Monday, September 21, 2015


Stopped for the night at Wooroolin and then Murgon before lobbing for a freeloader night with Chook and Deb at Eerwah ginger farm. Interesting checking out a working farm, doing both cattle and ginger, and the complications of growing ginger with the quarantine requirements to protect the crop and soil from contamination. These guys, in Eerwah near Gympie Queensland, are the biggest ginger growers in the world!

Then on to Maroochydore. Could be here, or here abouts, for a bit. Always something happening here. This weekend it's offshore powerboat races.

and they say horse racing is the sport of kings...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jandowae Dam.

Chinchilla to Jandowae.

Jandowae is famous for selling 1000 blocks of land in town for just one dollar each, to arrest the declining population back in 2001.

Every now and then, travelling this great land, I'm fortunate to come across some really nice camp spots. Not always secluded in the bush, by a river, blah, blah, blah, but just a nice spot.

Today I think Jandowae Dam is one of them. Admittedly good weather is important, as is P & Q, grass no dust, shady but sunny spots, warm but not hot, no wind but light breezes, water views but no mosquitoes, bitumen road access but no traffic, broadcast radio, mobile telephone and internet access: are you getting the picture? Not easy to find! Or should I say getting harder to find. And then I do something silly and tell you all about it. But hey that's OK, just don't come on the day when I'm here ;)

The township of Chinchilla was a bit of a surprise as well, when looking for provisions this morning. I have previously driven through Chinchilla but never stopped or ventured off the Warrego Hwy to explore the town. Chinchilla has a lovely tree lined main shopping street, off the highway as I think all should always be, and most everything appears to be available. All the stuff I needed anyway. Good camp options as well, close to town, like Chinchilla Lake and Round Water Hole and a bit farther out, Jandowae Dam.

Jandowae Dam - sunset.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Isla Gorge NP to Chinchilla

Headed south to Theodore, decision time: Cracow and on to the Burnett Hwy or Isla Gorge NP via the Leichhardt Hwy? Isla Gorge wins out, somewhere new always has special attraction. It's only small and has just a few camp sites, but its quiet and very picturesque.

Then on down the Leichhardt Hwy to Condamine, Caliguel Lagoon and Meandarra. Did a service on the MH, grease and oil change, then watched the Storm defeat the Roosters in the first game of the NRL finals.

TV reception needs to be good for the next couple of days, more games this weekend, Saturday night and Sunday. Chinchilla Lake fits the bill nicely.

Isla Gorge NP - The view from the bluff.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Baralaba Campdraft

The best shots for the weekend:

One from a drone, thanks Alistair. And one from the fence, nearly wearing the horse and rider.  

The 'Camp'.

Getting a bit too close!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Baralaba - Cows with Guns

Moved from the river, with no TV reception, to the show grounds for a night to watch Thursday's NRL game, Broncos v Storm. Nice to see the Storm coming good at the business end of the season.

Lots of activity next day, here at the show grounds, getting ready for a campdraft over the weekend. So decided to stay for a bit. 1200 cows and a 1000 runs, its going to be a big weekend.

     Horses and riders, ready to suppress any uprisings.

Cows with guns.

Fat and docile, big and dumb
They look so stupid
They aren't much fun
Cows aren't fun

They eat to grow
Grow to die
Die to be at
At the hamburger fry
Cows well done


He mooed we must fight
Escape or we'll die
Cows gathered around
'Cause the steaks were so high
Bad cow pun


But on the horizon
Surrounding the shoppers
Came the deafening roar
Of chickens in choppers

We will fight for bovine freedom
And hold our large heads high
We will run free with the Buffalo, or die
Cows with guns

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bouldercombe, Dululu and Baralaba.

Picture this: A small town or more like a small community just 25km south west of Rockhampton, but far enough away to be quiet, on a quiet road with just a pub, a paddock beside, and park across the street. That's Bouldercombe. The pub usually have or should I say, the last time I was there was on a Sunday, had a band happening in the beer garden, nice. But not this time. Anyway camped in the paddock next door and had a quiet night.

Next night Dululu just 60km or so down the road via Gracemere and the supermarket for provisions. Again a paddock in a one pub town.

Then Baralaba on the Dawson River. It's a one pub town as well with general store and a few businesses that support the local community. The town also depends, to some degree, on the local Cockatoo Coal mine.

Back in May this year the coal miner axed 40 jobs and for small town like Baralaba that hurts. The current share price of Cockatoo Coal is 0.001, that's a long way from the high point of 0.182 back in May 2008. No wonder they call these stocks 'penny-dreadfuls'. There's only one place below 0.001.

The town provides a beautiful free camping area on the banks of the Dawson River and it's just a short walk to the main street. Hard not to stay a couple of days, so peaceful.

Baralaba - Dawson River free camp.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Middlemount and Dingo.

Stopped off at Middlemount on the way down the Fitzroy Dev Hwy, mainly to get some supplies from the IGA in town. It's expensive!

Interesting: I wonder if all mining towns use the same town plan. The place looked the same at Glenden and I managed to drive directly to the shopping precinct, without directions or signs. About 3000 people, mostly mining employees, live and work here.

Took the opportunity to go for a walk up the "Blue Mountains", a small range close to town used for recreation and communications towers. It provides a good view of the German Creek coal mine toward the west. This mine ships 11 million tonnes of Australia, by rail to the coast then overseas, every year.

Back down for lunch in the town park, then farther south on the Fitzroy Dev Hwy to Dingo on the Capricorn Hwy.

At Dingo fuelled up the MH at the Caltex servo and set up around the back for the night. About 6pm a storm front came howling through kicking up a huge dust cloud before a heavy downpour settled it all again. Impressive lightning show and it rained all night. "Won't go astray" was the rather dry reaction from a local, "been a long time since it rained here".

German Creek Mine - hope they put the dirt back when they finish..