastic Min Min encounter experience they have there!  It was fantastic!  A little scary for the kids but they still enjoyed it!  The kids have been looking for the Min Min light (unexplained light that follows/chases people out here in this area – people have various theories – mineral gases being released, emu’s who have rolled in phosphorous gas, ghosts from the ‘seedy’ Min Min hotel that burned down etc, etc).  It was a 45minute show that had you walking from little room to little room while people (talking dummies) told stories about the Min Min light – really great!

We also have now seen camels!  Boulia is famous for its camel racing weekend which occurs at the end of July and as we are camped behind the racetrack we got to see the camels in training yesterday afternoon – sooooo awesome – just our little family watching the camels get pushed around the racetrack by a man on a four-wheeler – we all loved it!

We had another pretty relaxing afternoon yesterday after checking out Boulia in the morning (nothing much here except the Min Min encounter, a shop (lovely lady behind the counter gave the kids a lolly pop each for free!), pub and library and huge aquatic centre!), Jack was lucky enough to borrow some Robert Irwin dinosaur stories written about the Winton Dinosaurs which we had seen for sale at the Dinosaur Museum in Winton – so he read both of them in one afternoon and was sooooo excited to be reading about all the places and things we had seen in Winton!  Once again the library is so good while travelling – the librarian is even letting us return the books to the Visitor Centre before we leave as the library is closed today.

I had a go at baking brownies in the camper gas oven but they turned out a disaster – burnt on top and not cooked on the bottom – more practice definitely required!  I did redeem myself with crumbed steak and veges for dinner – yum!  And I got a lesson on camp oven cooking from the Grey Nomads so I am keen to give ours a go soon!

Favourite Parts of the Day

Lexi – Having a walk with mum

Toby – going for a 4wd with Dad to collect wood

Jack – lighting the fire with dad, the Min Min show, dinner

Jess – seeing the camels go round the racetrack while having an afternoon family walk

Matt – collecting firewood with Tobes with Zac Brown cranking

Think we will be out of range for the next week or so – a glut of posts to come next week – hope you are all well – we are having a ball so far – 2 weeks of our trip gone already!!!

Boulia - we liked it but really not a lot here

Boulia – we liked it but really not a lot here

Relaxing

Relaxing

Lex finally getting a chance to play with some of her birthday presses

Lex finally getting a chance to play with some of her birthday presses

Dirt bombs!  Keeping these kids clean is impossible!

Dirt bombs! Keeping these kids clean is impossible!

Lex and I off for a walk - me sporting my new headband which my mum crotcheted for me - love it mum!

Lex and I off for a walk – me sporting my new headband which my mum crotcheted for me – love it mum!

Afternoon walk across the dry river bed

Afternoon walk across the dry river bed

More Dirt

More Dirt

Camels in training

Camels in training

Our private show on our afternoon walk

Our private show on our afternoon walk

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Burke River where we camped - not much water up our end of the camping area

Burke River where we camped – not much water up our end of the camping area

Love having campfires

Love having campfires

Jack loved reading about the dinosaurs in Winton after we had just seen them!!!

Jack loved reading about the dinosaurs in Winton after we had just seen them!!!

 

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Winton to Boulia

 

Beautiful sunset as we were driving in to Boulia

Beautiful sunset as we were driving in to Boulia

Yesterday we drove the 360km’s from Winton to Boulia.  We left Winton at 12pm after sleeping in and being a bit slow in the morning and doing a big stock up on groceries and meat at the butcher.  We arrived in Boulia at 7pm which was far too late and really silly/dangerous to be trying to find a campsite in a place we have never been to in the dark – we have vowed never to do that again!

It was a nice drive – quite scenic and probably the most remotest countryside we have driven through so far.  We stopped at the Middleton Pub for lunch (and Matt had to buy a beer from the bar).  This pub is known to be one of the most isolated pubs in Australia – there is literally nothing at Middleton but the pub!  While we were making our lunch – a very friendly pig called ‘Pig’ wandered across the road from the pub to us and tried to steal our food – the kids thought it was hilarious!

From Middleton we stopped at the old Hamilton Hotel site (each of these sites were Cobb & Co carriages change-over points on their route between Winton and Boulia – there were 9 changeover points – qute interesting!) and filled up with water – thanks for the good tip Aunty Nerida and Uncle Garth!  It saved us having to do most of the drive with a heavy camper full of water and we got some of the best tasting water straight up from the Artesian Basin!

We ended up travelling in to Boulia in the dark (silly as lots of Kangaroos on the road!) but we wanted to make Boulia so we could only have one set up and stay put for a few days!  It took as a little while to locate the free camping area behind the racecourse, but when we did we were lucky enough to be directed in to a lovely spot by some Grey Nomads – saved us driving around dangerously in the dark and no arguments!

North Gregory Hotel where we free camped (gold coin donation) in Winton

North Gregory Hotel where we free camped (gold coin donation) in Winton

Campsite in Winton - quite crowded but a great spot!

Campsite in Winton – quite crowded but a great spot!

Tobes checking out 'Banjo Patterson' in front of the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton

Tobes checking out ‘Banjo Patterson’ in front of the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton

Swagmen Statue Winton

Swagmen Statue Winton

Lunch stop Middleton Pub

Lunch stop Middleton Pub

Very friendly pig who joined us

Very friendly pig who joined us

Pig

Pig

Matt having a beer and a chat to a local at the pub

Matt having a beer and a chat to a local at the pub

Cobb and Co carriage at the Middleton changeover point

Cobb and Co carriage at the Middleton changeover point

Feeling up with the best water at the Hamilton Hotel changeover point rest area

Filling up with the best water at the Hamilton Hotel changeover point rest area

Kids playing while we got the water at Hamilton Hotel - windmill pumps water straight up from artesian basin

Kids playing while we got the water at Hamilton Hotel – windmill pumps water straight up from artesian basin

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Winton

Out the front of the Age of Dinosaur museum

Out the front of the Age of Dinosaurs Museum

Well – we finally left Winton today – we definitely got a case of the Winton go slows while we were there – it was really lovely to stop and slow down a little!

We drove into Winton with the family on their way home from Carisbrooke and did a little more sightseeing with all the kids.  We checked out Arno’s Wall – basically a wall of junk but quite interesting really and our kids loved it!  The kids are at the age where they are collecting junk wherever we go – driving us nuts – but we have given them a plastic ‘treasure’ box each and they are enjoying filling them with bottle tops, screws, rocks, glass and whatever shiny things they find!  I will have to get a photo of them.  The deal is once the treasure boxes are filled – they must throw something out – hopefully then we won’t come home with a van filled with trash!!  Anyway – a little off track there!  While we still had all the cousies together we also checked out the ‘Musical Fence’.  The kids loved this and made sooooooo much noise there!  I’m sure we ruined the experience for the poor Grey Nomads who ended up there at the same time as us!

Arno's Wall

Arno’s Wall

Kids checking out Arno's wall - Tobes thinks he's making one when we get our 'new home' hmmmmm

Kids checking out Arno’s wall – Tobes thinks he’s making one when we get our ‘new home’ hmmmmm

Playing 'laser noises' on the musical fence

Playing ‘laser noises’ on the musical fence

Not much music but lots of good racket happening!

Not much music but lots of good racket happening!

Unfortunately then we had to say goodbye to the family and our much loved little dog Jerry who has gone to live with the Grandparents while we do our trip!  We are missing him lots already but I am pretty sure he thinks he has gotten an upgrade!!

Goodbye Jerry!

Goodbye Jerry!

After that we decided to free camp behind the North Gregory Hotel (the pub where ‘Waltzing Matilda’ was first played publicly).  It was very crowded, but it was central and we had toilets and a hot shower!  We decided to spend our ‘treat’ money this week on the most delicious lunch ever at the pub!  My mouth is just watering thinking about our yummy BLT’s, Steak Sandwich and chips – definitely get a meal there if you are ever in Winton – real pub food!  We then spent the next few days doing some washing, replacing the camper trailer plug that fell out and got trashed on the road back in from Carisbrooke, hanging out at the library – Jack was kindly allowed to borrow a book (‘Diary of A Wimpy Kid’) for the night which he really enjoyed and finished, and doing some more sightseeing.  Oh and we got to have a free singalong ‘Waltzing Matilda’ show at the pub, put on by ‘Helen’.  It was good for the kids as she told them all about the history of how Waltzing Matilda the song evolved and the different versions of it!  They did well joining in on the singing – Tobes likes to belt out a a very loud chorus of Waltzing Matilda!

Lark Quarry exhibit in the Corfield & Fitzmaurice building

Lark Quarry exhibit in the Corfield & Fitzmaurice building

The dinosaur wheelie bins everywhere in Winton - awesome!

The dinosaur wheelie bins everywhere in Winton – awesome!

On the deck chairs outside the North Gregory Hotel

On the deck chairs outside the North Gregory Hotel

Waltzing Matilda Centre Theatre Room - a pretty good story of how the Waltzing Matilda song evolved

Waltzing Matilda Centre Theatre Room – a pretty good story of how the Waltzing Matilda song evolved

Statues in the main street depicting the Waltzing Matilda story

Statues in the main street depicting the Waltzing Matilda story

Open Air Theatre

Open Air Theatre

World's Biggest Deck Chair - Huge!

World’s Biggest Deck Chair – Huge!

We loved the ‘Australian Age of Dinosaurs’ museum just outside Winton – it was great for the kids and soooo interesting to see people working on cleaning up real Dinosaur bones and learning how a dinosaur dig actually happens!  Jack said he can’t wait to be twelve which is the age required to join a dig – Jack was really interested in it all – excited and asking lots of questions – a good age for it!  Lex feel asleep on the floor during the talk about the collection of bones that have been found – hehehe – might have to make sure she has a sleep before the next tour – the Grey Nomads thought it was quite funny!!  Very inspiring too, to hear how David Elliot (the founder of the non-profit museum) discovered the first dinosaur bone on his station in Winton, and to hear about his passion for the Australian Dinosaur history to be uncovered while at the same time, putting his local community on the map as a tourist destination and helping to keep a rural town alive – definitely a great story of an aussie farmer who cares deeply about our country and the community he lives in.

Age of Dinosaur Museum

Age of Dinosaurs Museum

Awesome experience to see how Dinosaur bones are uncovered and made ready for the museums

Awesome experience to see how Dinosaur bones are uncovered and made ready for the museums

Dinosaur bones in their 'jackets' waiting to be processed

Dinosaur bones in their ‘jackets’ waiting to be processed

Volunteers working on cutting the dinosaur bones from the rocks in the laboratory

Volunteers working on cutting the dinosaur bones from the rocks in the laboratory

Australia's most famous dinosaur bones from 'Matilda' a huge dinosaur who they think died as a result of getting stuck in the mud in a billabong

Australia’s most famous dinosaur bones from ‘Matilda’ a huge dinosaur who they think died as a result of getting stuck in the mud in a billabong

View from Age of Dinosaurs museum was great!

View from Age of Dinosaurs museum was great!

Great views

Great views

The Waltzing Matilda centre was pretty good, but probably a bit expensive and we had seen a lot of the stuff that was there (old trucks etc) for free at Ilfracombe, so apart from the little Waltzing Matilda theatre show and the holographic show about aussie legends, the kids weren’t terribly interested.  We had purchased the ‘Gold Winton Pass’ for $140 which gave us entry to all of the attractions around Winton so we feel we got pretty good value for money from it – especially as I got $5 off at the butcher today too for having that pass!  And that was Winton!  Oh – forgot to mention the amazing shop called ‘Searles General Store’ – it had everything you could possibly imagine jammed in to it!!  And the shop just kept going back, and back!  The kids and I loved having a dig through all the toys, clothes and ‘stuff’ in there!  Thanks for the tip Mrs Holman to check it out!!!

 

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Carisbrooke Station

DSC_0726On our second day at Carisbrooke Station we decided to join in with some of the Grey Nomads on their station tour. Station owner Charles guided us to Python Canyon where we had a short but fairly steep walk down to see some Aboriginal paintings. It was nice to visit something so interesting in a fairly non-commercial setting.

Off for a hike to Python Gorge to see some Aboriginal Paintings

Looking out over Python Gorge

Python Gorge

All the kids walked down & back up by themselves and so did the Grandparents!

All the kids walked down & back up by themselves and so did the Grandparents!

Aboriginal Paintings – Carisbrooke Station

Cooper & Tobes

From there we went on to the station’s private opal mine. Of course with Grammy & Grunda with us we were keen to do some fossicking and Charles was happy just to leave us there to spend the day looking for that magic opal that was going to see us all retired by the end of the weekend! We didn’t find anything really amazing but at least we all found a few bits and pieces with some colour in them so it was quite exciting! It was however very hot! I can’t imagine what it would be like out here in summer!!!

Grunda & Riley hunting for opals

The Campbell Boys claim – don’t mess with them!

Grunda & Jack didn’t even stop for lunch!

Grammy & Tobes with their treasures

Lunch time at the Opal mine

We had a good stay at Carisbrooke Station and owners Penny and Charles were very friendly and accommodating – however it is a long way out of Winton (also quite corrugated) and being in drought there was no water in the dam so nowhere for the kids to swim and cool off at the end of the day. Not quite Easter at Emu Park but still a great family weekend together with some lovely memories!

Grunda telling the two youngest grandies a story

The Fealy/Campbell kids in the shearing shed

True Blue Aussie Boys – the 6 grandsons

Rod cooking dinner – Dad there for moral support (ie. to drink beer!)

Camp kitchen – Carisbrooke Station

Communal Campfire Area – Carisbrooke Station

Matt and I and the kids feel so grateful that my mum and dad and Beth & Rod drove all the way from Townsville (7 hours) just to spend the weekend with us and wish us Bon-Voyage for our trip – it was a really lovely way to kick off our adventure and nice to see everybody before we are away from them for the next 7 or so months! We feel so lucky to have the best family in the world – thank you Mum, Dad, Beth, Rod, Riley, Dylan, Cooper and Corey xoxoxoxox

Camp Carisbrooke 2013

PS. Sorry about the photo sizes in this post – we are playing around trying a few different things trying to figure out the best way to use as little internet as possible to try and get the blog posts uploaded quickly as we are flying through our internet quota’s!  If we can get some decent free WiFi (the internet at the library yesterday was just too slow!) then I will try to re-upload the photos – bummed because these photos are some of the nicest from the trip so far but I just don’t have time to re-upload them now!

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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’!

 

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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

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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

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