Adelaide to Townsville 2006

27 January. We wanted to go to the Flinders Ranges but a week ago they had a lot of rain in that part of the world. On the way we asked if the roads were open and were told it was but found when we got to Orroroo that one road was unpassable and would have to make a big detour to get there. We decided to go there another time. At least we saw the giant gumtree they have here.
28 January. On the way to Broken Hill. The weather is pleasant and the road monotonous. We really heading inland again. Broken Hill is far more interesting than I expected. We arrived late afternoon and after we visited the information centre we headed for Silverstone. This is a ghost town 30 KM outside B.H. The films Mad Max and A town like Alice were made here. We camped on top of a hill called Mad Max lookout. In the morning I went to do a mine tour and Susan had a look in town. The temperature is slowly going up and it is just under 40degrees. There are a lot of things to see around B.H. and we stayed another night.
Broken Hill campsite.                                          Mad Max car in   Silverstone

           Sculptures in the desert.                                                   Pro Hart's rollers.

30January. 200 KM to Wilcannia. This is a dying town. Most shops are boarder up, but at least the swimming pool was free and cool. We camped besides the mighty Darling river. The last time we saw the river is where it joined the Murray River and it looked impressive. A different story here. The river had not flowed for the last two years. A weir at Bourke prevents it from flowing unless there is a lot of water. It might happen this year.

                    The view from our campsite of the "mighty" Darling River at Wilcannia.

31 January. 95 KM north of Wilcannia is an opal town called White Cliffs. The drive was not very exiting but well worth it. Because of the heat and the fact that there are sandstone hills means that a lot of houses have been dug out of the hillside. We visited one B & B and it was nice and cool inside with plenty of space. Here you can find opals while you work on your house. When you drive through where all the diggings are you can see that there has been a lot of sweat spilled here. There are hundreds of holes about 5 M deep and close together.


               White Cliff  houses.                             Inside an underground B&B.  White Cliff.

1 February. 261 KM to Cobar. The roads are good but the scenery is very monotonous. It is a small town but the goldmines around the place have given it a new lease on life. We had a swim in the council pool drove to a mine site and found ourselves a camping spot besides the recreational watersport reserve. Next day we went for a tour through the bureau of meteorology weather station. This was very interesting. After this on the road to Bourke. 161KM of hot flat uninteresting road. About half way the bus started to make a regular thumping noise but I could not see anything wrong with the tyres. Only a few KM after I checked a loud flapping noise and this time it was obvious what was wrong. The inside tyre had shed it's surface.  About an hour later all fixed.


                                   Fixing a broken tyre in the middle of nowhere.

When I drove in to the main street of Bourke turning in to a parking bay I heard my mudflap scraping over the road and yes another flat tyre this time the front. That tyre did get too hot and started to bubble on the inside. A few dollars, two new tyres and an hour later we were mobile again. This time we booked in to a caravan park so we could turn the airconditioning on. We were the only campers which is not surprising. Around December to March it get's too hot out here. There is not that much too see, we went to the cemetery, weir and a walk around town. We wanted to do a tour with a guide but there were not enough people.

BBQ in Tambo


 Emus beside the road.                                    Guess which one is the Cunnamulla fella.


3 February. 250 KM to Cunnamulla. It is a Saturday and everything is closed. We found a camping spot beside the Warrego River. They had a lot of rain here recently and the river was fairly high and very muddy. At least most of the countryside is green instead of yellow. On a Sunday morning the place is absolutely dead. I had a quick walk around town and took  lot of photo's of the Cunnamulla fella offcourse. By 10 AM we were on the way to Charleville. Arrived around 3PM. As you can see we are not travelling very fast to cover the 200KM. But we had lunch and a nap in between.


Bridge at Charleville.


We camped in the middle of town besides the river after we had dinner in a  Chinese restaurant.  The only thing worthwhile visiting was closed for the season. Which means we were soon on the road again. It only took 15 minutes to walk the entire centre of town.
6 February.We made it as far as Blackall. They have a large pool and we splashed around in it for some time. The black stump is here. Which in Australia means that when you have been past the black stump you are really in the sticks. The museum was deserted, but we visited the wool scour. This place has been restored. It was used to shear sheep and clean it. Very interesting. Also a statue of Jackie Howe, the man who shore 321 sheep in one day without the use of electricity.
Next day to Barcaldine. We will be back here in May because the motorhome club has a national rally here. The museum was closed and there is not much to see or do here. Took a photo of the (dead) tree of knowledge.


Tree of knowledge. The labour party was formed under this tree.


Off to emerald. We have been here before about 10 years ago. This time we did not look for gemstones.  In this part of the world everyone is digging holes in the ground. Either for gold, gemstones or coal. Especially the coalmines are huge and everywhere. In Emerald we caught up with some members of the motorhome club who just started their journey around Australia. We stayed with them at the showground.
9 February. A long day behind the wheel as we are getting closer to home. We could not take the shortest way as the road was damaged because of heavy rain. We drove Emerald, Clermont, Nebo to Seaforth. Here we spend the night at the council caravan park. Two steps to the beach and the first time we saw the sea since we left Adelaide.


Seaforth camping ground.

10 February and back home again. The housesitters left the house spotless and the garden looked great after all that rain.
It is as if we haven't been away.  Ready for the next trip.