Distance: 393 km
Fuel: 39 L
Went for a walk after breakfast to the main street of Clermont and bought bread at the local bakery .
No rush to leave because there are no stops on this journey except Belyando Crossing roadhouse if I get a sudden urge for expensive food or fuel (it is the middle of nowhere – approximately 170km north of Clermont and 220km south of Charters Towers). The only other land marks are turn offs to stations (farms) and mines.
Pretty easy drive – one hard application of brakes to allow two kangaroos cross the road. I tried to save the video of the dopey things but ended up ejecting the memory card by mistake.
I did stop at Belyando Crossing and I did pay $6 for a packet of chicken nuggets. It is the least interesting roadhouse in Australia that I have been to; small selection of food, a caravan park and some picnic tables. Unfortunately there was a parked road train with a load of cattle and the picnic tables were down wind of it.
Arrived at Charters Towers after 1pm, set up and went for drive round town. Took the inevitable drive up Tower Hill , went past the Stock Exchange and other historic buildings but only spent an hour looking about before returning to the caravan park. I was only here last June so there was little that was new – except for a concrete walking track up Tower Hill perhaps; I don’t remember it being there before.
Really only needed fuel.
To see more of Charters Towers >>>Click Here<<< and >>>Here<<< for lots of pictures and notes about my last visit.
Distance: 258 km
Fuel: 57 L
Was woken up at 1.40am by some of the park residents returning from their Saturday night frolic, not a problem, it was Saturday night and I went straight back to sleep.
Set off at about 8.30am which seems to be my ‘usual’ time. Only 250km today, because Charters Towers or even the roadhouse at Belyando Crossing is just too much driving to do comfortably in one day.
Stopped at one lookout on the way to view the Staircase Ranges – could see why they are so named but frankly it is not particularly spectacular.
Next stop was Springsure and the Virgin Rock. Have actually stopped here several times before.
Called into Emerald for fuel.
I have been to Clermont a few times but previously stayed at a local motel, there seems to be only one caravan park but there appeared to be plenty of space though it filled up more as the afternoon went on.
After setting up the camper (I had to reverse into place for the first time this trip) went for a drive to see what Clermont has to offer. Apart from mining the town is famous for the 1916 flood when many people were killed and the whole town was subsequently relocated to higher ground.
Reminders of the 1916 flood are well signposted.
Distance: 314 km
Foggy again this morning.
Rather an uneventful drive only stopped a couple of times on the way.
A traffic jam!
The country was very brown yet here and there in the midst of the brown were full dams.
Rolleston is a very small town with one fuel stop and two pubs. It is Saturday so even the workers have gone home.
Once I had unhitched I took the opportunity to get my laundry done; the machine here was only $4 and it was dry within a couple of hours so I am good for nearly a week again.
Will get fuel in Emerald tomorrow – at Rolleston it is one stop for everything.
Like a lot of small towns businesses have closed.
Distance: 326 km
Fuel: 36 L
Woke up this morning to a blanket of fog however the sun soon burned it away.
Dalby Pioneer Museum
Opposite the caravan park there is the Dalby Pioneer Museum. I have generally stopped visiting country heritage museums because it is rather like visiting my grandmother’s house. This one looked a little bit different – it was many buildings on a large block and the advertising sign outside was intriguing.
They had a telephone exchange, fossils, a vast bottle collection, agricultural machinery, computers, adding machines, typewriters, record players, trucks, even the first and the last white painted Qld fire engines. They didn’t just have one or two of things they had dozens. It opened at 8am and I only left at 9.45 because I had to vacate the caravan site by 10am. Well worth a visit.
On the Road
Off again through the back roads – they are rough roads with few places to stop except in the towns on the way.
If you don’t stop at a town called Mundubbera where do you stop? Was able to park in the town centre by taking up two spaces and had a look around. The town obviously has a talented artist(s) because his/her murals were everywhere.
Unfortunately I changed a setting on my camera by mistake so the photos look odd
Another 100 km to Monto where I decided to stay a night. Found the local caravan park and dropped off the camper before going into town for fuel, milk and other essentials. A massive main street with parking in the centre of the road as well as each side (room to turn a Bullock Team in?). Plenty of spaces to park and little traffic.
Rain is badly needed in this area, just before I made dinner about 5 drops of rain fell.
Fuel consumption rocketed today; the speed limit is 100kph which is fine towing the trailer. For a while today I was doing 113kph and it took me a while to notice – My excuse is that it was an open road and no traffic so I must have accidentally re-set the cruise control or something equally daft.
Distance: 344 km
Fuel: 34 L
The road from Warialda to Texas must be one of the worst in the state. It wasn’t that it was potholed or broken up it was just bumpy. I have driven on better dirt roads.
I am now in Foreign Parts.
Didn’t stop in Texas it is not that long since I stayed here. >>Click here for more about Texas<< >>And Here<<
I did stop at Inglewood for a break, a steak and kidney pie and a coffee at the bakery. The coffee was made in a machine but was surprisingly good. The machine ground the beans and treated the milk (not powdered) to produce a very respectable, hot cup of coffee with little waiting. Another job lost to automation.
The road improved but one of the problems of using back roads rather than the main highways is the lack of rest areas. The next stop was a small town called Cecil Plains only about 50km from Dalby.
Cotton harvesting seemed in full swing with massive bales waiting to be transported. Sometimes the road verges appear white with cotton but perhaps the bales are better because there was a lot less waste than I have seen on previous trips.
Dalby was unfortunately a bit of a nightmare with major roadworks happening along the length of the town. I got fuel on the way because the idea of driving back did not appeal to me. Funnily enough it was the cheapest fuel of the trip.
The caravan park was on off the main road but still affected by these roadworks – I am not kidding, the roadworks went for kms and affected the whole town. I suspect they will be great when they are finished but a major bottleneck at the moment.
The landscape is dominated by silos of all shapes and sizes.
Distance: 354 km
Fuel: 37 L
Stopped in Tamworth for food and a toilet break! Maccas was the only place open.
Then in Manilla to watch two up in the main street – unfortunately I forgot to take photos. Tried to do the same in Barraba and Bingara but they had detours in place which took me too far out to walk back. Every little town and settlement had some event at the local club or war memorial as I drove past.
At Warialda the council run caravan park was on the highway so easy to find. There was no office just a number to ring; I was told to pick a site and he would be along early evening. Small caravan park but plenty of room.
Found the local IGA was open and nearby bought fuel then drove around town but while it looked a nice enough town there was nothing outstanding about it.
Next door to the caravan park is the sports ground. I presume the local footie team is called the ‘Wombats’ (well, I think it is a wombat)
Distance: 373 km
Fuel: 34 L
Left home at 8.30am. Drove through the hell that is Sydney traffic between the M7 and the Newcastle Freeway. Eventually arriving in Muswellbrook about 1pm.
This is very much coal country, Passed the Liddel and Bayswater Power Stations (when Tallawarra closed I was offered a job at the latter). If I hadn’t been so tired I would have driven a bit further on.
Anyway found the Riverside Caravan Park and booked in.
Cheap enough – $15 for a powered site. Riverside is a bit of a stretch, while it is on the banks of the Hunter River those banks are about 20 metres straight down. I don’t think it really caters for the passing tourist trade but more providing cabins for the local mine workers. I think there are only about four caravan sites.
The railway line runs close by so it might be noisy tonight.
I bought fuel after setting up then went for a walk to stretch my legs. There is a Chinese restaurant, two pubs and the Workers Club a short walk away. So I won’t go hungry.
At dusk I was having a cup of tea when I saw hundreds of birds flying nearby, I thought it was strange to see birds flying as it got dark so I had a closer look. It was hundreds of bats getting ready to look for food.
Went to the club for dinner to try their $12 Schnitzel special – it was ok.
Don’t worry I am not going to be posting pictures of everything I eat!