Monday, July 27, 2015

Eureka Creek Station - Campdraft.

East from Chillagoe and ~15km west of Dimbulah is the Eureka Creek Station and a campdraft over the weekend. This is how our country cousins entertain themselves. Events for the little toddlers, teens and adults. All things to do with the horse including a 9 event race card and fashions on the field.

There is stuff to amuse everyone with stalls selling auto parts to clothing, a bar, food stalls and a stage for the band each night. A real hoedown or more accurately a dust-fest even with the water trucks splashing water around all day.

The day starts at 7am with campdraft events in the main arena. I'm told of all the sports in the world campdraft is the only one where males and females compete on equal terms.

When the sun goes down those with stamina (and fibreglass livers) go on till the early hours of the next day, partying.

It's all about how good your horse is.

The cut-out pen is a good spot to speculate. 

Early morning start.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Almaden and Chillagoe

Driving on the Burke Dev Road out to Dimbulah, planning to stop at Eureka Creek Station to attend a camp draft and bush races. Whilst at Dimbulah, having morning smoko, we noticed the Savannahlander stopped at the station. Walked over for a look-see and found a film crew making a special to be aired later in the year "Outback Train Adventures" or something. They needed some extras, well I thought so, to wave as the train left the station :)

Turns out my travelling companion had not been to Chillagoe before, so On On to Chillagoe stopping at Almaden, just a rail station and pub. Greeting the train this time. Another opportunity to get in front of the camera?  No not this time.

The road from Almaden to Chillagoe is not motorhome friendly, having four sections of dirt that amount to about 15km, but taken slowly its not too bad and it's worth the dust as there is lots to see, unusual geological formations, caves and history. Also good for the odd photograph especially if you have the patience to get the composition and the light right. On this occasion, that's not me.

         click an image to enlarge
The smelter.

The view of town and surrounds.

Out at the caves looking back to town.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Garradunga Pub

Heading north, spent a night at Bilyana roadside rest area, and then on to Innisfail. Parked at the wharf, convenient for walking to the main shopping area, then on to the Garradunga Pub to camp in the backyard. Just me and two others, then by Sunday about 15.

And on Monday it started to rain and it made me think of the Innisfail Song "Hey Rain, 'and they've just fitted anchors to the Garradunga Pub', Hey Rain" 

The Pub is just a few kms north of Innisfail surrounded by sugar cane; well was when I arrived. In the next few days the harvest team got to work to completely change the landscape. The pub, like most in regional Australia, is the social centre of the community and on this Sunday there was a small market out front complete with live music.

Had a major 'deja vu' moment whilst driving through the high cane and seeing the pub for the first time; about 30 years ago my wife and I, with some friends were on a driving holiday from Cairns, heading south and we may have stopped at this pub. Stopped at a few others as well. Things were different then :)

Cane - out front of the pub.

Bit by bit row by row.

Wooroonooran NP range - view from the pub.

The Pub - must remove the anchors in the dry season? 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cardwell - mail time.

Picking up the snail-mail has a certain amount of anticipation associated with it and that's a good motivator to ride into town and the PO each day. Thanks to my 'sis' for packaging it up and sending it on. It doesn't always arrive when expected, but Apost finally delivered. Yes there were eBay and on-line purchases (usually a surprise, being long forgotten) and notification of things well out of date. An example; a letter from the Electoral Commission regarding a failure to vote in a Queensland election six month ago. What election was that? Where was I then? Hmm, probably Victoria.

Can't resist this whinge: I'm stopped at this small CP, a few kms north of Cardwell, on the banks of the Meunga Creek. It's basic and cheap. I like the owners and their laid-back attitude and they make good pies. Rates are $5/pppn and $5 if you want power. How cheap is that? Not much margin there. The owners actually survive making and selling pies to the local supermarket and at the rest stop in town. Anyway a couple come into the park, set up, and then pull out their generator rather than pay for power. Saved themselves $5, less the fuel of course, maybe a dollar or two? BUT, the noise, the smell! And what about the P&Q for the rest of us? Some people just don't get it!

No commentary or photos on Cardwell, this time, for fear of boring my longterm readers. New followers, feeling cheated, can read the older posts :)

Cardwell earlier this year, last year.

Error: Have just realised I had the 'Tim and Trish 2010' blog listed but set to private. Resolved now.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Bruce Hwy

Bruce Hwy. (where did that name come from?)

Heading north via Ingham. No point stopping it's Sunday and the shops and supermarket are closed, probably the Catholic-Italian influence?

Met and offered a lift to Nadine from Germany, backpacking her way to Mission Beach from Adelaide. She was not able to explain why lots of Germany and French are backpacking Oz at the moment other than its a great eco-tourism destination. Hopefully we are not trashing our bit of the planet?

I must admit to holding my breath as we approached the hill and the lookout overlooking the southern end of Hinchinbrook Island. This is where the MH boiled coming south last month. But this time just cruised up with the temperature hardly moving from normal, nice. Stopped at the lookout anyway. Its a great view but could be better without the power lines.

Hinchinbrook Island.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Big Crystal Creek.

Big Crystal Creek, no signal and no Internet even with the extended antenna. Worked last time here :/

Feeling like "finally-getting-out-of-there" when leaving Townsville. I like the place but I've been there, or there-abouts, for nearly a month. So yeah nice to be on the road again.

The weather in Townsville has been good, sometimes with afternoon scattered cloud, but no rain. Whilst driving north between the Paluma Mountain Range and the Coral Sea more and more clouds are gathering, those big black buggers. Actually be nice if it rained and we got it over with, the MH could do with a wash. And guess what? It did and she did.

Stopping for the night at Big Crystal Creek and Paradise Pools for the night is always nice, and quiet. A bit cooler, less humidity, at the foot of the mountain range. Could be a bit different sleeping with a blanket tonight?

Paradise Pool is great for a swim if it's warm enough and it's a nice walk up to the Rock Pools early in the morning, about 5km return from the camp ground.

Bruce who?

Unusual cloud formation? 

The Rock Pools at Big Crystal Creek.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Dam Fine Rally.

For five or so days the roads around Townsville, and probably most of northern Queensland, are running a bit more freely with about 250 motor-homes camped up at the Ross River Dam. There are all sorts of vehicles from wizz-bang pie vans, large converted buses and coaches, goose-neck 5th wheelers, A and C class Winnebago or Swagman types and home-made things that defy description, all congregating for the rally.

Daily activities and presentations on all things to do with motor-homes, travel and tourism. Entertainment and dancing each night and an open day for the general public with trade displays and a market on the weekend.

The Ross River Dam is at Kelso about 20km south of the Townsville CBD. The residential area started selling in the late 60s and the dam started construction in 1970. The dam was designed for flood mitigation and major water supply for the region.

At this time of the year there's lots to do in and around Townsville.

Motor-homes big and small.