Some views from the road – getting to Charters Towers
As we left Brisbane’s outskirts heading for Childers the impact of all the rain from Cyclone Ita became apparent, particularly from Gympie on. The paddocks were green and dams fullish, the bulls were frolicking amongst the cows. As we turned west at Rockhampton it wasn’t quite as green, creeks empty or only puddles and a bit of dust. The rains seem to have greened the tops of everything.
At Duaringa, as previously reported, the case of the spilt salad dressing transpired in this really good free camp site beside the highway. There was ultimately no inquiry into the event which is just as well. Mysteries of jars unscrewing themselves best remain unresolved on these outback journeys. Its ultimate understanding (if ever) awaits another time and place.
Moving onto Clermont we stopped by Copperfield, a now deserted copper mining area dating back to the 1870s. This was Queensland’s first copper discovery and upwards of 2000 miners and assorted shop keepers and publicans lived in this area. There were 22 chimney stacks scattered across the field where the rich copper ore was processed. All the people have now gone leaving behind the cemetery, a now restored general store and a remaining chimney.
The sorghum fields outside Clermont on the way north to Charters Towers are just enormous stretching as far as the eye can see. They provide a stark contrast to the scrubby bush land right alongside or on the other side of the road. If all this area was cultivated it would be an enormous crop!
Amongst all the scrub creeks and rivers creep, some are bone dry others puddles and some, like the Belyando River (170k north of Clermont), are full and deep in parts. 5 people it seems live at the Belyando Roadhouse selling diesel at $2.05 a litre. Couldn’t see a lot else to do here, except count road trains pulling in and out. We stopped here for lunch having topped the tank up before leaving Clermont. Petrol and diesel sales were limited to $30 worth, a bit less than 15 litres, perhaps only just enough to make the 200k to Charters Towers.
Cape River a little further along from the Belyando was pretty dry, but very wide at this crossing, with great drifts of sand on its flood banks.
We are now at Charters Towers for 3 nights.