Travelling Through the Southwest

 

Here we are at St George in South Western Queensland on the third day of our journey. We departed from the Sunshine Coast on Friday morning at about 8:45 following a couple of early morning showers. Our destination for the day was Leyburn on the Darling Downs some 300 kilometres away.

The route we followed was via Beerwah and Peachester to Kilcoy where we took a break for coffee and banana & walnut muffins. The Council is building a new Tourist Information Centre at Kilcoy and we pulled in near this slightly west of Yowie Park.

Image

Morning Tea Stop at Kilcoy

We moved on travelling via Toogoolawah and Esk to Gatton in the Lockyer Valley and then took the road to Clifton, which I used to know as the Heifer Creek Road in my younger days working for the Main Roads Department in Toowoomba. It must be forty years or more since I travelled this road and I recall it being quite narrow with many low-level timber bridges to negotiate. Obviously many things have changed in the intervening period {apart from the Heifer Creek cutting (http://www.thiess.com.au/our-business/our-history/the-beginning) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/33842070@N00/3064934503/in/photostream/) the first major earthworks job constructed by Thiess Brothers in 1940} and the low level timber structures have given way to modern concrete bridges.

Our Lunch Stop on the Heifer Creek Road

Our Lunch Stop on the Heifer Creek Road

Our lunch stop was at the Thiess Memorial, a rest area along the route obviously popular with travellers as there were a number of vans, camper trailers and tents occupying the site when we arrived. There is a sign board giving a brief history of the Thiess Family (from Drayton in Toowoomba) who went on to form the giant Thiess Holdings now a major provider of infrastructure in Australia.

The Signboard with a Tribute to the Thiess Family

The Signboard with a Tribute to the Thiess Family

The Van at our Lunch Stop Day 1

The Van at our Lunch Stop Day 1

We travelled on driving through the town of Clifton and on to Leyburn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyburn,_Queensland) the home of the Leyburn Sprints (http://www.leyburnmotorsprints.com.au/) and Shane Webcke’s Royal Hotel (http://www.leyburnhotel.com.au/).

What Else but a Bronco's Banner outside Shane Webcke's Pub

What Else but a Bronco’s Banner outside Shane Webcke’s Pub

The free camp area at Leyburn is just across Canal Creek on the Tummaville Road and consists of a large open area with a single stand septic toilet and nothing much else. After the recent rains the field was very green and lush but firm enough for vehicles to traverse. It was quite a nice spot and quite popular as there were about a dozen other vehicles, three of which had been encamped for several days in the process of going somewhere else.

Our Overnight Stop at Leyburn

Our Overnight Stop at Leyburn

We shared the spot with some other occupants

Some Other Residents at the Leyburn Camping Area

Some Other Residents at the Leyburn Camping Area

from an adjoining farm and many little corellas and Major Mitchell Cockatoos occupied the trees.

The Birds in the Trees seem to whisper .....screech screech

The Birds in the Trees seem to whisper …..screech screech

Magpies Obviously have names at Leyburn

Magpies Obviously have names at Leyburn

It must have been happy hour for the birds at about four o’clock as they departed en-masse in a number of waves around this time.

Must have been Happy Hour for the Birds as they all left

Must have been Happy Hour for the Birds as they all left

On Saturday morning we departed Leyburn and drove to Karara then turned right and headed on to Inglewood. We stopped at Yelarbon for morning tea and visited Granny Murphy’s local craft shop where we purchased some mandarin jam (very tasty).

Morning Tea Stop at Yelarbon

Morning Tea Stop at Yelarbon

Soldiers Memorial Hall at Yelarbon

Soldiers Memorial Hall at Yelarbon

Onward to Goondiwindi where we refueled the truck then drove on to Talwood to stop at the recreation reserve (you can camp here for 72 hours) for lunch. Our final destination for the day was the Nindigully Hotel (http://nindigully.com/) the oldest continually licensed hotel in Queensland, established in 1864.

Unlike Leyburn, the area adjacent to the pub is quite desolate and devoid of greenery but complete with lots of muddy wheel ruts resultant from the rain. It is also a favoured spot for trucks to park and coincidentally quite dusty at times.

Nindigully Pub

Nindigully Pub

The Moonie River adjacent to the pub is full flowing at the moment and quite muddy as is often the case with many of the western rivers.

Moonie River at Nindigully

Moonie River at Nindigully

I don't think he visited the Nindigully Pub

I don’t think he visited the Nindigully Pub

Moonie River at Nindigully

Moonie River at Nindigully

We set up the van for our overnight stay

Our Campsite at Nindigully

Our Campsite at Nindigully

then went for a walk to explore a little ending up in the bar of the pub for a cool drink. The walls of the bar are adorned with a collection of hats

Hat Collection at Nindigully

Hat Collection at Nindigully

and other memorabilia

Inside the Bar at Nindigully Hotel

Inside the Bar at Nindigully Hotel

.

That evening we again visited the hotel to sample some of their much touted dining fare. We were a little disappointed with the meals and thought that after spending about $100 at the establishment that our “free” camp was not so free after all – mind you we didn’t have to eat there as there is plenty of good tucker in the caravan.

The Dining Room at Nindigully

The Dining Room at Nindigully

The Dining Room at Nindigully Pub

The Dining Room at Nindigully Pub

This morning we drove the short distance to St George and checked into one of the local caravan parks for the evening giving us the opportunity to top up our batteries and our water tanks before moving on towards Cunnamulla in the morning.

In the Caravan Park at St George

In the Caravan Park at St George

More later!

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