Day 6 – Tue 2nd

Another night sitting up, I am so over this cold. The weather was overcast again, we decided we would pull out. We got a wee bit distracted by some Emus passing through the camp so went of in chase with cameras in hand. Then Chris saw a Blue Headed Honeyeater nest so we got further distracted. We didn’t pull out of Mt Moffat until about 11.30am

Well what a trip, it seems as if the road out had more rain than we did at the camp ground, as it wasn’t long in the trip out we got bogged (the first time) The road was very slippery in places and the car and van were sliding all over the road, van one way car the next, very hard for the Jackaroo to get traction. Going up a hill we got bogged, the van was being pulled into a bank on the right hand side. Chris was working out how to get us out when I suggested we drive on the bank as it wasn’t high and had nice firm ground with grass. Chris checked it out and yep up we were pulling all the way up, yippee. As we headed off with the car sliding everywhere.

Muddy-Road1

We get to another hill and we got bogged again, this time good and proper. We had to unhook the van which was across the road and to get the Jackaroo out, which was a feat in itself. Once up the top on firming ground, or so we thought, Chris tied up a long rope (3 loops worth) to the car and van. Chris grabbed the last lot of it before we left saying to me never know this could come in handy. I drove the Jack and Chris would direct the van with the jockey wheel. The Jack was sliding all over the place; I was pulled sideways instead of forward. We did manage to move the van several meters and over the right side of the road but also into a bit of a gutter. Oh it started to rain just as we got bogged and poor Chris was out there in the mud, no shoes and soaking wet. We could hear thunder all around us and the sky was looking pretty black. The Van was stuck and after 3 hours of trying all sorts of things and moving the Jack to one spot then another, just churning up the road, a local farmer finally came along. The only car was saw on the road the whole trip out. He had a Landcruiser Ute with mud tyres on and was able to get a better grip. He had a winch but it wasn’t working so we had to tie our rope to his Ute and he pulled us out. We were so grateful for his help. We asked him what the road conditions were like up ahead and what the weather forecast was. He said he didn’t want to say. 40ml was forecast for tomorrow and then another 40ml the next day, he said we would get another 30km before we hit 2 gullies and then 2km of really bad boggy mud he reckon we would not get through. His advice was to find a spot to pull off the road and stay there the week. Well we didn’t like that idea and knew if we didn’t get out today we were going to be stuck.

Muddy-Road Opps

So we decided to at least go as far as we could and pullover if necessary. Again we were slipping and sliding every where but we kept going, we also knew the road was better up the other end, more sand and less black dirt. We passed a nice spot we could have stopped for the night and looked at each other and said what do we do, it was now or never, or a week, so we went for it. Literally 500m up the road going up a hill again we got bogged once more. We unhooked, took the car up the hill, luckily not a big hill and very firm on top. The van was right across the road on an angle and the road in front was really churned up, pictured to prove it. We hooked the rope up, under Chris’s direction I went for it in the Jack, I was sliding sideways, but kept at it and then the van moved, and moved and up we came. Chris was telling me to keep moving but I was worried about running him over, he said he nearly slipped a few times, Gee that would have been good, him face down in the mud and I take the van right over the top of him. Of course it started to rain at the same time again.

Gully Mud

All up and hooked up and we headed off again agreeing Chris would get out and check any suss spots in the road before we hit it. We got to the 2 gullies the farmer told us about. Chris got out and checked out the water going across the whole road and quite wide and nearly up to his knee. He checked out the hill going up the other side and then the other gully and decided we could get through as it was reasonably firm underneath. He pretty well floored it, water went over top of the Jack but up up and through it we went. Then we came across this 2km of black mud the farmer said about. We stopped and had a good look and a good think and decided there was no where for us to go but forward. It was slipping and sliding all the way through, a few firm bits in places that gave us a chance to straighten up, we did it got through, but gee if we had got stuck there we would have been stuck.

We kept moving forward now trying to beat the light, any holes or corrugations we just hit them head on, couldn’t take the chance of slowing down and getting stuck. Cows were on the road in places, we just had to toot the horn and hoped they moved. This road also has lots of cow grids which often seemed to have muddy bits on either side. The van and car would be slipping slide ways and some how Chris would manage to straighten the vehicles up so we could go through straight. It was bad enough doing this in daylight but the even harder in the dark, the only good thing was the road had improved a bit. We did the last 30min in the dark and counting down the km’s. Both of us feeling very stressed. My tummy was in knots. The carpet in the Jack was all muddy and the pedals were a couple of inches higher, we knew by this stage we were going to make it km by km.

Slippery-Road

Then we hit it the bitumen, we could have got out and kissed it. We stopped and checked the van all seemed ok but gee it was filthy. We had come through the longest 90km of dirt road we had ever been on, took us over 7hrs to do it. We still had another 70km of bitumen to Injune; it was black as black out there, overcast and no moon. Roo’s and other animals were right on the edge of the road so it was 60km all the way in the dark. We went through a few flood ways that served to wash the vehicles down a bit. We eventually made it into Injune, stressed and tired and filthy 8 ½ hrs after we had left Mt Moffat.

We set up camp, found the gas bottles in the mud to turn them on, we lost our little spirit levels somewhere and the clamp for the dolly wheel is bent and now a little suss. Thank goodness Injune Caravan Park has great showers, Chris just about had to soak, mud all up his legs, feet were caked in it, shorts and shirts were muddy and wet. His thongs were a huge mess and took a lot of cleaning up. We just had some pancakes for tea and retired to bed exhausted.

Day 7 – Wed 3rd

I slept sitting up all night but I slept and so did Chris. We were joking how the people in the powered sites above us would be looking at the van and car thinking heck where have they been. We headed up for a shower and were amazed at how dirty the car and van were. As we walked up a lady said hello and asked where we had been, we said Mt Moffat and with that another guy came out his van and wanted to know all about our adventure. A small crowd started to gather and we told our tales of woe and dread and our courage and determination to get through (hee hee). One bloke was planning to head out to Mt Moffat today but decided against it. The ranger had told him you might get in but you won’t get out.After our shower we went to the info centre to pay for a couple of nights here. The lady had heard of our tales and saw the state of the van, all were amazed we got through. You just have to mention Mt Moffat to the locals and they raise the eye brows and say you won’t get out there and how lucky we were to get out.

Muddy-1 Muddy-2

Yesterday was very stressful, we can have a laugh about it now and we have one heck of a story to tell but it still sends shivers down our spine and we are the talk of the town. The lady at the Info centre made sure we got a powered site tonight, she said we deserved it. The van is supposed to be semi off road but after yesterday mate it’s an off road van. It held together really well, the fridge shelf came off again, doesn’t like those corrugations. And considering the conditions the Jack did very well as well. I’m really proud of Chris he did really great job getting us out. I had some new experiences yesterday towing us out of the bogs and was really proud of myself for getting us out of it but I said to Chris lets not do that again.

Muddy

We pulled the van out to the local wash down area for the trucks, to give the van a good hose down. We were waiting behind a cattle truck for ages, and then a local Ute came and went in another spot we didn’t know about. The truckie then comes over and tells us the high pressure hose he is using needs a special key and we need to use the wash area the Ute is using. So after waiting for an hour we finally got to hose down the vehicles, mud was caked on really thick but gee under all the mud there was van under there and even some gas bottles. We both got wet and muddy cleaning it all down. We came back to our site and had another one of those lovely showers.

Mt-Moffatt-Roads-5

We will check the road conditions tomorrow; it is supped to rain tonight, tomorrow and then clear on Friday. From now on this epic adventure is now called Chris and Kate’s peaceful adventure.We are using today to clean up, washing has been down, inside the van cleaned, car cleaned and mats as best they can be. Water is filled up and we will be ready to hit the road to Carnarvon tomorrow we hope. We have been asking the locals about the weather and road conditions as that can also become impassable and we didn’t want to be stuck at the park out there unable to do anything. Injune is supposed to get a lot of rain tonight and tomorrow. The guy at the Newsagent, come chemist come nursery rang his mate who lives out that way to ask about conditions. It was raining out that way at the time. The guy at the shop looked at the radar for us and even told us to come and have a look. Every one here is very friendly and wants us to stay in Injune a few nights, properly because we are buying a few things here. We bought some more washing powder and tissues and the tissues must have extra healing power, well they better have at over $5 a box, also had to get some more Sudafed type stuff. Fingers crossed I am over the worst of this.

Day 8 – Thursday 4th

We both slept good, me sitting up again. Woke to a wet day and it was going to get wetter. Chris hooked up and packed up outside in the rain, we had showers before we left Injune so set off dry and warm.

The road out was very wet and muddy on the edges in some places quite a lot. When the road trains come you need to move onto the shoulders of the road, it would send a shiver through me, (after our Mt Moffat experience) hoping we wouldn’t have to do that on the really bad soppy areas, fortunately we didn’t. It was a wet trip to the Carnarvon turnoff and even wetter along the road in. Also lots of cows on the road that didn’t always like to move, we were herding a big group for a while eventually one by one they would move off the road. We also had to avoid the mines they left behind.

Our trip in wasn’t going to be smooth sailing, no this place wanted to throw more at us and see if we could take it. And yep our OFF ROAD VAN can. We came down a hill and around a corner to the first of 6 creek crossings, signs up saying water on the road, seems to be a permanent thing, a little camper van was turning around at the creek crossing, not wanting to go through. The only place we could go was reverse back up the hill and around the cnr to flat ground. Chris checked out the crossing that was wide in both directions, flowing fast and nearly up to his knees, higher on the van door side and flowing in that direction. The issue for us was the force of the water and if it would come in the bottom of the caravan door. An older couple in a 4wd and camper trailer came along and decided they weren’t going to try it. I said I would photograph it, but they wouldn’t go for it, worried there washed up camper and car would feature in the next edition of 4wd monthly.

Carnarvon Creek-Crossing

We went through and stopped up the hill on the other side for Chris to check the van door, yes water had got in a bit on the step but all was ok. Just then the ranger came by and said the rest was easy after that. We later found out they were there to put a sign up to say road closed so we were very lucky in many ways that we got through.Chris put a rock on the water edge to see if the water was going down while we went and had lunch. The people in the little van did the same. A while later a 4wd towing a camper came through so Chris asked him what it was like, this crossing was the worse so once we made it though here it would be ok. The little van went through and we left it a little longer to give the creek chance to go down a bit.

We then hit the gravel road which was pretty wet the rest of the way in, with water over the road in many places. The Carnarvon Creek was flowing pretty hard; this is the creek that flows all the way through the national park. Once it clears we hope to get some good shots of the creek.

When we got to the Takarakka bush resort there was a sign on the door saying the road out was closed. All were surprised we got in. The people next door to us said the management came and told them the police had closed the road at 12 noon, and people weren’t aloud to leave, we had come through just before then. More adventure than we can shake a stick at this trip; we are so hanging out for some nice sunny days and no more dramas.

The weather is supposed to start to clear tomorrow, we will spend tomorrow around here, check out the park and then hopefully it will be on for the national park.

Day 9 – Friday 5th

I am writing this sitting under the awning with my feet up surrounded by green grass, lots of trees with the sound of birds all around me, a slight breeze blowing and some blue sky, lovely.

Both had a good night sleep, I still had to sit up, getting good a sleeping sitting up, nice to lie down one day. We watched DVD’s last night with the sound right up due to the rain and had the heater on drying out some bits. Found out the neighbours did the same. We are really happy with the new table a chair arrangement, so much more comfortable.

The weather today is much better, rain has cleared and there is some blue sky. The road out is closed, that’s out of the park as well, some tape has been put up to stop any one from trying to cross the creek coming into the park. Apparently last night it really came up, the police have blocked the road coming into Carnarvon as well. We have just heard the first creek we crossed coming in yesterday had 2m of water going over it early this morning. The police will re look at it tomorrow and decided if they will open the road. We are realising how lucky we were to get in, if we didn’t when we did it would have been a t least 2 days before we could and would have blown the money for those 2 days. There are several people here who had planned to leave today but can’t, they keep checking the water level. Seems they have a free night though. All quiet dramatic. They won’t even let us drive down to the national park, which is 4km down the road, due to the creek crossing coming into the van park. We could easily get out in the Jack as can anyone else in a 4wd but it’s the standard cars that would try it.

Crossing-coming-into-park

We went for a walk earlier and followed the roaring creek around, got some bird shots, before my battery went flat. Came back for lunch and just haven’t got out there, just enjoying the rest, doing some of that relaxing stuff. Not much else we can do until they let us out. But gee we will be ready to get into it when we can. We will have to leave some of the longer walks a few days to give the creek a chance to go down, on the 21km walk the creek crosses the track 22 times. Everyone in the park is just wondering around calling in on each other and having a chat.

The van park is quiet nice, a bush setting with sites pretty spacious. The phone gobbles up the money, the washing is $5 a load as you have to use their special washing powder. The camp kitchens are really big and well set up. Bread here is in a freezer and is $3.50 a loaf, the place is a bit expensive at $35 for a powered site a night but there isn’t any other place to say.

We ended up having a quick walk around the park and taking some photos of the Kangaroos and I hand fed an Apostle Bird some salted Cashews (opps). The Apostle Birds, Happy Jacks or CWA birds are funny things. One got on the car mirrors and looked at itself, tapping the mirror and making this crooning noise to itself, like it was trying to chat up the bird in the mirror, very funny.

Tonight the Rangers put on a slide show in the park, they do that every Tue and Friday, you take up your chairs and jackets etc and sit outside and watch the slides as they do a talk about Carnarvon Gorge etc, really interesting. Then we came back and gathered around the communal fireplace and chatted with a few of the other campers, a very pleasant night.

Day 10 – Sat 6th

Blue Sky nothing but blue sky, yippee finally some of the blue stuff no clouds in site. Good start to the day, I also finally got to sleep lying down, woke to a big coughing fit and the voice is a long way from normal but I am on the mend.

The people next to us left today, as did a few others, they gave us their card with email address on it asking us to email some of our award winning shots as we have inspired him to get back into his photography, he has a 300D. We had to jump start their car.

We went a did a couple of the closer walks, Baloon Cave that has some aboriginal stencilling, walked to the Rock Pool and then after lunch did Mickey Creek Gorge, we went as far as we could before water became an issue, we also went to the visitor centre. Gets warm walking but in the gorges it’s freezing. Water is still on the stepping stone crossing the creek, fingers crossed it will be ok tomorrow.

Wallaby hiding in some long grass

The road opened at lunch time so I guess all those waiting to come in finally made it. We have also heard that on Friday when the road was closed a standard car went around the road closed sign and tried to cross that first crossing and got washed away.When we came back this arvo the place is filling up, our peace has gone and we are surrounded, quite a few with kids, they are supposed to be at school. Our new neighbours in a camper trailer with 3 kids have taken this term off and are touring around Aus.

Day 11 – Sun 7th

My friend Judy would be proud, we were up at 5am, left the park just before 6am, and no one was stirring not even a mouse. On the track walking by 6.15am, it was rather chilly.

Big-bend

Out of 22 creek crossings up to Big Bend I kept my runners on for 4 of them, the rest I had to take my socks and shoes off then dry my feet on the on the other side. Rather a pain and took a lot of time. On the way back I left my runners on and just walked through the water, lot quicker but we both had sore feet when we got back. 21km walk all up and over 10hrs walking, with not a lot of rests in between as the trip up there took longer due to the creek crossings.

The gorge is so amazing, as we started the sun was lighting up the cliffs to an amazing bright orange, at that time we resisted the urge to get the cameras out knowing we would be back along this part of the track in a few days. After the deep blue sky came out showing off the gorgeous sandstone cliffs we could resist no more and the cameras came out. No photo does this place justice, the cliffs are so huge, very hard to get clear shots due to the trees but the eyes had a feast on the splendour of the gorge.

Carnarvon-Gorge Carnarvon-gorge-01 Carnarvon-gorge-02

After Big Bend we walked backed down the track over 2 creek crossing, both had shoes off until we got to Boowinda Gorge. A side gorge that goes for 3km over some pretty rocky ground, really amazing and a highlight of the walk. Lighting was terrible so unfortunately not real good for photography but it was nice to just enjoy the place.We stopped in at Cathedral Cave which has a lot of Aboriginal art work, we then walked up to Big Bend, has a small camping area and some toilets. All overgrown and the creek area was very messy due to all the tress that had come down in the Jan floods, the creek was like that all the way up. We had lunch at big bend, full on protein chicken, rissoles and boiled eggs. We constantly had to shoo away Currawongs who had their eye on our lunch. Chris turned his back for a sec and the rotten things flew in a grabbed our bag of mixed nuts, surprised they could fly away with it, Chris gave chase but they weren’t giving them up.

Carnarvon-gorge-05 Carnarvon-gorge-06 Looking-Up

Then started the big walk back, fully loaded with our full camera kits we were getting pretty tired. Set a reasonably pace and just walked over the creek crossing shoes and all. My runners would fill up with water and then the water would squish out as I walked. I kept asking Chris are we there yet, both of us had sore backs and the legs were starting to get sore, the last couple of km’s were pretty hard going.

We by passed all the other places we could stop at as we are going back up there in a few days do to the rest. We filled our bottle with water near Wards Canyon as it was running and so crystal clear being filtered by the canyon and the sandstone, tasted better and looked better than the water we had in the tanks.

We were pretty worn out last night and decide we needed a rest day and a big sleep in.

Day 12 – Mon 8th

Big sleep in, NOT a kid next door was screaming his head off before 6.30am. Thank goodness they left today. A new lot filled there spot within minutes. An older couple in a 5th wheeler. People come and people go pretty quick around here.

Today is a rest day and bit of a clean up day, did a load of $5 washing, washed our runners and boots, down load pics etc.

Kitchen

The water here is terrible, so we haven’t put any into the tanks.

After lunch we will sit by the creek and see what birds come our way.

Great Egret Fishing

Our cameras with the L series lenses get a lot of looks and comments. We seem to be the resident experts on cameras. One of the other campers came and asked us a question about his camera today, him and his wife are avid bird watchers and we have passed then on the tracks around here several times, stopping for a quick chat.

Day 13 – Tue 9th

Well we did it again, up at 5am, on the track walking by 6.15am. The crossings were much better this time so made the whole walk a lot quicker, out of 9 crossings I only took my shoes off once. Actually more than 9 as there were some other crossing into the Amphitheatre.

This time we had our camera out from the start and had a much smaller kit, we managed with Chris’s bag, left the heavy lenses back at camp and I carried the food back pack. It really is the best time to see the sandstone cliffs. They only light up like that in the early morning sun and only lasts for short time. We got lots of pics of the sandstone cliffs with nice deep blue sky, no polarizer needed. On some creek crossings we got the sandstone cliffs with a nice golden glow, deep blue sky and a reflection on the water, really is breath taking.

We were at the Moss Garden toilets at 7am which is about 3km up the track. We went to the Amphitheatre first which is further up the track. Hidden inside the gorge is a 60m deep chamber, gouged from the rock by running water. Access into the chamber is via a four-tiered ladder. It was huge in there, really amazing; the 10-22 lens was no where near wide enough. After a while it got very cold in there.

Wards-Canyon Ward's-Canyon-01 Ward's-Canyon-02

Next we went up to Wards Canyon, so named as the Ward brothers would store there, fur pelts in the canyon as it acts as a nature cool room being 10 degrees cooler in there, and it sure was, again an amazing place, very steep to get in and lots of stairs. Rare King ferns can be found in the Gorge. The ferns pump water up their fronds to give them strength, the canyon is the only place the king ferns are found off the coast.

AmphitheatreSince we had started early and before everyone else we were able to photograph the Amphitheatre and Wards Canyon without people in the way.

Looking-down-from-the-Amphitheatre

Next we headed back down the track to Moss Gardens, steep track in with even more stairs. The Sandstone acts like a big sponge and soaks in all the water when in rains, the water then filters through. At the Moss Gardens it’s like a big filter with water constantly dripping from the sandstone walls, supporting a lush carpet of mosses, ferns and liverworts. There is also a small waterfall. The moss is so green and lush, also very cold in there.

Moss Gardens Moss Gardens2 Moss-gardens-3

Even with our lighter load our backs and feet were still hurting by the time we got back from the 11.7km walk, as they had hardly had time to recover from the previous big walk.

On the way back to camp we saw another Echidna crossing the road, Chris stopped the car quick and I flew out camera in hand. I got some real beaut shots, some with his head out, cool. We got back to camp put the feet up had a couple of cuppa’s to recover, then got our good lenses on and went down to the creek to scout for birds. Yesterday Chris had followed an Egret all the way down the creek taking shots, it seemed to come back to same area every day around the same time looking for food.

Great-Egret-Fishing

Yep he was there, we were both in the water following it down the creek as it just walked along looking for food, got some nice shots with reflections on him. Also got some shots of a roo with it’s reflection as it crossed the creek. We both managed to fill up 4gb cards today.

We were both worn out after another fun filled day.

Day 14 – Wed 10th

This rotten cough is hard to kick, it had another go at me yesterday and last night, had to start off sleeping sitting up.

Chris was up at 3am this morning but he can say that bit.

While Chris was away I did a big clean up of the van all ready to head off tomorrow. At the moment we are just sitting relaxing with our feet up underneath the annex enjoying watching the birds walk past pecking at the ground for food. We found out about Buff birds from the bird watchers. Bit like the Apostle birds that live in families, they make a noise as they walk, have a hooked beak and are black like a crow but smaller with some white bits under their wings, not a very photographic bird so just nice to watch.

We leave here tomorrow and have decided to go via Rolleston, Springsure then into Emerald for the night. Then head off to Blackwater stop somewhere along there for the night, then head towards Rocky and stopping at Calliope for possible our last night. Then do a big run home on the Sun, unless something else takes our fancy on the way home.

Chris here now, I got up this morning at 3 so I could walk (or climb) the 3.2 km up to Boolimba Bluff and be there for the sunrise. It was a very dark morning with the moon having set before midnight, so off I go with a torch in one hand and my new headlight strapped to my forehead. Setting off up the track at 3:50am, it was a very different bush walking experience. You could hear the sounds of all the animals and see some of them that were a bit slow getting off the track. I used the red light for much of the way as that let my eyes work better in the dark. I saw several of those small bettagong things (like a very small kangaroo) and also several big kangaroos booming off to one side or the other. I was hoping I wouldn’t come across any feral boars.

Resting about 1.5km in just before the start of the big climb, I turned off my headlight and couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. Apart form the thousands of stars peering between the treetops it was indeed very dark. Lots of the starry sky was missing, obscured with what turned out to be the overhanging cliff tops above me.

So now it was off up the steep part. Lots of steps and four ladders to climb through the gully between the cliffs. Made it to the top in good time and than arrived at the bluff at 5:10 just as the dawn light was starting to appear. I could make out the ranger station by the light of the public phone way down there. I was there in plenty of time as sunrise was at 6:08 so I looked around for the best places to take photos from when the light did appear properly. Some of the lookout area was closed, probably due to a tree threatening to fall near the cliff top, possibly taking some of the cliff with it. The cliffs across the valley are just starting to show up, very white against the blackness of the valley and hills beyond.

Sunrise Boolimba Bluff

Boolimba-Bluff-1 Boolimba-Bluff-2 Boolimba-Bluff-4 Boolimba-Bluff-6

Just after 7:00 and time to head back down. I could now see the giant cliffs that surrounded the track on the way up. Going down was a little slower as I was taking it easy on my knees. I saw one couple walking up not far from the start. I was back at the ranger station at about 8:40 and then a short drive back to my Kate.As the sun rose, I took a few shots off to the East but the main action was off the South West where the cliffs come alive with the new sunlight. I took a number of shots of the cliffs, some of them for later stitching together. There was some cloud in the sky, just enough to make the sky interesting. I also took a number of zoomed in shots of the opposite cliff, showing the trees growing midway up apparently hanging onto virtually nothing. I don’t know that the photos will be that good, but the experience certainly is.

Kate Back, we had a relaxing arvo, did the nature walk back down at the national park a 2km walk. A lot of fallen trees from the Jan flood were banked up along the creek; all looked a bit of a mess.

We hooked the van up and packed up as much as we could so we could get away early in the morning, or sleep in hee hee.

Just before tea the Apostle birds came back to our site, might have something to do with the fact I gave them some seed this morning and again this arvo. Anyway they were squawking away making their usual racket. One kept going up onto the car/van mirrors trying to give itself a leaf, going from one mirror to another, it would jump down then hop back up, dance up and down, peck at the mirror jump down hop back up, would do this procedure about 4/5 times. Then it would fly back to the seed and take some seed back to the mirror and start all over again. Then it started a new thing, it would jump down from the mirror grab a leaf and take it back to the seed as if it was an offering, grab Cheeky-Aposle-Bird2I was taking photos and I was still there when he came back.

Day 15 – Thurs 11th

We left Carnarvon at 8.30am, went past the Fairburn Dam on the way to Emerald, the one that was on the news recently with the flood and water pouring over the overflow. It is one huge dam, very muddy at the moment.

Also saw another Echidna crossing the road, it was nearly half way across when we stopped, luckily I had my camera out, I was out for the car in a flash, think I got some even better shots that the other day, again with his head out.

Echidna

It’s surprising very warm here. In the arvo we went for a walk around the gardens which cover and area of 42 hectares. With lots of different sections, we first walked along the supposed wet lands but we think it was washed away in Jan flood as it was just a mess. Lots of cockatoos flying over which we had fun trying to shoot. We then headed to the river and walked along looking for birds. Came back to the van all hot and sticky, had a break and then went for another walk along the lake that runs in the middle of the gardens. The gardens are very nice and done really well, if it wasn’t for the traffic it would be a really nice place to stop.We went straight to the Emerald Botanical Garden free rest stop, there for lunch, mostly day time cars here at that time. The bridge over the Nogoa River, the main route into town, is above the rest area on one side and the train track bridge is up over the other side with a small area in the middle with no bridges. We are on a nice level spot right under the rail bridge; hopefully not as many trains as there are cars and trucks going over the other bridge, going to be a noisy night. The place is now packed with other campers.

We had Red Rooster for tea, nice for a change.