Should we stay or should we go? Sounds a bit like a song title to me.
We both would like to stay here at St George for a few days. The amenities here are clean, the camp kitchen is fantastic with a pizza oven and a log fire, the sites are wide and level, what’s not to like? Unfortunately the Bureau of Meteorology thinks that St George will almost definitely have thunderstorms over the next few days and will receive up to 100 mls of rain over the weekend. In contrast, Roma is expected to receive less than half that amount of rain so it was a no-brainer to decide to head north and hopefully escape some of the expected rain.
As was the case for the last few days there is still plenty of water around. After-all most of these roads are subject to flooding – the flood level signs are up to 2 metres in some places. Some sections of the road have been graded to help water escape from the roads, but it is obvious that the sides of the road are very soft.
Morning coffee was at a truck stop on the Carnarvon Highway.
Lunch was in Bertha at Surat where we parked along the river. There has been a lot of development along the river with a walking track, playground equipment, bbq shelters, exercise equipment, interpretive plaques relating to historic buildings, and so on.
Surat has some beautiful old buildings, including a Cobb & Co Changing Station, an historic Post Office, and many old “Queenslanders” on stilts.
Surat is also home to the well-known Fishermans Park free camp, although there weren’t very many campers here today as most had moved to higher and safer ground in order to avoid the anticipated rains.
From Surat we headed further up the highway where interestingly we met some cattle on the road. They were accompanied by drovers on horse and motorbikes, but it was clear that the cattle were in charge – they didn’t move for us or the oncoming truck.
We soon arrived at Roma and parked near some of the historic bottle trees – 138 of them were planted along Heroes Avenue in tribute to citizens of Roma who perished in WW1. There are some beautiful old buildings in Roma, as one would probably expect.
One building that we just had to visit was “Drapery No 2”. We’ve been here before and if anything it’s a bit tidier than last time, but basically it is jammed full of “stuff” – inside and outside. This was a specific destination for Ann and she actually found most of what she was looking for.
After a walk around town and a coffee and cake at the Bakearoma bakery we drove the short distance to the Roma Gun Club camp ground, as recommended by our friend Downunda. This place is amazing – it’s a little way out of town but it has well priced, bituminised sites with power and water, new and clean amenities, access to the club bar, and we missed the BBQ last night. There are also plenty of unpowered sites. The justification for having these camping facilities is that the club has up to 3,000 people come to some of its competitions, and they need somewhere nearby to stay. Although they hold a Local Government Caravan Park License, it seems that the local caravan parks are making life difficult for the club by applying pressure on the council. For instance, we understand that the club is having trouble getting appropriate approvals for a dump point. How petty! This place is far better than the caravan park in Roma that we stayed at last time.
Anyway, off my soap box now, we met many fellow campers as soon as we pulled up and enjoyed an extended happy hour on the balcony of the club. We all agreed that there was plenty of room for competition for the campers travelling through Roma and wish the Gun Club all the best in their endeavours.
It’s not news that there are some big storms and heavy rain heading for this part of Queensland, so we will be staying here for 4 nights, at this stage, so we may not post a daily blog.
Stay tuned …..