Q – Chinchilla Weir

Chinchilla Weir – T, B, M, W, OR, F, D, ND, BR. 9 km SW of Chinchilla on the Chinchilla-Tara Road. Free camping for 2 days. Power available ,donation for power at the information centre. Right on the weir, may get noise from power boats. Lots of birds, shady sites, very popular spot. Tap water is brown do not drink. One area is sectioned off with bollards with a road way going through. Another grassy area seems to be the overflow area. Bit too crowded for our liking. Rating – 3.5

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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.

Paddling-on-the-Condamine

Darter

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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Kimberley Adventure

12/06/14 – Well we are packed and ready for another adventure and this one is a beauty. We are off for 8 weeks to the Kimberley region. This has been on our bucket list for sometime and yeah we are finally going. This is our first trip to Western Australia, we have lots of amazing places to see and things to do on this trip, we are very excited about this one 🙂

Hooked-up

This is a map of our proposed trip a lot of km’s to cover, biggest trip yet for us. Over 12,000km’s and this is not including any side tracks. This is just the route, doesn’t list all the places we will see, or stop at along the way. We leave home heading west, via Cooyar, then along the Warrego Hwy through Roma, Morven, up to Blackall. Winton then across to Boulia and along the Plenty Hwy, then we take the longest shortcut up the Tanami Road. We then spend several days at the Bungles, which will be one of the highlights of the trip. From there it’s up to Kununurra, along the Gibb River Road. Then it’s up to Middle Lagoon and the Dampier Peninsula for a few days before heading down to Broome. We have timed our visit to Broome to tie in with the Staircase to the Moon. We have managed to squeeze in a trip to the Horizontal Waterfalls, leaving from Derby. Then it’s along the Northern Hwy to Halls Creek and then up Duncan Road joining onto the Victoria Hwy and through to Katherine. From there we stop in at Litchfield National Park before moving on to Darwin. Then it’s south back to Katherine, Mataranka, along the Roper Hwy down to Cape Crawford, along the Savannah Way to Doomadgee coming in the back way into Lawn Hill National Park. Down to Mt Isa, Boulia, Bedourie, Windorah, Charleville and back along the Warrego Hwy to home.

Our-trip

We will do our best to update our site, but we won’t have mobile reception in a lot of places or we will just be having too much fun 🙂

Beyond the Black Stump

13/6/14 – Last night we stayed at Swinging Bridge, we pulled in around 8.15pm had a quick cuppa and bed.

We were up early and on the road by 6am, big day of travel today. We had a really good run. Only hold up was road works either side of Tambo that went for ages.

With ominous looking grey clouds we stopped for the night 51km south of Blackall. We had planned to stop earlier but the official rest stops were very close to the road. Where we stopped was a large area with several tracks and it was obvious it was well used by fellow travelers.

As we were having our tea it started to rain. We quickly pushed the kitchen back in and put dirty dishes wherever they fitted to worry about in the morning. Chairs went in the camper and we read in there for a while before having an early night.

14/6/14 – It rained on and off overnight, think we had around an inch of rain. Thankfully it wasn’t raining in the morning so we were able to sort things out from the night before and only had damp canvas to pack up.

Where we had camped was black soil and when we were pulling out we got bogged. Winch had to come out and then Chris had to keep the ute moving all the way to the main road with it slipping and sliding in the wet mud.

First up have to say Blackall is an awesome county town and will we be back. Unfortunately this trip was a short visit. Quick stop at the Black Stump before moving onto the Woolscour.

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Blackall has the only fully intact steam powered wool washing plant left in Australia. It operated commercially under steam power from 1908 until 1978. Even though it is now a tourist attraction it is still as fully functional now as it was then. We didn’t do the tour due to lack of time, it was $15 per adult. Tours run on the hour every hour. We were able to a wonder around the outside.

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We were hanging out to get to the hot springs at the Aquatic Centre. Wow at only $2 each it’s a must do destination in town. There is a 50m Olympic size pool that is 34 degrees and a spa that is 37 degrees. You can certainly feel the difference in temperatures between the pools. It was lovely to have a soak and chat to fellow travelers. We reluctantly got out as we were getting hungry for lunch and it was time to move on.

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There are several sculptures in town, we saw 2 of them. Cutting Out, only his head was missing and The Eagle and Nest down near the Barcoo river.

Cutting Eagle-and-Nest

There is camping at the river $8 per night, fees payable at the information centre. We were very impressed with the town and will be planning to stay for several days next time.

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We stopped for the night approx 90kms west from Longreach heading towards Winton. We have stopped here before, part of the old road, no one else around.

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Boulia

15/6/14 – So glad we had the heater on, it was rather a chilly night but we were nice and toasty in the camper.

We fueled up and had morning tea at Winton before heading down the Min Min byway aka the Kennedy Developmental Road to Boulia.

The road to Boulia is a lot more interesting than we expected. The road is mostly single lane, flat and treeless. Other areas have colourful jumpups that reminded us of the Painted Desert. There was more traffic on this road than we expected too, travelers like ourselves. We have seen heaps of Brogals, Wedge-tailed Eagles and Emus.

Winton-to-Boulia-roadMiddleton was in the middle of nowhere. It was one of the nine changing stations on the Cobb & Co route between Winton and Boulia. An old Cobb & Co wagon sits proudly out the front of the Middleton Hotel.

Middleton-Carriage Across the road from the hotel is Hilton Hotel, where there is no aircon, no TV, no pool and no charge. Someone has a great sense of humour.

Hotel-HiltonAnyone traveling this road must stop at Cawnpore Lookout, 360 degree view of ochre red jumpups, amazing.

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The road from the lookout to Bouila is flat, dry and mostly treeless. Through Min Min country.

Welcome-to-BouliaWe topped off the fuel before heading down the Donohue Hwy diesel was 179.9. We found out at the servo that the Plenty Hwy has been closed for a few days due the road having 20mm of rain. Apparently 3 trucks are bogged out there. We tried the police station but it was closed, so called into the info centre who rang the person who controls the opening and closing of roads in the shire. Lucky for us the road was open to 4wd only. That’s the thing on these roads a small amount of rain can close a road so it’s always worth checking before heading down one.

Donohou-HwyIt was actually the Donohue that was closed not the Plenty.

It’s bitumen for approx 35kms out of Boulia, then dirt road which was rutted and churned up in places where vehicles had travelled along the road in the wet. It was muddy and soft in a few places, otherwise it was a good road. There are several other areas of bitumen.

Donohou-Hwy-rutsDonohou-Hwy-ruts-1We stopped for the night at Herbert Yards approx 83kms from Boulia, with another camper.

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Plenty Hwy Day 1

16/6/14 – We were thankful for the heater again last night with it being the coldest night so far.

We were on the road by 9am. The road for the next hundred Kms or so was more rutted and boggy. There were areas were the landscape was flat with no trees, others area were quite treey.

We came across a Wedge-tailed Eagle and it’s nest. But by the time we stopped to take photos it had flown off.

Eagle-NestIt’s a beautiful sunny day but the wind feels like it’s coming off Antarctica, brrr.

Reality hits how big Qld is when you have been traveling for over 3 days to finally hit the state border. As soon as we crossed the border into NT onto the Plenty Hwy the road changed to single lane and corrugated.

NT-borderPlenty-Hwy-1The road does get wider and is rough and churned up in places due to the wet. It’s is corrugated, some areas worst than others. There are patches of bull dust and some decent size holes. It is pretty rough in places.

Plenty-Hwy-2 Plenty-Hwy-bull-dust Plenty-Hwy-bull-dust-1We have camped for the night at Arthur Creek, 159km W of the Qld/NT border. Camping is along the banks of the river on either side. The river is dry and sandy. The area is very dusty, lots of trees. If it wasn’t for the hoards of flies and the chilly wind it would be a pleasant spot.

Arthur-Creek Arthur-Creek-bed Arthur-Creek-campspotIt doesn’t matter how well something is tucked up under a vehicle or trailer a well placed rock can still hit its mark. The main pump on the camper is well protected or so we thought, up high and behind the spare wheel. A rock has hit the pump and cracked the pump housing causing it to suck in air, so the pump isn’t working. Chris is very surprised it got hit where it is. Goes to show a rock can hit anywhere. He has never been happy with it outside the trailer, after this trip I think he will move it or protect it better. There are 2 pumps on the trailer, one for the shower to pump water from an external water source. We also have one of the ute for the water tank there. We have deliberately kept all the pumps the same so they can be swapped around if necessary. Not a quick or simple task though. Chris is using some silicone sealant to try and fix the crack first before going to the extra hassle and work of changing over pumps. Fingers crossed.

Plenty Hwy Day 2

17/6/14 – Gee the nights keep getting cooler. We were on the road by 9am. The road on the west side of Arthur Creek is better than the East side. Wide gravel road that is still corrugated but the corrugations aren’t as deep. On some areas of the road it is wide smooth and compacted red dirt. There are ant hills and jumpups. We even came across some road works which explains why the road had improved, for a while at least.

We passed a guy loaded up on a push bike peddling along. That’s a hard way to go.

We took the Binns Track heading for Tower Rock. We did a detour first planning on having a look at Boxhole Meteorite Crater but the gates into the crater were padlocked, obviously it’s on private property.

It’s 90km into Mac and Rose Chalmers Conservation Reserve, (Tower Rock). As you enter the reserve you are greeted with the massive mountains of red granite boulders. Very similar to the Devils Marbles only a lot less people. We are the only ones here for the arvo and camped for the night.

Rocks-everywhere Conservation-Reserve Camp-groundOue-Campsite Tower Rock was one of Rose Chalmers favourite spots. And you can see why, the view from there is amazing. Overlooking all the red granite boulders, down into the valley and a view across to the East MacDonnell Ranges. The climb is classified as difficult as you have to scramble over boulders as you work your way to the top following red paint markers on rocks. We reached a flat area near the top and the red markers disappeared. I guess whoever did the red markers decided most people wouldn’t want to go any further. We saw some rock cairns someone had made leading a path right up to the top, which we followed. The walk and climb was worth it, we were gobsmacked with the view and the red of boulders with a deep blue sky behind them. We had fun exploring the different boulders as we worked our way back down.

View-of-our-camp Tower-Rock The-Tower-Rock Heart-Rock Granite-Rocks Enjoying-the-view Boulders Amazing-Views

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Mac and Rose are buried here. They have amazing views for their final resting place.

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There are umm toilets at the camping area, they have great views, lots of fresh air but not a lot of privacy.

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