Continuing out revisiting trip around Central & Western Queensland we headed to Isisford, south of Longreach & Ilfracombe.
The Council seems more than happy to have Travellers come and stay and we were able to camp wherever it suited us, all for the same exorbitant price of $6 per day!!! 😛 hahaha
We checked out the camps along the river (repairs being done on the Weir so lots of machinery working week days) so moved on and found camp areas around the local Tennis Court, Pool and Skatepark. Water available, unpowered with public amenities and showers available. What a wonderful spot! As we have done so much in the past, if you have the time, slow down and stop in these smaller towns and learn their history, meet their locals and enjoy country hospitality!
Due to lockdowns and 14-day isolations along areas of the coast, some travel plans were changed. We did happen to find a wonderful spot with a Hotspring and lots of bird life. I can’t say where it is cause then EVERYONE will know!! But we did enjoy 4-5 days there before heading north again to Ravenswood (south-east of Charters Towers).
Spent a week exploring this area including the Burdekin Falls Dam and both Hotels! It’s a mining town and at end of shifts the main street is swamped with vehicles, buses and workers! We especially enjoyed the tour of the Outback Railway Hotel with owner Terry. For a donation to the RFDS, he will show you around his Hotel and tell you stories of its history. LOVED his underground Whiskey Room….
From there it was south again to Lara Wetlands, 28klms south of Barcaldine. We stopped 2 nights (we had already visited a month earlier). Not as busy now as the tourist season winds down (April-September). Beautiful lagoon with lots of waterbirds & spectacular sunsets & sunrises to keep cameras busy. The Hotsprings are ‘therapeutic’ but stay too long and you might overheat! That’s where the Cold Pool helps!
New owner Jodie Muntelwit has taken on not just a working cattle station but a tourist destination – ‘Oasis in the Outback’ with visitors trooping through 6 months of the year. She fits in a tour twice a week of the old Homestead with morning teas in her busy schedule. $25 per night unpowered with amenities.
Onwards further south….to be continued….!
At 12 Mile RA on road to Isisford
Stone Pitching-erosion proof
Stone Pitching-still in place today
Isisford-The Big Yellowbelly
Isisford-eclectic front yard
Isisford-Whitmans Cafe, Interpretive Centre
Isisford-Hooper & Brockhurst Store museum
Isisford-Jeda learning NOT to chase skippys!
Isisford-visitors every evening
Oma Waterhole-Pink&Grey Galahs
Isisford-Mr Emu & his chicks
Isisford-neighbours 5wk old Kelpie Miss Sally
Isisford-last fire before leaving
Our secret Hotsprings-Brolgas
Our secret Hotsprings-gidgee burning
Our secret Hotsprings-flying Brolgas
Our secret Hotsprings-visiting crane
Ravenswood-Railway Hotel facade
Ravenswood-Railway Hotel-The Indian Room
Ravenswood-Railway Hotel underground
Ravenswood-Railway Hotel-Whiskey Bar
Ravenswood-Railway Hotel-Whiskey Bar
Ravenswood-Imperial Hotel bar
Ravenswood-Thorps Building now cafe
Ravenswood-Buck Reef West pit
Ravenswood-Buck Reef West pit
Ravenswood-old cemetery right next to mine pit
Ravenswood-Butlers Cottage 19 kids raised here!
Lara Wetlands-Swamp Hen & young
Lara Wetlands-Kookaburra feeding
Lara Wetlands-fighting or mating??
Lara Wetlands-Kookaburra coming at ya!
Blackall-look what I found at IGA!!! SA’s best ice cream!!
Border Passes! This may be the new Norm. A pass to cross from state to state. 😦 Applied and received almost straight away. We crossed the border at Hebel, lined up with quite a few other travellers, showed our passes & answered some questions….then decided to stop behind the pub for the night! Policeman said he’d see us again in the morning!
Had a great night. The hospitality in this little pub and free parking out back is wonderful. The John Murray artwork on the walls and the slight lean on the bar add to the quirkiness. Cold night, a camp fire out front of pub and chats to travellers is just the best. The lineup went for miles the next morning! So we sat outside the pub with a cuppa and watched till the procession slowed down a bit.
Again we are going over roads we’ve travelled before, but it’s tough to find new paths. Especially since the areas have had rain and some roads were closed. Had a bit of a ‘mishap’ on some wet ground, but all worked out ok!
At Mitchell I met Kangaroo Jack. He sells coffee from his trailer on Saturday mornings to raise funds to help him rehab orphaned joeys from roadkill. His refuge Warrego Wildlife Refuge is in Mungallala, west of Mitchell.
In Blackall we visited The Black Stump again. It wasn’t exactly how I remember it from 2006. Have posted a 2006 & 2021 pic. Weird?!
Our latest trip was 200klms around the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail from Aramac to Lake Dunn & back to Aramac. Will post all the photos later in my Portfolio, similar to Tin Horse Highway in WA.
Well, what a trip! As with most travels on the road there are ups and downs…we did have a number of ‘downs’ pre-trip (not worth going into) but one thing that did cause concern was our batteries.
Day 2 – Peterborough Rest Area, SA – woke up to low voltage throughout van – and it was freezing!! Turned on diesel heater – no go, lights dim, loo wouldn’t flush!! Bugger! So it was a mad dash on a Saturday morning to nearest battery shop (Port Pirie) for 4 new batteries. B installed Sat arvo and then we were off again! Big thanks to Neville Coe of Coe’s Autoelectrical!
Then on to the Flinders Ranges…we thought! Held up for 4 hours just outside of Port Augusta due to Bike Race. Eventually we made it to our favourite stop: Willow Springs Station. We did a 3 month work stint here many years ago and when we return we are always made to feel like family.
Check out their website (above) to see what’s on offer: from bush camp sites to 4×4 tracks to hiking trails to doing absolutely nothing! I took Jeda’s photo @ 8wks at the woolshed, so tried to replicate the photo again 4 1/2 yrs later, but not with much success!
After a few days there it was onwards to Blinman, Parachilna, Farina, Lyndhurst (for fuel) & Marree. Had read a bit about the restoration of Farina and the underground bakery so stopped over a couple of nights to check out the ruins and of course the bakery! Absolutely beautiful fresh baked bread daily (only a few months a year so check website) – highly recommended!!!
Stopped a night in carpark of Marree Hotel. Shouted ourselves dinner in the pub. By around 5pm the carpark was full of travellers! And by 8am the next day most had gone! From here we headed up the Birdsville Track. Smoko at Clayton Station – they have a lovely spa tub that is worth a stopover, stopped a night at Cooper Creek (no creek!), onwards past Mungeranie as we had stopped here before. Only took us 2 days and we arrived in Birdsville late afternoon.
We did have a mishap on the track though. Scored a broken rear window from a Road Train. It happens (1st time for us). B taped it up best he could till we could get it repaired. Only a few days before the road had been closed due to rain. Graders were working frantically making sure traffic could get through due to Big Red Bash starting soon.
We parked up on the Birdsville Common with thousands of others! Did some long needed washing and minor repairs. Then it was time to sign in to the Big Red Bash Volunteers Hall in town. B signed in and I volunteered at the time as they had a number of people unable to attend or fulfill their roles. I was allotted Road Marshall for one shift and two shifts on Toilet Duties (Loo Angels).
Then too soon it was time to head out to the Big Red Bash site for B’s first setup shift. I will post a separate blog about the bash when I get time to edit my thousands of photos!! Let’s just say it was BRILLIANT!!! The concerts were great, the performers were terrific, but the event as a whole was a wonderful experience. We met some lovely volunteers and had a great time, made even better because we were able to take Jeda. I even hung out in the ‘mosh pit’ for a few performances (took me back to 25 long years ago!!)
After the Bash, we went back to Birdsville common for a day or so then we headed up to Boulia for the Camel Races. Free camping included with your ticket. By the time we arrived there were hundreds of campers there. We spent 6 days and loved it. They had entertainers for 2 nights but it was so cold we bailed early for a warm caravan!
From Boulia we headed to Middleton, Winton (Hotel), Barcaldine, Anakie, Duaringa (Hotel), Lake Victoria, Mt Perry to Hervey Bay. Recommend Winton Hotel carpark for free camping and a great pub meal (find info on Wikicamps).
To sum up – yes outback Queensland is dry, dusty and remote – and beautiful. It is DEFINITELY a must do for all Travellers. Don’t be put off by distance, dirt or cost. Support the people of the Outback by visiting their ‘backyard’.
Anakie sculpture @ rest area
Inside the Birdsville bakery
The iconic Birdsville Bakery
Sunrise @ Cooper Creek
Jeda’s favourite car position
Was a bit muddy lately! Birdsville track
Single lane due to water lapping the side of Birdsville track
Two graders on Birdsville track after significant rainfall
Taped up smashed rear window on Birdsville Track
Smashed window – extra tape just in case!
Got my Crew wrist band & ready to rock!
Campfire with friends Birdsville common
Just how dry the earth is in the outback
Jeda’s favourite guard position – the stairs of the caravan
Jeda eyeing off my damper
Water in the Diamantina River, Birdsville
Our first sunset on arrival @ Birdsville common
Sign outside North Blinman Hotel
The Blinman Store with sculpture
3D school crossing in Boulia
Our camp area with the hundreds of others
Yummo Happy Hour with savoury damper & a cold beer
Demo on how NOT to dismount a camel – he landed in a heap on the ground!
Jeda not sure about sign (she’s a SA born dog)
“Let me outta here” – camel tagging event
Entertainer Mick Lindsay
They’re off and racing!
One of the food vendors @ Boulia Camel Races
The race winner
Rides @ Boulia Camel Races
Enjoying the win
Winners @ Boulia Races
Back of Duaringa Hotel free camping
Sheep & Cattle loading setup @ Farina
Rail precinct water tower, Farina
Our first stop @ Farina – for smoko treats!!
Sunset @ campground, Farina
The restoration of Transcontinental Hotel, Farina
Street signs on vague streets with no buildings, Farina
Views from ruins windows
The wood oven in underground bakery, Farina
The Underground Bakery, Farina
War Memorial on hill @ Farina
Flocks of pelicans surround the lake
Sunset over Lake Victoria
Juvenile Whistling Kite @ Lake Victoria
Fueling up @ Lyndhurst Hotel
Sunset Marree Hotel
Car park camp area Marree Hotel
Bar @ Marree Hotel
Photo in Marree Hotel of Tom Kruse & wife
Our RFDS mascot comes along for the ride
Marree – Tom Kruse truck
Views of mesas
Sign out front of Middleton Hotel
Middleton Hotel – old Cobb & Co coach
Sunset over Morayfield
Smoko @ Mungerannie @ the Bus Stop & Macca’s
The Stone Man near Marree
Tree of Knowledge Barcaldine
The Public bar in Birdsville Hotel
Middleton Hotel – opposite is The Hilton Hotel!!
Arnos Wall in Winton – has some new additions since our last visit
The new Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton
A good way to tart up a donga!
Brilliant sculpture @ Parachilna
Frost on the windows @ Peterborough
Whilst held up on road to Quorn, watched the Pichi Richi train go past
Love this building…
The Shoe Tree on road to Bedourie
Whetting your appetite before reaching Prairie Hotel
You know you are in a mining area….
Aerial of buildings @ Willow Springs Station
The BEST camp kitchen in the Flinders!
@ entrance to Willow Springs Station
Part of the camp kitchen decor
Sunrise over the Winton Hotel bush camp ground
Had a g8 full moon whilst in Winton
Winton-Beaut burger @ Musical Fence Cafe – given Jeda’s approval!