10th June 2017–Camooweal to Cloncurry

Distnace: 324 km
Fuel: 36 L

Cold again this morning (of course), had a shower at 6.30am; the good thing about a roadhouse as a caravan park is that they are open at ridiculously early hours (if they are not open 24hrs) so I was able to buy ice and milk straight away. Once this had been done I got back in the camper to watch an episode of Cold Feet to allow the morning to warm up a bit before I started to dismantle my ‘camp’.

Left Camooweal before 9am even with my late start, easy drive to Mount Isa where I only stopped to fill up with fuel. Didn’t visit the city centre because it is only a year since I spent several days here.170610 001 Mt Isa

Continued on to Cloncurry and found a caravan park on the highway about 1km from the town centre – I checked in and unhitched the camper.

170610 004 Mt Isa170610 008 Mt Isa

Went back to the shopping centre and discovered they have a Woollies; so stocked up with some fruit, cheese, nuts and other bits and pieces before looking round the town.

170610 012 Cloncurry170611 001 Cloncurry

Apart from an art deco civic centre and some typical country pubs there was a museum to the Royal Flying Doctor Service which they claim was started in Cloncurry by John Flynn. Not a particularly big museum but it had his car, a quarter scale model of his plane,”The Victory” and various examples of bush radios including pedal powered ones. The RFDS started off as the Australian Inland Mission so there are obvious religious overtones. The museum was only open until 3pm and I arrived at 2.30pm (it’s Saturday) but I had enough time to see everything.

170610 015 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 016 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 018 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 019 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 020 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 022 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 029 Cloncurry RFDS Museum170610 030 Cloncurry RFDS Museum

9th June 2017–Barkly Homestead to Camooweal

Distance: 263 km
Fuel: 32 L

It was bitterly cold this morning; only 9’C in my camper according to the gauge – there was some delay while I plucked up the courage to get out of my snug bed. By the time I showered, ate my cereal and had my coffee my hands were frozen and I had to dig about in the back of the car for my warmest jacket. Because it was so cold I was off pretty early – in fact before 8am, by far the earliest to date I think.

As I drove along the Barkly Highway I found myself reflecting on how much I enjoy looking at the Australian bush to the point of almost Dorothea MacKellarishness (though less poetic).


A lot more traffic on the Barkly Highway of course – ‘a lot’ being a relative term meaning that I had to overtake about five caravans and a couple of road trains and saw a couple of dozen vehicles passing in the opposite direction.

The head wind of the past few days is playing havoc with my fuel consumption. It is a very cool wind too, coming from the south east, I wear my light jacket even in the mid afternoon.

Today my journey crossed into Queensland from the NT and a different time zone so I was able to take a picture of the border from the NT with my car half an hour ahead of me in Queensland.


Fortunately this time difference also meant that I didn’t arrive at the caravan park at quite such an absurd time of the morning than would have otherwise been the case.

Now I am back in familiar territory I am consciously trying to stay at towns and roadhouses I have not stopped at before because often in Australia there is only one road between distant places and the tendency is to stay at the same places. Camooweal is one of those little border towns half way between Mt Isa and the Stuart Highway where you need to stop for fuel and not much else though it does have a fair sized pub and two caravan parks.


8th June 2017–Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead

Distance:382 km
Fuel: 42 L

The scenery on Tablelands Highway south to the Barkly Homestead was a little more varied than the Carpentaria Highway. There was typical bush with some trees as well as open plains, lots of cattle on the road too but no stubborn cows that wouldn’t move.

170608 001 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead-001

Only one road train and a couple of smaller trucks plus the usual assortment of caravans and four wheel drives. The road was narrower in general and in poorer condition than the Carpentaria but not bad really. A section was being made two lane (for overtaking) so there was a dirt detour through the scrub, elsewhere there were a few unrepaired washouts left over from the wet which bounced you about a bit.

170608 003 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 007 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 009 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 011 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 013 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 016 Barkly Homestead170608 018 Barkly Homestead

I say the road was ‘not bad’ but I have actually broken a piece of wood in the trailer, or rather that bane of my life the Esky has. Nothing serious or unrepairable just annoying.

170608 019 Barkly Homestead170608 021 Barkly Homestead

Quite cold today, there is a cold wind so I had my jacket on at 2pm, it was about 25’C but felt decidedly cool because of the wind. Wind also affects my fuel economy too.

Today I had phone reception (at the Barkly Homestead) so I have booked a couple of nights at Undarra and Normanton – the latter has a rodeo on when I am there so I thought it a wise precaution; the former tell you in their advertising that it is necessary to book – I booked a tour of the lava tubes while I was at it.

Just realised it is Thursday:


Distance Travelled: 12581 km
Fuel Used: 1271 L
Cost of Fuel: $1782
Cost of accommodation: $1583

l should be home in less than two weeks.