Day 98 - Saturday 21st June 2014.

Charleville to Quilpie, Qld - 200 kms.

We awoke to a cool, (7.5° outside), cloudless, starry sky.
It's getting warmer, only dropped to 7.5° outside and 13.5° inside, Marg stayed with her blankets, while I started with my sleepingbag, got too warm, threw it off and went back to my two blankets. We were both awake just before 6:00am and listened to the radio and were up by 6:15am. It didn't take long to pack up and we left camp at 7:49am, as we had to buy Marg a couple of cartons of smokes to tie her over for the next 2 weeks.

Marg was happy that we got her smokes and we left downtown Charleville at 8:07am and drove all of 100kms to Cooladdi(9:08am) after another 68kms , we stopped at a Rest Area(10:08am), after another 55kms, we arrived at the Channel Country CP at 10:56am. Peter showed us to our site 25, we did a partial setup which is connect power and water, Marg's room and half the awning.
During the drive, we encountered numerous occasions of the wildlife crossing the road in front of us. The most serious one was, as we were crossing a bridge 2 medium size roos jumped across the road in front of us, I braked and the first one crossed us BUT the second one stopped and we missed it. The most exciting incident was when the wild pig family crossed the road about 150 meters in front of us, so I could slow down easily, 4 adult pigs walked across the road and then there was a procession of piglets at least 10 to 12 and then a gap of 10 - 15 feet when the last piglet ran across the road. I know that these pigs are absolute vermin but the piglets looked so beautiful. My assistant photographer didn't manage a photo, she didn't have time to get the camera, she was happily crocheting something. I also saw a feral cat lunching on some roadkill(roo).

After lunch, we visited the Info centre, St Finbar's Catholic church and took pictures of the opal encrusted altar, font and lectern, then filled up with diesel, drove around town. We paid $13 each for a pasta dinner provided by the park. We walked to the Camp Kitchen and sat at a table with 4 other caravanners, there were about 20 people there for pasta with bolognese sauce and garlic bread, it was BYO everything except the food (plates, cutlery, beer and lemonade). It was YUMMA.
After dinner, we watched a documentary on Tom Kruse (1914-2011) the Outback mailman, a legend in the Outback, it was great especially as Marg and I are doing the 400kms plus Quilpie Mail Run on Tuesday.

Tomorrow we are going Opal fossicking at "Deuces Wild" a claim about 60kms from Quilpie. Wish us luck.

Our route from Charleville to Quilpie - 223kms.

Are we there yet. Nearly.

There's a drought out here.

Rest Area near Cooladdi.

Beautiful scenery.

More lovely scenery.

Nice rig.

Welcome to Quilpie.

St Finbar's Catholic Church - Boulder Opal everywhere.

The Font encrusted in Boulder Opals.

The Lectern encrusted in Boulder Opals.

The Altar encrusted in Boulder Opals.

Day 99 - Sunday 22nd June 2014.

Fossicking at Deuces Wild - Quilpie - Day 1.

We awoke to a cool, (6.0° outside), cloudless, starry sky.
Marg stayed with her blankets, while I started with my sleepingbag, we both slept well. I awoke just before 6:00am and laid in bed listening to Macca on the ABC radio. As we were fossicking today, there was no hurry to do anything. The fossicking site was at Deuces Wild mine about 70kms from camp, owned by the caravan park. It cost us $20 per couple to fossick there. For safety reasons, the office wanted to know what time to expect us back and also we had to check in when we got back, if not then Peter the manager would come out looking for us and if necessary, he would contact the Police. All good, we didn't have any problems.

We got organised and left camp at 9:31am, stopping at the supermarket for some ingredients for tonight's dinner, then we drove the 72kms to the mine site. Most of the Diamantina Development Rd is single bitumen lane, I had to stop a couple of times on the way there and back for caravanners and trucks.
We followed the directions given to us by the Office and found the area without getting lost once. We fossicked for over 1.5 hours, but didn't find much. Marg found a few little pieces and I found nothing, BUT at least the scenery for the whole trip was just wonderful.

For the rest of the arvo, I watched the V8s, Lowndesy didn't have a good race, while Marg is doing her crocheting.

Dinner was Marg's 'world famous' curried sausages with rice. It was yumma.

Tomorrow it a sort of rest day with a bit of shopping before Tuesday's Quilpie Mail Run.

Our route to Deuces Wild mine - 144kms round trip.

The turnoff sign post.

Look for this letterbox.

Heading towards Pinkilla Station.

Beautiful scenery.

Taken from the top of the mullock heap.

Marg in action.

The fossicking area.

Marg still going at it.

More of the fossicking area.

About to leave.

Our friend who came to have a look.

Bargie Oil Field.

Day 100 - Monday 23rd June 2014.

Checking out Quilpie - Day 2.

We awoke to a cool, (6.3° outside), cloudless, blue sky.
We both used our sleepingbags as doonas and slept very well. I laid in bed and listened to my radio and got up about 7:30am, Marg finally got up about 8:15am.
After buggering around camp to about 10:15am, we drove into town and first stop was the supermarket where we purchased a few items, then parked opposite the NAB, the only bank in town. At the bank, I was served by Sapphire who has lived in Quilpie for the past 8 years, I told her that I was a former employee and as I was the only customer, we chatted for a few minutes.
Marg and I walked up and down the main street, looked into the Opal shop, but it was very dear so we walked out without buying anything. We stopped at the only cafe that opened on a Monday and ordered 2 coffees and cake, we sat on the veranda, we walked into the Betta Electrical and bought an iron. After we finished checking out the shops, we topped up with diesel, the fuel depot didn't have an air pump, but said that the tyre factory does. We drove past the tyre factory it was closed, bear in mind it was after 11am, so we continued to the bakery and bought 3 pies for lunch and a loaf of bread.

Back at camp, we ate lunch then as we settled in for a quiet afternoon, I decided to visit the Baldy Top Lookout about 7kms west of town and also Lake Houdraman which is 7kms east of town, Marg didn't want to join me, she wasn't feeling flash, so I went by myself.
Baldy Top Lookout is a small rocky hill, when climbed has magnificent views. I loved it, the photos naturally do not do justice to the views they were just magic.
I then drove out to Lake Houdraman, the lake is just a normal lake, but it was very exciting to see Eddy the emu and George the pelican in the same photo. Eddy and his mates were standing in the lake up to their 'knees' eating what appeared to be some kind of weed, while George just floated by, occasionally darting at fish or something that they eat.

I drove back to town and checked out the tyre factory, it was open so in I went. The owner let me pump up my tyres and then I drove back to the fuel depot and topped up again after my sightseeing, I am now ready for our departure on Wednesday, as we are doing the Quilpie Mail Run tomorrow. We can't wait for tomorrow, it should be great.
The remainder of the arvo was spent sitting outside in the shade updating this with Marg playing Candy Crush on her iPad. Pretty strenuous, but we are coping. Just.

Dinner was McCain's pizza with Marg's bread and butter pudding. It was yumma.

Tomorrow, if Marg is feeling better, we will be doing the Quilpie Mail Run.

Site 25 is on the left - Channel Country CP.

Quilpie is in the middle - taken from the top of Baldy Top Lookout.

Table Top Hill - Beautiful scenery.

Looking towards Toompine.

This is steeper than it looks.

Eddy came over to say "Hi".

George also came over to say "Hi".

George meets Eddy, a very rare event.

Day 101 - Tuesday 24th June 2014.

Quilpie Mail Run - Day 3.

We awoke to a cool, (7.7° outside), cloudy, blue sky.
We both used our sleepingbags as doonas and slept very well. I set the alarm for 5:30am, so nearly jumped out of our skin when it went off. We dressed in jeans and T shirts and trakky tops, as it was cold at that time. We had brekky and walked to the front gate and joined the other 9 'old farts' for our full day's adventure. Dave pulled up at 6:50am and the 11 of us jumped on board the Fuso Canter 4WD Mail Bus and away we went.

We headed east out of town to the Old Adavale Rd, then past the various stations (Nickavilla mail drop, Como, Gunnadora Mail drop, Maybe mail drop, Goombie, Alaric Station - morning tea. This is a lovely old house where "war vets" can come for a rest, it is just beautiful. Tony was there with stress issues and he was slowing 'unstressing'. Allan runs the station, check out the link for more info. Next station that we drove through was Canaway Downs mail drop, then we stopped at Trinidad, this is where Margaret Peglet lives (she has lived here since 1958) and we all checked out Marg's house and garden, sat down for a lovely meat and salad lunch included in the price. During the 80s, a plane was coming into land at Trinidad Station and stuffed up big time, the pilot died and the 9 passengers survived, as it is on private property the air investigators left the remains there. After lunch we continued to watch Dave work, we called into Araluen station where we delivered a 3 meter roll of quilting material for Tracy, who makes Quilpie Quilts, the guys and Dave even hung it on the rack for Tracy, then stopped at Thylungra station where we checked out the shearing shed where 10 years ago, they shorn 100,000 sheep, now it is derelict and there are NO sheep to be shorn. Our last stop was on the banks of the Kyabra creek, where Dave gave us afternoon tea, I had a Coopers Mild Ale, very nice and Marg had a glass of white wine, very nice, then it was a 117kms along the Diamantina Development Rd back to camp.

It was a bloody brilliant day.

The last thing I did before dying, was drive into town and buy a Quilpie Mail Run polo shirt and a stubby holder from Dave at the Heritage Inn.

As we were both buggered, dinner was again McCain's pizza with Marg's bread and butter pudding. It was yumma.

Tomorrow, we drive the monstrous distance of 75kms to Toompine Pub.

Click on the Left Hand Photo, to view the Quilpie Mail Run photos here.

Our Mail Run route - 390kms.

Sunrise at CP.

Dave in action.

Harry came along to record our route.

Alaric Station War Vets retreat.

Alaric Station War Vets retreat.

Alaric Station War Vets retreat.

Alaric Station War Vets retreat.

Seated Tony (War Vet), Allan (Manager) and Marg.

Mail Run Scenery.

More locals running along the fence line.

Mail Run Scenery.

Our Crew.

The locals came to see us.

Mail Run Scenery.

Mail Run Scenery.

The crashed plane - 1 died 9 survived.

Lunch at Trinidad.

Margaret Pegler and Milly.

Us and Milly.

Araluen Station.

Mail Run Scenery.

Thylungra Station.

The disused shearing shed.

Our last rest stop and afternoon drinks.

Trinidad Station.

Day 102 - Wednesday 25th June 2014.

Quilpie to Toompine Pub - 77kms.

We awoke to a cold morning, (3.9° outside), cloudless, blue sky.
We both used our sleepingbags as doonas and slept very well. We were in no hurry today, as the Toompine Pub is only 77kms away. We left all the packing up to do this morning. We left camp at 9:43am and drove along the Thargomindah-Quilpie Rd before arriving at the Toompine Pub(10:49am).
We pulled up and parked our rig, while I went inside and found what the procedure was. Basically, it is free and you can park where you want too, there are 7 power points (2 on the roadside of the tennis court, 3 powerpoints on the wall of the hall and 2 powerpoints on the wall of the new toilet block and 1 water tap near the tennis court). After much discussion, Marg and I picked our site (beside the tennis court). I only set up the power and Marg's room. There are only 3 vans here for the night.

As an unexpected surprise, we have internet and phone reception, we didn't expect it. We spent the afternoon just taking in the ABSOLUTELY AMAZING SERENITY, less than 20 cars past the Pub. During the afternoon we walked over to the Pub and spoke to Jonesy who has sold the Pub and will be leaving here in the next few weeks, and Bec (a backpacker), I had a couple of chilled refreshers and then returned to our fiver. About 5:30pm, we returned to the Pub for dinner. Marg ordered the mince meat and mash, while I had the mixed grill, both were very yumma and the servings are large, followed by apple crumble. Dinner and drinks cost around $50. We will be back for dinner tomorrow night, Marg is 'really upset' that she isn't cooking dinner, like hell.

Tomorrow, we leave the fiver here and are off fossicking at Duck Creek Opal mine.

Our route from Quilpie to Toompine Pub - 77kms.

Are we there yet? Very soon, so shutup.

Free Powered sites.

There were only 3 vans here tonight.

There we are.

Toompine Pub.

Eddy was just walking past, about 50 meters away.

Toompine Pub.

Day 103 - Thursday 26th June 2014.

Fossicking at Duck Creek and Sheep Station creek- Toompine Pub.

We awoke to a cold morning, (1.9° outside), cloudless, blue sky.
We both used our sleepingbags as doonas and slept very well. We were in no hurry today, as we were going fossicking at Duck Creek about 70 kms from camp. I got up just before dawn and went outside to photograph the sunrise, but I stuffed them. I will try again tomorrow.
We eventually got organised and left camp at 9:51am and drove the 70kms along gravel roads and tracks and arrived at Sheep Station Creek (11:26am) about 7kms past Duck Creek. We fossicked around a dam and found some tiny pieces of opal, then drove over the overgrown airstrip to an outcrop of rock, but it was sandstone and not suitable, so we got our chairs out and ate lunch, the views, as usual, were stunning.
After lunch, we drove back to Duck Creek and found some more small pieces of opal, we were happy and tired, so we headed back to camp.

Back at camp, I had a beautiful refreshing shower, then left Marg and walked over to the Pub and had 2 chilled refreshers and spoke to Bec (the barmaid, backpacker from Birmingham, UK), I went back and picked Marg up and we walked back to the Pub for dinner. We sat around the bar and chatted to the 7 customers, before we ordered dinner, Marg had a steak sandwich, while I had a chicken parma, both were very yumma. After dinner, we walked back to camp and watched TV.

Tomorrow, we drive about 100kms to Yowah for 6 nights.

Our route to Duck Creek and Sheep Station creek - 141kms return trip.

The Toompine Pub with camping area.

On our way to Sheep Station creek.

Are we there yet?

Marg the Gatekeeper.

Entering Sheep Station creek fossicking area.

Sheep Station creek fossicking area.

Lunch time.

A 'real' fossicker camping in the field.

The overgrown airstrip.

A nice cave.

Downtown Duck creek.

Duck creek fossicking area.

*2014 - Index page*

Heading to Yowah.