A Travellerspoint blog

June 2013

A Lazy Day in Charleville

Day 26 - Wednesday 5 June 2013

A very slow start to the day today, and eventually we drove into town for papers and a coffee and toasted banana bread at the bakery. Back at the van we decided to book in for another night in the caravan park, and also booked in for the evening Bilby Experience at 6:00 pm. We spent an hour of so planning our itinerary for the next 5 or 6 weeks as we have realised that by the time we get to the coast it will be Queensland school holidays.

During the afternoon we sat around watching the action in the caravan park - they were busy squeezing vans in everywhere. A number old cars arrived, apparently some sort of a cross country rally as they were all covered in dust. Later in the day an RACQ truck arrived with a caravan on its flat tray - the caravan had lost a wheel - it looked like a broken stub axle.

At 6:00 pm we arrived at the Bilby Centre for a short lecture on the Qld National Parks programme to save the Bilby from extinction. This was followed by a DVD about the establishment of a 25 square kilometre area within a nearby National Park that was fenced and cleared of all feral animals, mainly cats and foxes, so that the Bilbies could be encouraged to breed and re-establish their numbers. After the DVD we went to the Bilby enclosure and saw a number of the animals in captivity - they are rather like large bandicoots with rabbit-like ears. As the enclosure was bathed in red light for viewing purposes, and the fact that flash photography was banned, there are no photos. Di thinks that the Bilbies are very cute!

While we were at the Bilby Centre we got a phone call from the Cosmos Observatory to advise that that evenings observation experience had been cancelled because of overcast conditions. We are now booked in for the 9:00 pm session tomorrow, so here's hoping for clear skies.

No photos today.

Posted by TwoAces 02:59 Comments (0)

Quilpie to Charleville

Day 25 - Tuesday 4 June 2013

A slow start today as we had not unhitched yesterday and packing up to leave was very quick. We eventually got away at 9:45 am for a relatively short trip of 195 kms to Charleville. We stopped for a morning coffee across the road from the Cooladdi Roadhouse.

Cooladdi Roadhouse

Cooladdi Roadhouse

We arrived at Charleville at about 1:00 pm and our first port of call was the nearest fuel stop as we had been running on empty for about 30 kms. We had last filled up at Eromanga and had done 315 kms using 75 litres of diesel - with only 5 litres left in the tank - and our fuel economy was a disappointing 23.8 litres/100 kms.

We checked into the Bailey Bar Top Tourist Park and were allocated the largest site in the park - one of the benefits of being a fifth-wheeler and booking ahead. At the caravan park we booked in for the roast lamb on the spit dinner for $20 per head and got the last 2 tickets. After doing a full set-up we headed for the Visitor Information Centre, the Super IGA and the Thirsty Camel. At the visitor centre we booked in for the Cosmos Observatory for Wednesday evening.

Di with Marilyn and Barry from Cobram

Di with Marilyn and Barry from Cobram

Posted by TwoAces 04:33 Comments (0)

Thargo to Quilpie via Eromanga

Day 24 - Monday 3 June 2013

We were up early this morning for our longish (for us) trip of 395 kms from Thargomindah to Quilpie via Eromanga. The road forms part of the Natural Sciences Loop Road from Cunnamulla to Charleville via Thargo, Eromanga and Quilpie. While the road is sealed all the way, much of it is a single sealed lane with wide gravel verges.

Natural Sciences Loop Road

Natural Sciences Loop Road

Quilpie via Eromanga 395 kms

Quilpie via Eromanga 395 kms

All roads are open

All roads are open

While all the roads in Queensland are open, the roads south and west of Innamincka in South Australia are closed as they have had more than 100 mm of rain. There was not too much traffic on the road today - we passed a couple of caravans, three camper trailers, one light truck and half a dozen cars going the other way - and we were overtaken by two caravans and a couple of cars. There were no large trucks or road-trains on the road today - perhaps they have Monday off?

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Cattle on the road

Cattle on the road

Our first stop was at the Jackson Oilfield Rest Area at the intersection of the Cooper Development Road and the Adventure Way. Back on the road again after our morning coffee we noticed that there was less road kill than on previous days. But there were a lot more animals on and near the road - cattle, horses, emus, kites and eagles feeding on road kill, and two feral cats who were also feasting on the road kill.

Eagles on the road side

Eagles on the road side

Eagle close-up - magnificent

Eagle close-up - magnificent

We stopped for fuel at Eromanga - would you believe that it was only $1.559 at a credit card only un-manned fuel outlet. Eromanga has two claims to fame - firstly that it is the furthest town from the sea, and secondly the recent discovery of large dinosaur bones that are yet to be put on display. After refuelling we continued on and stopped for lunch further up the road.

Eromanga - farthest town from the sea

Eromanga - farthest town from the sea

A lunch stop on the side of the road

A lunch stop on the side of the road

We arrived at Quilpie at about 3:15 pm and booked into the Channel Country Caravan Park for one night. Being a fifth-wheeler we were given the largest site in the park and were able to remain hitched up for the night. After connecting power and water we went for a walk around the town stopping at the newsagent for the first papers we have seen for about five days, and the Information Centre and Museum.

Posted by TwoAces 03:39 Comments (0)

A Lazy Day in Thargomindah

Day 23 - Sunday 2 June 2013

A bit cooler in Thargomindah today - forecast 10 to 20 degrees. We had a lazy start to the day with eggs and bacon cooked on the Baby Q. In the morning we did the river walk and after lunch we did the heritage walk - about 5 kms all up. The Bulloo River is a closed drainage system between the Lake Eyre and the Murray Darling basins. The Bulloo river is usually dry except for a series of waterholes, but in years of strong monsoonal activity runs for approximately 600 kms before terminating in a series of ephemeral lakes.

Our camp site

Our camp site

Bulloo River

Bulloo River

Old weir on the Bulloo River

Old weir on the Bulloo River

Cobb and Co crossing on the Bulloo River

Cobb and Co crossing on the Bulloo River

Thargo thunderbox

Thargo thunderbox

Leahy's mud brick house circa 1885

Leahy's mud brick house circa 1885

Ruins of mud brick Thargo Herald

Ruins of mud brick Thargo Herald

Old town hall and Shire office

Old town hall and Shire office

Empty road train on the move

Empty road train on the move

Posted by TwoAces 02:15 Comments (0)

Cunnamulla to Thargomindah

Day 22 - Saturday 1 June 2013

Today is the first day of winter and the forecast maximum for Thargomindah is 27 degrees - this is why we do not stay in Hobart for the winter. As we had stayed hitched up last night it was a quick pack up and we were on the road by 9:30 am. Our trip today is a relatively short 195 kms to Thargomindah on sealed roads. There was not a lot of traffic about and we cruised along between 80 and 85 kph as the road is quite rough and bouncy in places. Any faster and the contents of our cupboards get bounced all over the place.

About half way we stopped at a truck stop for a morning coffee. The Bulloo Development Road is being repaired and upgraded and eventually will be sealed all the way to Innamincka in South Australia, at present there are only 2 relatively short sections that are yet to be sealed. The Cooper oil and gas basin lies between Thargomindah and Innamincka. We have passed lots of road kill - hundreds of kangaroos, a few emus, a fox and a pig.

Bulloo Development Road

Bulloo Development Road

Parked in a truck stop for morning coffee

Parked in a truck stop for morning coffee

On the way in to Thargomindah we stopped at the Visitor Centre for maps and tourist information. The Visitor Centre is located in the old hospital.

Thargomindah Visitor Centre at the old hospital

Thargomindah Visitor Centre at the old hospital

At the caravan park we booked in for 2 nights and were told to pick our own site - the sites are mainly drive throughs with power, water, and individual dump points. The park is operated by the local council and the facilities are excellent so we will probably stay an extra night. We did a full set-up with and also set up the satellite dish. TV reception in Thargomindah is limited to 4 analogue stations, however 3G phone reception is excellent.

Later in the afternoon we drove out to the Thargomindah Power Station to see a demonstration of the artesian hydro power station, which is believed to be the oldest working unit in the world. The Thargomindah power station provided electricity for street lights in 1898 and is claimed to be the first in Australia and the third in the world behind London and Paris. Duck Reach in Launceston built in 1895 also claims to be the oldest hydro power station in Australia. At the Power station they have a display of related equipment.

Oil well pump

Oil well pump

Windmill

Windmill

Wind generator

Wind generator

Stationary steam engine

Stationary steam engine

Very hot bore water 84 degrees C

Very hot bore water 84 degrees C

Percussion drilling rig of the type used to drill the bore

Percussion drilling rig of the type used to drill the bore

Pelton wheel driven by the bire water pressure driving a generator

Pelton wheel driven by the bire water pressure driving a generator

Thargomindah Bore at the power station

Thargomindah Bore at the power station

Posted by TwoAces 18:24 Comments (1)

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