Well, we are currently sat in a free camp at Babinda (approx. 60km S/W of Cairns) at the time of writing this blog up. It’s been raining for 2 days straight, which has delayed our plans a little. We don’t complain about the rain because we have been really lucky with good weather 90% of the time. So when it rains we just take it as a chill and catch up day. We are pretty well self-sufficient in all aspects so if we see rain on the radar we tend to head for a free camp so we can save our $$$ for when the sun is shining.
Wow where to start 2 months gone already? Well we started our trip off by going to Inskip for a week. This was great to kick start us into full holiday mood and also iron out any last creases with the car / caravan before we ventured too far from home. Unfortunately it was also the week Cyclone Debbie visited the East coast. No damage done and a few lessons learnt, like check the tree’s around you before you set up! (see inskip video). We did cop up to 120km winds at Inskip point so it’s good to know, there were no water leaks and that our caravan is cyclone proof haha.
From there we travelled north through Maryborough, Childers to Hervey Bay where we stayed in some random caravan park in the back streets which turned out to be quite nice. The place only had 8 powered sites available to caravans as it was predominately a backpacker hostel with lots of cabins, but unknown to us it was actually also a mini bird sanctuary. There were 3 peacocks roaming the grounds and a lot of other large bird varieties which was quite cool. After 3 nights around Hervey Bay it was time to move on, up to Bundaberg we went! There was only one thing we both wanted to see and that was the RUM factory! As we are both big bundy rum fans we couldn’t wait to do the factory tour. Rusty had a nap in the caravan while we did the tour and treated our taste-buds to some of the finer rums.
With Easter approaching, Kurtis’s parents wanted to meet up and spend some time over Easter with us and have a little getaway, so we met up with them at Agnes Waters / 1770. On the week leading up to Easter myself and Kurtis found a great camp spot at Workman’s Beach in Agnes waters. It was a decent size, close to the beach and town and had lots of walking tracks in the vicinity. We were umming and arghing whether to stay or meet Kurt’s parents a bit further north towards Gladstone. We both fell in love with the place and stayed – a total of 10 nights to be exact! The decision payed off with Kurts parents also falling in love with the spot! The highlight of our time there, would have to be when I found a $200 Pandora ring and exploring all the walking tracks.
After the Easter long weekend we said our goodbyes to the parentals and continued our journey onto Gladstone. People had told us there wasn’t much to see in Gladstone and to ‘skip it’. We decided to still go and have a look for ourselves, but yes, majority of the people were right. There wasn’t much there that interest us. We stayed at a campsite just north/west of Gladstone called Calliope River. This was also a free camp and we bumped into our new friends, Deb & Darryl and Dan & Em. We all sat around the campfire 2 nights in a row, sharing stories and having plenty of laughs. We explored the nearby historical village at Calliope (literally 2 minutes from camp) and then the next day packed up and headed off to climb Mt Larcoom!
It was a 4 hour return hike up Mt Larcoom and boy it was worth it. The sun was shining, it was a clear day and we could see for miles from the top. Highly recommend if ever in the area. Be sure to take some water and a snack with you though. Rockhampton was calling our name, we headed there next. Rockhampton actually welcome RV’s and had a great free camp spot smack bang in the middle of town. It was limited but a great base camp while we explored the neighbouring towns. On Anzac day I thought it would only be fitting that we attended the Anzac Day - main March up at Emu Park. Emu Park has a really great memorial to our troops, it’s a boardwalk along the coast with various memorials, pictures and info. It was only a small march with the locals, which made it feel that much more special. Later in the day we also took a drive up to Yeppoon for a look. Looked like a nice sleepy coastal town with lots of activities along the shore to keep the locals and tourists entertained.
Our time was up at our free spot in Rocky, so we made the decision to head WEST for a bit! There were some towns on our list we wanted to visit and the best way to start from was Rocky. First stop west was Emerald! We popped into the information centre for some info on the neighbouring towns and the must see’s while out this way. If you’re ever at the Emerald info centre be sure to walk around back and check out the largest free-standing easel + painting in the world! With fossicking in the Gemfields on Kurts list of must see’s – we headed there for a few days. We camped at a few different spots and Kurt gave fossicking and panning a red hot crack but no gems were found on this occasion. After doing a local tour it was quite clear you need heavy machinery and lots of time up your sleeve if you want to find some real gems! Continuing our trek West, our next stop was Jericho – on the way to Longreach! Jericho is only a small town but it has a fantastic camp spot! It was situated close to the river and had all the basic amenities needed; toilets, water, fire pits, fish filleting table and also some exercise equipment. There was an honestly box on the way out to pop a donation into. Jericho is also home to the smallest drive in theatre in the world, definitely worth a look and photo!
So we eventually made it to Longreach and stayed at the ‘dust bowl’, just outside of town for only $3 a night. Hot tip; if you get a spot by the fence it’s a little less dusty. We stayed a few nights and visited the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Qantas museum and walked the main street in town. We then continued on to Winton to begin the start of the ‘Dinosaur Trail’. The ‘Age of the Dinosaurs’ museum is well worth a visit no matter what age you are. We then visited Richmond which has a museum dedicated to the marine dinosaurs and then onto Hughendon to finish off the trail. While in Hughendon we also did a day trip north to visit ‘Porcupine Gorge’. Well worth a visit! (check out our YouTube video on it).
Slowly making our way back East we stopped into Charters Towers for a squiz. Again another great town to explore with so much history! Learning about the gold rush and how the rush shaped the town was very interesting. Make sure you visit Allan at the ‘Miners Cottage’ for a look. It is well worth the $10pp as Allan is so knowledgeable and has so much history crammed into his tiny cottage. I personally learnt so much about the town in the short 60-90 minutes we were there. The last stop on our west detour was Ravenswood for a look. As you drove into the town you see all the old free standing Chimneys which was pretty cool. Again, the town is very small with only 2 pubs, a handful of stores and petrol station. We camped opposite the Railway hotel (with the owner’s permission). They have a massive mine underway there at the moment you can view from a nearby lookout.
After a solid 3 weeks inland we popped out near the East coast at Home Hill. We ventured down to Airlie Beach for a look, but unfortunately still a lot of the businesses were closed due to cyclone Debbie. One shop owner said a lot of people were still awaiting Insurance claims to process and repair works to begin. We took a drive to Shute Harbour and there was so many boats washed up / destroyed. There was debris all along the edge of the Harbour which was quite sad to see. You could really see how much of the Whitsundays was truly affected by the destruction. After our stop at Airlie we then headed back up along the coast visiting Hideaway Bay, Dingo Bay, Bowen and eventually arriving at Townsville. We used our few days at Townsville to restock and rest, spending most of our time relaxing along the strand.
We finished up at Townsville feeling refreshed and getting a good dose of sea air in our lungs and started to begin the waterfall trek up to Cairns! So many beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes to see, with too many to name! You can see a lot of them in our YouTube videos. I will say the highlights of our 2 week trek up was; hiking down to see Wallaman Falls, our campsite at Big Crystal creek, having a dip at the Spa pools & visiting Paronella Park!
So where to next? Well tomorrow we head into Cairns to restock ready to tackle Cape York with our friends Dan & Em. I’m predicting a great adventure! Fingers crossed we make it!
Read all about it once we return x