Owen, Watervale, Wirrabara, Red Hill, Gladstone

Since being back in SA I have managed to check out a few Town Garage sales in the district.

Not only is it a good way to find bits n pieces for our block, but a chance to see what these small towns have to offer.

The Watervale General Store is a cool place to eat as well as check out their retro collection & décor. We haven’t had a meal there yet, so can’t comment on their quality! 🙂 In Wirrabara we went to the Producers Market which was lovely.  They have some nice cafe’s and the Coffee Table Gallery has some brilliant woodwork (open on market days). The Painted Silo is a drawcard as well.

Red Hill – went to a market there and found a massive collection in a front yard. Bits of everything. When in Gladstone for a garage sale I stopped at a Hotel, the Booyoolee Hotel. It looked deserted except for people selling stuff next door. I wandered in and to my surprise there was a Café Bar inside. Still a work in progress but it will be great when finished. Can recommend the Baked Bean Muffin and Coffee!! 

I popped a couple of Block pics in too – my first batch of savoury muffins made in my revamped kitchen (yes they were edible!) And Hey Ewe – she was rejected by her mother so has been hand raised & fed. She is growing by the day but still thinks humans are her ‘kind’! When out for a walk or on the quad bike she is running alongside with Jeda! 

SA Places of Interest: Manna Hill & Terowie

Just realised it’s been ages since my last blog after arriving back on Da Block.

Been very busy (will explain next blog). I’ve started to compile a few pics of places we’ve been in our new adopted state of SA.

On our way home our last overnight stop was Manna Hill Rest Area. Donation with toilets available next to the pub. Enjoyed a beverage with the owner watching the passing parade of travellers & trains. The pub has a brilliant collection of old wares and a museum.

Then on to Terowie – it hasn’t changed much in many years. Almost a ghost town sad to say. We have stopped there a few times, and stayed overnight at rail siding. The façade of the buildings have hardly changed. A craft store & history of blacksmithing worth a look.

Will continue showcasing some of the area’s we’ve managed to check out in future blogs. What I am loving is the Town Garage Sales in the district! As I’m a bit of a ‘vintage tragic’ they have been the best for collecting old things people don’t want anymore.

Home among the Gumtrees & long grass!

From ‘On the Road’ to ‘On da Block’! Back to SA & head down, butt up doing a cleanup of Da Block.

Water tanks full, grass long, weeds even longer!! 😦 But after some full on days we have it under control. The green is starting to tinge brown now coming into Summer. We’ve had hot days already, total fire ban days, then back to the temperatures I prefer….and on goes the fireplace!!

So for now just a few pics of Da Block. Did take ourselves out to a local cafe in Clare called Zest Cafe! Had breaky there and it was beautiful, highly recommended. And dog friendly which is important to us as Jeda goes where we go!!

Finding a road not travelled….it’s tough!

After a long stay in Queensland visiting friends, relatives and generally ‘warming up’ it’s time to head homewards (SA). Looking on our map there aren’t too many untravelled roads which makes it tough to find a new road to explore.

So after a few days on familiar roads heading out of Brisbane passing through small towns Cecil Plains, Millmerran, Inglewood, Goondiwindi (and finding the bumpiest roads we’d been on in a while) we ended up in Thallon, south west Qld. Good timing too as the 2-3 day heat wave was about to hit along with dust storms.

Thallon, Qld offers all a Traveller needs:

  • Power $5.50 pn or free unpowered  area
  • Water (good bore, drinkable)
  • Amenities with hot showers & toilets
  • Silo Art “The Watering Hole” by Drapl & The Zookeeper – a drawcard for tourists following the trail
  • A pub with cold beverages, good prices and tasty meals – the Francis Hotel (pay your camp fees here)
  • and lots of wildlife that visit the town continuously.

We watched a procession of Travellers drop in to view the painted silos after they had a BIG long weekend at Nindigully Pub’s Film & Music Festival.

 

A quick trip up the coast of Queensland…

I don’t normally recommend caravan parks but we did stop in one on our quick trip up near Mackay, in from Ilbilbie about an hour south (Google it! 🙂 ) that we thought was impressive.  Cape Palmerston Holiday Park.

We spent over a week there with the intention of seeing if our Tinnie still floated and our fishing rods could catch anything! 🙂 I won’t elaborate, but we didn’t do real well. 😦 But we did enjoy the ‘serenity’. The amenities are HUGE and lovely and clean. Big camp kitchen & camp fire. Weekly rates good ($31pn) all year round.

We did a couple of drives around the district too, including Sarina, Carmilla Beach, Koumala Hotel & Yarrawonga Park Reserve (Notch Point) south of the caravan park.

Only had 2 weeks to get there & back as had work to be done to caravan in Brisbane, but would recommend a Spring holiday in this area.

Negatives: Mozzies/Midgies at sunset, big tides, no crabs when we were there.  Positives: good weather, quiet, lots of wildlife, dog friendly van park, big camp sites & tent areas, reasonable price.

Camels, Yabby’s & Camping – fun festival!!

We decided to attend the Tara Festival of Culture & Camel Races held 2-4th August at Tara, in the western downs 300klms west of Brisbane.

The lineup to get in was a bit ‘average’ – 1 1/2 hrs but we kind of expected it as it was the first day of entry for camping. 5 days of camping @ $6 per day – good deal. Once in and campsite picked & setup, we spent a couple of days with friends & checking out Tara. The town kids held a street parade (book week characters) and a couple of markets were held around town. We have camped at the lagoon a few times before on our way west.

When the festival began on the Sat & Sun there was heaps to see and do. From the cultural entertainment, the wood carving with chain saws, camp oven cooking demos, country singers, whip cracking demos, chopper rides and of course the camel & yabby races the days were easily filled in.

Fireworks & Motorcycle stunt riding at night; The McClymonts headlined Sat night and the food stalls were all really good quality. (Got me outta cooking! :P) And each afternoon we had the obligatory Happy Hour around the campfire with the group we were with. Tough life huh?!

Best part about camping at the festival site is you can return to your camp for breaks whenever you want. We were also able to bring our dog Jeda to the camp ground, not into the festival area though. Over the 5 days we enjoyed it and thought the town organised it very well, catering to thousands of people. Even the porta loos & showers seemed to cope quite well.

I highly recommend giving this festival a try and support the small towns.  If I can give out one tip: on leaving a festival, if you aren’t in a hurry wait till after smoko! We had a clear run with not a car in site!!

Big Rivers & Big Blue Skies

After the very disappointing result of Game 3 of ‘you know what’….(I can’t even manage to type the words!! 😦 ) we had a day in  Wauchope (west of Port Macquarie) and relived our previous stay and the changes happening in this little town, then we ventured further north chasing the sun.

Stopped overnight at the lovely town of Macksville. Three overnight RV stops are on offer and we chose the Princess Street RV Stop in a back street next to a lake and outside the Council Chambers. Only ones there. Word of warning: the allocated spaces at the other RV stops are for shorter van/car combinations. Macksville is a small town on the Nambucca River & off the Pacific Highway.

We did do another sweep through Nambucca Heads the next day, and kept going! School holidays was definitely in full swing! Grafton was our next stop over for a couple of nights.

Recommendation: Jabour Park, South Grafton (find it on Wikicamps or Free Range Camping). It is run by the Grafton Vintage Motor Vehicle Club and has everything Travellers need. Call to access lock code on gate (security is great), toilets, showers, dump point, unpowered for $10 per vehicle per night. Quiet, safe, dog friendly with an oval and wildlife in the late afternoons. A light aircraft field next door but not a noise problem.

I am a ‘Vintage Tragic’ and just love anything from the 50’s to late 70’s so I was in heaven when I found a small shop with vintage type decor in front window. HAD to go in and OMG it went on & on & up! Rooms & rooms crammed with everything my parents, grandparents and so on would have owned once! It’s like De ja vu back to my childhood. It took all my self control to walk out empty handed!! (wonder if they have a website & online store?? ) ORANGE DAZE!

The sun beckoned so onwards into the abiss!!! Highway Traffic, toll roads and more traffic!! 😦

Over the border to Queensland!! Our home state!

Images of Australia on our Nomadic Journey