Day 88 - Wednesday 11th June 2014.

Townsville to Clermont, Qld - 509 kms.

We slept well and got up about 6:00am, showered and left camp at 6:52am and headed over the road to Maccas for brekky. I had 2 sausage and egg Mc Muffins with an orange juice, Marg had hot cakes and lemonade.
We left Maccas at 7:11am and headed to Reid Creek RA (8:00am), stopped at BP Charter Towers just before Gregory Dev Rd (8:59am). Turned left onto the Gregory Development Rd and stopped at Cape River RA (10:21am) then stopped at Belyando Crossing (11:23am) for a top up, it was $2.059 a litre, equalling our previous highest diesel at Renner Springs, NT on 10th July 2011. Our last rest stop was at 12:36pm and arrived at Clermont CP (Site 18A) at 1:48pm. There was a motorcyclist who we passed twice, we both had stopped at cape River RA, but he was talking to another caravanner, so I didn't talk to him. 'My' truckie that we passed twice, we came up behind him where there were some small hills that slowed him to 43kph. As we approached him, I radioed him to ask him if he was Ok, as he was going slow, he told me that he was Ok and that he was full of road base, so we chatted for a few minutes until he told me that it was clear to pass, which we did. We stopped at Belyando Crossing and he passed us, we passed him again at the Rest Area

We had a drive thru, so I only connected power and water. I was buggered after the drive, so I managed a 2 hour nanna nap during the arvo.

Dinner was Quiche Lorraine. It was Yumma.

Tomorrow, we are driving from Clermont to Sapphire.

Our route from Townsville to Clermont - 509kms - Our biggest day.

Our rig at Cape River Rest Area.

Hangin' with the real big boys.

This guy passed us twice on the Gregory Dev Rd.

I spotted you, Marg.

A cattle truck at Belyando Crossing.

Gregory Development Rd.

I passed this truckie twice, using our UHF radio made it easy.

Day 89 - Thursday 12th June 2014.

Clermont to Sapphire, Qld - 162 kms.

It is getting cooler, I had to pull on a blanket in the morning. We slept well and got up about 7:00am, showered had brekky and talked to our neighbours and finally left camp at 8:56am and headed to Capella (9:39am) then drove non stop to Sapphire turning right at Emerald. We arrived at Blue Gems CP at 11:00am and setup camp on site 49, as we are here for a week, I set up the awning (no sides at present), Marg's room, power and water.

After lunch, we drove past Armfest (it opens between 8am to Midday daily), then called into to see Glen at Willys Wash, told him we will be seeing him soon, then re-acquainted our friendship with Gunter at Muggachinnos. Back at camp, I sent an email to a friend who lives in Rubyvale to see if she wants to catch up for a chat and coffee, she did and we meet at 11am tomorrow.

I was having dinner and reading my emails, when I nearly choked, Shorty had sent me an email telling me about their current travels and SHOCK, HORROR, if he isn't parked 200 meters away in the free camp, so I rang him and after dinner I went over and chatted for half an hour. It was great to catch up.

Dinner was pies. They were Yumma.

Tomorrow, we are relaxing in Sapphire.

Our route from Clermont to Sapphire - 162kms.

Our rest stop at Capella.

Our rest stop at Capella.

Nice tree, I think it's a 'Bottle' or 'Boab' tree.

Day 90 - Friday 13th June 2014.

Relaxing in Sapphire - Day 1.

It is getting cooler, we went to bed with a blanket on, I had to pull my 2nd blanket in the morning. We slept well and laid in bed and watched Sunrise, finally getting up about 8am. Today we were going to meet a friend for coffee at 11:00am, but she texted us that she couldn't make it. We made a quick change of plans and went to Rubyvale. As we drove into Rubyvale, we drove past our friends in their Trailblazer 5th wheeler, they were not in their rig, I had a quick look for them, but they were hiding from us, they must of had enough of me last night.
Shorty, if we found you, we were going to have coffee with you at Muggachinnos.

Anyway we didn't find Shorty, so we called into Willys Wash and bought only ONE bucket of wash as we didn't have time for anymore today, but fear not, we will be back to buying 3 buckets soon. It was a good day, we found some small sapphires that could be cut and also some larger corundum that Marg can 'skin polish' so it was a good day. Ohh yeah, I almost forgot, Willy and Marg 'ganged up' against me and Marg left there with our sapphires (no prob) and a sapphire bracelet (I will take a photo later).

After Willys, we drove over to Gunter's Muggachinnos for a coffee and strudel, Marg had an apple strudel, while I had a cherry strudel and a cappuccino. They were yumma.
Back at camp, we set up the rest of the awning walls and side, as our forecast is rain tonight and heavy rain about 20mm for tomorrow. The rest of the arvo was spent sitting outside under the awning with the side rolled up, watching the world go bye. We actually had excitement PLUS, as Les pulled up and setup his van on site 20, ONE Hour later another couple pulled up and were given site 20, after 30 minutes, Les packed up and moved to site 18. The management made a mistake. This gave Marg and I an entertaining arvo.

Dinner was schnitzel with vegies. They were Yumma.

Tomorrow, Marg is doing a skin polishing course at the Gemfields Lapidary Club.

Marg looking for sapphires at Willys Wash.

Gunter the owner of Muggachinnos in action.

Our strudels and my coffee.

Day 91 - Saturday 14th June 2014.

Marg's skin polishing session - Sapphire - Day 2.

It drizzled off and on all last night and during today.
We went to bed with a blanket on, I had to pull my 2nd blanket in the morning. We slept well and laid in bed and watched Weekend Sunrise, finally getting up about 8am. Marg had to be over the road at the Gemfields Lapidary Club by 9am for her 'skin polishing' session. As it was drizzly rain, the ground was damp mud, SO I drove her the 300 meters to the club and left her there until she contacted me. I went back to camp and watched some of my TV series, I managed to watch 3.5 episodes before Marg rang to be picked up just on midday.
Marg loved the course and can't wait until Wednesday when she will do 2 more sessions. There were 4 doing the course (3 gals and a guy), the club supplied all the equipment and it cost $10 for the session. Great value. One of the gals also had a large piece (about 1kg) of Marlborough Chrysoprase rough that she bought from Trinkets to Treasures on the Rubyvale Rd.
Guess what, within 2 minutes of picking Marg up, we were parking out the front of Trinkets to Treasures, I didn't expect to find large pieces of Marlborough Chrysoprase rough in Sapphire, but luck was on our side. The lady owner said that her father found it many years ago, naturally in Marlborough and it has been laying around in the shed and recently she had been putting some pieces in her shop. She had 5 pieces to choose from, so we bought a 759gm piece for $22 and 1,190gm piece for $24. We thought that it was very cheap and we were very happy with our purchase. When we stayed at the Marlborough Motel and Van Park, Ross was selling small pieces about the size of the 20 cent coin for $5 a piece, Marg thought that was too dear and we didn't buy any. Thank God we didn't.

After our chrysoprase purchases, we continued onto Rubyvale to see 'our best mate' Gunter at Muggachinnos for coffee and strudel (2 coffees and 2 strudel for $23).
It drizzled for the remainder of the arvo, so we both had a nanna nap.

Dinner was take away from the CP Office, I had a Works Burger, Marg had a Hot roast beef with gravy roll and we shared some chips. It was bloody YUMMA.

Tomorrow morning there is the Sunday market across the road at the footy oval, hopefully it will be dry and for something different we will visit Gunter.

Day 92 - Sunday 15th June 2014.

Sunday Market - Sapphire - Day 3.

We awoke to a beautiful, cold, cloudless, blue skies, the rains have left us.
It was a 2 blanket night from the start and I have decided to drag out my sleepingbag for tonight. We slept well and laid in bed and watched Weekend Sunrise, finally getting up about 8:30am. It was Market Day over the road about 300 meters from camp, we decided to visit there about 9:45am, so there was no need to rush. We walked over to the market, and went straight to the Footy Club kitchen, where we bought some egg and bacon sangas, they were yumma. The number of exbibitors were down, there was nothing worth buying, the guy that makes the beautiful wooden gem boxes wasn't there, Armfest wasn't there.
We walked back to camp, got in the mighty Navara and drove to Gunter's for our daily fix of coffee and strudel. It was YUMMA as usual.

We spent the arvo back at camp, sitting under the awning, Marg is crochetting a rag, while I took photos of our gems and updated this website. Marg later in the arvo managed to squeeze in a nanna nap.

Dinner was Marg's world famous omelettes. They were Yumma.

Tomorrow morning we are off to Emerald for some shopping and then to Willys Wash and Gunter's Muggachinnos.

Our site 49 - Blue Gems CP.

Marlborough Chrysoprase - Left - 1,190gm - Right - 759gm.

Marlborough Chrysoprase - Left - $24 - Right - $22.

Marlborough Chrysoprase - Left - 759gm - Right - 1,190gm.

Some of the better gems from 3 buckets.

The remainder of our 3 buckets.

Our haul from 3 buckets.

Day 93 - Monday 16th June 2014.

Shopping in Emerald - Sapphire - Day 4.

Winter has 'hit' the Central Queensland Gemfields, I was a bit too prepared last night and went to bed with my sleepingbag as a doona, by 1:30am I had thrown it off and pulled on my 2 blankets. Sure enough, around 4am I pulled on my sleepingbag. When I got up at 6:30am, my outside sensor was displaying 4.3°, SO yes, Winter has 'hit' the CQ Gemfields.

I awoke to another beautiful, cold, cloudless, blue skies, it is going to a 'pearler' of a day.
When I got up, there were 'snores' emanating from Marg's side of the bed. As I am writing this part at 7:10am, Marg is still asleep, it has rocketed to a balmy 5.2° outside, the heater has warmed inside the fiver to 18.5° and increasing, from a chilly 9.9° first thing this morning.

Once my 'child bride' arises from her slumber and gets herself organised, hopefully before lunchtime, we plan to drive into Emerald (about 110kms return) to restock our food provisions.

We drove into Emerald and shopped at the Centro Emerald SC, went to Donut King for coffee and donut nuts, then visited Woollies for a big shop as we are heading to the Outback and are not sure what is available. It was a very pleasant drive there and back in the sunshine. Back at camp, we had lunch, did some washing and Marg did some cooking for our stay at Quilpie/Yowah. The rest of the arvo was spent sitting in the shade reading, it was quite pleasant.

Dinner was Chico rolls. They were Yumma.

Tomorrow we will visit Glen at Willys Wash and then go to Gunter's Muggachinnos.

Our shopping trip into Emerald - 108kms round trip.

Day 94 - Tuesday 17th June 2014.

Willys Wash & Muggachinnos - Sapphire - Day 5.

We awoke to another beautiful, cold, cloudless, blue skies, it is going to a 'pearler' of a day.
It was a cold night, I used my sleepingbag as a doona again and it worked beautifully, when I got up about 6:30am, my outside sensor was displaying 3.5° and 9.0° inside the fiver, our little blow heater had the fiver upto 20° in about 30 minutes.

I got up just after listening to the 6:30am news on my headphones. Marg arose about 6:45am, we both slept very well. We watched Sunrise while we showered, had brekky and eventually left camp about 10am.
We drove to Glen's Willys Wash where we processed 3 buckets for $50. It was Glen's 55th birthday today, we wished him all the best and headed over to Gunters. We ordered apple and cherry strudel and 2 coffees, they were YUMMA, as usual. As we left Rubyvale, we stopped at the Supermarket to try and buy a birthday cake so we could surprise Glen, but there were no cakes available in Rubyvale, so sorry Glen, we couldn't surprise you.

Very similiar to yesterday, we spent the rest of the arvo sitting in the shade reading, before having an hour nanna nap, it was quite pleasant.

Dinner was Marg's new 'stew' beef and coke with mashed potato. It was yumma.

Tomorrow Marg has 1 or 2 'skin polishing' sessions (morning and arvo). In the morning I will start packing up camp, once the dew dries.

Marg in action.

Today's haul. We were happy.

Willys Wash.

This is Glen's (on the right) Willys Wash. Marg in the middle. It was cold this morning.

Day 95 - Wednesday 18th June 2014.

Marg's skin polishing & packing up - Sapphire - Day 6.

We awoke to another beautiful, cold, cloudless, blue skies, it is going to a 'pearler' of a day.
It was a cold night, I used my sleepingbag as a doona again and it worked beautifully, Marg also used her sleeping bag as a doona, I got up about 6:45am, my outside sensor was displaying 3.9° and 9.5° inside the fiver, our little blow heater had the fiver upto 20° in about 30 minutes.

We buggered about camp until I drove Marg over to the Lapidary Club, so she could attend the 'skin polishing' session. While Marg was doing her thing, I started to 'slowly' pack up our campsite. I did 3 trips to the dump point which is about 500 meters from the Caravan Park. I couldn't do much in the morning as all the awning and walls etc are damp due to the overnight dew. Marg surprised me by walking back to camp about 11:30am as she had finished her 'skin polished' sapphire. It looks great. She didn't want to start another one today.
We had lunch and I kept 'slowly' packing up and about 1:30pm, we both had a nanna nap. After waking, I had a few chilled refreshers with Rick and Les our neighbours.

Dinner was take away from the CP Office, we had the same as we did last Friday, Marg had a roast beef with gravy roll and I had a works burger and spring roll. They were yumma.

Tomorrow we are on our way to Quilpie, stopping overnight at Blackall CP about 380kms.

This is the end result of Marg's skin polishing course at the Gemfields Lapidary Club.

Day 96 - Thursday 19th June 2014.

Sapphire to Blackall, Qld - 384 kms.

  • Weather: Sunny.
  • Wind: 0 - 43kph North East
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 384kms Total towed this trip: 4,459kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Blackall: Yes
  • Next G Telstra WiFi Modem reception: Yes.
  • TV (Antenna or Satellite): Antenna - all good.
We awoke to another beautiful, cold, cloudless, blue skies, it is going to a 'pearler' of a day.
It was a cold night, we both used our sleepingbags as a doona, it worked beautifully. We got up about 6:30am and started packing up. My outside sensor was displaying 7.1° and 9.9° inside the fiver, our little blow heater had the fiver upto 20° in about 30 minutes.
We said goodbye to our neighbours and 'roared out of town' at 8:09am, well maybe not, how about, we followed a fellow caravanner the whole way to our first rest stop at Boganville aka Bogantungan(8:57am), where I took some scenery photos, I do love that 'dead tree', our fellow caravanner was meeting his brother in Barcaldine at 2pm. Next Rest Stop was at Alpha(10:00am) followed by stopping at Jericho(10:40am) then approx 85kms to Barcaldine(11:42am). This rest area was on the outskirts of Barcaldine a very clean toilet with soap and paper towels. We now drive the whole way about 105kms to Blackall, we drove through town to the BP on the southern side where we filled up with diesel before heading back to the Blackall CP(1:16pm).

I paid the $30 for the drive thru site, it was actually beside the site that we had last year. I connected power and water and put up our antenna which received all the digital channels, so there was no need to setup the satelite dish. We both managed to have a nanna nap and then watch the CP fill up. I think it is full tonight which is a surprise and would be the first CP on this trip to be full. The park had a horseman and whip cracking plus a camp oven roast tonight, we kindly declined their offer.

Our dinner may not have been a camp oven roast but bloody close, it was nachos and they were yumma.

Tomorrow we are on our way to Quilpie, stopping overnight at Evening Star CP, Charleville about 300kms.

Our route from Sapphire to Blackall - 384kms.

Bogan Ville aka Bogantungan.

A lovely old dead tree.

Another nice tree.

Beautiful scenery.


Main street of Jericho.

Our site at Blackall CP.

Day 97 - Friday 20th June 2014.

Blackall to Charleville, Qld - 310 kms.

  • Weather: Cloudy.
  • Wind: 7 - 39kph North
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 310kms Total towed this trip: 4,769kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Evening Star CP, Charleville: No.
  • Next G Telstra WiFi Modem reception: Yes.
  • TV (Antenna or Satellite): Satelite only.
We awoke to high level cloud and blue skies, it looked like it could rain, it had that look about it.
It was a postively balmy night, only dropped to 10.1°, Marg went back to her blankets, while I stayed with my sleepingbags as a doona. We woke about 6:30am and laid in bed watching Sunrise. Finally, we got up about 7:00am and started packing up.
We said goodbye to our neighbours and left the CP at 8:19am. Our first stop was at a rest area(9:13am) just north of Tambo, next stop were 2 stoppages for road works covering about 4kms about 45kms south of Tambo, followed by another stop at a rest area about 37kms north of Augathella. We drove into Augathella(11:17am) to buy something sweet for morning tea, we bought 2 creamed buns (Yumma) and sat over the road and ate them. We then drove non stop to Evening Star CP arriving at 12:49pm.

We paid $30 for a drive thru site, connected the power and water and setup the Dish. An interesting observation was the modem works BUT our two iPhones do not connect. We spent the arvo just relaxing, I managed about a one hour nanna nap.

Dinner was get your own, SO I had frozen McCains pizza while Marg made cheese jaffles, both were yumma.

Tomorrow we should arrive at Quilpie about 200kms.

Our route from Blackall to Charleville - 310kms.

Rest Area just north of Tambo.

Not much traffic.

Morning tea at Augathella.

Evening Star CP - that is a working windmill.

Site 4 - Evening Star CP.

Our site 4.

Camp Kitchen etc at Evening Star CP.

*2014 - Index page*

Heading to Quilpie.