We set off to Hell’s Gate. Our lunch stop was at Gregory Downs, down by the river. Another awesome spot for anyone travelling through and a free camp too! Nothing like a good swim at lunch to tire out the kids and then they sleep the rest of the trip.
Hell’s Gate was a good stopover. We met a group of Rangers who were staying there for a week to do a Fauna survey. They came over to our camp with a legless lizard to show the kids and taught them about different wildlife you might find while walking around at night. The kids then grabbed their torches to see what they could find. They learnt that if you hold a torch light at eye level, you can see green diamontes shine, these are wolf spiders out to catch insects of a night. It was crazy how many we could see!
We had our first night of rain, apparently about 28mm fell. The kids were asleep within minutes listening to the sound of it ( a rare sound for us) The next day we crossed the border into the Northern Territory.. Woohoo! On our way to King Ash Bay. Getting ready to do some fishing.
We arrived at King Ash Bay and spent a relaxing 2 days here.. No luck catching any big Barra though! Spotted a couple of Saltwater crocs, Milli was convinced she found some of their tails
We have really enjoyed getting to know some of the locals here, such welcoming and generous people. Ended our stay with free Pancake Sunday and the craft markets!
On the road to Daly Waters we stopped for lunch at one of the Northern Territory’s Iconic hotels, ‘the Heartbreak Hotel.’ This hotel is one of Australia’s last remaining frontiers.
We set up camp at the Daly Waters Caravan park for the night, just in time for the Happy hour horn.
Daly Waters Pub would have to be our new favourite outback Aussie pub. So much character. A must see if you are travelling past! We had to have the Beef and Barra for dinner, after a few recommendations from other travellers and it definitely didn’t disappoint! The atmosphere is great too with an entertainer on every night.
It’s such a small world.. After setting up camp next to another little family and chatting over a beer at the pub, we found out they were from Cairns and use to work with our Brother in-law and also live a street away from our family in Kewarra Beach.. Crazy!
We also spun out when we came across guys who we camped next to at Bathurst last year. As you could imagine, we had a top night with some awesome people!
This morning we woke (as well as everyone else at our campsite) to an unusual Alarm, one that got the heart racing! Our little man’s blood curdling scream! He has been sleeping in the swag by himself and got up for a morning pee behind a tree with his eyes half closed, when a grasshopper landed on his arm! Yep.. you know those Northern Territory, meat eating grasshoppers?! One of those. We of course thought the worst, a snake had bit him! I’ve never seen Mitch leap out of the tent and turn into Steve Irwin so fast, The poor couple next door in their caravan came racing out as well but Levi flew into our tent just as quick! We are all now cracking up at how funny it must of looked.. What a way to start the day haha!
A short drive to Pine Creek today
Fraser Island is one of my favourite places to visit. Although we have only been there twice, that was enough to fall in love with the place.
There are so many different things to do on the World’s biggest sand island. Fishing, camping, exploring, 4wding, the list could be endless.
Fraser Island is one of those places that as soon as your tyres hit the sand you feel like you’re in a dream. Fraser Island is one of those places that every 4wder dreams of going to, and if you dont think about going to fraser in your lifetime then you are cutting yourself short and missing a one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The first time we went to Fraser we had a tent and swags. The second time we had the camper. We arrived at Wangoolbah Creek and head across the island to Eurong.
Eurong is one of the hubs on Fraser Island. It had a great bakery, a general food store, grog is pricey but hey your on an island. Fuel is fairly cheap here so if you need to fill up do it here. There are resorts at Eurong but let’s face it, we didn’t come here to stay at a resort. We came here to see, feel, hear, taste and smell what is Fraser Island.
Once you leave Eurong and head up 70 mile beach, there are plenty of camping spots right on the beach for those that want that sea spray in the air feeling. The sunsets are ok but the sunrises are unbelievable on this side in the island. If you’re after a Fraser Island experience then this is where you need to camp.
The two times we have been to Fraser we stayed at Cathedrals. It is the only privately owned camp ground on the island. It has a general store, kiosk, grog, and are fairly pricey (again remember island) they have powered sites, unpowered sites and really nice cabins.
Cathedrals also has a dingo fence around it, so it is awesome for kids. Hot showers and toilets a plenty. This is a great serviced spot to centre your trip around as you only have an hours drive in each direction and you get to see some of Fraser’s hot spots like the Maheno shipwreck.
We had a late start from Mt Isa on Tuesday after a poor couple’s clutch went on them, in front of us at the lights heading out of town. We ended up giving them a hand to get their caravan … Continue reading →
The Famous Crocodile Dundee Pub – Walkabout Creek Hotel
Inside the pub
Could get used to this
The garbage bins at Winton
Waltzing Matilda Heritage centre 2 days before it burnt to the ground. 😦
Coming into Mt Isa
As we were leaving Mt Isa this poor buggers clutch blew up at the lights, so i towed his caravan off the road to help let the traffic get around him. 🙂
Another big day on the road!
Lunch stop at Winton, Qld.
Did you know… that Winton is the place Banjo Patterson wrote Waltzing Matilda and first performed it, in 1895?! 25 years later, Winton became the birthplace of QANTAS when it was registered as a company. And also, the Winton Shire was where the 1st official dinosaur discovery was made- a fossilised footprint, with the same site revealing a stampede with over 3,300 footprints.. Wow!
So much history in such a little town 😊 We enjoyed checking it all out. The kids loved spotting the dinosaur feet scattered throughout the town.
We also stopped in for a cold one at the Walkabout Creek Hotel, the pub that was made famous in the Crocodile Dundee movies 😊 Next stop Mount Isa!
Today we set off for 5 weeks on the road… Yep, that’s right! 5 whole weeks!! Woohoo! Heading up into Queensland, over to the Northern Territory, up to Darwin and back down, with a detour into Birdsville for the Big Red Bash!! We are so looking forward to this adventure, one we have all been excited to go on for months.
We crossed the border into Queensland just 70km from Lightning Ridge, at Hebel. Had a nice lunch stop and play at the park by the Balonne River at St George and then onto Mitchell, where we pulled up to stay for our first night. We enjoyed a great meal at the Courthouse Hotel to celebrate Mel’s Birthday! Then headed back to the Major Mitchell caravan park, where we had set up camp.
The next morning we awoke to a freezing 1 degree. It was definitely hard to leave our nice warm beds, but the excitement of moving on to our next destination got us up and going pretty quick.
We had a fairly big day on the road today… 613km to Longreach. A few of the towns we drove through were Mungallala, Morven (we picked up the most delicious and freshest bread at the grocer here), Augathella, Tambo, Blackall and Barcaldine.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we were heading out of Mungallala, we came around a corner to find a motorhome pulled over but still taking up half of our lane. With their hazard lights flashing, we pulled up next to them to see if they were ok, only to find the male driver standing there for a pee break!! All we could do was laugh… Hahaha Touro’s huh?!
We arrived in Longreach just before dusk. Spotting the Qantas boeing 747 (i don’t think you could miss it) as we drove in. We thought we would check out the ‘free camping’ not far out of town, only to find out it was Caravan, camper trailers and Motorhomes ONLY! What the?! It was packed full of just those… caravan city! So we headed back into town to the Longreach Tourist Park. Which turned out great anyway, with lots of our own space for the kids to run around in (much needed after spending the day in the car) and excellent amenities.
The McCabe Mob has arrived in Birdsville.. Woohoo! We rocked in yesterday after staying the night at Vaughn Johnson Lookout, between Boulia and Bedourie and what a view we had.. All to ourselves ☺ Now we are loving life out at Big Red.. Ready for the Big Red Bash to start.
BIG RED BASH.. Rockin the Simpson Desert!
I don’t think there are enough words to describe this weekend! It’s something you just have to experience for yourself.. Unreal! We have all had a ball, it’s so family friendly.
This was only it’s 3rd year with 3000 tickets (400 kids) being sold online and more at the gate, compared to last year’s crowd of just 700.
We had travelled close to 8000km without any car issues.. 1st night inBirdsville we woke to a flat tyre and then 200km from Birdsville to Quilpie we have had another one! Thank goodness we realised both were going down while stopped and for the awesome people’s help, travelling with us!
Can’t believe we are coming close to the end of our amazing trip 😞.. Day 33.
650km today to Quilpie (300km on dirt) so a fairly big day on the road but we’ve had some great people to travel with in our convoy, so it hasn’t been too bad!
I broke the news to the kids that we only had a couple of days until we are back home, Milli’s response was the best! “Are we going to our REAL home mum?!!” 😂
We have had a ‘few’ homes in the past 5 weeks 😜 I just love that our kids love travelling and camping as much as we do 😁
How good is it when you finally get to start a real count down to something! Less than two weeks to go and we are heading on a 5 week camping trip from NSW, up into QLD, across to NT and back via the Big Red Bash at Birdsville.
We just did a quick weekend away to Inverell for a tester to see what we have and don’t have, or better yet what we don’t need. The Patrol was pretty loaded on the roof with the 30sec Tent, swag, 20lt jerry, 25lt water, chairs and the top box. In the rear we have the 50lt Waeco, two hard tubs – one for staple foods and the other for cooking stuff, A camp oven and the ‘The Wedge’ bbq is there along with the 12 volt oven. All the clothes and sleeping bags for a family of 5 had not been put in yet but should fit ok.
Last year we heard about there being snow at Orange, NSW. So we decided to travel down and see if we were lucky enough to be there when it snowed. We found a nice 2 bedroom unit next to a pub that did meals and was fairly central. We wanted to go to Mount Canobolas and also head out to Ophir, where one of the first gold rushes were, so we could have a crack at panning.
On the first day we headed out to Mt Canobolas and parked near the top. It was quite nice at the car park, but the road to the top was closed due to ice on it. We rugged up and started to walk up. As we were walking we started to see ice/snow on the edges of the road which got us excited. A bit further on and we had snot running out of our noses it was that cold haha. There was icy snow everywhere and the kids loved playing in it. We had a rough attempt at making a snow man. This was the coldest place we had ever been to. It was very windy up top and it felt like there was clouds blowing past us. When the cold got too much, we started to descend and on our way back down the hill it actually started to snow! Very light snow but it was nice to close your eyes and feel it lightly land on your face.
The walk to the top of Mt Canobalas
Making sure the kids are warm
Beautiful green moss
Yay icy snow
The next day we headed out to Ophir, which is only a short drive out of Orange. It was a beautiful spot, nice and green with plenty of shady spots to stop and have lunch. There were heaps of little of tracks where you can go off and explore. Keep an eye out for people’s active mines, there should be signs that say ‘keep out active mining’ so you shouldn’t have any issues.
We had a crack at panning and found lots of iron stone and a few specks of gold but nothing to write home about. The kids just like playing in the dirt and exploring, throwing rocks into the water and all of us just being together.
So yesterday our little boy fell off a monkey bar type thing and I heard that sound when he landed that was different to all the other falls. The cry he let out told us straight away that this was different!
We are camping at Tamworth while the patrol was at ARB getting a lot of work done, so the last few days we had been walking everywhere.
We decided to have a counter lunch as it was midday and we were standing out the front when Levi and Milli started to play on these bars, I was on the phone to ARB at the time trying to organise a loaner as ARB needed the patrol for the rest of the day and the start of Thursday. That’s when it happened. I heard that ‘sickening thud’ and picked him up, he was holding his arm and I knew it had to be broken. He calmed down after a little while and had been bugging us to eat before he fell. We asked him whether he wanted lunch before going to Hospital and he agreed to lunch as he was starving. The poor little bugger struggled to eat, so I scoffed mine down and went to get the loaner.
We arrived at the ED at 1300 and were given a bed straightaway. Pain relief came but took a while to get it under control. Had some x-rays fairly quick as well. At 1930 the orthopaedic surgeon finally came and he was admitted at 2030.
So I did the mad rush back to camp and got some things and tag teamed Mel with Charli and Milli.
The surgeon told us Levi should be first cab of the rank in the morning. After a very sleepless night in the ward we were up and ready at 0700, the surgeon came in at 0800 and said that Levi is being pushed back due to two emergency c-sections, an appendicitis and another fracture similar to his.
At 1730 this afternoon the nurses came to wheel him into theatres. 27 hours after we arrived at hospital. Sometimes I don’t get why it takes so, it is probably just me being a worried parent, we could have driven to Sydney! And the thought did cross my mind.
Anyway I realise they get busy but this is a big city and we were at a major trauma hospital!
Anyway rant over and he was being seen to!
Update – Levi has come out and has a huge cast on. Doing well but was struggling with the weight of the cast on his arm. After two days though you wouldn’t even know he had hurt himself. Already overcoming most activities of daily living with one arm. He is a pretty tough 6 yr old I reckon.
How good is the Nindigully pub?! The Nindigully pub is Queensland’s oldest hotel, located 500kms west of Brisbane on the banks of the Moonie River. The best thing about this place is the fact you can camp for FREE! Mel and I have camped here numerous times as it’s one of the closest locations to Lightning Ridge that offers toilets, showers ,firepits, a pub and fishing.
There are plenty of shaded trees to camp near, they also have placed table and chairs along the river bank with fire pits and a concrete walkway that leads to the pub.
Fishing has been a bit rough the times we have been there. We have only ever caught carp, a pest that has to be destroyed and not put back in the river but is easy to catch. The kids love it, this is where they first started to learn how to cast a fishing rod.
During the hotter months it is quieter but the beer tastes alot better. The cooler months see a heap of grey nomads and people like us.
The toilet and shower facilities are ok. There is a toilet block at the top of the camp area, but you’ll need to make sure you take some extra toilet paper just in case. The showers are behind the pub and are basic, but allow you to freshen up. Just a tip, it is better to go in the morning and definitely before the afternoon rush, that way you don’t have to walk past all the patrons having a coldie.
The outdoor area at the pub is awesome and has a large grassed area with a half a dozen sheltered areas. There is a small play area with swings and a cubby for the kids. Inside the pub is just what you’d expect from an iconic outback pub. There are old hats and memorabilia hanging around and the staff are mainly backpackers.
The meals are ok and priced accordingly. They have some of the biggest burgers in Australia, One named “The Roadtrain” gives you a bit of an idea. I mean, the bun is around two inches thick it would definitely feed a family of 5 easy. The buns are supplied by the one and only ‘St George Bakery’ (A great pit stop to feed your face, my fav is the assortment of pies).