8th Jul 2008
Mount Isa to Kynuna.

Woke up to a windy, cold day in Mount Isa.
We left Argylla CP about 9:15am and headed to Cloncurry about 120kms away.
On our way, we came across a wide load, it was a bulldozer, 5.2 m wide, rather large, we finally past it with no dramas.
I visited the NAB at Cloncurry to find out what is happening with my Visacard (remember the saga, well it's ongoing). No one knows where my Visacard is so I asked the staff to issue a replacement card and send it to Southport branch, who knows what is going to happen next, Stay tuned.

While I topped up with diesel, Jamie Whincup's V8 Supercar transporter passed us, I nearly died. The V8 Supercars were on their way home after racing in Darwin last week. As I was leaving Cloncurry, I noticed that both 888 Racing (Lowndes and Whincup) transporters were filling up, so I stopped and took pictures. Away I go and as we stopped at a Rest area, they drove past us (more photos).
We arrived at McKinlay, it is a 'hole' and that is being polite, so we drove onto the Rest Area that we decided to stay the night, but on arrival it was a wind blown place. We decided to drive further to Kynuna as it had 2 caravan parks, so we thought that it must be large. Wrong population 14, but the Kynuna Roadhouse CP had shade and no dust. So we camped there. About 5 V8 Supercar transporters have passed us so far.

We had a 'first' at Kynuna, we could not get Internet reception even with the aerial. Damn. We do not have Next G phone reception either. I have setup the Sat TV dish, so that I can tape the Tour de France highlights at 6pm on SBS.
Dinner was spagetti on toast. Yumma.

Tomorrow we head for Longreach approx 340kms.

888 Racing and us at Cloncurry.

888 Racing and us at Cloncurry.

888 Racing on the road - passing us in a rest area.

Marg's scenery shot.

Marg hurrying to the Pub.

At the Blue Heeler Pub at Kynuna.

9th Jul 2008
Kynuna to Longreach.

Woke up to a calm, clear and cold morning in Kynuna.
We had a big US 5th Wheeler parked beside us last night, so I took photos and you can see the size difference.
On the road the scenery had changed, there were hardly any trees or shrubs only grass plains. As we drove further the landscape changed to marvellous rock formations and desert.

We stopped at Winton and visited the Waltzing Matilda Centre, quite impressive. Out the front was a statue of Andrew Barton Paterson aka Banjo. Did he actually play a banjo?
At one of the rest areas there is a plaque which commemorates the widening of 138kms of the Longreach - Winton road. Great efforts guys, I appreciated it.

You know when you have arrived in Longreach, as there is a 'bloody great big' 747 plane which towers over the landscape.
We had to empty the 'shitter', so we followed the Dump Point signs to the showgrounds. This dump point was inside the showgrounds and easy to use.
We did not book a Caravan park, so we drove to both CPs (Longreach CP and Gunnadoo CP) and checked them out, there was no comparison, Gunnadoo CP, which is Beston, won hands down. They didn't have a powered site that we could fit on, so we lashed out on a luxurious ensuite powered site, it was great.
During the afternoon, we checked out the QANTAS museum, I booked my tour for tomorrow. Internet had 5 bars without the external aerial and the ordinary Mobile phone and Next G mobile had reception. I am still taping the Tour de France highlights at 6pm on SBS, didn't need the Sat TV, as the normal TV reception was clear enough.
Tomorrow I am doing the QANTAS tour including the wing walk. As the late Big Kev said - I'm excited.

Early morning ay Kynuna Roadhouse CP.

Rest Area

Pretty flat.

Marg loves her rock formations.

Best photo of our rig.

Banjo Paterson at Waltzing Matilda centre at Winton.

10th Jul 2008
QANTAS tour at Longreach.

Woke up (that is a good start) to another calm, clear and cold morning.
I had to be at the QANTAS museum by 9:15am in preparation for my 9:30 tour and Wing Walk. There was a waiver document that I had to sign, just in case, I fell off the wing. I am writing this, so I must have managed to stay on the wing.
There were approx 20 people on my tour led by Helen our knowledgeable guide. Helen started by telling us that the 747 was a gift to the city of Longreach from QANTAS. The plane's used by date was nearly up and being retired.

Getting the Jumbo here was a real big problem, the runaway is half as long and half as wide as a 747 normally needs to land. The plane had to be lightened as much as possible, by taking out most of unnecessary weight, such as carrying the minimum amount of fuel, cargo etc. It left Sydney wih enough fuel for 2 attempts to land and return to Sydney. As it is bolted to the ground at Longreach, it did land OK.
Helen explained and showed us all the undercarriage and its purpose. eg. the tyres are 32 ply and are filled with a gas (I forgot what gas), so that the temperature does not change. Up the stairs and inside the plane accompanied with a few videos with one of the real pilots narrating bits and pieces of the plane. His baby.
At the completion of this tour, 3 of us had paid for the wing walk and I thought that this involved as it says, walking on the wing only. Boy, how wrong was I. We started by sitting in the pilot seat and Helen explained all the controls and there were dials and knobs everywhere. Down a small ladder to the computer area, this is where my 6ft 4 frame is at a distinct disadvantage, I just fitted down the hole and lost count how many times that I hit my head on wires, ribs and the roof. After that, we crawled through a small opening that took us into the cargo bay. Out onto the wing, but first, we had to get into the safety harness and that clipped onto the stainless steel wire that is attached to the wing and side of the plane. To finish the tour we had a look in the hatch under the tail section.

Being a model car collector, I naturally couldn't leave the QANTAS museum without buying a model of the 747, so I did. Just to help the local economy.

To further the help local economy, Marg and I went to the local RSL and had dinner and donated some more money to the pokies. I am still taping the Tour de France highlights at 6pm on SBS, didn't need the Sat TV, as the normal TV reception was clear enough.
Tomorrow we leave for Charleville with an overnight stay at Tambo Lakes about 314kms.

Big Plane, little silver truck. can you see it?

Big Plane, little silver truck.

Me the Pilot. (reminds me of Naked Gun movie.)

I still don't know what knob to turn.

Handsome brute!!!

A wing walker from way back.

11th Jul 2008
Longreach to Tambo.

Another calm, clear and cold morning.
We are heading for Tambo approx 314kms away via Barcaldine and Blackall. I think that it was about 15kms from Blackall, we have been listening to the truckies' channel 40 and were aware that a very big load is approaching us, the wide load turns out to be a tray of a 250 tonne Dump truck, it is 9m wide, which takes up the whole road, both lanes. So we are driving along, minding of our business when we approach a bend and there are 300+ cattle, walking along the whole road and both sides, completely blocking us. Normally this isn't a big problem, but we just happen to run into the wide load coming towards us, as well. Time for a change of underwear.
This is the scene, we are on an elevated road so, I can't pull off the road, the cattle are walking along the road towards us with 4 jackaroos and jillaroos and at least 4 cattle dogs. In the middle of the cattle is a police car with flashing lights and about 50m in front of us, is the BLOODY BIG wide load. What to do? A very good question, I am talking to the wide load driver and told him that I can't get off the road and his pilot car confirms my situation. So as the cattle move past us, the BIG BLOODY HUGE wide over pulls over to his left as far as possible and I do the same and we crawl past each other, missing each other by inches. Our little baby 5th Wheeler nearly got scratched. While we were in the middle of the cattle, the drovers decided to move them over to our right side. We had a couple of caravans in front of the wide load, coming towards us and the cattle were crossing in fornt of us. As the gap is getting smaller, I thought that the cattle may hit our car. They didn't.
We stopped in Blackall and had a well deserved break and some lunch. The rest of the drive to Tambo was uneventful.

We planned to drive to Tambo and stay at Tambo Lake, an overnight Rest Area. We arrived in Tambo, drove to the Lake, only to find NO CAMPING signs, so we booked in at Tambo Mill CP, very nice.
In Tambo, Internet 5 bars without the external aerial and Next G mobile reception, but no ordinary mobile reception.
We leave tomorrow for Charleville staying at Bailey Bar CP. I am still taping the Tour de France highlights at 6pm on SBS, didn't need the Sat TV, as the normal TV reception was clear enough.
Tomorrow we leave for Charleville with an overnight stay at Tambo Lakes about 314kms.

Cattle everywhere.

Cattle everywhere.

More Cattle. Lucky they didn't dent the car.

Us at Blackall.

Us at Tambo Mill CP.

Our truck. No dents from the cattle.

12th Jul 2008
Tambo to Charleville.

Another cool morning with a building breeze.
We are heading for Charleville approx 200kms away via Augathella.
An uneventful drive, we did notice a sign Arts and Crafts shop in Augathella, so we stopped there. Couldn't find the shop , but took a picture of a mural. Arrived at Bailey Bar CP and setup camp. Drove to the local IGA and shopped and called into the pub and got a slab of VBs.
I spent an hour trying to point the DISH in the right direction, but failed. I think that the trees were the problem. At 6pm we were at the Charleville Cosmos Centre and looking through telescopes at planets. A great night.
I still taped the Tour de France highlights at 6pm on SBS, but the reception was a bit grainy.
Tomorrow is a rest day and we have booked a camp oven dinner at the CP.

A Boab or Bottle tree. Some people say they are one and the same.

A Boab or Bottle tree. Some people say they are one and the same.

Down town Augathella.

13th Jul 2008
Chilling in Charleville.

Another cool morning with a building breeze.
We are relaxing at Bailey's Bar CP.
I am working on the website and Marg is outside reading.
We have booked a Camp Oven meal for dinner tonight, I can't wait.
I still taped the Tour de France highlights at 6pm on SBS, in actual fact, Iforgot to set the laptop program, so I didn't tape the show. a big damn.
Our Camp Oven meal was absolutely beautiful and the didgeridoo player was good.
Tomorrow, we head off towards Broadwater TP, Southport, free camping for 2 nights at rest Area, that's the plan.

Bailey Bar CP, Charleville.

Our camp at Bailey Bar.

How relaxed is she?

My weaknesses.

Our Camp Oven dinner.

Our Camp Oven dinner.

14th Jul 2008
Charleville to Roma.

For a change, it was a mild night.
I was showered by 6:30am, ready to pack up camp, but as Marg doesn't get up before 7:45, when I wake her, I had plenty of time on my hands, so I went on the Internet.
We left camp about 9:15am for Morven, 90kms down the road. Morven had a museum with miniature villages, housed in a large room, there will be photos to follow.
Next stop was lunch at Mitchell, 180kms from Charleville, so the bakery was a few pies lighter, than when we arrived. We were checking out the rest areas as we past them, but as it was starting to drizzle, we decided that a Caravan Park, would be better in the wet, so we have setup camp at Roma Aussie Tourist Park.

The SBS reception is crap and as it is now wet outside, I can't be stuffed setting up the Sat Dish, so I will not be taping tonight's Tour of France highlights and as I forgot to tape last night's highlights, I am now stuffed, so after a management decsion, I have decided to stop recording the TDF highlights on SBS.
Go Cadel. He fell last night but is still 2nd only 6 seconds behind the leader, some no name guy.

Dinner tonight is our usual overnighter, easy meal, Spagetti on toast.
Tomorrow we plan to go as far as Toowoomba and then on Wednesday that will leave us an easy 170kms to Broadwater Tourist park. I hope.

Morven - Rest Area.

Miniature Village at Morven.

Miniature Village at Morven.

Roma Aussie Tourist Park.

Us at Aussie TP.

Us at Aussie TP.

15th Jul 2008
Roma to Toowoomba.

Another mild night.
I was showered by 6:30am, ready to pack up camp, but as Marg doesn't get up before 7:45, when I wake her, I had plenty of time on my hands, so I went on the Internet.
We left camp about 9:15am for Morven, 90kms down the road. Morven had a museum with miniature villages, housed in a large room, there will be photos to follow.
Next stop was lunch at Mitchell, 180kms from Charleville, so the bakery was a few pies lighter, than when we arrived. We were checking out the rest areas as we past them, but as it was starting to drizzle, we decided that a Caravan Park, would be better in the wet, so we have setup camp at Roma Aussie Tourist Park.

The SBS reception is crap and as it is now wet outside, I can't be stuffed setting up the Sat Dish, so I will not be taping tonight's Tour of France highlights and as I forgot to tape last night's highlights, I am now stuffed, so after a management decsion, I have decided to stop recording the TDF highlights on SBS.
Go Cadel. He fell last night but is still 2nd only 6 seconds behind the leader, some no name guy.

Dinner tonight is our usual overnighter, easy meal, Spagetti on toast.
Tomorrow we plan to go as far as Toowoomba and then on Wednesday that will leave us an easy 170kms to Broadwater Tourist park. I hope.

Resting in Chincilla.

Resting in Chincilla.

Us at Toowoomba Motor Village.

16th Jul 2008
Toowoomba to Southport, Broadwater Tourist Park.

A mild wet night.
I was up about 7am, but we decided not to leave until after 9am, as we didn't want to get to Southport too early. We eventually left Toowoomba about 9:40am, and our first challenge was the big decline just on the outskirts of Toowoomba. Put the mighty Navara in 2nd gear and we slowly proceeded down the hill, only passing the trucks and all the cars passing us, but we made it without any drama. Just a couple of kilometers from the hill is a Big Dad's pie shop, so we stopped for 2 Big Dad's Special pies.
The road was greasy with drizzle falling, and plenty of trucks passing me. The first drama was navigating the road works at the Logan Motorway and Warrego Hwy, this was interesting, but no dramas.

Arrived at Broadwater Tourist Park, the park is full, we are camped in a powered tent site, it is near the road and dump point, but we will put up with it. There is free WiFi Internet (2 hours or 55Mb daily), we used it, but it is so slow. I will try again tomorrow.
The rest of the day was spent setting up camp for our 3 week stay. We even had Maccas for dinner, the first time in weeks.
The weather today has varied from rain to overcast, but the forecast is for 22 - 24 clear, blue skies. So bring it on.

Our camp at Broadwater TP.

Our camp at Broadwater TP.

Broadwater TP.

*2008 - Index page*

**NEXT - Relaxing at Broadwater Tourist Park**