8/8/13 – It was a quiet night and a cool one. Days are still hot but the nights and mornings are getting cooler now. No rush this morning. The Burke Dev Rd is a good gravel road, several dry river crossings. We did note 32km NW of Chillagoe there was a wide river with areas to camp.
Our first stop at Chillagoe was the Smelter. It was a really interesting place to stop with information boards and the remains of the smelter, there was a lot more here than we expected.
There is now a fence around the area to keep people out; this was only a few weeks old. The information boards also looked very new. There is also an easy path to the look out areas.
Sometimes we need to read signs like this to realise how hard things were back in early settlement and how lucky we are to live in today’s times.
We called into the Hub, Chillagoe’s information centre. It has a display of information boards about the area as well as general info. We picked up some info on doing the self-guided caves walk. The tours caves aren’t expensive though at $23 A. They also had a family rate.
We had lunch at one of the sections of the Chillagoe Mungana Caves National Park. Looked like new facilities there. We intended on doing the Bauhinia self-guided cave, grade difficult but we soon realized that we weren’t going to be able to do it. Well me, Kate mostly, bad knees and Bursitis in the hip doesn’t make for very steep large dusty rock climbs down a dark hole and then have to get back up again.
The tour caves have steps.
Apparently there is an easy cave walk called the Archways back out of town and since we didn’t want to back track didn’t do it. If we had known about if before we came passed we would have stopped. We did consider staying the night and doing a morning cave tour but on this occasion decided against it.
On the road heading to Mareeba we saw a giant frog, well a rock painted as a giant frog, why we do not know, just one of those strange things.
We stopped for the night at Eureka Creek and only had two other campers there to keep us company. We were surprised to find it stayed like that. We were able to get a spot close to the creek, which came in very handy as we were able to give the trailer and Ute and bit of a wash down in the areas we were touching all the time. We were going to leave it all until we got home but we were just too dusty, the amount of red water coming off was evident of that.
Click on the link above for a larger version in Google Maps of the days travels.