Friday, July 31, 2015
Last night I free-camped at the junction of the Capricorn Hwy and the Anakie - Sapphire Hwy, which wasn't bad as far as noise goes, even though the army was shifting several tanks and other equipment west towards Alpha.
Tonight I am free-camping at Sapphire and today I have been to Bogantugan.
From Sapphire it is 10km south to the Capricorn Hwy and then west for 27.7km to the Willows turnoff and then another 25.4km further west to Bogantugan where there is a rest stop either side of the highway and a sign pointing south over the rail line to the cemetery. The cemetery is small with a mixture of very old headstones and a few very new ones, no grass and the area is very dry. I have decided to stay in Sapphire for two nights.
The Willows is one of those places a bit out of the way with lots of yards that have several old cars parked permanently. Stopped and spoke to a couple of fossickers on the side of the road and was shown a couple of small specimens which I doubt would pay for their efforts. You need a license (a couple of bucks at the local store) and there are unwritten rules, like don't dig in a hole that has an upturned bucket in it. I think it is the sort of thing that you would stay for a couple of months in the winter time and be prepared to be disappointed at the end. Maybe next time through the area I will give it a try.
Woke this morning to the sound of these birds.
Decided to see if they were interested in a bit of bread and seconds later I was mobbed by a hundred rainbow lorikeets, sitting wherever they could, on my arms, head and shoulders.
Cold last night but it looks like being a good day.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Thursday 9th of July
After a good meal and a couple of beers to wash it down and a good helping Queensland pie, came a restful sleep and then an easy trip from Goovigen to Mount Morgan nestled in between a bunch of hills, both natural and man made.
I am staying at the Silver Wattle caravan park, which is on the way into Mount Morgan, a somewhat old style establishment which was taken over by new management two years ago. They are a young couple who seem to be making a big effort to improve the facilities. Sarah is the backbone of the outfit and is the biggest contributor to the effort. Sarah does a truly magnificent gob of looking after the guests.
Decided to make the short trip down to Rocky to replenish the larder. Discovered that diesel is $1.41 in Mount Morgan and $1.37 to $1.39 in Gracemere (an outer suburb of Rocky), but about half way between the two is Bouldercombe, which has a United fuel outlet and diesel is $1.31
Have only had a brief look at Mount Morgan so far, but it is easy to see that it is a mining town, with hills that have long flat tops (lag heaps), very tall smoke stack and many small corrugated iron houses. The trip to Rocky was an eye opener. Just out of town there is a sign saying the speed limit is 40km per hour, and then you go over the edge of the range and Rockhampton is like 10,000 feet below in the distance with a long and winding road with many hairpin turns down the hill. I did see a couple of vans coming up the hill, but it would be a bit of a haul.
Quite windy here and a little overcast but I am settling in for a stay.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Wednesday 8th, July
I was only going to stay for one night, but the weather is good, the showgrounds are quiet and the pub put up a sign saying silverside and white sauce, vegies and chips for $12 on state of origin night. I just had to stay for that.
When I was young, silverside, white sauce and cauliflower was somewhat of a regular meal for us, so I couldn't resist staying for a couple of days.
Tomorrow I will be off to Mount Morgan.
Monday, July 6, 2015
Monday 6th July.
Camps8 map 15/420 S24.8'44" E150.17'8"
Have just spent two nights in Monto, camped behind the information kiosk next to the railway yards (long since disused). They charge $5 per person per night, no power or water. You can pay at either the nearest hotel or the newsagent.
When I was in Mundubbera I met a couple who told me about Goovigen (Goo-vision), and when I looked it up I found that it was on the way to Mt. Morgan, about 30km NNW of Biloela, turn left 50m before the railway crossing in Jambin. The couple in Mundubbera told me that it was cheap and the pub served good meals, so here I am.
The cost of staying here went up today by 100% to $10 a night, power and water included and there is a hot shower and toilet available, although they are a bit ordinary. The site is in the showground and they have just installed six new concrete slabs with power boxes and they are continuing with other work. There are currently eight caravans here and it is dog friendly.
Although my legs are very sore from five and a half hours walking in Cania Gorge yesterday, I managed the short walk over to the pub tonight for rump steak and vegies $19.50 and two pots of beer for $7.20, a nice home style cooked dinner. All the meals, fish, pork or lamb chops, rump, fillet come in small and large size, I only had the small rump; I wouldn't have made it through the large one. Steak, six vegies, gravy and chips, it was a big meal.
I was only intending to stay one night, I think it may be more.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Saturday, 4th of July
The joy of not having a set timetable as in wandering.
While driving from Mundubbera, where I stayed last night in Jaycee Park (free camp), towards Monto, I decided not to go to Waruma Dam with the caravan, but instead go straight to Monto, where I am staying in the small park behind the information kiosk. They charge $5 per person, per night, no power, water or toilets (must be self contained) but I'm not sure who collects the money.
During the afternoon I drove (car only) down to Waruma dam to see what all the fuss was about. Lucky I didn't take the van, because there aren't many sites available. The place is somewhat crowded. Some look like they are there for a very long time. There is a fifth wheeler there as well, but I don't think I would take my van down where he is parked; it is going to be a big haul back up the hill when it comes time for him to leave.
On the way there I passed through the small village of Abercorn where I noticed something I haven't seen in some time. The tennis courts at the side of the road had his and hers amenities. Very quaint.
Tomorrow I will make a day trip to Cania Gorge national Park, which is about 27km to the north-west of Monto.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Friday 3rd July.
While driving from Gayndah to Mundubbera today, I suddenly saw this unusual tree.
Quick decision, find somewhere to pull up, about 500 meters later there is a side road, so I stop there and walk back with the camera.
As I am walking back to the car, I hear another car pull up behind me and then go down to the same spot to park. Look around, and he has let the wife out to take a photo as well.
It seems that the 'Knobby Tree' is well known and is also photographed often. According to some tourist literature the tree dates from early settlement.
The tree is about 4.5km south of the Mundubbera turnoff on the Burnett Highway.