We left Lightning Ridge and head towards Louth and stayed at a free camp on the western side of the river. Bloody Cold this time of year. We then headed to a little farm stay called Nelia Gaari which was beautiful and will stay at again.
We set up camp out at the Broken Hill Racecourse and would recommend it to anyone looking for affordable unpowered/powered campsites with amenities. We even had lush green grass 😜 spoilt!
The first day in Broken Hill we checked out the sights of the town. The miners monument on top of the big mollock heap was a good reminder of how tough it must have been mining back in day! The list contains the name, age, and cause of death. Hundreds of people have died working in the mines over the years, which brought about unions in Australia, to try and improve working conditions. Did you know that the mining company BHP was started at Broken Hill, and stands for Broken Hill Proprietary?!
In the afternoon, we couldn’t go past having a look at the ‘big picture’ at the Silver City Mint and having a soda spider at Bells Milk bar.
Silverton was a great day out. Stopping into the Daydream Mine for a tour with Boss, which we all found really interesting, and then treated with fresh scones straight out of the wood fire oven, yum!
We drove out to the Mundi Mundi Plains and had a picnic lunch at the Reservoir, which use to supply water to Broken Hill and Silverton.
Next stop was the Mad Max 2 museum which was definitely a highlight and then a cold one at the Silverton Hotel- where Mel successfully completed the ‘Silverton challenge’.
Finishing off our big day at the Living Desert and Sculptures, right on sunset.. Amazing!! #Drifta #snowpeak #camping #4wding #silvertonhotel
LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
This place has so much to do for everyone, we struggled to choose what we wanted to check out this time.. Everything looked and sounded amazing!
We decided to start at Bamboo creek, where there was an abandoned Tin Mine which was still active until the 1950’s. The ground just sparkled in the sunlight with tin speckled through most of the rocks.
We then went with the Cascades.. ‘A 4km energetic walk, only for the adventurous’! 😀 A walk that is definitely worth it.. We had our own little Oasis at the Curtain Falls. Our little adventurers got so many compliments with how well they did, making it all the way to the top. It’s classed as a moderate-difficult walk so they did awesome.
We squeezed in a swim at the beautiful Wangi Falls, which is a pretty crowded tourist spot as it isn’t a very big walk from the carpark to the Falls and most tour groups stop in there.
Yesterday we took the ‘4wd only’ track to the Suprise Creek Falls to escape the tour groups. It’s a 27km rocky/sandy track with a few little creek crossings and one longer river crossing. This was probably our favourite spot in Litchfield.. Waterfalls flowing into 2 big Rockpools that were so deep, noone could touch the bottom (even the guys jumping from the higher rocks). There was an eerie feeling at one stage, with not knowing exactly what was living down below us (especially when your husband jokes about seeing something beneath you) but that feeling went pretty quickly! (Don’t worry, I returned the ‘joke’ with a swim under water and grab to his foot 😂) The kids had a ball jumping off the rocks into the pools.. Big kids too 😉
The termite mounds along this track were unbelievably big.. Some getting to at least 5 metres high! There was also the ‘magnetic termite mounds’ along the way that we found really interesting. They are all built about 2 meters high but fairy thin and all aligned north-south to minimise the exposure to the sun. It looked like a graveyard with the mounds resembling headstones.
We also stopped into the Blyth Homestead along this track, which was built in 1928 and the home to the Sargent family with their 14 kids. An interesting stop showing the tough conditions faced by the pioneers in remote areas.
We finished the day off with 139 stairs to the Florence Falls.. A pretty spectacular double waterfall. This one is another popular spot but perfect if you go late in the afternoon like us and miss the crowds!
Today we are heading for Katherine Gorge with a lunch stop at Edith Falls. We are loving all this swimming, before heading back south to the freezing cold ☺
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.