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November 22, 2013


After getting the rest of our pots from the garden shed at home we set off for Benarkin- 120ks- for the night, leaving only about 80k to get to Bjelke Petersen Dam on Wednesday. Have to be careful that we do not travel too far in one day!!!
Travelling up the Blackbutt range saw for the first time how much work has been done- there will certainly not be any more landslides here.

We arrived at Benarkin (in Camps 7 # ) in time for lunch then enjoyed watching the Melbourne cup & certainly will enjoy it more when I collect my winnings from son-in-law. One for the ladies Gai.
Benarkin has $2 coin showers and donation if you are lucky enough to get one of the 2 power points, which we did as it was rather overcast so solars would not be working.
I wandered around & took a few photos.

Just love this time of the year with the Jacarandas in full bloom.

From this to this.

On the road again towards Blackbutt, Nanango then Bjelke-Peterson dam for 3 nights. Approaching Murgon the Vineyards & Olive Trees were seen on either side of the road.

We set up here after paying our fees which were $20/pn if staying 3 days or more. The site was not right at water front but was still rather good & easy access for the boat to be left in the water over night. Mel & Rocky arrived about lunch time. We managed to get both homes on one of the terraced sites.

There was abundant bird life- some not so welcome as they (mickey birds) were a continual nuisance.

Some beautiful King parrot seemed to like our awning to sit upon.

We reckoned this one is his wife but she never left the tree across the road.
Naturally there were literally hundreds of Pelicans along the dam banks and on one walk Mel & I saw some baby ones- never seen them before.

After we had been standing on the dam wall watching these families the big ones must have thought us a threat as they surrounded the babies.

There were so many different ones drying their washing.

There were even bunny rabbits there- no they are not hares.

We were setting the pots morning & evening & soon realised that it really is not worth checking them in the afternoon as the 3 days only got 6 in the afternoons. The mornings were much better, collecting up to 50 & they were a good size as well.

While Mel Rocky & Bruce were checking pots yesterday afternoon they were handed a huge yellow Belly as the guy had caught too many- had it for dinner yesterday evening & my mouth is still watering. There was enough meat on the backbone for me alone. This is our freebie!

We have been getting our share of seafood in our diet as the previous evening Mel had cooked Sweetlip for the 4 of us and the night before we had redclaw for entree. I cooked a roast lamb in the Baby Q for lunch yesterday.
There was only one evening with a good sunset.

SATURDAY 9.11.13
Pulled the men out of bed early this morning (6am) to go to collect the pots as we were moving to Boondooma. About 50 in all of the pots so much better in the mornings. They seem to like the rockmelon
better than any other fruit or veges we are using. Also putting dog food in some of the pots.
On the road by 8.30 as we had a long drive of about 60ks.

Got to Boondooma & fortunately we were able to set up next to the boat ramp where we have been twice before.

Bruce & Rocky setting off for the first time at Boondooma.
Two other couples, friends of Mel & Rockys arrived & there was room right beside us on the waterfront.

The weather was overcast one day but the storm that was forming fortunately blew right past us. Sue & Lindsay plus Jan & Kel all played cards so Mel & I Iearnt a new game called GOLF.

Cuppa time before attending to the mornings catch.

Some in honey & Soy & some on garlic butter. Yummy yummy. They are so sweet quite easy to eat them just plain after the 2 minute boil.
Not as many varieties of waterlife here as at the previous dam though.

Sunsets were not brilliant either.

We were getting on an average of maybe 40 a day which allowed us to freeze some.

WEDNESDAY 13.11.13
All good things must come to an end. Only 6 of us moved on to Wuruma. Back into Proston then straight up to Mundubbera, past the historic Boondooma Homestead. Should have stopped & had a look I guess but our view is that once you have wandered though some of these beautiful homesteads they get a tad repetitive.

The road up to Mundubbera was rather rough & narrow in places but much shorted than going back to the Burnett highway up past Ban Ban Springs. Into Mundubbera & there was still evidence of the January floods when we crossed the Burnett Rv

Did a little shopping in Munbubbera, bakery lunch!! got fuel etc. I was hoping to get some fresh citrus fruit from a fruit stall just south of Eidsvold but it was closed. Have got their fruit many times & always very sweet. Because we had “mucked around” in Mundubbera so long we did not have time to say hello to my Eidsvold rellies ot check out the R.M. Williams learning centre.
Crossing the Burnett again at Ceratadus the floods were once again very evident with the flattened hardwood trees.

Left the Burnett highway a few klms up the road & headed into Wuruma via Abercorn.

The six of us got set up in a spot with a good water view even though not at the water edge. Kel being visited at 6am.

We were not getting as many redclaw here & not as big.
We had a water view for 24 hours until the Beverley Hillbillies moved in front of us, family of 3 at 7am one morning then parents at 6am the next morning. They made enough noise to wake the dead!
Apparently they set up camp like squatters. The ranger moved them on from Wuruma last year after being there for 3mths & they told us that they are there now until after Christmas. These folk give everyone else a bad name as far as camping is concerned.
Well, the van was a shell which he said they bought for $300 after the floods ($299 too much). They had 2 vehicles, one pulling the van & one pulling the boat. Well out of the vehicles etc came everything, including the kitchen sink, a shower base, an ironing board (table) etc etc etc. They completely took over one of the picnic table shelters. The only positive about the family was the most beautiful little boy about 10 mths who was so well behaved, just sat around playing with his toys. We are wondering what sort of life he is going to have- sat him in a very unstable highchair with no harness. Took him in the water 1pm with no hat or well covered & certainly never looked as though he had any sun screen. Poor little fellows face was so red that afternoon.
The shelter shed in the photo above is the one they fully enclosed with tarps.
The parents went for a swim while bub was asleep in the portacot – but the activity they were involved in was NOT swimming. Bubby woke up so Dad came out of the water (in budgie smugglers) looking as though he should be back there finishing off what he had started. Use your imagination!!
More to come. Later in the afternoon Mum was sitting on a bread crate giving bub a bath in this filthy shower base. To her credit she was giving him a good bath, but, at the same time she was using the crate as a toilet. I kid you not. Could not believe my eyes when I saw liquid coming from under her- she was still in her bathers.
Anyway,next morning the parents arrived 6am with still more noise. You really had to see what they unloaded to believe it.
By about 10am we had decided that we had had enough, even though had fully intended staying there until Sunday. Got all the pots out & left there as soon as we were packed.
Another camper came & spoke to us with the comment that did we enjoy the removalists setting up camp? They have been christened that because they move in & others move out.

The men were almost embarrassed to look at her. So sad when a young person lets herself get to this condition. Bubby seemed to be very happy with legs either side of Mum’s boob which was literally below her waist.
Anyway that is how the other half live. The poor man was such a worker- he never stopped & she never helped at all then when the oldies arrived he had to start all over again helping them. He told us he works at the Sawmill.
Now some better shots from the last afternoon there.We managed to collect about 80lt of water from the awning from the rain one of the days here. Good to have this extra water for everything except showers which comes from the van water.

SATURDAY 16.11.13

We decided to only go as far as Lawgi Hall (Camps & # ) for Saturday night then into Biloela Sunday for a few groceries & fuel.

The sun setting here was brillliant red – a lot of smoke around. Turned around & the full moon was in the sky.

Saturday night there was an old time dance on in the hall so Mel Bruce & I got out of PJs & into what presentable clothes we had, wandered over to the hall ( about 30 steps away ) only to find out that all they were doing was New Vogue & we’re not into that. There were only about 10 couples on the floor with a few more playing cards. We bought some raffle tickets, got back into Pjs, I went to bed & Mel & Bruce sat up until the raffles were drawn – we got 2 of the prizes which were homemade Christmas goodies. The music was rather nice to listen to falling asleep.

SUNDAY 17.11.13
Left there & stopped for lunch at Monto.

This memorial is in the Lion’s Park at Monto where we had lunch. What a great career this jockey enjoyed.

First stop at Biloela was to fill water & dump point at the Info centre.
Got into Bilo to discover that the great bakery was not open on Sundays but right next door, since we were there last year, is a new IGA with Bakery inside.
We were told that the Callide Dam has got big big Redclaw & that we could camp out there. Anyway, out we go only to find big NO CAMPING SIGNS. Bugger.

Back out to the Dawson highway heading east towards Calliope and the Boynedale Bush Camp for 3 nights.

Not very easy to hold camera still while in the boat- rather blurred.
This is a great area if you are set up for bush camping. A few tables & seats under cover (some to be replaced after the floods), one double windy loo and a newer single loo. Large shady trees is you so desire.

The only fish we got were 6 catties, including this whopper. We had fish patties, enough for the four of us, from this one. Totally skinned & deboned then into the blender with various ingredients they were very tasty. Soaked in milk overnight after we cooked it in the redclaw water for 2 mins.

Someone got hold of my camera- Mel & I cooking barbie lunch of chips, steak, bacon, snags, eggs & tomatos. Men looking on as usual.
Monday we managed to collect over 60 ltrs of fresh rain water off the awning from the storm. We are leaving here with full van tanks! Yesterday afternoon were were having a cuppa & a visitor arrived asking if we were enjoying our peaceful site. Naturally we all answered “Yes”. He then commented that he had seen us up pack up & leave Wuruma after the removalists had set up camp beside us.
By the way, we finished eating all the raffle prizes from Lawgi Hall.
One evening the moon was very red- a lot of smoke around.

Late the last afternoon there, gradually working their way up the dam, were possibly thousands of water birds as well as hundreds of pelicans. The next morning the did the return trip?

WEDNESDAY 20.11.13
Well, all good things come to an end. Have had a great 14 days with good friends Mel & Rocky as well as meeting 2 other couples, friends of theirs. Unfortunately they were only with us at Boondooma then one night at Wuruma. Thankyou Mel & Rock for the invitation.
Just after we left the dam a Bustard Turkey ( a big one) came at us. Fortunately it hit the rear vision mirror on my side & did not appear to be badly injured as it just walked across the road behind us- after loosing may feathers! We could have easily ran over the poor thing if it had not changed direction.
Into Calliope to be met with major road works at the cross roads. From then south towards Gin Gin the highway is rather good with a total new road being built for klms north from GIn Gin, making the highway much straighter. It is going to take a long time.
We arrived at my old home town & had an early lunch at Gin Gin Ck. Used the dump point then did a sentimental tour through Tirroan to Wallaville. Our cane farm was about 10mls from Gin Gin.
Have taken some photos of very familiar buildings, even though they used for very different things.

This Tirroan Pub is a few ks out of Gin GIn. Many an afternoon after playing bowls in GG, father & friends used to have a stop here & be very late home for evening meal! No breathalizers in those days!

Next we stopped so that I could take photo towards my home/cane farm. Would not have been anywhere to turn the van around if we had gone closer.

Next we went into Wallaville for a look. My grandparents moved there in 1929 from South Kolan, buying the Post Office as well as the butcher shop where they killed their own cattle to sell in the shop. Grandfather also had the Pub lease for a few years.

Decided to go over the old bridge over the Burnett as there were major roadworks on the highway up towards the new bridge further up river.
Normally the bed of the river here would be all sand, but since weirs down stream have been built, there is now water.

After we crossed the river and driving through Booyal & Childers, the hills were just bare of any grass. So dry.

There was cane being watered to try to keep it alive.

We went as far as Six mile creek rest stop south of Gympie as it was 3pm & as had been on the road since 8am. Not driving all the time but had been a long day and we wanted to get to Caboolture Caravan Repairs as soon as they opened . Had dinner at the servo (a big truck stop) as we knew the food there was good. Had a wonderful roast pork for $10.
THURSDAY 21.11.13
Got the van booked in for 8th Jan to get 2 broken windows replaced then came to Bruce’s cousins home. We are house sitting for them for 10 days.
We took them to the boat this morning wishing them smooth sailing.
Now to catch up with washing from 2 weeks, Dr appt for hip untrasound results as well as the usual 12 mthly blood tests etc.


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  1. Lovely country side, we have seen some of it, not as much as you, we will be going back next year, if all goes well, love the photos, keep it up

  2. dazren permalink

    Thanks again, really enjoyed the trip, Shame about the ”Feral’s ?? It’s just NOT RIGHT !! Looking forward to your next posting, I retire in July, then 3 ,months in Europe, ?? AND THEM ??? I can get out there , and do what your doing, ?? whoopee ?? Thanks again

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