A Travellerspoint blog

Wednesday 21st June - Julia Vreek to Mt Isa.

sunny 29 °C

Wednesday 21st June - Julia Creek to Mt ISA

Today we would seek a bit of Australian coloquialism. So we were up about 6:00am, packed and on the road by 8:00am. From Julia Creek, we would head south to the small township of Kynuna, in the Queensland channel country. We arrived before the pub ( The Blue Heeler) opened so had smoko at the Roadhouse where we met Jane, the proprietor. She cooked us a great brekky of bacon & eggs on toast. Filled us with info about the local area and her life since leaving Holland! I love meeting these bush characters.


Kynuna' biggest draw card is approx 14kms south towards Winton, where you turn off to the Combo Waterhole Conservation Park. The Combo Waterhole is in a series of channels where Chinese workers built a series of stone crossings which had the effect of creating permanent waterholes for stock and stockmen alike. The Combo Waterhole is said to be the birthplace of our national iconic song "Waltzing Matilda". It is the Waterhole where the "jolly swagman" or travelling shearer jumped into the billabong to escape the troopers chasing him. A.B.(Banjo) Patterson was visiting nearby Dagworth Station and was "friendly" with the sister of the station owner. The Lady had written and played a catchy tune to which Banjo put the words of "Waltzing Matilda". It's also said that the waterholes were a popular picnic spot for the surrounding properties and towns.


And you know what? As we sat by that billabong and listened to the quiet of the bush, I reckon we could hear that ghost of the Jolly Swagman! Maybe.

From there, we headed back to Kynuna for a quick splash of fuel, the turned north to Cloncurry. In "The Curry" we had a late lunch and got back on the road to Mt ISA. Booked into the Discovery Holiday Park on the banks of the river. Made camp and had hotdogs for dinner while waiting for the State Of Origin footy match to start. Queensland Maroons got up by 2 points. WoooHooo!
Then in too bed.

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Tuesday 20th June - Cumberland Chiminey to Julia Creek

sunny 30 °C

Tuesday 20th June - Cumberland Chiminey to Julia Creek

We had a big day in front of us so we were up at 6:30am and packed up ready to go by 8:00am. It was a beautiful morning and the day promised to be sunny. Some photos with our friends and then we hit the road. West to Croydon for fuel and a bit of smoko, then on to Normanton in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The days temp had now reached 30 deg. Some photos with “Krys the Savannah King" which is the largest saltwater crocodile ever captured (shot) in the world. It's in the Guinness book of Records. Shot by a lady crocodile hunter in 1957, Krys measured 28'4" or 8.63 meters. There is a replica in the Main Street of Normanton.


The we headed south across the gulf Savannah to The Four Ways. I couldn't quite make it on my fuel so we stopped and put 5 litres in from my fuel can. Arrived at Burke & Wills Roadhouse for fuel and a late lunch. We finished the day off with a 234 km stint across the wide open spaces of Mitchell grass plains and into to Julia Creek at 6:00 pm. Refuelled, booked into The Top Pub, dinner and bed.
A long day but got another 730kms behind us.

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 04:41 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Monday 19th June - Ravenshoe to Cumberland Chiminey

sunny 26 °C

Monday 19th June - Ravenshoe to Georgetown

Today we would only travel a few hrs to Georgetown then on to the Cumberland Chiminey, where we would stay with some friends who are on the road in their caravan. It was a cool start to the morning at only 12 deg. But the day proved to be bright and sunny, topping out at 26 deg.
So we left Ravenshoe at 7:30am. Our 1st early start, but it was too good to be true. I had forgotten to go to the hardware store to buy ice bricks for my little fridge. So I left the other two boys in Innot Hot Springs while I did a 30 min dash back to Ravenshoe. I also stopped at the bakery for a few sausage rolls to take back to the boys. Maybe the sausage rolls will help them forgive me for holding them up. A quick 5 min job to fix the charging circuit in my trailer and we were on the road.
We travelled further west through Mount Garnet, the 40 mile Scrub, turned right onto the Gulf Development road to Mt Surprise for fuel and food. All this part of the country is a huge volcanic basin and is rich in gem fields and gem fossicking is a regular pastime for locals and tourists as well. Then we only had 63 kms to go through Georgetown and then to Cumberland Chiminey, which is right beside the main hwy. A good little free camping ground with ample space, drop toilets, rubbish bins and a viewing platform over the little billabong with abundant bird life. We met our friends Ron & Wendy who were staying overnight in their van. We set up camp, (swags rolled out under the stars) and sat down for a chat and a beer. A great Spag Bol for dinner and we chatted into the night. It's always great to catch up with old friends.
This would be the first night that we camped out on this tour, but there's plenty more to come. Rolled into the swag about 11:00pm, but the mozzies found me, so I had to get up and erect my mozzie net. After that, a great night's sleep.

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 04:38 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sunday 18th June - Cooktown to Ravenshoe

Sunday 18th June - Cooktown to Ravenshoe

Today would be another day of sightseeing. We all wandered down to the local cafe for Sunday breakfast. Of course, I ordered the "Hoggs Breakfast" which is kinda large.
I needed Greg's help and then I still couldn't get through it all. Well I guess the fuel consumption will be low on the bike today.


We were all packed up, so after brekky, we hit the road back towards Cairns. Stopped for some photos of Black Mountain, and the Annan River. Then a stop at the Byrestown Lookout. Through Lakeland, Palmer River, Mt Carbine and then into Mareeba for fuel. Out via Tolga and Kairi to Lake Eacham for lunch. A beautiful volcanic crater lake surrounded by dense rainforest, Lake Eacham has been a favourite picnic and swimming spot for the locals around the Atherton Tablelands and Cairns for a century or more.

Now we only had 63 kms to go to our destination of Ravenshoe on the southern tablelands. Stopped at the Lookout over Milla Milla. This has to be one of the best views in the world. Looking east over the lush tablelands towards the tallest mountains in QLD of Mt Bartle Frere and Mt Bellenden Kerr.


I love this view.
Then a quick squirt to Ravenshoe where we checked in at The Tall Timbers caravan park. A couple of rooms for the three of us only cost $110. So $37 ea. is a bargain. Down to the IGA for some groceries and then dinner at the highest pub in QLD. The Ravenshoe Hotel had a very flash dining room and Sunday night is buffet night. $18.90 for hot buffet, sweets and coffee is a real bargain. Back to our unit, some catch up on my blog and I'm done for the night!

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 06:23 Comments (0)

Saturday 17th June

sunny 26 °C

Saturday June 17th - Cairns to Cooktown

After a great visit with my Daughter and Son in law in Cairns, it was time to move on to the next leg of our trip. Greg has decided to join us for a couple of days riding up to Cooktown. His nearly new BMW S1000-R had arrived and he was fanging to do a decent ride on it.
We left Cairns in bright sunshine, stopped for some shopping at Clifton Beach and then headed up the Captain Cook Hwy to Port Douglas.


A stop at the Rex Lookout at Wangetti Beach for some photos and on to Port Douglas for a look around. Through the spactacular avenue of oil palms planted by Christopher Skase for his transformation of Port Douglas. Up to the Lookout on Flagstaff Hill overlooking the Coral Sea and Port. Back out onto the hwy, and we stopped for Andrew to get up close & personnel with some sugar cane. He'd never seen it up close growing in the field. I cut some for him to have a chew to taste the sweet juices. A left turn and up the Rex Range. Another road made for motorcycling. Greg was having some fun on his new machine. Lunch and fuel at Julatten Cafe. A right turn onto the Mulligan Hwy towards Cooktown and we were now into the dry centre of Cape York. Temp now hit 30 deg for the first time on our trip. Another fuel stop and a cooling drink at Lakeland, then only 80kms into Cooktown by 3:30pm.


We had booked a couple of rooms at the Cooktown Pub. Cheap and basic, but clean. We had a quick spin around Cooktown to look at some of its history and then had dinner at the RSL Club. A great feed, a few frothies then back to our digs for a couple of Jameson's and a good night's sleep.

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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