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BILOELA TO BUNDABERG

SUNDAY 2nd October

Catching up from we left Baralaba (Neville Hewitt Weir) on 22nd Sept & went about 60 ks to my relatives at Wowan, Narelle & Delwyn Chapman who we had not seen since a Chapman reunion in Eidsvold back in 1983!
Far too long in between. Anyway we arrived at their Brahman stud property for lunch & soon started reminising. After lunch the men went to yard some cattle for drenching etc. They also have 3 bulls ready for the International Bull sale at Rockhampton this week.

Del applying a Buffalo Fly ear tag.

Getting a rub after sucking our fingers- which they love to do. Drink time for this little lady & the last photo I missed this spoilt one pulling on the back of Narelle’s shirt! Decided to give her a gentle nudge instead.

Their home & property runs along the Dee River with sunset from the veranda the previous afternoon.
The spray line is irrigating potato which are just starting to flower.

A water winch also used to irrigate.

We left there 3 days later & did a big trip down to Lake Victoria about 27k! A phone call from Narelle just after we had left telling me that I had left my bottle of Glenfiddich & Bird book there. Said we would turn around but they said they would come for drive as had not been there for a long time.
There was nobody there when we arrived but a family arrived wanting to set their tent up right we were parked. Said we were leaving in the morning so they slept under the stars right at the back of our van – had a lot of stuff to move in the am for us to reverse to get back on the track to leave. A nice family so they did not bother us but they soon had their ski boat out & roaring up the lake.

The Dawson river & Callide Creek both run into this lake & the locals commented that if there was a deluge in the Kroombit Tops ranges to get our of here immediately.
A big trip the next morning down to Biloela & intended staying behind the Information centre for a couple of nights to do some washing etc. It is $15/pn with a returnable $10 deposit for the entry key. The council has made them do a lot of work to get up to Caravan park standards & it will be a nice spot once they get some grass growing. There are even grey water buckets provided to collect your water & 2 days stay allowed.

Paying guests can wander around the grounds & look in the old buildings at any time so naturally Bruce went wandering around all the old machinery.

Travelling down from Wowan there are many paddocks with this tree for cattle feed.

A few “old” things in the couple of old buildings- a church & the railway shed.

After making use of the dump point & a bit of food shopping/fuel etc we headed south again to Monto for a couple of nights. The country had definately had more rain the closer we got to the coast.
We decided instead of driving through Thangool we would take the time to drive out to Mt Scoria CP. There really was nothing to see except the small Mt Scoria. Was only 14k return so all good.

Irrigated pastures

Railway sleepers being collected by a contractor & ready for shipment overseas apparently.

After leaving Monto & only 12k down the road, another big trip, we decided to spend the night at the Mulgildie Pub to unhook & drive out to the Bunyip Hole after having a beautiful Mackeral & salad meal for lunch for $10!

On the way back we stopped to watch these couple of foals- one too busy having a rest but the other one was playing with Mum who was having roll in the grass.

Noticed this odd thing in a paddock as we drove past. Wonder what it was ever used for?I have turned the 1st photo upside down to read the words.

Once we were off the highway we were on dirt road but knew it was a good solid road & not lot of ks either. Soon came to huge road works where there is a high level bridge going over the Burnett River.

The Burnett River here is a small stream.

Left Mulgildie about 9am & as usual the hills around Mt Perry were drier than out on the Burnett highway. Rosslyn Station used to be owned by 2 Spinster ladies known as Miss Agnes & Miss Winifred. I was in this old slab timber home many many years ago & would love to know whether anything has been done to it. The wind used to blow through the slabs! This is also a very cold part of Queensland.

Stopped for a cuppa at Rory Schuh Lookout before going down the range into Mt Perry.

Even though these hills are quite often bare it is very good cattle country.

There are a couple of Olive groves along the way as well as cattle. The Hall photo should have read” Dances there in the 1950s-1960s. “
Pulled into Gin Gin rest area for the night & it was very crowded- about various vehicles here. A lot of families returning home at the end of the school hols.
I went for a walk down to the Gin Gin Creek bed to check out where we used to swim back in the 40s-50. Only a stream at the moment but in the 2013 the water was half way up the walls of the Reviver Driver shed.

There was a beautiful sunset with the smoky haze from bush fires.

[wowan lake victoria biloela monto mt perry gin
gin]

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CHARTERS TOWERS TO BUNDABERG

11TH SEPTEMBER

We took our time packing up at Macrossan as only had to fill up with water & the dump point then going as far as Cape river rest area, getting thereabout lunch time & there were 5 others already set up for the night. This is not a big area either. The toilets are clean as were the tables under cover. They certainly need the rain around here but as we got further south you could see where there has been a few showers.
Onto Belyando crossing for a cuppa & here you have to pay to use the toilets. In 2008 we stayed in the tiny van park with showers & potable water for $15 with lovely folk in the servo. Am told it is now $25/pn. Still a cheap park if you are not set up with solar etc etc. Our next stop was Clermont, hoping that the new info centre would be open but no such luck- closed due to sickness! Ah well, around the corner to the servo again for the night with their great showers then into town to the dump point & top up the water.
No photos here as all in the previous blog.
Instead of going straight down the highway to Emerald we decided to do a diversion into Lilyvale waterhole which I read about on Wikicamps. Asked at the store at Capella for exact directions.The road does a loop from Capella into the Lilyvale then back out to the highway so we headed that way.
This is a huge area, level green grass & only one other traveller there so we had plenty of room to park by ourselves. There are no facilities but if desperate in a storm you could drive under the huge shelter shed- van as well.
There was a mine person coming around, day & night, so we stopped him to ask why at night as well. Apparently the solar panel from the top of the water tower was being stolen & that is what they are checking. The man works for a security firm employed by the mines.
There was not lot of bird or water bird life while we were there.

Because it was so peaceful we stayed 2 nights here, the 2nd night by ourselves. There is no mine noise to hear but maybe the weekend could get noisy with locals coming out to ride motorbikes around according to the security officer.
Next morning down to Emerald then east to Blackwater for, once again, water & the dump point. WE knew Robyn & Bob were at Bedford so guess were we headed again? yes, Bedford. There were not a lot of vans here now as most southerners have gone home.
Getting off this trip for a moment- for got to mention in the previous post about Bedford about the fire. Middle of the day, gusty winds, man lights his choofer right beside the long dry grass & guess what- it got into the grass. Bruce grabbed the garden sprayer which was full of water, others grabbed shovels etc & Lyn bought at hose over from the Caretakers tap. They got it out eventually. Believe me Bruce, as well as the others, were not happy campers. A couple of days before that another one had lit a fire at 9am under same conditions but this one was beside us.
Now Bruce does not loose his cool often but told the one whose fire got away he was a “bloody idiot”. He very sheepishly apologised.
That is my rant for to-

day.
It was good to catch up again with Robyn & Bob. About the only photos I took this time were of Percy Peacock (we christened him that) . He is very obviously the oldest even though some of the younger males are now growing their back feathers & starting to strut around the females. There are 18 here now & they, even the young ones, are wandering around all the vans morning & afternoon. There has only been one night when they have been extremely noisy.

There are also a pair of Lorikeets which appeared each afternoon – loved the grain they were given & sit on your arm to be fed.
Did a huge wash & Robyn was using my machine spinner to save getting hers out when my spinner decided that it was not going to work- still towels to spin. Bob got Robyn’s out & we finished using hers. Hopefully Bruce can get the back off mine & fix or looks like a new one! I guess it has had 6 years of work as well as the shaking around over rough roads. Sure hope that I can still buy the same tiny twin tub machine.
Because the weather was still doubtful the 4 of us only went as far as Bluff- about 50k! Had dinner that evening at the pub & it was a perfectly cooked roast & a very lightly battered whiting. The meals were not oversize. Graham, the host, was a perfect gentleman & could not do enough when you first park up down the back of his pub. The showers are available until 8.30am until after cleaning, clean toilets- all you need for the night.

We said good bye to Robyn & Bob as they were heading home to NSW, or trying to as they had to work out the way where the roads were not flooded.
We headed down to the Neville Hewitt weir at Baralaba for a couple of nights before visiting 2nd cousins at Wowan.

The park here has coin showers, hot but not lot of pressure & only 1 flush toilet for male & female.
Not a lot to photograph here. Wandered up town which is about a 30 min walk . This orchid is in the tree beside us as was the Kooka.

The Rainbow Bee-eaters were in a house yard a long way from the road & there are signs everywhere about trespassing. A couple of the trees are different so can not name them but & I have not seen the flowers of the bottle tree before so that was a first.
From a long distance this leaf looked like a bird waiting to be fed but I was mistaken.

The park from the road into town & a couple of the algea covered Dawson river.

[lilyvale neville hewitt weir
baralaba]

TEXAN LONGHORN TOUR AT CHARTERS TOWERS

I am only doing this great spot in this blog. We had a wonderful 4 hours beginning with Billy tea & damper just out of the camp ovens, butter & syrup then home made Anzac biscuits& Texan brownies.
http://www.texaslonghorn.com.au/. This is one of the websites.

Being called for morning tea & Mick giving a talk on the property. This roo was rescued from its mother’s pouch after being hit by a car.

The number plate means Cadilac 1960 & is their family car. Morning tea under the trees.

They had the Chuck Wagon made especially for the station.
While the first tour was in process- 3 tours with 10 each time- we were given a talk in the saddle store & shown how the saddles were made.Mick makes them identical to the original & they are so beauiful.

They have a well stocked store with beautiful leather products. Bruce got himself a belt & as I needed a new wallet- why not!.
This Squatters chair looked so inviting while waiting for the wagon to come back. Before the 3 tours started there was the mandatory group photo & one by Mick on the tour.

The following ones are just a few i took of the cattle with “JR.
This is his Guiness Book of records certificate.

The ones with the straight horns are American Bison.
Back to morning tea. Mick has a few replica guns which most of us got photos with- not that I like guns at any time.

TOWNSVILLE CHARTERS TOWERS

After a week in Townsville with Stacey, Sean & family as well as visiting very old (in time)friend as well as her family we left for Charters Towers again.
We had a day at the block which hopefully we will be at on the next Townsville visit!.

The swing was just put up for the children!
Once again a great day with old (in time) friend from Primary school then nursing. Had to have a bubbly with lunch of course.

Into town to take photos of this old hotel for Bruce’s cousin then a drive along the strand- just no where to park!

As usual Townsville is in desperate need of rain. The further west we got towards Charters Towers the drier it became. They are in a green drought as a few showers have made things green.
We decided to spend a few nights at Macrossan to enable us to do the touristy things here, which we had not done on previous visits- just passed through. There are cold showers here with flush toilets but that is all- my hot shower in the van was used instead as we would be able to fill up in Charters Towers.
We had never done the 40k trip into the Historic town of Ravenswood so at the last minute we turned off the highway and decided to have lunch at the old pub.

Finally at Macrossan beside the Burdekin river. Not a lot of travellers here now as getting late in the season.

These couple of tables are down on the lower level beside the river & a bit past use by & overrun with grass & sand from various floods.

This last one is a Calatropia (Milk weed).

Old & new train bridges with the road bridge in the background. This is the flood height sign beside the river. 2011 up at the top!

Fred was my second cousin.
The first day into town we decided to take the Venus Battery tour. What a lot of work to extract a small amount of gold!. A few photos of the process with our tour guide. I think the coloured photos are called Holograms! For a comprehensive story check out the website.
http://www.charterstowers.qld.gov.au/ghosts-of-gold

Even a resident barn Owl in the rafters.

The Towers Hill was another spot to see Charters Towers from a height.

There are dozens of the bunkers all over the hills.
There are so many old buildings here it is difficult to know what to include.

The grumpy boat sign below in on the way in to town from Macrossan!

I revisited the cemetery to get photos of a plaque which I had made on a previous visit & thanks to another 2nd cousin Betty who collected it from the person who made it for me & she took it out to the cemetery to be placed at the grave of my Grandmother’s long lost half brother. No one in the family had any idea, after about 1894 when he was banished by his stepfather- after he had pierced Grandma’s ears with a cork & darning needle. This was told to a family member by Grandma. I eventually traced his grave here through Genealogical cemetery records.

A couple more “oldies”

I also managed to get a book written by a relative of mine called THE LONG GOODBYE by P.J. Parker. It is about the long suffering of her mother, my 2nd cousin, who suffered with severe dementia.
I read it in 24 hours. The Newsagency got more copies in the morning we were leaving.

[ravenswood charters
towers]

BEDFORD WEIR (AGAIN) CLERMONT

We arrived back at Bedford Weir again on the 12th August with Catriana & Chuck. A couple of days later Lorraine & Peter (Bundaberg relatives) arrived on their way home- only staying one night but stayed more. Thanks Peter & Chuck for the funniest of days!!!!! A pity nobody could be convinced to put the line in though! We had a fire going everyday. The day before Lorraine & Peter left, Bundaberg friends Mel & Rocky arrived as well, also on their way home.
We were parked like the wagons used to in the old days with fire in the middle.
Once the sun vanished it always got a bit chilly as there was a breeze as well- Lorraine shielding her neck. Peter- what concentration!
friends

Trina toasting herbed bread for nibbles.
Below is Mel’s crazy ladybug bought at Mindal Markets in Darwin.

A few of the flowers not in bloom.

Trina inspecting the huge root system of this tree- after many floods removing the dirt. It is beside the Mackenzie river below the weir. This looks like a huge mole!

Our circle of sensor lights.
Another couple from SA arrived a couple of days before we left- Dot & George then we also met friends of Dot’s who also arrived. The day we had planned to leave & head north there was enough rain to make everything wet so we finally left on the 28th.
Travelled north from Bedford instead of going into Emerald then up to Clermont. The road took us up past the Coal seam gas fires again& into Tieri, another very tidy mine “town”. Out on the highway again at Capella.

A few of the spring flowers at Capella.

As we had been through Clermont a few times we parked up behind the BP servo, well away from the road & the truckies as it is a huge area. I went into ask about paying for showers but there is no charge for showers. Well, what great showers- the showers rose are at least 8’ across with force & very hot! Amenities all very clean as well. We had a typically huge “truckie” meal & took home enough for another meal each!. These fridge containers run continually if they are full of roos & wild pigs.

We decided to have lunch there & this was a typical Truckie size meal- enough rissoles with veges for the next day!

Drove out to the Copperfield chimney & where the township used to be situated.

Back into town & to the water tap to refill & the dump point. These are beside a beautiful lake with many ducks of all colours & sizes, some of them domestic ducks as well. I noticed the locals wander down here to feed them frequently. Even a different “old duck!

A couple of these took a breather for me.

We had a wander down the street to the railway station to have a look at these murials beside the old station. They depict the life of the farmer, mining & the days gone by.

The well photographed piano in the tree.

These Plumed ducks were in a water hole at the back of the servo- there were hundreds of them.

I eventually found a track right to the waters edge the next morning but there were only about 3 there this time.

Not sure about the small duck but maybe an Australasian Grebe!

Poor photo but same duck as above.

BEDFORD WEIR CLERMONT]

BEDFORD WEIR (AGAIN) CLERMONT

We arrived back at Bedford Weir again on the 12th August with Catriana & Chuck. A couple of days later Lorraine & Peter (Bundaberg relatives) arrived on their way home- only staying one night but stayed more. Thanks Peter & Chuck for the funniest of days!!!!! A pity nobody could be convinced to put the line in though! We had a fire going everyday. The day before Lorraine & Peter left, Bundaberg friends Mel & Rocky arrived as well, also on their way home.
We were parked like the wagons used to in the old days with fire in the middle.
Once the sun vanished it always got a bit chilly as there was a breeze as well- Lorraine shielding her neck. Peter- what concentration!
friends

Trina toasting herbed bread for nibbles.
Below is Mel’s crazy ladybug bought at Mindal Markets in Darwin.

A few of the flowers not in bloom.

Trina inspecting the huge root system of this tree- after many floods removing the dirt. It is beside the Mackenzie river below the weir. This looks like a huge mole!

Our circle of sensor lights.
Another couple from SA arrived a couple of days before we left- Dot & George then we also met friends of Dot’s who also arrived. The day we had planned to leave & head north there was enough rain to make everything wet so we finally left on the 28th.
Travelled north from Bedford instead of going into Emerald then up to Clermont. The road took us up past the Coal seam gas fires again& into Tieri, another very tidy mine “town”. Out on the highway again at Capella.

A few of the spring flowers at Capella.

As we had been through Clermont a few times we parked up behind the BP servo, well away from the road & the truckies as it is a huge area. I went into ask about paying for showers but there is no charge for showers. Well, what great showers- the showers rose are at least 8’ across with force & very hot! Amenities all very clean as well. We had a typically huge “truckie” meal & took home enough for another meal each!. These fridge containers run continually if they are full of roos & wild pigs.

We decided to have lunch there & this was a typical Truckie size meal- enough rissoles with veges for the next day!

Drove out to the Copperfield chimney & where the township used to be situated.

Back into town & to the water tap to refill & the dump point. These are beside a beautiful lake with many ducks of all colours & sizes, some of them domestic ducks as well. I noticed the locals wander down here to feed them frequently. Even a different “old duck!

A couple of these took a breather for me.

We had a wander down the street to the railway station to have a look at these murials beside the old station. They depict the life of the farmer, mining & the days gone by.

The well photographed piano in the tree.

These Plumed ducks were in a water hole at the back of the servo- there were hundreds of them.

I eventually found a track right to the waters edge the next morning but there were only about 3 there this time.

Not sure about the small duck but maybe an Australasian Grebe!

Poor photo but same duck as above.

BEDFORD WEIR CLERMONT]

2016 GERMAN CREEK TO BEDFORD WEIR (AGAIN)

Well we had been told to get into German Creek look for the water on the left & turn right up over the railway line. We both had co-ordinates in our GPS & neither agreed with that ! Went right past the correct turn so had to find somewhere to do a u-turn with the vans. We finally did a turn after crossing the railway line where we could just turn then back on to the highway. Back to the correct spot to turn & the road in was not the best but only about very short so all was good.

This was taken from the dam wall.

Catriana & I went for a walk out across the dam wall for a different view.

The first evening the sunset was OK

The next morning a very heavy for rolled over.

Not a great variety of bird/water life here-Plovers, Grebes,Butcher birds, Magpies, PeeWees,the usual Crows, Swans, Cormorants, Pelicans.

This pair were keeping an eye on their nest.

This unusual bird appeared the first morning!

We were told about this abandoned Boondoora Motorcycle club house so went walking through another fence & finally found it.

This was the stove in the kitchen we are presuming. These reels would make great outdoor tables!

This poor Cormorant must have injured this wing as continually dragging beside it but it can still fly.

Sunset the 2nd night here was much better. Hues of sunrise the next morning.

We were soon on the road again on the way to Moranbah. We were wondering talking on the UHF & wondering whether we were on the correct road when a friendly truckie interrupted us asking where were were going- he assured us we were going the right way. Get away from the main coastal highways & the truckies are very friendly & always willing to have a chat on the UHF.
Travelling along & passing a few coal mines when in front of us there appeared a flame from a Coal seam gas line- missed the photo but gont the next one.

We were soon at Bedford Weir again as it was only 87ks.

[German Creek AKA Boondoora
Dam]