Tag Archives: Brisbane

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!!

Advertisements

House sit at Laura Bay, SA….again!

Whilst waiting for our new axle to be sent from Brisbane (the floods put the order back a bit), we stopped at Laura Bay, about 25klms south of Ceduna to do some fishing.

We had a good run with many days bringing in ample King George Whiting, Blue Swimmer Crabs and squid. It’s a lovely bay but not sheltered that much from the winds, so we had many days of just watching the tide go in and out! It DOES have an abundance of mosquitoes and March flies though! We did a short house sit for the owners of the house in the Conservation Park again before packing up and heading off to find somewhere to go for Easter

I’d like to promote the business in Ceduna that worked on our ‘scrubbing out our tyre’ problem, Ceduna Metal Solutions, 70 Schwartz Street. The owner spent a day trouble shooting with B eliminating things to decide what was causing the problem. Turned out to be the axle. Highly recommend them!

We have hit the road again and wandering around parts of the Eyre Peninsula we haven’t yet been or revisiting some we enjoyed previously….stay tuned! (Happy Easter everyone!)

From SA to Qld via Strzelecki Track

As they say things are meant to happen for a reason. My father had a fall at home and was hospitalized for a month. We decided to head back to Brisbane to make sure he was going to be ok. We had been on just about every road from SA to Qld, except via the Strzelecki Track so that was our route.

We headed north to Leigh Creek and across from there – luckily the track wasn’t too bad. Rough in parts, a bit corrugated and lots of bull dust but not too bad. We stopped at Moomba Lookout overlooking the gasfields. The clouds were rolling in that night which wasn’t a great sign and by morning they were surrounding us. So we had the final leg to Innaminka ahead. We decided to camp along Cooper Creek. We unhitched and went for a drive to town for lunch at the pub, then a drive to Burkes Grave & a few waterholes.

Next is an example of what not to do in the bush: that night about 7pm it started to rain, drizzle at first then continuous spits – at this stage I was having internal kittens – our setup is quite heavy and we are on black dusty soil, so ‘B’ made the executive decision to move…quickly! We had stayed hitched up in case of rain, so it was a matter of plodding through the now muddy ground to the car and bolt! Slowly we made our way along the muddy track up to where the trucks park and that’s where we stayed! And to our joy the pub closed early to all the drunk patrons continued their revelry in the car park next to us…until about 3am.

At least we were not bogged. A few were and had to wait till it dried out enough to move. From Innaminka it was across the border to Qld and to Thargomindah. And that’s where the fun began – a very long detour onto muddy track due to roadworks. No choice but to go so we took it slow and steady and made it through ok, bit of slip sliding but all good. Just after we came through the road was closed. We booked into a van park for the night (to charge up) and found a truck wash down bay to clean the mud off the car and van.

Uneventful trip from there to the coast – lots of driving on a familiar route. We are currently north of Brisbane and ‘B’ is taking advantage of the stop to do small upgrades to the van & truck. So when we hit the road again I hope to be more regular with my blogging!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Canopy complete!

Just thought I’d upload a couple of pics of the canopy we just had made. We are extremely happy with it and it has passed the ‘rough Queensland roads’ test on the way from Brisbane to Ayr. We came up the inland roads to cut down the traffic – but instead we contended with bad weather, some roadworks and road trains – but it’s still our preferred route than the coast road.

We are now here till the end of the cane season whilst ‘B’ is cane hauling again. Looking forward to some spectacular cane fires again this year – will post them on my Gallery-Fires page for anyone interested during the next few months.

Don’t forget if you happen to be heading to North Queensland this year stop in and check out Ayr – it’s not just for the cane workers, it is a lovely town for tourists to spend some time – fishing in the creeks and estuaries or enjoying the sites of the fires at night.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Travels on halt for new canopy

Hey there! Since arriving back in Brisbane after our Western Qld short jaunt we have put our travels on hold for a month or so as we get a new canopy built for our F-truck.

The old canopy was great but cumbersome getting access to things inside, as we had an outboard motor, tyres & a car fridge to navigate over to reach chairs and storage items towards the front. Anyone who owns a canopy like ours might understand what we mean. So we bit the bullet and organised the building of a 5-door aluminium canopy for the old truck. Our ‘Tinnie Tosser’ boat loader & tinnie will still go up top and the same items will now have a new, more accessible home in the canopy.

I’m hoping ‘B’ will not forget my photos and display boards too! Somehow all the ‘mens stuff’ gets first preference in trucks – has anyone else noticed that?! 🙂

After that we are back to Ayr in North Queensland for the Cane Season. So if you are passing through Ayr on either the first or third Sunday of the month when the Plantation Park Markets are on, drop in and see me, mention my blog and I might be able to find you a photo memento too hard to resist!

If you are travelling north this winter don’t skip Ayr. It’s a lovely small town with some great cane fires for photo ops – the Burdekin region is one of the last remaining areas to burn their cane so stop for a night or more and check out what Ayr has to offer – it’s only 85klms from Townsville.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visiting Western Qld Dams

Our rig outside Clermonts Finnigan Hotel

We finished the cane season in Ayr and we decided to head south to do some routine maintenance on the van. On the way we thought we’d check out some of the dams we hadn’t visited before.

First stop was Finch Hatton which has a beautiful Gorge. Then on to Eungella Dam up in the hills west of Mackay – tested out our F-Truck at least on those steep mountainsides. Plenty of room around the dam and bird life was in abundance – especially a Darter who squawked all day and night! We had visits from a couple of friendly horses grazing around the dam edge most days. Didn’t catch any fish but enjoyed the surrounds.

Next on to Lake Elphinstone (north of mining town Nebo). Unfortunately we had bad weather the whole time – windy and rainy, so we kept going. On to Clermont and Theresa Creek Dam south-west of the town. We loved the wildlife there. It was a bit more ‘structured’ – with a kiosk and sheds for shelter (and you had to pay to stay), but it’s worth a visit. You will be knocked out by the amount of waterlilies covering the dam and the cattle that continually spend the day munching on them, up to their neck in the water. We were woken to the sounds & sites of lorikeets (so tame they eat from your hand), miners, apostle birds, spoonbills, brolgas, egrets, darters, comb crested jacana (or lilly trotter), magpies & magpie geese – a heap of photo opportunities!

Unfortunately we had to keep moving, so next stop was Clermont where we continued our history lesson of the area with a lively old fella called Bernie Bettridge and his wife Jeanette. He is solely the ‘Master keeper of Clermont’s history’, going from his stories and photos he showed us. He comes out to the dam every afternoon to talk and meet the travellers – he invited us to his home and we spent two fascinating hours checking out all his ‘treasures’ he’s collected most of his 80-odd years. You begin to wonder what will happen to all his things when he’s no longer around to ‘teach’ and show younger Aussies all about their past.

Bundoora Dam at sunset

From Clermont we headed south-east to Bundoora Dam (near German Creek Mine). This would have to be our favourite spot on our short trip. It’s mostly used for the workers for skiing and recreation. No fish to speak of but some Redclaw near the dam wall. We had a beautiful sunset and sunrise the first day, but after that the wet weather set in, which was a bit disappointing, but didn’t deter us from enjoying the scenery. Not as profuse in bird life but still a pretty spot and perfect for the locals for fun sports.

Even though it was only two weeks I did get some lovely photos that I will shortly upload to my catalogue for you to see.