Townsville to Tamworth

We left Townsville Tuesday morning the 5th of January. A bit earlier than normal because we packed everything the day before. First stop Bowen. The foreshore development has just been finished after all the clearing which was done for the film Australia. Still had a fair bit of rain. Next day Mackay. We only saw Luke for an hour because he was on night shift and the next day woke up around 12. The following day to Rockhampton.  More rain.

  Bowen foreshore after redevelopment.     Mount Morgan.  Old gold mine. Used to be one of the richest in Australia.

Spend the night beside the river and off to Maura. First dropped in at Maura Mechanical Services and saw John and Julie Sawtell. We had not seen them for a long time. There is a popular camping spot beside the river where we spend the night after a copious meal at the pub with Julie and John. Next day visited Peter and Judie Plummer the parents from Nikaela. Here we spend a relaxed day. Had a look at the coal mine. Went for dinner to the restaurant in Banana and watched the Klijsters - Henin game on the telly. Woke up with a blue sky.  Peter was up early for his weekly golf game.

   Open cut coal mine in Maura.  The diggings are 60 KM long. The big draglines and 300 ton trucks are there somewhere in the picture.

10 January. Off towards Bundaberg. Spend a few nights in Calliope. There was another couple from the Townsville motorhome chapter there as well. A few motorboats and campers but everything quiet on Monday. We saw a few nights later on the news the results of a box jellyfish sting on a girl that got stung here a month earlier. It did not look pretty and she is lucky to be alive.

      Judy and Peter Plummer                                           Calliope rest area one of our favourite spots.
11 January. The friends in Bundaberg were not home so we headed for Harvey Bay. Here we visited Liz Cameron an old friend from Townsville and drove on to Tiaro. Here we camped beside the Mary River. The government just announced the the river will not be dammed.
13 January. Headed for Maryborough and visited Jan and Robyn de Lange. They used to live in Townsville and drove on to Gin Gin rest area for the night. Next day to Bribie Island. Here we visited a couple we met in West Australia a year ago. Off direction Brisbane. A popular rest area in Petrie has been closed down due to campers misusing the facilities. Used the dump point here and filled up with water. We found a beautiful spot beside a dam and watched the sunset. The weather was perfect. Near Petrie lives a couple we new from our time in Brisbane and Susan called them if they wanted a glass of wine with us beside the lake. We had a beaut time with them for a few hours. While we were there a policeman came to have a chat with us and told us that every Thursday night the hoons come and drag race here between 9 and 11. And indeed at 9 a number of cars appeared but were send away by the cop. We were already asleep for a few hours when the squealing of tyres started. This lasted about half an hour.
In Brisbane we only had to renew our passport and I had to get a part for the car. We only walked through the city for half an hour and were glad to leave Brisbane again.

Footbridge over the Brisbane river.  Where the apartment buildings are is the site of the world expo.

      << Susan found a friend.
      <   More friends in Brisbane.
      ^   Rudy and Lenie van Wijk.

15 January. Rudy and Lenie live in the middle of nowhere just south of Ipswich. They have a house on top of a hill overlooking a valley. Last time we were there they were very hospitable, therefore Susan told them she would cook a meal that night. Bacon and eggs next morning and drove further south. This time we do not know anyone till we hit Geelong. We had heavy rain and found out that the windscreen still leaks.

17 January.  In NSW and had to adjust the clock 1 Hr. later. The road is very hilly and the scenery fantastic. The temperature starts to drop and this is the first time we are not constantly perspiring. Did the laundry in Glenn Innes and had a look around the old buildings. After that to Armadale. It is Sunday and the centre of town is dead. Found a nice camp beside a lake. It was so pleasant we decided to stay another day. The nights are getting really cold and we needed a few blankets.
19 January. Arrived in Tamworth. The country music festival is already going for a week and the towns is buzzing. There are hundreds of tents, caravans and motorhomes. We are in an area set aside for the motorhome club. Wherever you walk around in town there are bands playing. Sometimes you can hear four bands at the time because they play so close together and some like to overpower the others. There is great talent and there are little kids just staring but this is the charm of Tamworth. It takes 15 minutes to walk from the camp site to the town. We bought some little chairs so we can sit down and listen to the buskers.

                  Main street Tamworth.                                                                                           Don Costa busking.
Every day we walk to town or the shopping centre. At least the shopping centre is air-conditioned. The temperature sits around the 40 degrees. Luckily at night it cools down a bit. We have seen a few big names. Normally when you want to see them you have to go to a paid show. Also the noise level is very high there.

                           Col Elliott.                                                           Adam Harvey and Guy Sebasian.
We had a wonderful time in Tamworth. It is well worth going there but only when the country music festival is on otherwise it is very ordinary.