Posts Tagged With: charleville

Day 85 – Charleville to Wyandra

When we woke this morning it was much warmer than yesterday – Bertha’s thermometer showed 6.5 degrees at 7.30 am.  Still, after having the heater on for a while, and having had hot showers, the sun started to make a difference and we were obviously off to another beautiful day.

We took our time getting started as there was no way we could leave the caravan park early even if we wanted to – vans and motorhomes and SUVs are squeezed in everywhere so we had to wait until quite a few had moved before venturing out.  We probably shouldn’t admit it but it was actually quite interesting sitting back with a cup of tea just watching as others struggled to maneuver around trees, SUVs, caravans etc in an effort to escape!  Full marks all round – not a single bingle, and only a few frayed tempers!

From Bailey Bar Caravan Park we headed off into town for a bit of a drive and a walk around.  We had stayed a few days in Charleville 5 years ago and it is always interesting to see if we can identify changes since our last visit.

Our first stop, after filling up with diesel, was at the Charleville railway station.  This is a nice old building and was apparently built in 1957 after the previous station burnt down.  It is huge and must have handled a lot of passengers and cargo way back.  Today it doesn’t even seem to be permanently manned. It was interesting to see the old pay-phone still in use.

Charleville Railway Station

Next door to the station was a major change since we were here last – the Bilby Experience attraction has relocated to the station from the Cosmos Centre further out of town.  We would have liked to go in but they were mid-way through a tour and we didn’t want to wait for the next one.

Bilby Experience is now at the Railway Station

We then found an area set aside for motorhome and caravan parking and set about on a walk around town.  There are some beautiful old buildings here; many still used for their original purpose but others which are now used quite differently.  As some of our readers will expect, we had to stop for coffee and cake at a bakery, and it was delicious!  All in all we spent a couple of hours exploring Charleville, and made a few purchases along the way.  We will almost certainly visit Charleville again sometime, but we will try to find somewhere with a bit more room to stay.

Views around Charleville

Views around Charleville

By now it was nearing lunch time so we thought that it was about time we hit the road.  Once back on the Mitchell Highway we couldn’t help but comment that for an A grade highway this road was in quite poor condition.  Lumpy and bumpy and very narrow in places – meeting an on-coming truck was a bit of a test of nerves at time.

One thing we did notice was that for most of the distance we travelled today, both sides of the road have been graded as part of water and flood management efforts.  The plan seems to be to keep any flood waters, and there are plenty of “floodplains” signs around, off the actual road surface and divert the water out into the scrub.  In this way, presumably, there is a better chance of at least some traffic getting through.

Graded Roads out of Charleville

A fair distance outside Charleville we came across some obviously quite recently completed bridge works at Angellala Creek, and the remains of what was the original bridge, and a memorial.  Unfortunately we couldn’t find a place to stop to check things out properly but subsequently Dr Google has advised us that in September 2014 a B-double truck carrying 52 tonnes of ammonium-nitrate crashed at the bridge and caught fire.  The combination of spilt diesel and the ammonium-nitrate subsequently caused an explosion that destroyed the bridge and was heard up to 30 kilometres away.  There were multiple firefighters and rescue workers hurt in the fire and subsequently a total of 15 heroism awards were made.  The new bridge was opened in May 2016 and a memorial commissioned to thank all those involved.

Bridgeworks at Angellala Creek

We eventually stopped for lunch at the tiny town of Wyandra.  There is not much to this place – a hotel, a general store/Post Office/caravan park, a ‘Powerhouse Museum’ (closed today), a primary school, and a free camp.  Oh, there were some emus and kangaroos wandering around town as well.

Views around Wyandra

Views around Wyandra

There was plenty of room at the free camp so we pulled over and had lunch.  It was such a nice quiet, open and flat space that we decided to stay here the night, so we did a quick set-up for Bertha then got out our chairs and enjoyed some reading time in the sun.  Several more visitors have arrived but there is plenty of room for us all.  Not even the kangaroos seem to mind a few visitors to their land.

This really is the life!

Sunset at Wyandra Camping Grounds

Categories: 2017 Up The Centre Adventure, Free Camping | Tags: ,

Day 84 – Tambo to Charleville

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.

Stubby Creek – note how close the cattle are

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.

QANTAS Crash Memorial

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.

Views of Tambo Lake

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.

Scenes along the highway

Fatigue Zone Trivia keeps us on our toes

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.

Views of Augathella

Views of Augathella

Views of Augathella

Post Office & Police Station

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 !!!

Categories: 2017 Up The Centre Adventure | Tags: , ,

Day 19 – Charleville to Blackall

We were up very early for showers etc and then packed up and hitched up and headed north up the Kidman Way. There was plenty of roadkill to be seen by the road. The highway was diverted before Augathella.

travelling_4222_Stomped 12 06 2012 008_Stomped

Lunch Break at Tambo

Lunch Break at Tambo

We stopped in Tambo by the lake for hot cheese and asparagus on muffins for lunch. We caught up with Nola and Ike who we had met at Charleville.

We then drove on to Blackall where everything was closed because of the Queen’s Birthday Holiday. After driving around town to see the sights, we set up the van at a very nice freecamp (Qld 684 – Barcoo River Camp Blackall). There were some great metal sculptures around the camp area including a large bird on a nest on a tall pole.

Blackall Visitor Information Centre

Blackall Visitor Information Centre

Tribute to Jackie Howe - Shearer - Blackall

Tribute to Jackie Howe – Shearer – Blackall

The Black Stump - Blackall

The Black Stump – Blackall

Barcoo River Camp - Blackall

Barcoo River Camp – Blackall

Metal Sculpture at Blackall

Metal Sculpture at Blackall

We were experiencing great weather so I cooked a BBQ dinner outside.

Today we had some issues with the batteries in the caravan, which is not good news when freecamping, but we coped OK.

This was a great spot and we would like to return here at some point in the future.

Categories: 2012 Winton Adventure, Free Camping | Tags: ,

Day 18 – Charleville

Slow day today. I got up early and spent some time on computer while Ann had a bit of a sleep in . After breakfast there was a bit of excitement when two ambulances came with flashing lights and took away one of our neighbours who was staying in a Winnebago. The older lady in the van apparently had a fall.

We then went for a very long walk around Charleville and checked out the heritage railway station. It’s huge but only services two trains a week. There seems to be a local campaign to retain the train service.

Then it was back to the caravan park for coffee and a chat with the neighbours. I fiddled around a bit with the van and Ann made a pasta lunch. After lunch we went to the Supermarket for some last minute items before we head off in the morning. We had a very restful afternoon.

Categories: 2012 Winton Adventure | Tags:

Day 17 – Charleville

Up early for hot showers and then off into town for coffee and cake at Russell Bakery. We then drove to the Cosmos Centre at the Airport where the displays and show were amazing and well worth doing. We both learned lots about the cosmos, meteorites, and the world we live on.

Cosmos Centre at the Charleville Airport

Cosmos Centre at the Charleville Airport

Back to the van for lunch and then off to the Royal Flying Doctor display centre. Again, a very interesting display and well worth a visit. After that we drove around the town to have a good look around. Charleville is a very pretty town with many well preserved old “Queenslander” buildings.

Traditional "Queenslander"

Traditional “Queenslander”

Then it was back to the van and Ann did a load of washing/drying. We decided not to go to see the singer again and kicked back with happy hour in the van by the telly.

Categories: 2012 Winton Adventure | Tags:

Day 16 – Wyandra to Charleville

Up early and had nice hot springwater showersand after chatting with our neighbours Terry and Margaret, we headed off to Charleville. Rough road and lots of road kill on the way, but it was only 101 kms or so.

We arrived in Charleville and checked in at Baileys Bar Caravan Park. It is friendly and a bit higgledy piggledy and is jam packed but we were squeezed in next to the laundry. We could not even put out the awning. But we were in and enjoyed a lovely camp oven lamb dinner by the camp fire with a poet and a singer.

Bit Cramped at Baileys Bar Caravan Park at  Charleville

Bit Cramped at Baileys Bar Caravan Park at Charleville

We met Chris and Alice here. Chris had worked with the Dept of Forestry and as a journalist with CMCA. He had suffered terrible burns at some stage and had a Venture 5th Wheeler which they had had especially fitted out to meet his needs. We also met up with a surprising number of people who we have previously met on the road – we all seem to be headed in the same direction.

Categories: 2012 Winton Adventure | Tags: ,

Blog at