Day 68 - Saturday 13th June 2009
Mt Isa to Cloncurry - 124kms (Big day).

The mornings are still cold, but it should get to the mid/high 20s.

We packed up camp and left by 9:45am as it was a short drive, 124kms to Cloncurry. We stopped at Fountain Springs RA about 60 kms from Cloncurry. We arrived at Cloncurry Caravan Park Oasis at 11:30am. About 1:30pm, we went to the Cloncurry show, it is nearly 20 years since we have been to a show, which was the Royal Melbourne show, but we have NEVER been to a country show and it was great. The Toyota HiLux precision Driving Team was excellent. The cows, horses, chooks and birds were there but just in smaller numbers.

Our current itinerary:
    1. Cloncurry - 2 nights
    2. Normanton - 5 nights
    3. Croydon - Overnighter
    4. Mount Surprise - 3 nights
    5. Innot Hot Springs - overnighter
    6. Wonga Beach, 40kms north of Port Douglas - 3 nights
    7. Cardwell - overnighter
    8. Townsville - 7 nights
    9. Charters Towers - overnighter
    10. Hughenden - overnighter
    11. Richmond, Kronosaurus Park - overnighter
    12. Winton - overnighter
    13. Barcaldine - overnighter

Tomorrow, we are going fossicking at Fullerton River about 60kms sealed and then 20kms gravel roads from Cloncurry.

Halfway between Mt Isa and Cloncurry.

Halfway between Mt Isa and Cloncurry.

A wide load.

Nice camels.

Food stalls.

Funny emu.

Fancy dress.

Toyota HiLux Precision Driving Team.

Toyota HiLux Precision Driving Team.

Day 69 - Sunday 14th June 2009
Fossicking around Cloncurry.

The mornings are still cool, but getting warmer.

Up at 7am, strange how Marg gets up early, when she wants to do something. hehehhehehe

We left camp about 8am for our first port of call, Fullarton River, 62kms towards McKinlay and then turn right for a 20kms gravel road to the garnet area. I had a ball driving around the gravel road, we arrived to be greeted by two caravans all setup for a couple of days. As you know, we did a garnet tour at Gemtree, now we are at an area which has garnets, but where are they? We didn't have a clue where to look, so now I know why people stay for numerous days, you need that time to experiment. We started collecting gravel from the road and Marg found heaps of tiny garnets, real small, but Marg was happy. We stayed about 2.5 hours before we went back to camp for lunch..
About 2pm, we headed off on the Normanton road to search for Amethyst at 7kms north of Quamby. We walked around and couldn't find any, but Marg was happy with the Quartz we found.

Lesson learnt from today's fossicking is that we need to go on Tag along tours, because we don't know what we are looking. Inexperienced.

Tomorrow, we are meeting up with Keith and Lucy and together driving 380kms to Normanton.

Gold,gold!!! Well, garnets anyway...

Marg the fossicker.

The garnets are over there. Somewhere......

Day 70 - Monday 15th June 2009
Cloncurry to Normanton - 374kms.

The mornings are getting warmer.

Alarm was set for 6:30am, as we planned to meet Keith and Lucy at the Service Station between our caravan parks about 8am.
I was first to the service station, filled up with diesel and air, Keith and Lucy arrived a bit after 8am, good effort as they don't wear a watch. We left Cloncurry with me leading and set cruise to Keith's speed of 85kph, if I was driving by myself, I would have set cruise to 100-110kph. It was a relaxing drive, we stopped at various Rest Areas and arrived in Normanton about 2pm. Keith and Lucy stayed at the Normanton Tourist Park with us, the park is nearly deserted compared to last year when we were here. By about 4pm, there were at least 11 people sitting around our camp talking and drinking. I was setting up my Satellite Dish with help from Roger my neighbour.
After dark, Keith, Lucy, Marg and I walked up to the Purple Pub for a beer and a look at the pub.

Tomorrow, the four of us are going on the Gulflander to Critters Camp and return.

Keith, Lucy, Marg and me at Terry Smith's Lookout.

Nice bull.

Lunch - 70kms south of Normanton.

Day 71 - Tuesday 16th June 2009
Riding the Gulflander in Normanton.

The morning is warmer now. Today's temperature peaked at 27.7c, a beautiful day.

Alarm was set for 7am, as we four, are going to catch the Gulflander for a 2 hour train ride out to Critters Camp and back. There were about 20 grey nomads on the train, the driver Ken was very knowledgeable. For $42 each, it was great value, we stopped at a bridge for a great photo opportunity. Got back to Normanton Station about 11:30am. Just chilled with Keith and Lucy during the afternoon, our latest neighbour also has a Trailblazer 5th Wheeler, but without the slideouts. We haven't meet yet, probably tomorrow.

Marg made cheese and onion damper for dinner in our new Turbo Oven, it was very filling and yumma.

Tomorrow, Keith and Lucy leave for Karumba, we are thinking of doing a Norman River tour.

Gulflander at Normanton Station.

Keith, Lucy and Marg in background.

Tracks are a little wavy.

Fire, fire All off. Nah, just a photo shoot.

Nice photo.

Turn around points.

Day 72 - Wednesday 17th June 2009
Chilling in Normanton.

Last night was mild, the minimum temperature dropped to 15.2, so it was a pleasant night. Today it is expected to reach 30c.

Keith and Lucy packed up and left for Karumba. I unpacked my bike and rode all around Normanton, up and down nearly every street. I tried to book for the river cruise up the Norman river, but the guy who runs it has gone back to Cairns for the week, so we miss out. We may check out the river cruises from Karumba.

Tomorrow, driving to Karumba.

Purple Pub - having a quiet beer.

The Purple Pub at night.

The Purple Pub in daylight.

Day 73 - Thursday 18th June 2009
Day trip to Karumba.

Last night was mild, with today's temp expected to reach 30c.

Marg and I are driving the 70kms to Karumba to check it out and buys some prawns for dinner at $12 per kg. The drive was easy and when we arrived at Karumba, we drove directly to the Barramundi Discovery Centre for the 11am tour. We arrived a few minutes earlier, so when bought a couple of souvenirs. The tour was very informative. After the tour we found Keith and Lucy and had lunch at their camp. We visited Karumba Point on the way back to Normanton.
Dinner tonight was 1kg of prawns. Yumma. See photo.

Tomorrow, nothing planned yet.

Karumba - Barramundi Discovery Centre.

Feeding Barra.

Me trying to feed a Barra.

Nice Barra.

Nice eye.

Grunter and Barra models.

Karumba wharf.

Looking towards the mouth of the Norman river.

My dinner - one mean prawn cocktail.

Day 74 - Friday 19th June 2009
chilling in Normanton.

Last night was mild 12.7c at 7am and 30.9c at 4pm.

Today's big news is that Cyril's photograph made it to the front page of our website. he will never replace Lazza but he is a snappy little fella.

We didn't have anything planned today as such, we had to do some shopping and fill up with diesel.
Mid morning, Marg kicked me out of the van, so she could clean the inside of the van, so I went riding. I rode along the billabongs and along the Norman river, before I realised that Cyril's big brothers live there and I didn't really want to meet his family, just yet. After about an hour I arrived back at camp.
We drove up and did our shopping and got diesel for tomorrow's drive. Returning to camp, we drove past Gobble and Go cafe, which among other food, sells fish and chips. I know what we are having for dinner. As the temperature rose today, we went for our first and last swim at the Caravan Park. It was chilly but they had a spa sourced from a hot Artesian bore, that was beautiful, just like hot bath, there was no way that we would be going back to the cool pool. About 5pm we drove back to the Gobble n Go for fish and chips, they only sold Barra, which was magnificent. Back at camp, a few beers with Barra and then I started packing up a few things.

Tomorrow, Normanton to Croydon - 155kms.

*2009 - Index page*

**NEXT - Heading to Croydon**