Injune

1st April – We woke to sun and blue skies, great for drying out the camper. We had a leisurely morning, no rush, gave the canvas plenty of time to dry out. A lovely spot worth stopping for the night.

We took the road signposted to Injune, turnoff just outside Taroom on the north side. 159 km’s of mostly good dirt road. Well 100 km’s of it, was a very lovely scenic picturesque drive. The road does get a bit rough approx. 50 km’s to Injune for about 15 km’s before hitting the tar. The tar was pretty rough with massive pot holes.

Well that sucks, well from our perspective it does. Injune has been hit by the mining company. They have bought the local caravan park which was always a great place to stay. It is now filled with mining cars and dongas. You can still get sites there but we didn’t make any inquires. Wow just looked on their web site, $40 a day powered and $25 unpowered. That’s what you would expect to pay in a lot bigger park with more facilities in a major town or city, used to be you got a couple of nights free and then it was $5 a night. The information centre has moved to a new building but was closed on Easter Monday when we came through, might call in on the way out. There is a new Spar supermarket open 7 days, a chemist, new playground and I’m sure a few other changes. No longer the sleepy rustic town it was, that’s progress for you good and bad.

We were able to fill up with water at a tap at the info centre and top up with fuel. There is a dump point near the servo.

Campsite-for-the-night

We pulled off for the night approx. 70 km’s on the way to Mt Moffatt in an old quarry with great views hidden from the road.

20130401 Lake Murphy to Camp

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 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 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 2- Friday 29th

I had a bad night because of the cold. We awoke to fog all around us, after breaky and a shower it was still foggy when we left. There was too much cloud and trees to get the GPS to work. We eventually got it going on the open straights to Roma. I had a wee drive towing the van not as hard as I thought but the road was very bumpy and the electric brakes on the car for the van weren’t working properly, they had to be used manually, so I kept it short, at least I had a drive.

A pretty uneventful trip to Roma, apart from seeing an Echidna walking very slowly across the road in front of us. It started to rain just as we came into Roma. We filled up the car and jerry cans and headed for Injune. Arrived at Injune just before 5pm and just before the Info place closed where we needed to pay the $12 fee for the caravan park. No powered sites left so we had an unpowered site down by the creek, which we think is a much nicer area.

We went for a quick walk before tea, chatted to a lady in a big van not far from us. They had sold up everything and hit the road, getting work along the way, sometime stopping for 6 months in a place working, very nice lady.

After tea we decided to try out their showers, a new block had been built since our last trip. The showers were great with lots of pressure and water.