Sunday, December 31, 2017

Cruzin the Pacific

Highway that is. Cruising, well mostly.

Decided to hit the road before the end of the year as there were just too many people, holidaymakers and out-of-towners everywhere. But mostly it's the jetskis and tinnies zooming about on the waterways taking little or no care when in and around swimmers and paddles that got me going. So I'll leave it to them.

The Pacific Highway upgrade is getting there. Mostly duel lane north and south all the way to Ballina and beyond. Bit of a bottleneck as always as 4 lanes become 3 then 2 on the Gold Coast but not a bad run to the NSW border. But lots of work yet to be completed around Woodburn on the banks of the Richmond River has created a significant bottleneck for the northbound traffic. It would seem all the completed new sections north and south of Coffs Harbour and including the new bridge at Macksville has shifted the Macksville Crawl to the Woodburn. When I came past, north bounders were banked back for more than 20kms. But heading south, overall it's been pretty much point and shot with the cruise control doing most of the work.

Not much to see and nowhere to stop on these new sections, bypassing just about everything. It's like in one end and pop out the other after gliding over gently swerving and undulating landscape. Makes for good travel time and fuel economy compared to previous experiences, especially during construction, with all the stop-goes and go-slows and a road that was not being maintained because of the pending bypass/upgrade.

Stopping at my usual haunts, back of pubs or free camps with river views. So yeah, just cruzin'.

Ignore GPS?

New Motorway open... Yeah!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Charleville heading east.

So the last job was assembling kids bikes for Christmas gifts. The shed, my workshop, may look disorganised but you should have seen it four weeks ago.

Yep, probably like living in a mining camp but its been undercover with power and water and out of the sun. Works for me and the motorhome.

Some random pics from morning walks around town.

Pub Restaurant in cattle country.

On the outside wall of the local butcher shop.

Sunrise out west.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Aussie Helpers - Charleville, Oakey, Cunnamulla, and Eulo.

Not every day has been the same. Besides unpacking donated goods, storeman and packer sort of stuff, have got to do a road trip or two. Oakey, to help with a clean-up of sorts for a few days, and a day trip south to Cunnamulla then west to Eulo to pick up a bit of gear.

After smoko in Cunnamulla pulled into the Eulo Pub to get directions. While the publican made a phone call or two I checked the pub out. Footy tipping, interesting: Butch, Rat, Pook, Wozzel, Boof, Bull, Foxy, Snake, Sparra, Nobby, Frog, Bear, Ferret and a few more I can't remember were on the leaderboard.

Seems 'Roo' has the gear and I'm given directions to his station (large farm) just 1km out of town. The publican omitted to say the driveway to the homestead was 8km long. Thought I was lost in the driveway!

Roo introduced himself to me as Andrew: Australians are famous for slang and giving people and things nicknames. aka Kenny the Diprotodon. Apparently, it has something to do with the flies. Best to keep it short, as few syllables as possible, that way reducing the chances of flies getting into your open mouth.

Getting a feel for the driving distances that are taken for granted out here: 600km is no big deal.

Sign says: "Come in a buy a feed before we both starve"

Cunnamulla Fella

Eulo Pub and my ride for the day.

Kenny the Diprotodon at Eulo.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Charleville - photos

A day off is always a good chance to have a look around.

Took a drive down the Mitchell Hwy to check out the Warrego River. Looking good at Bakers Bend except for some green algae that suggest no flow. Then Dillalah Bridge, a lovely camp spot, but the river turns to billabongs. Definitely no flow!

Interesting, not a camper in sight. For that matter don't remember seeing a caravan or camper on the road either. Too hot?

Took a walk into town and took a few snaps. Charleville is a nice town, has a good feel to it.

Warrego River at Bakers Bend.

Warrego River at Dillalah Bridge.

A Lovely park in Charleville.

Hotel Corones Charleville built in better days. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Charleville - Aussie Helpers

Monday morning in Charleville and meeting up with the Aussie Helpers. I've put my hand up to do some volunteer work helping the farming community who are trying to survive this endless drought. Not exactly sure what I'm in for but I'll give it a go. An open mind and a preparedness to do what is needed will be important.

Fundraising is a major part of any charity. But receiving and sorting donations of goods has its challenges. All sorts of donations. All sorts of things given, with the best of intentions, need sorting, inspection, evaluation, and determination as to the best way to utilize or distribute.

So my first day was spent assisting in the sorting of donated toys, all new, and taking delivery of pallets of gift boxes prepared by large corporate businesses. A new experience for me but a satisfying day with measurable achievement.

A sense of purpose, of contributing. A rewarding feeling.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Charleville - Rock Pool

Ahead of schedule. So spent a couple of nights camped at a rock pool, a lovely quiet spot, about 10km east of Charleville. Close to the road but surprisingly little traffic. Did some walking around in the scrub and took a few photos. A relaxing time watching water birds feed on yabbies.
Rock Pool -10km east of Charleville

Probably left over from early road construction.

My Internet connection.

There is a trick to getting it the right way round.
(White-necked Heron)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Drought - Erratum

It's not just farmers!

Everone suffers in the communities. Towns that have been under pressure to compete with larger centers and survive now have this financial downturn as well. Belt-tightening. Job loss. Business closures. People moving away.  

Mitchell appears to be a town in decline.

Friday, October 20, 2017


It's Australia you got to expect it!  Or you could take Donald Trump's line and say "well you knew what you were signing up for".

Extracts from BOM Monthly Climate Drought Report (Sep 2017)

Driest September on record for Murray–Darling Basin exacerbates deficiencies in eastern Australia

Rainfall in September was below average for most of Queensland...
Rainfall was very much below average (ranked in the lowest 10% of records) for a large area of the mainland southeast...
Queensland it was the tenth-driest September since records commenced in 1900...
Dry conditions have been exacerbated by exceptional warmth across most of the country...
Maxima for Queensland were the second-warmest on record for the month...

But at the very least, the rest of us should understand that farmers are doing it tough at the moment.
The Maranoa in the good days

Come to town for the green grass.

Neil Turner Weir. Just a puddle behind the wall.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Provisioned in Chinchilla. The original plan was to stop in the backyard of the Federal Hotel in Wallumbilla, it's off the highway but looked too busy. Not caravans but trucks, big mothers that are noisy when they start up in the middle of the night. So on-on to Muckadilla. Have stopped there before and upon arrival thought better of it. Time for change: let's try Mitchell and camp on the Maranoa River. Far more picturesque and a new experience. Might stay more than just the night, nice.

So camping at Neil Turner Weir with a handful of caravans, and there is masses of space. It seems in-season it's very popular here. An entry in Wikicamps back in July says there were 70 vans here. Hmm, something to be said for being out-of-season.

Today's trivia: Did you know the waters of the Maranoa eventually flow into the Murray River? True! Mind you there are other rivers and some minor tributaries involved. (Not much going that way at the moment).

Home tonight.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Linville - Jandowae

Jandowae: camped here 2 years ago and oh what a difference now. Then it was a full lake and a sunny day as against now an empty lake and a dreary overcast windy day. My first sign of drought after dropping down from the Bunya Mountains.

Maroochydore - Linville

Staying in one place for nearly 2 months, not healthy! But been waiting to have the MH inspected (heavy vehicle requirement) for rego purposes. Poor excuse I know. But I'm on the road again and loving that feeling.

No rush getting ready, provisions etc. although some bits were done in between showers of rain. Away by 10am with just 125km planned for the day. An easy run up the range and picturesque even in the drizzle and mist. A leisurely stop at Peachester, shotting the breeze with the locals in the cafe, enjoying lunch. Then Linville via the D'Aguilar Hwy and camping across the street from the pub at the old railway station. Will do my bit and inject some small amount into the local economy. The least I can do for the community that provides a very nice campsite.

It's late arvo and I'm injecting funds into the local community (my choice via the pub) and talking to the publican as you do (no one else there). He's playing the 'lucky tickets' and I relate a lucky tickets story from years ago at the Garradunga pub near Innisfail. He says there is a story in the Courier Mail newspaper today and it says the pub is near Ingham. Sure enough, he's right there is a story about the pub in the paper, but hey I know that pub is just north of Innisfail. Moral of this story: don't believe all you read in the paper and don't believe your local publican. He's probably taking the other side of the argument just to keep you there, drinking.

Linville Train Station and camp


Courier Mail Newspaper

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Milestone -T4T blog

~300 posts and 13,000 page views.
And lots of pvs from overseas, nice.

This weeks snapshot of traffic volume and origin.
(Courtesy Google)

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States

Graph of Blogger page views

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Maroochy River

Lots of activity in the river and along the beach at Maroochydore.

The council is spending lots of dollars 'replenishing/renourishing' (Council's words) the beach by dredging sand from the river. The plan is to pump 100,000 cubic meters of sand from the river to deposit on the beach and increase the current flow past Cotton Tree Park and Cornmeal Creek. A pipe runs from the dredge out along the river bed, then via the caravan park and about 1km, to disgorge the sand and water on the surf beach.

From the link-google-photos, you can see it's not the first time and probably not the last time we will be seeing the dredge in action. Over time and after storms the sand on the beach is carried away and most of it seems to end up in the river again. The river and its course are apt to change month by month but what is most noticeable is the continual buildup of sand.

But life goes on regardless: sunset and sunrise here can have you spellbound.

Replenishing the beach
Dredging the river.



Moon on the rise.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cairns Festival

The timing of this trip was perfect with the first week of the Cairns Festival in full swing. All sorts of stuff going on down at the Esplanade, live music, a float parade, fireworks, and steel band competition.

For the first time, I stayed in an Airbnb and had an enjoyable and comfortable stay. The main attraction was the location close to the Cairns Central Railway Station and shopping centre. A bedroom to myself and sharing the lounge, kitchen, and other facilities. Added benefits included the use of push bikes and pool etc. Dee and Pat were perfect hosts. Dee went out of her way to make my stay enjoyable. Actually, I know she does that for all her guests, she makes you feel very welcome.

Riding push bikes around Cairns is easy, as it's flat, and besides the many dedicated bike trails, the roads mostly have bike lanes.

Every weekend in Cairns Rusty's Market on Sheridan St is open. A very colorful and vibrant market with the usual trinkets and great food options.

The only way to do a 24h trip, very comfortable!

Music in the park.

Rusty's Market
Rusty's Market

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cairns and Kuranda

One train to another. This time it's the Kuranda tourist train and the Skyrail cableway. The Karunda tourist train is very interesting and the audio commentary along the way details points of interest and historical facts. The climb takes nearly two hours up the Macalister Range and through the Barron Gorge NP to the very touristy town of Kuranda.

The markets at Kuranda sell all sorts of stuff I don't need and there are lots of food options as well. A short walk to the Skyrail terminal and the cableway takes you back down again.

The cableway has two stops where it's possible to disembark and walk the tropical rain forest and viewing platforms overlooking the Barron Falls. Overall it's about 7km cruising the tree tops. For me, the details regarding the building of the cableway are far more interesting than the ride itself.

Tourist train on the way up.

Skyrail on the way down.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Packing. Well, a different type of packing. Packing for a train trip from Brisbane to Cairns.

Only going to be away a week but not sure about what needs to go. It's not like packing an 8-ton motorhome where weight and space are not normally an issue.

Must admit I didn't give it a lot of thought when booking the tickets. As it stands, I will be traveling to Brisbane from Maroochydore via the train station at Nambour only to ride the train back via Nambour on the way to Cairns. I think the Spirit of Queensland would stop to pick me up in Nambour, well if I had booked it like that. Anyway will ask if they will drop me off at Nambour on the way back.

FNQ and Cairns are familiar, been there before. The first time was back in the 80s, and later in my motorhome adventures in the last couple of years. But this time I'm staying in an Airbnb right in the middle of town and I will be able to explore the CBD and not have to worry about where my MH is parked or if it's safe or getting a parking ticket. (There are all sorts of parking restrictions for large, long, heavy vehicles, commercial or not). My Airbnb host has a push-bike available for me and I have places and things planned that I want to see and do, but more of that later.

In the meantime: Anticipation running high!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tin Can Bay - Widgee - Kinbombi Falls

Well, Ross Creek Store, a free camp, for one night before going on to TCB.

Tin Can Bay is on my list of fav-go-to places it's a quiet and picturesque little community good for bike riding and walking about, a great place to just drop out for a bit and veg out. The essentials are here by way of clubs, a pub, and IGA. The fishing is good and the Yacht Club does meals with a great view. Dolphins come for a feed each morning attracting mostly overseas tourist.

Back from the coast on the inland side of Gympie is the very small town of Widgee with a general store that sells most of the essentials you might need. If you want power you can stop across the road at the showgrounds for a fee. But just out of town is the Marg McIntosh Park, a nice free spot to stop for the night. Just me and one other vehicle that night.

Heading west, about 30km as the crow flies is Kinbombi Falls another fairly quiet free camp with some great walks. Well if you don't have a problem with stairs that is. My shots didn't measure up but there are lots of photos on Google.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Cotton Tree - Kandanga

Been back a couple of weeks and have used the time to make a few changes to the storage bins in the MH. Also completed some scheduled maintenance. All done and good for a few more kms.

Just sitting around waiting for something to happen can be tedious! Always good to have a plan or at least something out on the horizon. Have scheduled a trip at the end of the month but am looking about for a destination, a short trip for a week or so, to take me through to that new adventure. So for now, traveling north for a bit of clear air and road time.

Stopped off for the first night at Kandanga, to break the trip up, and found the pub had just opened two weeks ago. Back in December 2015, the pub burnt down and since has been operating (only just) out of a shed on the block next door. It was impressive to see the place jumping with people everywhere, most dining. Talking with the publican he tells me at the official opening they had over a thousand people through the place and since have been flat out.

Always good to see small communities recover from disaster and in this case come back even stronger.

The design is not dissimilar to the original pub, nice. Note: lots less flammable material this time. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Leaving Clarke Creek

It's all slowing down. Most of the jobs are overnighters where volunteers take their caravans on to the station and stay a few days. This involves long treks over dirt roads and sometimes 4x4. That's not for me and my MH. Been in the camp nearly 6 weeks and can feel the call of the open road.

It's been hard, with the camera, to do the expanse of these stations justice. It really is something that is best experienced first hand.

Excitement! Heading south to pick up the mail and all those online purchases that I've made and can't remember. First stop at the Raglan Tavern, a bit noisy with coal trains and trucks all night, but very friendly. Friday night is pizza night, nice.

The stats when I left:
There has been a total of 94 volunteers -equivalent days 1175
Properties Reg'd 21 -Started 15 -Completed 8
Fences cleared 134km -Rebuilt 121km
Meals served 2314

Cleared and/or rebuilt an estimated 17km of this on just one property.

Phone service. Sometimes in some unexpected places.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

End in Sight

Still, lots to do on lots of farms but the camp will close soon on the 5th August. Should have this farm finished by then, been working the same place for 4 weeks now.

Last night a short sharp storm dumps some rain and this morning the paddocks have turned to mush.

Stats so far:
Total Volunteers 80 - Total days 911
Reg'd Properties 21 - Started 15 - Completed 5
Fence cleared 87.2 - Rebuilt 78.2
Meals served 1788

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Small Job - and ABC media stars

"Finished a BIG one. Just one more 'small one', Yeah Right!" That post was a week or so ago. Well, that 'small one' turned out to be about (est) 4km. Haven't finished it, maybe midway through, but can't yet see the end of the fence. In some places can't even see where it was. Fortunately, most of it is still close to where it's supposed to be, but it's on the ground and covered in sand or dirt. But hey that's nothing we haven't dealt with before.

Whilst out in the paddock an ABC news crew turns up to do their thing. Don't worry the boys got the most out of that! Back at the camp that night (media stars), heads waggling... funny.

BlazeAid The promo

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Rockhampton, well mostly anyway. Critical supplies were running low. Not main meal food that comes courtesy of BlazeAid. Stuff like pre-dinner snacks, wine, and beer. Anyway nice to get right away for a time. Provisioned in Rocky and had a quiet night in the back yard of the Bouldy Pub in Bouldercombe.

Checked the stats before leaving camp:
Volunteers 75 so far -829 equivalent days
Properties reg 20 Started 15 Completed 4
Fences cleared 77km Rebuilt 70km
Meals provided 1600

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Finished a BIG one.

So this team has been dubbed the 'Infinity Fencing Team' going out each day working down the fence line with directions "just head for the horizon". Then, "turn left and head to the horizon again". Well, 'The Horizon Fence' has been finished. But wait there's more. Just one more "small job". Yeah Right!!! Small on this farm, can't quite imagine that.

But it's all good. Each day there's been lots to see, a
ll sorts of birds and even wild deer roaming the paddocks. There's a great sense of achievement driving through the paddock along the fence, going 'home', counting off the kms of clean, straight fence. 

Yep, wild deer a stag and his girls.

Ah, that's why farmers get annoyed if you leave the gate open.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Counting The Cost

Now that most of the essential farm fences are back in place it's time to muster the cattle and count heads, sort animals, sell some, whatever. And all that stuff the farmer would be doing had there been no flood, loss or damage.

The expectation is that stock could well be mixed up between farms. The neighbours or a down river farms might have some of your stock or you his. Others beasts will be missing and never found.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Not Just Farms - Lotus Creek.

There is not a lot to see driving the old Bruce Hwy from Marlborough to Sarina. A school and camp draft grounds at Clarke Creek and a service station caravan park at Lotus Creek, is about all.

The school and library at Clarke Creek were inundated but the rushing flood waters trashed the Lotus Creek servo and park, washing most everything down the creek. The elderly owner says he will restore the place but his health is not the best. So getting fuel a cool drink or an ice-cream is now a big trip for the locals either to Sarina, Marlborough or Middlemount.

Top soil washed away.

The cabins and dongas from the caravan park.

Lotus Creek servo now.