Sunday, 7 October 2018

Roma to West Wyalong, to Goondawindi and Moree, Narrabri, Coonabarrabran - memories from 2013



We left our roadside stop near Roma and said goodbye to our neighbours and headed to Miles, a small town with a population of approximately 1700 people, in the Western Downs region of Queensland.



On the road to Goondawindi

Sunset near Goondawindi



Victoria Hotel, Goondawindi
We had a good day of driving on the Leichardt Highway and passed through some very small towns.  We had a very unsettling surprise as we approached the small town of Moonie, where ambulances and police passed us, and as we approached we found a bad accident involving a caravan so we slowed down to allow the medics to retrieve passengers.  It appeared that the people involved were ok, but there was nothing left of the caravan, just looked like matchsticks.  At this part of the day we decided not to travel much further as the accident scene was very upsetting, so we found a roadside rest area about 40 km from Goondawindi and decided to stay the night.

Main Street, Goondawindi

 We left our overnight stop and arrived in Goondawindi around 9.30 am  We crossed the border into NSW at Bogabilla and continued on to Moree and then  Narrabri for fuel.








On the road to Goondawindi

Cattle on road near Moree

From Narrabri we continued on to Coonabarrabran where we booked into the caravan park.  Distance travelled was approximately 300 km.


Saturday, 6 October 2018

Paronella Park to Emerald, Roma - memories from 2013

While on our short stay at Paronella Park  we were able to get a caravan site in the park, and also have a night tour of the park which was spectacular with lights on the waterfalls and buildings.


Wongaling Beach

We set off in very humid weather and headed towards Mission Beach but found the caravan parks were full so kept driving on a few more kms. and found Dunk Island View Caravan Park which had a few sites available.  This park was great but had suffered badly from the cyclone damage the previous year so the trees had been damaged and the park looked a bit bare, although they had replanted but they were still quite small.  The Laundry Block was brand new and so I was able to do some washing and it was great to have lovely clean washing machines.

After doing the washing, we headed off to do some grocery shopping and then back to the van to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

The next day was Father's Day so we went to the local restaurant which was right next door to the caravan park and had lovely views of Dunk Island.  Before lunch we strolled around the Market at Mission Beach.  After lunch we walked along the beach but it was getting a bit too windy so back to the van.

Mission Beach markets
Dunk Island from Wongaling Beach

Sign for Cassowarries but we didn't see any

A bit too windy for walking on the beach

Storm brewing
We decided to stay another day here at the caravan park.  Ron was not feeling well and so another rest day would be good.  We think he probably had dehydrated so today we just sat around making sure to keep the fluids up.

Next morning we were both feeling better for the extra day's rest and packed up and headed to Townsville where we had booked our Toyota in for new tyres.

Our next stop was Tully where we were able to vote.



Tully sugar mill

Tully
 Our next stop was the town of Cardwell, which had  also been damaged by the recent cyclone, and the foreshore area was being rebuilt.

Foreshore in Cardwell

Cardwell

Cardwell

Strong winds in Cardwell
After driving through Cardwell we spotted a Bakery and of course we had to stop and buy some goodies, and we were really surprised to find Napoleon Cake, which is one or our favourites and we thought it was a South Aussie cake but they told us that it was one of Cardwell Bakery specialities so I guess they are allowed to have it and we were pleased to be able to get it so far from home.
Entrance to Townsville




Roadworks approaching Townsville
Our next stop was Townsville where we had to get our new tyres, so after negotiating the traffic, which really wasn't too bad but we had not been used to much traffic for the last few weeks, we finally found our way to a caravan park a half hour out of Townsville.  The caravan park was closed for lunch, which was a bit of a surprise, so we had to wait to check in, and would have left except we didn't want to go back into the city traffic again, so we waited for them to open up.  We later learned that the park was full of permanent residents and only a few sites were available for travellers, so we set ourselves up and looked around the park, it certainly wasn't much of a park but we only needed to stay for 2 nights while we got our new tyres.    

More traffic than we had seen in a while

Cyclone Shelter in Townsville
 Next morning we drove into Townsville and left our Toyota at the service centre, and found a coffee shop nearby and also a hairdresser so Ron got a hair cut while I had a coffee.  We got back to the car and drove long the Strand and had a look around Next morning we drove into Townsville and left our Toyota at the service centre, and found a coffee shop nearby and also a hairdresser so Ron got a hair cut while I had a coffee.

The Rebels Bikies Headquarters





Charters Towers main street

 Our next stop was Charters Towers, about 2 hours drive from Townsville, where we stopped for fuel and our first impression was that of a lovely old town with many heritage buildings and so we parked the car and van in a side street and had a look around and stopped for a coffee before setting off again.
Charters Towers


Back on the road again to Clermont and we arrived there about 5.30 pm after a long day of driving.
On the road to Clermont

Coal Mine at Clermont
Clermont mural
Clermont was a gold mining town and in 1861 there was a gold rush but these days copper and coal are mined there.



Clermont




Beautiful flowering tree in Clermont
 We left Clermont next morning and passed through the small town of Capella and stopped to look at their War Memorial.  It was an amazing work of art.
Capella war memorial

Laser cut memorial at Capella


Capella

From Capella we drove onto Emerald and decided to stay the night as I needed to do some laundry and a break for Ron as well.

Entrance to Emerald

Emerald

Emerald
 We had a nice walk around the park in Emerald and it was very interesting with a large mosaic of an easel and mosaics on the pathway too.
The Big Easel in Emerald

Lovely park in Emerald with mosaic pathway
Next morning we left Emerald and continued on through Springsure, Rolleston and Injune.  We started looking for an overnight stop and about 15km out from Roma we decided to stop in a rest area where another van had stopped.  We had a chat to the other couple there and they had the same idea as we did - they would only stay if another van pulled up - so we were all happy to stay and we had a drink with them and after tea we sat by the campfire and enjoyed a chat with our new neighbours,  Robyn and Peter, who had a new van and this was their first trip in it so they were interested in hearing about our adventures.  Next morning we said goodbye and headed into Roma for fuel at 156.9 cpl.







Monday, 1 October 2018

Babinda to Paronella Park - memories from 2013






We left Mossman after enjoying our stay and headed off again, this time to Babinda.  We had been told how lovely this area was and that there was some free camping too, so we were looking forward to it.  Along the way we stopped at the Sheridan shopping centre to get some prescriptions filled and a bit of retail therapy for me. 
Old sugar mill on way to Babinda

Near Babinda

Main street in Babinda

We arrived at Babinda and found the free camping area at The Boulders and were so pleased as it was a beautiful spot to camp and was organised so that everyone had a little bay to camp in and so it wasn't overcrowded, just the way we like it.  We got ourselves organised and went for a walk around the Boulders, and then back to our camp spot.


Our camp site at The Boulders

Beautiful Ulysses Butterfly
 
The Day Moth
The Ulysses Butterfly and the Day Moth were right beside our van and seemed to enjoy the flowers of the Bottlebrush.





The Ulysses butterfly was quite difficult to photograph as the blue wings only show when the butterly is flying, so it took many attempts to get the blue wings.
A lovely walk to the Boulders

The Boulders
 We enjoyed a couple of lovely days here,  had our Toyota Landcruiser serviced at the local mechanics, and browsed the little craft shops and souvenir shops, as well as enjoying lunch at one of the cafes, but as always it was time to move on and we headed to Paronella Park.

Paronella Park - The Hydro Electic plant installed in 1933 on Mena Creek Falls
 Paronella Park was the dream of a Spanish man , Jose Paronella, who came to Australia in about 1929.  His dream was to build a castle similar to the castles of Spain and he set to work almost single handed and by 1935 Paronella Park was opened to the public.  At that time it was also the centre of entertainment for the locals and film nights were held there as well as weddings and dances.













Paronella Park