Yet another beautiful morning – tee-shirts were definitely the go for the day!
While we were packing up to leave there was something of a commotion in the caravan park as the mains pressure water stopped. That meant no water to cabins, caravans and motorhomes in the park, no water to flush the park toilets, and we assume no water to the neighbouring hotel. We simply switched over to our water tank, finished packing up and soon headed off out of town. On the way we noticed a crew working on what looked very much like a burst water main. There was obviously going to be some serious cleaning up once the water was back on.
About 65 kms along the Castlereagh Highway we hit the Queensland border and stopped for a photo opportunity to celebrate the moment.
Another 5 kms or so and we stopped for coffee in Bertha at the rest area in Hebel. Hebel is a small stop, I’m not sure if you can call it a town, comprising a general store, a hotel, a very small caravan park, and a compulsory truck inspection service for trucks going into NSW.
We did notice an interesting road sign going out of town.
An interesting thing happened at Hebel in that the Castlereagh Highway changed from a B class highway to an A class highway, and the change in road conditions on the Queensland side of Hebel was very noticeable. We had spent this morning and yesterday on the “B” highway and it was pretty tough going with some excellent sections and some pretty terrible sections. Obviously NSW was happy to have a B grade highway but the Queenslanders thought that road users deserved better!
From Hebel we noticed a lot more livestock including cattle, sheep, emus and goats. There was also a lot more roadkill – mainly kangaroos. There was still a lot of surface water along both sides of the road.
We stopped for lunch in Bertha at Dirranbandi. This is a nice small town with a supermarket, hotel, café, bakery, a caravan park and a few other shops. There is plenty of parking in the main street and this town obviously welcomes travellers. Although we didn’t buy a meal in town we did contribute to the local economy with a visit to the supermarket and I bought a very nice sleeveless jacket.
From Dirranbandi we continued along the Castlereagh Highway before turning off onto the Carnarvon Highway and into St George. What struck us the avenue of jacaranda trees going into town.
First stop was the Visitor Information Centre for a map of town and some general info. St George was first named by explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1846 and was officially surveyed in 1863. The first bridge was built over the Bayonne River in 1890 and the Andrew Nixon Memorial Bridge and Jack Taylor Weir were officially opened in 1953. The weir has 13 vertical lift gates and has provided water to the town of St George and facilitated the regional irrigation system. The weir and irrigation system has subsequently been considerably expanded. It is even possible to grow grapes here.
We spent a while walking along the river and the council is obviously developing the river precinct as a very nice, relaxing area for both tourists and locals. Rotary, Lions and Apex have all contributed by way of shelters, picnic facilities, and so on. There are playgrounds, plenty of room to run around and exercise, and even a boat ramp. This is a great place for families and travellers.
Eventually we made our way to the Pelican Rest Tourist Park where we were allocated a great site. After setting up it was time to get out the chairs and enjoy a cool drink and a book in the sun.
Night closes in very suddenly in this neck of the woods so we eventually had to retire inside.
The weather for the next few days is still looking quite threatening, so at this stage we have no idea what our plans are for tomorrow as we definitely want to be in a safe location when the storms hit.
Looking forward to the weather forecast tomorrow morning !