The Big Lap 2015 – Burdekin to Burnett

Charters Towers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charters_Towers) in North West Queensland is situated in the catchment of the Burdekin River (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burdekin_River) a large river that flows to the Pacific Ocean at Upstart Bay along the way providing water for the Burdekin Falls Dam (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burdekin_Dam).

Gold Discovery Monument in Centenary Park Charters Towers

Gold Discovery Monument in Centenary Park Charters Towers

Leaving the Towers we headed west toward Hughenden before stopping for morning tea at Torrens Creek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrens_Creek) a small centre about 90 km. east of Hughenden.

The sun affected railway siding sign at Torrens Creek

The sun affected railway siding sign at Torrens Creek

At Torrens Creek we turned south toward Aramac (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramac); leaving the Flinders Highway we faced a stretch of some 33 kilometres of unsealed gravel road that was quite rough in places but was overall not too difficult to traverse although we did lose a wheel bearing dust cap at some point along the way. The gravel gave way to a nice wide bitumen road and we were lulled into thinking that the rest of the journey would be a breeze.

Half a beer can conveniently replaces the missing dust cover

Half a beer can conveniently replaces the missing dust cover

Over the next 380 kilometres of the journey to Aramac the road gradually narrowed to a single lane bitumen strip with shoulders that needed urgent attention to correct the severe drop offs in some places. Luckily the oncoming traffic was very light and there were few occasions when we needed to leave the road. For the entire journey not one vehicle travelling toward Aramac passed us and it wasn’t because we were travelling too fast – when we stopped for lunch in a roadside rest area no vehicles whatsoever passed us in either direction for the 45 minutes while we were stopped.

Entering the Barcaldine Regional Council area

Entering the Barcaldine Regional Council area

The overnight stay at Aramac was in the Aramac Camping Area provided by the local council where a caravan site with power and water was available for $15.00. Mind you the site was nothing to write home about being bare earth adjacent to a horse yard at the showground – there was a water trough just over the fence and we were visited by a herd of thirsty horses at around midnight.

Welcome to Aramac

Welcome to Aramac

Harry Redford Gallery in Aramac

Harry Redford Gallery in Aramac

The Caravan in Aramac

The Caravan in Aramac

Before eight the next morning we were on the road heading toward Barcaldine; I have been looking to replace a pair of very comfortable Ariat boots that I purchased in Barcaldine several years ago and had looked in stores at Cloncurry and Charters Towers without finding the right size and wanted to visit a retailer in town before we drove on.

The Tree of Knowledge Memorial dominates the skyline when entering Barcaldine

The Tree of Knowledge Memorial dominates the skyline when entering Barcaldine

Welcome to Barcaldine

Welcome to Barcaldine

The Tree of Knowledge Memorial in Barcaldine

The Tree of Knowledge Memorial in Barcaldine

After finding the right boots we headed out of town towards our next destination of Blackall (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackall,_Queensland).

Welcome to the Blackall-Tambo Council area

Welcome to the Blackall-Tambo Council area

I actually went to school in Blackall for a time and finished my Junior (Year 10) education there in 1962; coincidentally I went to work for the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council (http://www.btrc.qld.gov.au/) in 2011 and 2012. The reason for visiting the area was to look up colleagues at the Council in both Blackall and Tambo as we headed toward the coast.

Welcome to Blackall

Welcome to Blackall

Brolgas on the roadside near Blackall

Brolgas on the roadside near Blackall

Arriving in Blackall we found a campsite at the Barcoo River site operated by Council (http://www.findacamp.com.au/camp-site.php?camp=806). The Barcoo River (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcoo_River) eventually joins with the Thompson and merges into Cooper Creek before the waters flow into Lake Eyre. We experienced a minor flood in the Barcoo while we were living in the town in 2012.

Barcoo River campsite in Blackall

Barcoo River campsite in Blackall

Our camp at Blackall

Our camp at Blackall

After finding a suitable spot we headed to the Blackall Visitor Information Centre (http://www.blackalltambotourism.com.au/self-contained-camping) to pay the relevant fee for the night’s camping.

The Blackall Visitor Information Centre in the relocated Railway Station building

The Blackall Visitor Information Centre in the relocated Railway Station building

Then we headed to the Council office to have a yarn to former work colleagues before visiting a local bakery for some lunch which we consumed in a local park. Back at the camp site we spent a pleasant evening and a quiet night.

Schulter's Bakery at Blackall

Schulter’s Bakery at Blackall

Edward Towner VC - Statue at Blackall

Edward Towner VC – Statue at Blackall

Ram Park at Blackall

Ram Park at Blackall

Restored buggy on display at Ram Park Blackall

Restored buggy on display at Ram Park Blackall

Part of the Ram Park Blackall display

Part of the Ram Park Blackall display

Restored trucks on display at Ram Park Blackall

Restored trucks on display at Ram Park Blackall

Next morning left early heading for Tambo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tambo,_Queensland) our next port of call.

Tambo lies ahead

Tambo lies ahead

Once at Tambo we visited the Council office and a couple of ancillary buildings looking up work colleagues.

The latest addition at Tambo - a great building to house the historic fire engine

The latest addition at Tambo – a great building to house the historic fire engine

Tambo - Wool Truck Sculpture

Tambo – Wool Truck Sculpture

Soon enough we were on the road again heading toward Augathella.

Welcome to Murweh Shire - Charleville is a little way down the track

Welcome to Murweh Shire – Charleville is a little way down the track

Augathella awaits

Augathella awaits

Welcome to Morven

Welcome to Morven

Before we reached Morven we stopped for lunch at a road turnout then drove on heading for Mitchell (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell,_Queensland) on the banks of the Maranoa River. Here we stayed the night at the Major Mitchell Caravan Park (http://www.majormitchellcaravanpark.com.au/) in one of the last remaining available sites.

The outskirts of Mitchell

The outskirts of Mitchell

The highway through Mitchell

The highway through Mitchell

We awoke to two degrees and were happy to be able to turn on the warm air from the air conditioner before leaving the warmth of our doona covered bed. Packed up and on the road we headed into Roma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roma,_Queensland) to pick up a few groceries and fill the truck with fuel.

Welcome to Muckadilla

Welcome to Muckadilla

Roma and the greeting bird on the truck sign

Roma and the greeting bird on the truck sign

We've arrived at Roma

We’ve arrived at Roma

While in Roma buying groceries Margaret caught up briefly with two people with whom she formerly worked at the Gold Coast. This young couple have currently made their home in Roma and by their own reports are happy living in the larger town on the banks of the Bungil Creek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bungil_Creek).

Another town - another sign

Another town – another sign

About to drive through Dulacca

About to drive through Dulacca

On the outskirts of Miles

On the outskirts of Miles

Miles

Miles

Main Street Miles

Main Street Miles

Main Street Miles

Main Street Miles

Continuing to drive east we travelled through a number of smaller towns before reaching the larger centre of Miles and then Chinchilla where we stopped for lunch then turned north heading toward Durong and eventually Wondai (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wondai) where we would camp for the evening.

We have arrived at Chinchilla

We have arrived at Chinchilla

Entering Chinchilla

Entering Chinchilla

Our turnoff (to the left) at Chinchilla

Our turnoff (to the left) at Chinchilla

Durong - Wondai straight ahead, Mundubbera to the left

Durong – Wondai straight ahead, Mundubbera to the left

Wondai lies ahead

Wondai lies ahead

Coming into Wondai

Coming into Wondai

Wondai

Wondai

Council office Wondai

Council office Wondai

Main Street Wondai

Main Street Wondai

Street Art in Wondai

Street Art in Wondai

Howling dingos at Wondai

Howling dingos at Wondai

Hotel Cecil Wondai

Hotel Cecil Wondai

Charlotte the Emu at Wondai

Charlotte the Emu at Wondai

Timber museum at Wondai

Timber museum at Wondai

Memorial to pioneers at Wondai

Memorial to pioneers at Wondai

Mountains along the road to Biggenden

Mountains along the road to Biggenden

Driving through Biggenden

Driving through Biggenden

Driving through Biggenden

Driving through Biggenden

Next morning we headed for Murgon where we filled the vehicle with fuel and drove on through Ban Ban Springs, Biggenden and Childers to our ultimate destination of Bundaberg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundaberg) on the banks of the Burnett River (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnett_River) and our journey from the Burdekin to the Burnett was at its end.

Bundaberg Post Office and War Memorial

Bundaberg Post Office and War Memorial

Burnett River at Bundaberg

Burnett River at Bundaberg

More later!

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