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.
Cattle grazing by the road outside Dalby, Qld
Old mate in Cecil Plains
Beautiful mosaic at Inglewood Driver Reviver
Artwork on water tank Millmerran
Sculpture Coat of Arms Goondiwindi
Weengallon smoko stop, sign on loos!!
Thallon Painted Silos
Closeup of silo artwork
Closeup of silo artwork
Thallon – Our camp spot near silos & recreation grounds
Thallon – Sunrise, roo family feeding
Thallon – Francis Hotel, Post Office incorporated
My Drop Bear Burger!
The Drop Bear!
Thallon – Sunset the roo families descend on town
Thallon – Even during the day the kids are in the playground!
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!! 😦
Esk, Qld: the trees get cold there!
The old & the new: old lift bridge
Pano of foreshore at Maclean
All power poles painted in Scottish tartan
Lawrence-rotating home on banks of river-every room has a view!
Smoko stop Lawrence, next to Clarence River
On the ferry across Clarence River to Maclean
The Non Bendy Bridge being built in Grafton
The Bendy Bridge in Grafton
Grafton-THE BEST Vintage Shop I found! Orange Daze
So, after 12 weeks away in Queensland & New South Wales we have returned to South Australia and our block a tad too early!!! It’s freezing!!!!! 😦
I am still trying to wade through the zillion photos I took (I have RSI of my Delete finger!!). Will post photos of our experience at the Big Red Bash near Birdsville as soon as I can – it was a fantastic experience and a ‘must do’ for anyone interested in the most remote concert in Australia! Volunteering made it even more fun, and a feeling of being involved in something really special.
We did a bee-line for Brisbane (been every road from east to west) to get a few things done and a flying visit with family and friends, before we headed back out to Birdsville for the Races. Another bucket list item (our 2nd time) and better as we got to spend time with friends we met years ago in WA. We four are freakishly alike in a lot of ways which made it more fun. On the trip back south we had a couple of ‘issues’ with truck & van which made B real chirpy! Now at least we have found the worst road in SA to tow a van on!!!
We have a bit of work to do here on da block but I will try to get some photos together to share the fun of the Big Red Bash for those who may be interested in it next year…..9-11 July 2019.NB: the artists will be announced in October….stay tuned!!!http://www.bigredbash.com.au
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!
Now we have settled for the Cane Season in Ayr till the end of the year, I have re-commenced my market stall at the local park – Plantation Park – the 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month, and starting from the end of this month a new market will be commencing at the local Masonic Hall in MacMillan Street on the 2nd & 4th Sunday of each month, which will have the whole month covered!
Our van park in Ayr, the Burdekin Cascades Caravan Park has also commenced a market in the park on one Friday night a month for the park residents and visitors only which has been a huge success (especially since you can incorporate your Happy Hour into sampling the goodies on sale).
So if you are heading north or south along the Queensland coast drop into Ayr and enjoy what this small town has to offer. Last weekend Ayr put on the SunWater Grand Parade & Mardi Gras in the main street with floats and food stalls and rides for the kids.