Homewood Bound

I, Kate have come down with a cold that had me coughing all last night. So we have decided to cut our time away short by a few days and head for home. We are missing our dog Jess as well.

We stopped at Blackall for a few hrs break and dip at the hot pool complex at Blackall. Last time we were here 3 years ago it was $2 to get in. 3 years later it’s still $2 to get in and $1 for kids. You won’t get that price in the city. They have put up a few new shade covers, few more table and chairs. The place is very well kept. After a swim you can also have a hot shower.

They sell food which is very well priced. We had fish and chips and it was a large meal for $15.

Blackall is a nice town, highly recommend stopping at the hots pools. After that it’s just drive drive drive heading for home. This trip we downloaded the Audible App and got some Audible/talking books. Really helps the kms just pass away. We have been listening to Sherlock Holmes that has us hooked from start to finish.

Our last night on the road. It’s been an epic trip, one to tick off the bucket list. Bit over the dust at the moment 🙂 until next time be safe.

Lara Wetlands

Barcaldine was a hive of activity, so many parked vans we lost count. Nice tidy friendly little town.

Our friends had told us of this wonderful place with an Artesian pool, wetlands with lots of birds, free canoes to use, hot showers and toilets. Fire pit at each site with free wood. We had driven pass the area several times but didn’t even know it was there.

It’s called Lara Wetlands 28 kms south of Barcaldine and 78 kms north of Blackall in Qld. It’s 14 kms up a good dirt road where you are greeted by friendly hosts to pay your fee of $10pp, you can also use their facilities for the day at $5pp. You can camp anywhere around the wetlands.

The hot showers are donkey showers that are lit mid-afternoon. They are unisex.There is an old funny dunny which is good for a laugh to think people actually used toilets like this. Thank Goodness for modern toilets.

A large camp kitchen and play area for the kids.

The hot pool was really hot, it actually hurt your feet and legs when you first hopped in. Maybe slowing the water coming into the pool may help reduce the temp. Maybe it was hotter at the time we were there but everyone was commenting how hot it was. We went down at night and had the pool to ourselves, floating on your back looking up at the millions of stars was nice.

There is also a cold pool but we didn’t see anyone using it.

The lake has loads of dead trees in it which would be fun to kayak in, there are free kayaks to use.

The only downside for us was the word had got around how good the place was and being the busy time of year in this part of the country it had a lot of campers, vans etc. the day before they had a record numbers. We know people including our friends who have stayed here and had the whole, place to themselves which would be awesome.

Back to Blackall

4/8/14 – It’s nice to have options and the time to explore them. We have changed our minds about which was to head home several times. The Hot Pools at Blackall won out, we enjoyed them so much the first time we thought it would be nice to come back home this way and have another dip and checkout some of the things we missed first time round. So today was a pretty well a driving day. Just outside Ilfracombe there is a weed wash, mostly for trucks but they do say vans and trailers can use it too. So we did, to wash off some off the dust 🙂 it’s all automatic, you drive in slowly and it it starts automatically washing under the vehicles and up the sides, you just have to drive through very slowly.We drove into Blackall, straight to the Artisan Hot Springs to have a soak. Main pool was 31, the spa 34, which is where we spent most of our time.
Wonderful-Hot-poolsWe drove back out of town 5km to stop for the night hidden and protected from the wind behind some trees.
Blackall-Campspot5/8/14 – This morning we did a walk around the town before heading out to the Woolscour. Unfortunately the place had been broken into overnight, some mongrel taking the takings from the day before. The volunteers out there put in a big effort to get the place up and running by 10am.
J.-Howe Local LocalsWe did the tour this time $15 each, $14 with a pension card, $10 child, $45 family. Woolscour means wool washing which they did to get out all the oils and dirt so it presented better at sale. The Woolscour operated from 1908 to 1978. It is the only steam driven scour incorporating a shearing board left in Australia. In 2002 the Woolscour started up again as a tourist attraction. The tour starts with a film about the shearing industry and how the Woolscour came to be. Then you are taken over to the Woolscour and shown the different machinery and what it was used for. They are all started up for the tour. It was really interesting we encourage everyone passing through Blackall to stop at the Woolscour and give them your support to keep this vital piece of history alive for future generations.
Woolscour

Inside-Woolscour Sheep-Shed Wool Wool-Bale

We then headed back to the hot pools, had a swim and a chat with other travelers before buying lunch at the pool. $10 for fish (Barra), chips and salad. It was great, big piece of fish, decent salad and proper knife and forks. After that it was a other dip in the hot pool. The pools are great value and encourage people to stop in for a dip.

Wonderful-Hot-pools-1

We then headed off out of town stopping a few Kms south of Augathella for the night.

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.

Beyond-the-black-stump

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.

Blackall-woolscour Blackall-woolscour-machinery

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.

Blackall-Hot-pools

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.

Blackall-river-camping

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.

Winton-Longreach