Category Archives: Outback Queensland 2012
We are now at Rainbow Beach having moved on from Bargara after leaving Mt Morgan. Last night of the trip as we head back to Brisbane tomorrow to resume the grind until the next adventure calls. Dropped a line in the water here to try to for an elusive fish, they were much too cunnning for me on this occasion and remain at large. We are camped in a wooded area just back from the water, very peaceful listening to the birds and the hum of insects.
Not a lot of people around here.
Until the journey continues I now sign off from this trip.
Left Emerald a little late and arrived at the end of the day at Mt Morgan, the old mining town just west of Rockhampton. Booked into the local van park and discovered the manager used to work at Sumner Park just down from us at home, he loves it at Mt Morgan………………not the stress……….after a day here you can see what he means.
Went off on a town tour and had a run down on the old mine site and associated buildings and plant remnants, all of it is heritage listed but in need of a lo t of work. A real eye opener to late 19 and early 20 century mining, although processing continued up until 1990 thereabouts. A real mess to clean up though with the contanimated flooded mine pit. Checked out the heritage railway station and their plans for a short rail operation with a restored old mine steam train….requires money and it is the same old story..not enough is available. It would be good to see this project eventually succeed.
A few interesting old pubs remain in operation in the town to keep the old mining tales going.
Next stop on the trip is Bagara out on the coast from Bundaberg.
Still catching up on these posts, here we are at Lake Maraboon just out of Emerald at Fairbairn dam. This is the 4th largest body of water in Australia, at the spillway level the water line of the dam is 170km, currently a bit of water is spilling over. A big place and a great van park area here just back from the water. Lots of people around as there was a big ski and power boat racing carnival going on over the weekend.
A bit of time lazing around here and then a trip back into Emerald to see the sights. Much of Emerald’s old historical buildings are gone due to a series of fires in the first half or so of last century. Only thing remaining of substance is the heritage listed railway station. There are a couple of interesting Centenary of Federation projects which are different to many of the others around the towns.A wa lkway with mosaics leading up to the big painting and some Federation columns out in the native botantic gardens.
Our next stop is Mt Morgan the old gold mining town near Rockhampton
Last couple of days we have experienced poor wireless internet preventing posts to the Blog. So we are now catching up with a special post on our stop over in Emerald. As mentioned previously our son Mitchell went to Emerald as a teacher after he completed Uni. On the way into Emerald
we were wondering whether he might be remebered by anyone. To our great suprise and pleasure on approaching Emerald a big monument had been erected commemorating Mitchell passing by the area. We screamed to a stop to check it out…too good to be true…….it was
actually commemorating Sir Thomas Mitchell an early explorer! He passed by in 1848 or thereabouts, forgotten the date now. I think we will need to check the graffiti in the pubs.
Anyway attached are some pictures of the old school he taught at, the residence in Bonython St and some of local developments. I thnk Emerald has grown substantially since Mitch was there.
Well friends we are a day or two behind on the blog because of some variable internet in this part of the world. Bring on the NBN!
The trip down to Aramac via Prairie and Torrens Creek provided a little test for the petrol tank capacity and km per litre, not to mention stress for the passnger. It is about 370 km to Aramac via this charming route through pretty flat grazing country. Lucky it was flat because this allowed the driver’s prowess to shine as he coaxed the vehicle through the last 10km with lights on the dash flashing telling him to refuel. Couldn’t see anywhere to refuel though. At the end calculations showed we had about 2 litres left, enough for about a further 12km, so there was no need to get greatly concerned after all.
Had an excellent stay overnight in Aramac before heading off the next day for Alpha, passing through Barcaldine. Nobody seemed to remember us from when we stayed here a couple of weeks earlier. Enjoyed some famous Barcaldine lemon merengue pie for morning tea. The proprietor was pretty talkative and apparantly one of these pies fetched $1550 at a Daniel Morecombe fundraiser a few weeks earlier.
Alpha residents a few years back adorned their building walls with 25 or so murals to entertain passers by, some of these have seen better days and one is in a pub that has since closed its doors. In typical fashion the railway people have done a big mural on a train shed and then have since proceeded to put a big high wire fence around it to spoil the view!
Head off for Emerald next where Mitchell spent 3 years teaching after leaving Uni, maybe someone there will remember him?
Have lurked around Hughendon today not doing a lot. Leanne enjoyed her time getting the washing done and Russell spent an hour or so in the local cemetry checking out the grave sites self guided tour. Otherwise we went for a bit of shopping and took in the street art in the town. Some dinosaur replicas on display in the street, including the Leanneasaurus a Pteradactyl found in the area and here made out of nuts, bolts and some wire.
We have now given the Weber Q a run with a batch of beer bread and some sausages. The sausages were great but the beer bread a bit underdone, but a good first try. There is a bit of a story about getting the Weber to go, got something to do with having to have the right fittings for gas bottles and their unavailability out here. The Eels jumper also got a run tonight.
Weather continues to be quite hot during the day and cool at night. We move on tomorrow and commence the return journey, next night is Aramac.
We went for a day trip today, leaving the van behind, to Richmond which is about 100k west of Hughendon. Main aim was to go to Kronosaurus Korner. This is a fossil preparation laboratory and museum given over to the discoveries made in the Richmond area. Richmond has a different geological background to Hughendon and Muttaburra. Richmond was at the bottom of the ancient Eromanga inland sea, which covered much of central Australia and emptied into the seas currently to the north. On the other hand Hughendon and Muttaburra were on dry land in these times, on the shoreline of the sea. The fossils on show in Richmond are therefore marine based….various reptilian fish, sharks, molluscs and the like. At H and M the fossils were land based, the typical ‘dinosaur’, and were deposited more likely in lake,swamp and river systems unless washed down into the sea.
The Richmond display was really eye opening, bits and are being found all the time it seems. Reallly worth the day trip to see it all. The fellow in the attached picture was a real nasty type and would have made swimming in the sea a dangerous exercise and one to be avoided.
We have made it to Winton, been here a couple of days after a night at Carisbrooke Station along the way. A couple of road trains along this dirt road really stirred up the dust. Travelled down to Lark Quarry to see the dinosaur foot tracks stampede, most impressive discovery and a lot of work and time in uncovering and researching the event, hundreds of footprints in the rock surface. The site is 120 km south of Winton and pretty close to nowhere in particular, remote to say the least. When we emeged from our tour around 1.30pm we discovered the car wouldn’t start. The trusty RACQ arrive just on 6pm to check it out, flat battery. A rather steady drive in the dark back the 120 k to Winton dodging kangaroos, pigs and cattle on the road. L was a bit stressed.
We have since recovered and also gone out to the Age of Dinosaurs site about 20k out of Winton, this is home to another fossil site and an impressive set up for visitors to see the whole process. ‘Banjo’ the meat eater was discovered here and is a neat find. Would have been a nasty piece of work to come accross out camping back in those days.
Winton makes much of its association with Banjo Patterson and Waltzing Matilda, statues and memorials everywhere.
We now head north to Hughendon.
We left Muttaburra and headed back to Ilfracombe via Longreach, a bit of a stroll through the outback this was with much road kill and great scenery along the way.
Back in Ilfracombe we have spent the day at Longreach attractions QANTAS Founders Museum and the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, a bit of history and explorer stuff here which by the end of the day was wearing and had us washed out a bit. Luckily, we got back to the van park for happy hour and a chat.
Over the last couple of days Russell has enjoyed the ambience of the local spar, it gets a bit crowded with bodies at times. Needless to say some of the bodies are not always up to scratch and I have to make way so to speak. Not that I am being critical here of course, perfection is in the eye of the beholder.
Had a late afternoon river cruise on the Thompson River on an old paddle boat followed by a camp dinner and bush poet entertainment. Most enjoyable, some old jokes flowed non stop and we have forgotten all of them.
We move on tomorrow to Carisbrooke Station, south of Winton for 4 days. From here we go out to Lark Quarry to see the dinosaur stampede tracks. Also time to just sit back in the great outback.