Archers Crossing

23/4/14 – Yuleba, pronounced “Yool-Bah” is said to be named after the Aboriginal word meaning “the place of water lilies”. We packed up pretty early this morning then did a run down to Old Yuleba 13kms from Yuleba. The original town of Yuleba was on the main route from Dalby-Condamine-Roma. When the railway line was extended in 1879 a new settlement was formed called “Baltinglass”. Many of the buildings from Yuleba were relocated by bullock wagon. Baltinglass was changed to Yuleba and the old town was referred to as “Old Yuleba”. All that remains is a monument where the town once stood. You can camp and fish in this area. Grass was very long and the river was rather stagnant looking.

Old-Yuleba Old-Yuleba-CampingWe did a quick whiz into Yuleba before heading to Miles for morning tea and then on towards Chinchilla Weir. Met a very friendly local and saw one of the local sites in someone’s yard.

Yuleba-weird-and-wonderfulOn the Hwy we have driven past the township of Chinchilla many times and have never popped into the town area. Looks like a really nice town. We may have to come back into this area and stay a bit longer.

Umm do we overtake or go under????

OversizeChinchilla Weir was officially opened in 1974. Water skiing, canoeing, swimming and fishing are some of the activities people enjoy. As well as free camping, also a great place to stop for a picnic. It is a lovely spot but even at lunch time the place was filling up with vans, motorhomes and campers. Toilet flush water and hand washing water was the colour of the weir water, brown. We decided it wasn’t the place for us this time.

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We have stopped for the last few days of this trip at Archers Crossing, south side. There is a north side camping are as well. It’s a little further south out of Chinchilla, lovely spot on the Condamine River, only one other set of campers set up here so far. No facilities, does have shelter area, small water tank and bins. Area is mostly flat; we have an excellent view over the river, so peaceful and tranquil, our kind of spot and a great way to finish the trip.

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Archers Crossing was the only crossing point on the Condamine River for people living south of the river. All vehicles, stock etc used the crossing until the Banana Bridge was built. The Chinchilla Weir was not built as this time so the water level was much lower.


View map in Google Maps

Q – Archers Crossing, South Side

Archers Crossing, South Side – OF, F, B, M, W, BR, D. 24 km S of Chinchilla. Turn onto Hopelands Road 26 km S of Chinchilla for 9 km to the school. Turn right at school for 2 km then right onto Archers Crossing 4 km of dirt to the camping area. Reasonable size area next to the Condamine River, mostly grass. Some tracks lead off to others areas of the river which are only suitable for small vehicles or camping. Popular with the locals on long weekends. Rating – 4

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Chill Dude

24/04/14 – Oh what a glorious morning, oh what a glorious day 🙂 so peaceful, beautiful blue skies, birds chirping hubby by my side what more could a girl ask for 🙂 this is the life.

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How quickly things can change, one minute we have the place to ourselves, go for a walk, come back and there are several other campers with more rolling in. Being the Anzac weekend, locals have come to enjoy the serenity of the bush setting.

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We have gone for a couple of paddles up the brown with green slime river, certainly not suitable to swim in, barely good enough for a paddle. Nevertheless it was still peaceful on the water and a great way to get closer to the birds.

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Kate and our friend Don comparing photos.

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There are lots of Cockatoos, Corellas, galahs and several other varieties of birds and one we had not seen before a Pacific Bazza, nice looking birds.

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Cockatoo

Corella

We saw 3 goannas on one walk. Not a bad place to chill for a few days.

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The green slime on the top of the water had gathered near the boat ramp, kind of pretty in a yucky sort of way.

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25/4/14 – Well it’s time to head home. Been beaut trip and great to share the time with our friends, great time for us all. We packed up early and headed towards home taking the scenic route. Stopping for morning tea in Dalby and lunch at Esk.


View today’s map in Google Map

Map of our whole trip.


View Map in Google Map

Now we need to start getting things ready for our big trip of the year. 8 week trip leaving Brisbane heading west to the Kimberly area leaving early June. 🙂

Custom made kayak loader

We had been looking at the Thule Hullavator Kayak Loader to make it easier to get the kayak up and down. We also looked at other ones on the market. The Hullavator was not suitable due to the slopping sides of the canopy, the Hullavator would have hit the sides when it was flipped down. We were also told the Hullavator was not really suitable on corrugated roads. None of the other loaders on the market were suitable either due to the height of the canopy or were rear loading which was not suitable for us. So Chris went about custom designing and making his own, that was easy to use, could handle the corrugated roads and kept the kayak securely in place. He did an awesome job that suits our needs. It is easier to load and secure the kayak. The ladder is no longer needed,  we can now use a step which is in a quick and easy place to grab. (the plastic step in the photos broke, we now have a stronger step)  Making the whole process much easier, quicker, safer, less strain on the body so then we are more likely to use the kayak 🙂

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The rails are made out of roof rack bars, the same as is on the Ute. The cradle, with the kayak securely strapped in, slides up these onto the roof, clips into place and then is locked.

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The kayak can be lifted on to the cradle and secured at a much better height. Previously Chris had to lift it over his head then climb a ladder to put it onto the roof, then strap it in place.

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The cradle is made out of marine ply and painted. It also holds the paddles in place under the kayak. Has trim around the edges to protect the kayak. The lockable straps, which have wire through them are permanently fixed to the cradle.

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Cradle latches securely on both sides of each roof rack and can be padlocked.

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Kayak sits securely and locked on the roof.

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On the road again

20/6/14 – Chris had no choice but to take a front wheel off to get 2 studs for the back. It evolved taking the hub apart and prizing off the brake from the hub to get the studs off. Luckily he has the ute full workshop manual to work out how to do that. After many many hours he finally got that sorted. Then he had to get them on the back wheel, things taking longer and a lot harder than it sounds, all day in fact, as Chris encounter a few problems. We didn’t get back on the road until 4.30pm local time, with the idea of getting a few hrs of slow driving in. Chris checked the wheels every 5 km to start, then 10km, then 20km, we had 3 to check now since he had taken studs off other wheels to get us going and we still had dodgy brakes.

Well crossing the border into WA was rather an unceremonious event. No signs welcoming you into WA, no bins for quarantine of fruit and veg, just the road got worst.

We stopped for the night just after the sun set 250km from Halls Creek in a gravel pit. As it turned out there was one other couple there and they were grateful for the extra campers. Have to be a little careful where you camp this end of the Tanami, we have been told some campers have had local visitors.

Campspot

Maranoa District

6/8/14 – Chris had to change a slow leaking tyre this morning, the same tyre that came off the ute on the Tanami, which seems so long ago now. The tyre has done well really, considering everything it has been through, it is hopefully repairable.
Augethalla-CampingWe have passed through Mitchell so many times and have never been to the Artisan Hot Pools in town, we had intended to in 2012 but the complex has been flooded in the big flood and was under repair. Since hot pools seem to be the flavour of the month we decided we were going to go there this time. It will be a once off though, cost us $8 each, $6.50 for pensioners, after Blackall it seemed rather steep. The fee was for an all day pass but even if you were staying in town I don’t Know how many would come and go, it’s not like Blackall where you could hang out at the pools for hrs.

Mitchell-Hot-PoolsThe hot pool was 39.1 degrees like stepping into a bath that is too hot. There are notices up and you are told to limit your time in the hot pool for 15 – 20mins at a time. There is a cold pool at 21 degrees that those that are game can hop into to cool down, Chris did. We were told by one couple who had been dropping into the hot pools on their travels for several years that they had seen two people on separate occasions be taken away in an ambulance, so take heed to the warning of not staying in too long. We personally did find it too hot. You are also encourage to drink lots of water.

Mitchell-Hot-Pools-1 Mitchell-Hot-Pools-2 Mitchell-Hot-Pools-3Roma is another town we just pass through, so we stopped and did a walk up the Main Street and called into the Big Rig. After we had a cuppa and afternoon tea we moved on to find our night spot. Judd’s Lagoon was full so we went a few kms down the road to a gravel pit, our last night on the road.