Day 36 – The Last Post

Well this will be our last post on this blog, unfortunately our Road Trip is coming to an end and its time to go back home to the beautiful Blue Mountains NSW. We didn’t quite make it to Nambucca Heads tonight as we ran out of time due to getting slightly lost in Brisbane…..OK a lot lost in Brisbane……..so we decided to stay at Sawtell, which has lots of childhood memories for Rod.

We have clocked up approximately 13,000 kms and travelled through New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland the past 5 weeks. Over the course of the trip we only had two days of rain (Noosa and the Barossa),one day of ice (The Flinders Ranges), top temperature was around 32 degrees (Kununurra) and lowest temp -5 (Wilpena Pound – Flinders Ranges). Most days it was around 23 – 25 degrees.

We have had the most unbelievably good time on this trip and I would encourage anyone, if you have the chance – go do it! The landscapes are diverse, vast and amazing. The people we met were welcoming and friendly and always ready for a chat. The places we stayed were all fantastic.

Australia is a beautiful country and we are so lucky to live here. Both Rod and I appreciated Australia before we started our trip, but now we have a new appreciation that leaves us wanting to see more. If we could, we would have no hesitation in repacking and heading off again straight away, there is so much more to see and experience. We especially enjoyed sharing this experience with old friends and we hope you have enjoyed coming along with us through the blog which will serve as a good reminder to Rod and I of all the wonderful places we visited, the people we met and the fantastic experiences we had on our outback adventure.

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Day 33, 34 and 35 – Noosa – Nice!

Well we are leaving Noosa this morning – as the sun comes out – it has rained the whole time we were here, but we still had a great time. There is nothing like listening to rain on canvas when your snug, dry and warm. After a hearty breakfast of pancakes (no diet on holidays!) we made our way to Eumandi markets – a must see if you visit Noosa – we came across a stall selling Brazilian Crepes – very tasty, highly recommended, and Rafael was happy to pose with his creation for us. There was lots to see at the markets, even though it poured raining while we were there. I’ve included some pics from the markets. As it was our second last night we decided to treat ourselves to a slap up dinner at one of the fine restaurants here at Noosa. We were spoilt for choice but ended up going to a restaurant called ‘Gusto’ – it didn’t disappoint, the food was fantastic as was the service. We are on the road again – heading for Nambucca Heads for our last day.

Day 32 – on the road to Rocky

Big driving day yesterday – the distances are huge! We made our way to Rockhampton and got a bit ‘city shy’ after being in the wide open spaces of rural Australia for so long! We drove to Keppel Sands Camping area which was outside of Rocky and closer to the coast. We camped in a lovely grassy camping area, which was such a change from all the dirt and bush camping we have done. Rod wanted to check out Yeppoon so we did that this morning and then started to make our way down South. On the way we passed through a number of small towns which we would like to have stayed and investigated further such as Childers which looked like a great little place to stay, but unfortunately time is against us. We passed through sugar cane fields and crossed lots of rivers that were recently in flood. We followed the Bruce Highway – the A1 – which is definitely not in A1 condition – it almost had as many pot holes as the Gibb River Road (well….almost!) to Noosa where we will set up camp for the next 2 nights and hopefully check out some fantastic restaurants while we are there.

Day 30 and 31 – Heading for the Coast

The roads in outback Queensland are long and straight with pastural land all around and you can see for miles and miles. We have passed through lots of small outback towns and the landscape continues to change. We have enjoyed calling in to the various pubs and having a beer with the locals. We spent 2 nights at Longreach were we went to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and QANTAS Founders Museum, the birthplace of QANTAS. Both were worth a visit, particularly the Stockman’s Hall of Fame where we watched a stockman’s show and learned a little more about life on the land. Winton was also a great place, where you can follow the Dinosaur trail. We are now heading for Rockhampton and looking forward to camping in some National Parks on the coast.

Day 28 – Outback Queensland

YeeeeHaaaa!!! What do you do on a Friday night in outback Queensland??? Go to a RODEO of course! (officially known as the Ernest Henry Mining Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and The Cloncurry Campdraft) We made our way from Camooweal to Mt Isa, where we had lunch, then decided to make set up camp at Cloncurry. Well the Rodeo was in town so we donned our RMWilliams boots, jeans and checked shirts and tried to mix in with the locals, even though we were in costume, I’m sure we stood out as ‘city slickers’. We had a great time (so much that we forgot to take photos) and it certainly gives you a different perspective on those cowboys and cowgirls that live off the land up here. They are friendly and what you see is what you get, easygoing and approachable. We headed back to camp and we knew we were in for a ‘noisy’ night – not from the Rodeo, but from where we camped! The only place we could get was about 7 metres from the highway – and all night we had road trains come ‘through’ our tent! – we could only laugh all night……..well we couldn’t sleep, being on holidays, it is easy to see the funny side! Today off to Longreach.

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Day 28 – Bye NT – Hi Qld

It was a travelling day today, we did 819kms and crossed the border from Northern Territory to Queensland. It was a long drive, but far from boring even though the roads are long and straight, the vast expanse of the landscape changes constantly, one minute you are amongst mountains and the next you are crossing the plains where there are no trees as far as the eye can see and it is extremely flat. We made camp at Camooweal which is just across the border into Queensland. The place we camped also happens to be the place of choice for the truckies driving those massive road trains. We were able to have a close up look, which was OK except for the Brahma’s who were on a one way trip….I’m sure they knew, you could tell it in their eyes.

Day 24 & 25 Lake Argyle

We reluctantly packed up from the Bungles and headed to Lake Argyle with a stop off in Kununurra to pick up supplies. It seems each place we visit is equally or more beautiful than the last. Lake Argyle was also spectacular. We went for a walk to the Ord Dam, and I have included some pictures for you ‘dam’ people. The lake is man made and covers 1,000 sq kms. We stayed at the Lake Argyle Tourist Resort, which was a great spot with a fantastic pool overlooking the lake. We spent some time here ‘regrouping’, catching up on washing, and getting rid of some of the red dirt we have collected along the way. We had 2 nights here, then packed up and crossed the border back into the Northern Territory to Katherine where we will sadly say goodbye to our dear friends and continue on the third leg of our road trip, into Queensland.

It was sad to say goodbye to Julie and Brian and our new friends Gary, Matt and Guillaume. We have known Julie and Brian since our school days and it was great recalling memories of our ‘miss-spent youth’ and catching up on the gaps in-between. They have been great fun, and we are now planning our next trip together in 2014.

We travelled back down Stuart Highway – back to Daly Waters Pub to camp the night. We had a great time here, they put on a real ‘stralian’ show with ‘Chilli’ who was a real funny bugger! – it was great fun.