Tuesday, 2 July 2013

On the road... road kill, tumble weeds and museums.

Three days into the outback trek and I have finally found a spare minute to post of a little snippet of our adventures! The internet access despite the Telstra dongle has been erratic, to say the least and the photos I have emailed from my iPad are still in cyberspace somewhere! You will have to wait for them!
Nevertheless we are having great fun and enjoying lots of new experiences, despite some minor difficulties with the trailer and a large bolt in our tyre on day two which necessitated a short stop for a repair.
Day 1-The trek up the Pacific Highway to Brisbane was a trip we have done many times before so I took the opportunity to do some writing. (I have a deadline for a book which is due in the middle of our adventure so unfortunately it is not all rest and relaxation!
The first night was spent at my aunt’s house and we caught up with family for dinner. Charlie the dog was very popular as you can see from the photo!  A very cute cavadoodle who loved being the centre of attention.

(For the Aussie authors who may read this... your number one fan girl Aunty Maureen is in the centre of the photo.)
Family dinner

Day 2 – We headed for Mitchell and had a couple of stops, catching up with the lovely Susanne Bellamy and her husband, Steve on the edge of the range at Toowoomba and then heading further west to visit my cousin David and his wife, Rose in their new house. Hollywood in the outback!
Susanne Bellamy and Annie
How many other men have a room in their house for their motorbike collection!  A fabulous house which we enjoyed checking out.  We are looking forward to catching up with them some more, when they set off for the Northern Territory in a couple of weeks.

Hollywood in the Outback                                                                                       

The bike room
Then the rest of the day was spent heading west to Mitchell and we started to pass through some real outback towns: Muckadilla, Mugalillie and Pickanjinnie until we reached our destination of Mitchell just as it started to rain.
Hmm...first night in the camper trailer and rain...how would we go?

I am happy to report we stayed snug and dry despite the cold. 

Pack up the next morning was more problematic. Do you know how hard it is to fold up and pack up and strap down wet canvas with a slippery vinyl cover? My hands were red and raw by the time we finished. The only way we could get it packed in was by the invention of a new manoeuvre which I labelled the Trailer Tramp. This involved Ian climbing on top of the wet vinyl cover and tramping it down while I pulled on the large plastic zipper and vinyl and secured it.
Finally we had success and were on the road by 7.30am heading for Longreach.

Today we saw our first emus, tumbleweeds and whistling kites --the large birds which prey on the road kill (and there is SO much of that!)
And road trains! We passed dozens of road trains. For international readers..  a road train is a prime mover with more than two trailers attached-- and sometimes up to four trailers. Over fifty meters long and tearing along at high speeds which explains why there is so much road-kill. Mainly kangaroos, but we began to see some dead pigs by the side of the road later in the day.
Despite our damaged tyre which was repaired at Augathella while we stopped for morning tea (I love my little kitchen which opens up at the back of the trailer) we made Longreach before dark and set up camp on a lovely dry and sunny afternoon.
And a big thank you to Aunty Maureen for all the home made bikkies she slipped into the car as we left! Diet? What diet?

Day 3. Today we were tourists, visiting the Stockman’s Hall of fame and the Qantas museum. We were both a bit disappointed by the Hall of Fame, having heard some glowing reports, but put it down to the fact that we are both history buffs and already knew most of what was there. Watching the whip maker plait a stock whip was the most interesting part of the visit.
The Qantas museum was amazing. Reading the history of the formation of Qantas in the 1920s and being able to clamber over the old planes as well as seeing inside the original restored hangar was very interesting.

Some more interesting photos... particularly the corellas in the tree in the middle of town. They look like blossoms but are actually birds!

Back to camp to get organised and wonder about the pack up of the camper trailer in the morning before we head to Mt Isa and prepare to cross the border. Will it be easier to pack up the canvas in the dry? Will we need to invoke the Trailer Tramp? Stay posted to find out!
No grass in Longreach!


  1. Enjoyed your visit; so pleased you came through our way. I can cope with living vicariously. Just keep the posts coming. Wave hello in the direction of Cloncurry for me!

  2. Looks like you guys are having a ball. Enjoy the outback.

  3. Such adventure! I love the names of some of those towns. Am hunkered over my laptop in the UK morning gloom so I'm really enjoying this blog, keep the posts coming! xx