We woke to a lovely crisp sunny morning at Stubby Bend. Bertha’s thermometer told us that is was 4 degrees outside and 13 inside at 7.00 am, so we turned on the heater and the hot water and put on the kettle. We were soon showered and enjoying breakfast in the sun in Bertha with the temperature at 8 degrees outside and a very pleasant 18 degrees inside.
We took our time and then drove into Tambo. On the way we took a detour to see the Qantas Crash site. I guess that perhaps I had expected to find a piece of plane wreckage and a plaque, but that wasn’t to be. There is a simple memorial to the 3 people who died in QANTAS’ first ever crash on 24th March 1927.
Then we stopped at the Tambo Lake which is a very attractive park. There are picnic and BBQ facilities, tables and seating, plus toilets, dump point and fresh water for travellers.
After a short stop we set off heading south down the Landsborough Highway towards Augathella. Our first stop was at the Augathella North Rest Area for a much needed coffee in Bertha.
Refreshed, we continued 42kms down the highway into Augathella, which is about 1 kilometre off the main highway.
Augathella is quite spread out and clean and inviting. Smiley’s Café & Restaurant, based at the Ellangowan Hotel looked particularly inviting with tables inside and outside in the sunshine. We decided to have lunch there and the food was very good. There is a range of other shops in town, including a butcher where we stocked up with some very tasty looking dead animal. There are a number of places to stay and camp, including a donation based free-camp, and free caravan and motorhome parking behind the hotel.
The State of Origin Rugby match is on tonight and accommodation is at a premium everywhere. Anecdotally we understand that many free-campers head in to caravan parks to ensure that they can watch the big game. We experienced this same issue in 2013 so we thought that we would ring ahead to Charleville – just as well! We eventually booked a site at Bailey Bar Caravan Park in Charleville.
As we left Augathella we turned onto the Mitchell Highway and headed for Charleville.
After some 80 kilometres of uneventful driving we arrived at Bailey Bar and they are packed – even parking vans on the footpath!!
We sat outside in the sun for a while talking to our neighbours, before it started to become quite cool so we headed inside Bertha. A light tea was all that was required after our large lunch, and we then settled down to watch some TV.
Another great day visiting small outback towns.
Bring on tomorrow !!!