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Cairns to Camooweal!

Well after our month up at the Cape we needed a bit of RnR and to give everything a good clean and expel the red dirt! We spent a week in Cairns, relaxing and being typical tourists, seeing the Great Barrier Reef and going for a ride on the Skyrail & Kuranda Railway.

It was also nice to satisfy our cravings and have sushi again, as we had missed it. But one week in a big city was enough for us, we were itching to hit the road and have some more campfires under the stars. We headed to Dimbulah for a few nights while we went and explored Mt Mulligan and surrounds! Mt Mulligan has some sad history as the largest mining disaster in Queensland. In 1920 an underground explosion killed 75 workers. Very sad, the town is now a ghost town and still has some remains of the once bustling township.

After Dimbulah we headed onto the Savannah way and down to Atherton. We topped up with some last minute supplies and headed past the wind farm to Archer Creek for the night. Next day we continued along until we got to Undura National Park for a sneaky look at the volcanic crater there! Who knew we had a volcanic crater in QLD? After a small walk and explore we headed to Mount Surprise for the night. We read about this van park; 'Plant Earth Adventures', that only costs $20 for power & water for the night - for 2 people plus they do a daily snake talk / show! How awesome is that. We met Russel and Clancy - a black headed python, where Amz conquered her fears of snakes and has Clancy around her neck! The show itself is worth $20!

We arrived in Georgetown the next day for a look around. Kurt had organized for us to spend a few days on a local station so he could metal detect for gold! We camped by a dam with some other prospectors scattered around. One morning we awoke to be surrounded by cattle and this bull with some serious horns! Rusty did her best to keep them at bay and away from our campsite. No gold was found, never the less we had some great campfires and did some serious star spotting at night. We decided to head up the road to the Cumberland Historic Chimney for the night to set up camp. We got there at midday and were the only ones, by 4pm there was 30 other campers there!

Next day we headed to Croydon for 2 nights. You can camp at the show grounds for just $5 and they had toilets & really hot showers - bargain. We went exploring the town history sites around, when we were at the mining museum site, Kurt got stung by a bee right under the eye! It was puffing up quite quick so we darted to the local pub for some ice and a cold beer. The ice stop anymore swelling and no other pain - which was lucky for Kurt (as google told him he was going to die). After 2 nights in Croydon we headed to Karumba! We had heard they have ridiculous sunsets overlooking the gulf so bad to go see what all the fuss was about! Let’s say, the detour definitely didn't disappoint! We headed to the appropriately named Sunset Tavern and watched as the sun set, tucking in on some wood fired pizza and cold beers!

Definitely put it on your list of places to see. Apart from stunning sunsets Karumba is predominately a small sleepy fishing village. The caravan park we stayed at has a FREE fish BBQ every Saturday night, so of course Amz made sure our 2 night stay fell over a Saturday night. It was a great night mixing with the Grey Nomads (we were the youngest couple there by 20 years!). Never the less, great memories made from our visit to Karumba!

Well after Karumba, we headed back down to Normanton for 2 nights of free camping just outside town. While in town you can visit the popular 'Krys the Savannah King' replica. Also the information centre gives out 10 permits to free camp per day, so you have to be quick! The permit area is right beside the Normanton River! Which gave Kurt his second Barramundi for the trip. Yeww! We then continued our journey south towards Cloncurry. Stopped in for a dagwood dog each at the Burke & Willis Roadhouse before camping at 'Terry's lookout' for the night (80km north of Cloncurry). The next day we packed up and headed into Cloncurry where Amz had arranged to catch up for lunch with @CamperAustralis at the local pub. We had a great chinwag about both of our adventures thus far over some beers and tucker. That afternoon we popped into the info centre to grab a town map for Mary Kathleen (only 50cents) then headed straight out to the highly recommended Corella Dam!

We spent a total of 6 nights at the dam, we loved it that much! We scored a premo spot on the edge of the dam and had really nice neighbours, who we all got along with. They taught Kurt how to catch the redclaw and even how to cook it etc. They even gave Kurt a good 2kgs of redclaw, as his catch was quite minimal compared to their daily hauls. Fun fact; Redclaw is actually an introduced species there, so there is no limit on how much you can catch and your actually not allowed to throw any back.

We moved up the road to Mary Kathleen for a night and explored the old township. We drove out to the old abandoned uranium mine aswell. The water was so beautiful, we wished we could have jumped in for a swim. Amz also spotted our first batch of WILD CAMELS whilst out on a walk with rusty!

The next day we checked into a caravan park in Mt Isa, ahead of our 3 day rodeo event!

When we were in Karumba, Amz saw that the Mt Isa Rodeo for 2017 was coming up and we both decided we should go; as it’s the largest rodeo in the southern hemisphere! We always say, if we are going to do something, we may aswell do it right! We were able to nab some last minute tickets and accommodation in town and that was that. It’s safe to say, we both thoroughly enjoyed the 3 day event! Even met up with 2 other young couples we follow on Instagram! The power of social media is amazing. We had a great night with Shenaid & Blaine + Sam & Bee, watching Busby Marou play live at the event and dancing the night away!

After 5 nights in Mt Isa and after fully restocking our goods we headed off to Camooweal! We had heard they have big red claw, and Kurt was keen to try and catch some! We met up with some of our neighbours from Corella Dam there and had a great 3 nights. We also visited one of the nearby caves in Camooweal which was pretty cool. Only a short walk from the carpark too!

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to John & Shirley from Mt Isa Auto Air! We suffered a major vehicle failure with our aircon compressor bearing ceased, which made our engine completely stop. We had done a day trip into Mt Isa whilst camped out at Corella dam and my god we were lucky to have broken down where we did! Only 100m away from John’s house / their auto air business! Kurt was able to drive it down to John’s house, where he and Shirley went above and beyond to get us back on the road in under 24 hours. Their kindness and generosity of what they did for us was beyond words. So if you’re ever in Mt Isa or coming up to a stop there! See John he will definitely look after you!

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