Monday, July 11, 2016
Mt Morgan to Ilfracombe
I left Mt Morgan Motel and Van Park on Sunday 10th of July and traveled to Dululu and then turned north to the Capricorn Highway where I turned west to Emerald which is 273 kilometers from Mt. Morgan. I stopped in the car park of the shopping centre in Emerald, as did several other caravans, for lunch and also refueled at the Woolworths service station. There is easy access to both for caravans. Fuel, in my case diesel, is ten cents a litre cheaper ($1.15) than in Rockhampton ($1.25).
After having lunch there I traveled to Bogantungan to stay in the free camp for the night.
After I traveled 101 km from Emerald I found this sign on the highway, and from this road junction it is very short distance to the railway station and the free camp is along the side of the road outside the station. Yes, there were two trains during the night, but nothing to bother most people.
This is the scene outside the railway station which is on the right side of the photograph. There were eight caravans that stayed for the night and there are three houses on the left of the road. There is a turn around area at the end of the road to the right of the photographer.
The railway station at Bogantugan which is one kilometer west of the cemetery.
An eight o'clock start on Monday the 11th saw me heading further west towards Ilfracombe which is 299km along the Capricorn Highway from Bogantugan. On the northern side of the highway at this coordinate, S 23 39.639 (39' 38.3") E 146 55.849 (55' 50.9") you will find the Major Mitchell cairn. Sorry I didn't record the distance from Bogantugan.
Five kilometers before Ilfracombe, S 23 30.098 (30' 05.9") E 144 33.105 (33' 06.3") there is a turnoff to the south for a large area for free camping and it seems to be well patronized. There is currently light rain falling which makes it slippery and the mud will stick to the tires. Leaving the bitumen in this part of the country can be dangerous, even in dry weather.
I am staying in the only caravan park in Ilfracombe which seems to be cheaper than those in Longreach which is only 22km further down the highway. Although there are sixty sites it is busy and during the winter months it is best to ring ahead and book a site. Even though I saw a large number of vans heading east, there are still a lot of them out here. There is a free camp at Newstead Creek 3km east of Ilfracombe which had about half a dozen vans in it when I passed. There is good phone reception for both major carriers in the area.
On arrival at the caravan park I was handed nine pages of information on places to visit. Prices were quoted for all but as a pensioner I was a bit surprised and I think families would be more surprised. An example is the Quantas Museum. For a pensioner, a self guided tour is $23, but no planes, museum only. A 1.5 hour guided tour of museum and the 747 and 707 is $53, no wing walk, no flight deck (cockpit for those who remember) just the seats inside. After that the more you include the dearer it is. The same applies to all the other attractions in the area. Diesel fuel at the only pump in Ilfracombe is $1.35 a litre.