30th April 2018–Charters Towers

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 .

180430 002 Clermont180430 003 ClermontIMG_4732

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.

On the Road to Charters Towers

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.

Sad smileBumpy road!

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.

180430 016 Charters TowersIMG_4743

To see more of Charters Towers  >>>Click Here<<< and >>>Here<<<  for lots of pictures and notes about  my last visit.

29th April 2018–Clermont

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.

180429 007 Staircase Range Lookout180429 003 Staircase Range Lookout

Next stop was Springsure and the Virgin Rock. Have actually stopped here several times before.

180429 008 Virgin Rock Springsure180429 009 Virgin Rock Springsure

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.

180429 036 Clermont Caravan Park

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.

180429 012 Clermont180429 017 Clermont The Lagoon180429 019 Clermont The Lagoon

Reminders of the 1916 flood are well signposted.

180429 021 Clermont The Lagoon180429 023 Clermont The Lagoon180429 024 Clermont180429 027 Clermont 1916 Flood Piano in a Tree180429 028 Clermont 1916 Flood Piano in a Tree180429 029 Clermont 1916 Flood Piano in a Tree

!8th March 2018–Peak Hill

Distance: 334 km
Fuel: 31 L

Change of mind

It had been my intention to stay at Narromine tonight but as I drove it was obvious that I was going to arrive far too early – ie before noon – so I decided to press on an extra 55km to Peak Hill.

Nevertire is somewhere I never tire of stopping just to stretch my legs (and photograph the sign).

180318 001 Nevertire180318 004 Nevertire180318 005 Nevertire

According to BOM the temperature in Peak Hill is going to be 40’C but as I drove not only did the temperature rise but also did the wind. It was a hot dry wind, I doubt the humidity was over 15% but the wind didn’t relent once. where ever there was a bare paddock there was a dust cloud visible for miles. I drove with my sidelights on the whole way. I am hoping that as the wind was behind me it resulted in better fuel consumption.

180318 006 Nevertire to Peak Hill Dust

Peak Hills was hot… After checking in – when I was given a handout of local attractions – my set up was very quick because the park even provided a TV connector. The site was shady but it was the wind that was hot so the shade didn’t provide much relief; anyway it was time to look around.

180318 054 Peak Hill Caravan Park180318 048 Peak Hill Caravan Park

Another day, another gold mine…

The first port of call had to be the Peak Hill Gold Experience only a couple of blocks from the caravan park.

180318 008 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 011 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 012 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 015 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 019 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 020 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience

Then I drove out to the Bogan River Weir a few kms out of town.

180318 024 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 026 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 027 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 029 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 031 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 034 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 036 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir

I had a look at the local attractions including St Josephs Church designed and built by its first priest.

180318 038 Peak Hill St Josephs Church180318 044 Peak Hill

By now the day had reached its predicted 40’C so it was time to seek air conditioned comfort and where better than the local Ex Services Club where I spent an enjoyable  couple of hours. I decided against waiting there until the dining room opened at 6pm as there was the danger that by then I would be incapable of ordering a meal so I returned to the caravan park to start writing this (and recharge my phone).

.180318 045 Peak Hill

The meal at the club was not bad I had a Char Kuey Teow, if I had a complaint it was that it wasn’t spicy enough.

17th March 2018–Cobar

Distance: 294 km
Fuel: 32 L

Left Hillston at just after 9am as is becoming a habit. The weather forecast was for a heat wave all over the state this weekend.

I had intended to stop at the old mining town of Mount Hope but it seemed very disappointing. There was the pub and a few modern metal sheds but no sign at all of the old township so I moved on.

The land was very dry and I saw lots of wild life at the side of the road as I drove; kangaroos resting in the shade of a tree, many goats scuttling across the road ahead  and the occasional emu.

180317 091 Dash Cam180317 093 Dash Cam

I stopped at a rest area about 50km outside Cobar which was once a gold mining area. The rest area had some mementos of that time.

180317 014 Gilgunnia Gold Fields180317 001 Gilgunnia Gold Fields180317 005 Gilgunnia Gold Fields180317 006 Gilgunnia Gold Fields

When I arrived in Cobar itself it was only midday so there was plenty of time to find the caravan park ($38 for a site – by far the most expensive place I have stayed at) and then find the tourist office.

180317 033 Cobar180317 038 Cobar Heritage Centre180317 041 Cobar Heritage Centre180317 045 Cobar Heritage Centre180317 047 Cobar Heritage Centre180317 048 Cobar Heritage Centre

Visited a couple of mine lookouts in the area. Everywhere there was old workings and deeps shafts.

180317 021 Cobar Fort Burke Lookout and New Cobar Open Cut Mine180317 026 Cobar Fort Burke Lookout and New Cobar Open Cut Mine180317 072 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 051 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 052 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 055 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 060 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 065 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 069 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 083 Cobar Slag Dump and  Great Cobar  Copper Mine180317 085 Cobar Slag Dump and  Great Cobar  Copper Mine180317 088 Cobar Slag Dump and  Great Cobar  Copper Mine

I also visited a local reservoir; a Mecca for bird watchers – nothing better illustrates the town’s desperate need for water. The islands in the map are high and dry.

180317 079 Cobar Newey Reservoir180317 078 Cobar Newey Reservoir180317 074 Cobar Newey Reservoir180317 080 Cobar Newey Reservoir

It was a very hot day fortunately humidity was only about 15% but even after the sun went down the temperature didn’t drop much.

18th June 2017–Charters Towers to Capella

Distance: 429 km
Fuel: 46 L

Fog! Woke up to a thick fog, visibility was down to less than 50m however by the time I was ready to leave at 8am you could see the end of an adjacent paddock. For the first 30km of the drive it was still pretty thick fog.

170618 002 Charters Towers to Clermont

Almost suddenly I was driving in sunshine, the clouds disappeared rapidly and it was horizon to horizon blue skies which remained for the rest of the journey.

170618 004 Charters Towers to Clermont

On the way south I passed hundreds of caravans and trailers going north, “hundreds” is not an exaggeration I counted 30 in one 12 minute period. I can understand now why someone said that on 1st July the parks put their fees up to $50 a night with all that traffic.

Nearing Clermont I passed the Clermont Coal Mine with its conveyer belt running for km beside the road and its enormous spoil heap stretching along the other side of the road.

170618 009 Clermont Coal Mine

I had intended to stop at Clermont tonight but because there were few opportunities to stop on the road it was still reasonably early when I arrived so I only stopped to fill up with fuel before driving on to Capella another 60km further south.

Capella is a small town of less than 1000 people but it has a caravan park. It is Sunday and the town is dead except for the pub which was surrounded by utes and as noisy as anything. I bought a 6 pack of beer and had a quick schooner there.

170618 011 Capella170618 012 Capella

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

16th May 2017 – Onslow to Tom Price

Distance: 489 km
Fuel: 53 L

One of the things I like about this camper is how easy it is to pack up when you need to leave a site – literally the biggest job is dismantling the TV aerial. I had a fair distance to travel today so I was ready  to move just after 8am.

The first part of the trip was retracing my steps south for 100km before turning off toward the Hamersley Range and Tom Price the mining town. It was nice to get away from the flat coastal plains.

170516 001 Hamersley Range170516 003 Hamersley Range170516 005 Hamersley Range170516 010 Hamersley Range170516 011 Paraburdoo

I was soon set up at the Tom Price Tourist Park. Even got some laundry done.

170516 020 Tom Price

1st May 2017–A Day in Kalgoorlie

Awoke to a grey overcast sky which was a surprise as it was not cold overnight at all and no dew on the cars/caravans this morning however by 10am the clouds had largely gone.
First job was a little shopping to buy necessities such as soap and the all important Telstra SIM card.
Then it was time to visit the town’s reason to exist, the Super Pit.
170501 011 Kalgoorlie Super Pit
It was a massive hole the machinery looked so tiny yet it too was on a gigantic scale.
170501 009 Kalgoorlie Super Pit
I wanted to look at some of the nearby mining towns that had gone though boom and bust, they proved to be a bit of a disappointment. The area is littered with working mines but these old places have completely disappeared. At Broad Arrow all that remains is a cast iron water tank.
170501 021 Kalgoorlie Broad Arrow
So it was back to Kalgoorlie to take in the sights.
170501 006 Kalgoorlie
170501 008 Kalgoorlie
From the town reservoir lookout there were signs of mining in all directons.
170501 028 Kalgoorlie
170501 032 Kalgoorlie
The town is actually two towns Boulder has its own CBD.
170501 050 Boulder
170501 052 Boulder
170501 060 Boulder
There is something for everybody.
170501 056 Boulder

30th April–Caiguna to Kalgoorlie

Distance: 562 km
Fuel: 56 Ltr

Long way to go today so started pretty early.

First up was 146 km of the longest straight bit of road in Australia. It certainly was straight but it was not flat no steep hills but undulating.


Astute observers will notice that the wombat has been replaced by a large chicken.


Virtually at the end of the long straight road I stopped at Balladonia Roadhouse for ice and a coffee to fortify me for the task of turning the steering wheel. The coffee wasn’t bad at all, just don’t drink the water.


The drive to Kalgoorlie was uneventful and relatively uninteresting there were no particular sights or points of interest. the trees got more dense as I got further from the Nullarbor so it wasn’t unpleasant countryside. I listened to the new Harper Lee audio book which passed the time nicely.

Am wondering about the Esky – Ice costs at least $4 a day (a day and a half max) a lot more in remote places but all it carries is milk, sliced cheese and marg. I think it would be cheaper to buy fresh and throw it away than keep buying ice. On the downside – no cold beer. I notice most people seem to have a portable fringe in the back of the ute.