Monday, 20 August 2012

20 August 2012–Lonesome Campground, near Injune, QLD

Today was going to be a reasonably short day – about 75kms in all.  Nuga Nuga National Park to Lonesome Campground in the Expedition National Park.  The road is gravel and very dusty, but all was going well until THE HELICOPTER INCIDENT!!!!
Rather than explain this, I have included two videos – the first is taken in real time, and the second is slowed down.  The whole incident was over in 5 seconds, leaving us both wondering what in blazes had just happened.


And that’s all I’m going to say about that!  We’ve reported the incident to CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority), who seemed to take it quite seriously.  Unfortunately, there is no registration number visible, so the chances of kicking somebody for stupidity don’t look very high.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

17 to 19 August 2012 – Nuga Nuga National Park, near Injune, QLD

Our last night at Theodore was a little exciting.  It looked like one of the local farmers had started a bit of a burn off – and it got out of hand!  The local CFS and police all attended because the smoke generated caused intermittent blockages to the Leichhardt Highway, and upset a lot of truck drivers into the process.  I suspect that the local farmer responsible might have been given quite a bollocking!  It was quite definitely an Oh Shit!!!! moment.


View Theodore to Nuga Nuga NP in a larger map

Dawson River Rest Area
Today’s travel started out very well.  We left Theodore in good time and headed off towards Moura with great interest.  The road passes many areas close to coal mines and gas fields, so traffic levels are pretty high.  We stopped at the Dawson River Rest Area for a cuppa before moving on towards Rolleston.

  Because we were going to Nuga Nuga National Park, we needed to turn off before Rolleston on the Arcadia Valley Road.  The turn was well marked and the gravel road pretty reasonable.  Once again, the land is a mix of cattle properties and gas wells.  Odd but apparently workable.
Nuga Nuga National Park sits on the edge of a wonderful wetland which is currently well stocked with water.  The place is obviously looked after, as rangers have cut areas for camping into the lush grasslands.

The location is very quiet – no traffic noise and only a couple of other campers.  Just the birds, the wind and us!  Beautiful.


View from the camp-spot
Graceful pelican neighbour
Nice not to have noisy neighbours
Just a lovely place to camp!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

6 Aug to 16 Aug 2012 – Mundubbera to Theodore, QLD

I have to confess that I was very apprehensive as we drove from Mundubbera to Eidsvold.  Not a long distance at all – 37km – but the possibility of the mail and new Navigator not arriving today would have meant hanging around the area until they did.
But, as it turned out, both Australia Post and Australian Air Express did their jobs, and both articles arrived today.  Yay!!

We stayed overnight at the Tolderrodden Conservation Park Campground on the banks of the Burnett River.  Interesting spot, but just for one night.

Leaving Eidsvold, we drove onwards to Theodore and the Junction Park free camp area.  The park is in the junction of the Dawson River and Castle Creek on a spit of land.  It’s a nice place, well looked after with toilets, showers and rubbish bins.  All that is asked is a that donation be made and stays restricted to 48 hours.  Sadly most people just completely ignore these requests.  There is a group of people who arrive from southern parts and set up camp for the six months of winter.  They don’t pay anything, and are quite proud of the fact that they are buggering the system.  If the park ends up being closed, it will upon their own heads.  We got a lot of this information from the person responsible for looking after the park who unfortunately is his own worst enemy – he lets the ‘residents’ rule the roost.


Theodore was flooded, like so many other QLD towns in the rains of 2010-2011.  We spoke to several town residents who were here at the time, some of whom actually were evacuated.  The water came up to about waist level in the main area of town, although apparently the term water is overly favourable for the gunk that actually washed through.  It’s been described as slime, mush and toxic stew!  Caused many infections in people trying to clean up the town.

Theodore Flooding

Theodore Showgrounds - this is where we are staying now!!!@

Theodore Main Street - The Boulevard

For all of that, Theodore is a very nice, friendly little town.  When we found the show-grounds, we moved there from Junction Park.  At $15 per night or $75 per week, it’s an economical place to stay.  We booked for a week to give ourselves time to check out the van batteries which have been a bit iffy.

So far, we have driven out to Flagstaff Hill in Isla Gorge, taken a run up to Banana and driven the tourist road on Malakoff Hill. Of the three, Flagstaff Hill was by far the most interesting. I don’t know if we missed something with Banana, but it seemed to consist of a Choice service station, and a pub!!!  On the way back from Banana, we had a look at the Dawson Coal Mine.  Very interesting!  Huge pit and lots of work going on.

Dawson Coal Mine

We are here in Theodore until Friday, when we’ll head west to Moura, Rolleston and then Nuga Nuga National Park for a few days.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Photographic Interlude–Lake Barambah, Wondai Timber Heritage Museum, Tolderodden Conservation Park

Lake Barambah, Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Lake Barambah, Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Lake Barambah, Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Lake Barambah, Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Lake Barambah, Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Lake Barambah, Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Interesting tug and van combination!!!
Lake Barambah, Bjelke-Petersen Dam
Interesting tug and van combination!

Lake Barambah, Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Wondai Timber Heritage Museum

Wondai Timber Heritage Museum

Wondai Timber Heritage Museum

Wondai Timber Heritage Museum

Wondai Timber Heritage Museum

Tolderodden Conservation Park

Tolderodden Conservation Park

Tolderodden Conservation Park

Tolderodden Conservation Park

Tolderodden Conservation Park
Biggest ant holes we've seen in a long time - what do they know that we don't???

Sunday, 5 August 2012

2 Aug to 5 Aug 2012 - Mundubbera Three Rivers Tourist Village

On the way from Yallakool Park to Mundubbera, we passed through Wondai, and dropped into the Information Centre.  This area is home to the South Burnett Timber Industry Museum, and contains a lot of interesting information about the timber workings in the area.  The old photos are especially fascinating - considering the tools the men worked with and size of the trees, it was real hard 'yakka'.

On the road between Murgon and Durong, we passed a couple of Variety Bash vehicles.  The 2012 XXXX Gold 'Cotton & Cane' Bash had just begun.  They are making a 10 day fund-raising trip from Dalby to Mackay in what is definitely not a straight line!  The drivers and crew had just finished a visit to the Durong State School.

We had planned on stopping for the night at Boondooma Homestead which offers basic bush camping, but on arrival, we realised that it was just not what we were expecting (rather squishy and ordinary) - and also, we had been there before, about 8 years ago.  Back on the road and off to Mundubbera, where we have camped at the Three Rivers Tourist Village.

Mundubbera is very busy with citrus picking and packing right now, so both caravan parks have their fair share of back-packers and assorted itinerant pickers.  We're just lurking here while waiting for some mail to arrive in Eidsvold, just up the road.  On Wednesday, I made a big decision.  I have finally (after 4 years of wanting one) decided to go ahead and buy a Hema Navigator GPS.  I have gone for the HN6 model which has a slightly larger (6") screen and also runs with the OziExplorer mapping system, together with iGO street-by-street navigation.  I'm now holding my breath until it arrives safely.  Then for the learning curve.  At least I wont have to have the computer on my lap anymore and be surrounded by various power and USB leads.  YAY!!

So, tomorrow off to Eidsvold.  If the postal Gods are good to us, we'll camp in Tolderrodden Conservation Park on the banks of the Burnett River tomorrow night.