Brisbane to Melbourne inland
We left Buderim in Queensland last week, and made is as far as my Uncle's place just south of Brisbane. We will be here for a week or so before we head off again proper. We finished off the van we were refitting in Buderim, and it turned out quite well. The finished pictures are here.
We'll be on the move again soon, and heading for Melbourne.
It was Halloween while we were at my Uncle's, so we went to a party. David was supplying the music, but apart from that it was a good night (only joking!)
2/11/12: We left Brisbane today and began the trip back inland towards Melbourne. Tonight was easy - we stayed outside Boonah in a freecamp by the road. We've been here a couple of times before, when my folks were out here. Its the first night away from someones driveway for 6-7 weeks so we needed to ease back in! It was uneventful and we're back in the swing of things already.
3/11/12: From Boonah, we headed out to Warwick and turned right to Goondiwindi. Its quite a nice drive as you head up into the hills and there are some quite good views. It is a bit warmer today. Theres not a great deal to stop and see on the way once the mountain views disappear, just lots of vast open spaces and highway. We drove through Goondiwindi and headed south to Moree. We are staying in the showgrounds here, which are nothing flash, but do have hot showers.
4/11/12: After a quick look round Moree and refulling, we headed west to Walgett, and on to Bourke. Lots of driving through pretty much the same scenery as yesterday. It is about 35C today and much nicer inside the van than outside. We decided to stay in Mitchell Park caravan park on the edge of Bourke so we could have showers. Bourke is often referred to by Aussies as the middle of nowhere - hence the saying, being beyond the 'back of Bourke'. To be fair to Bourke, its no worse than any other town within 500 kms of here.
5/11/12: Overnight was pretty awful. The temperature didnt drop much and the van was pretty warm. We slept, but it wasn't the best. We've decided that the inland parts of Australia aren't for us. It's pointless. Thousands of kilometres of driving to see the same thing over and over again. I'm sure some people love it, but we don't. The coastline is so much nicer, with much more reason to stop and stay a few days. We have decided to try and get to Broken Hill today and then make for the South Australia coastline asap.
So we left Bourke and travelled south to Cobar. It was pretty warm today - getting to 41.5C in the afternoon. That didn't help. Its about 500 kilometres to Broken Hill, so that took most of the day. We have stopped about 4 kms before Broken Hill in a free roadside stop. Its boiling here. But we can get TV and internet, so its X Factor for us tonight!
6/11/12: The temperature didn't drop much last night so it was a bit uncomfortable. It seems a bit cooler today though which is good. We are staying at the same place tonight for a rest, so today we nipped into Broken Hill for fuel and supplies. Broken Hill is a mining town, with lots of evidence of that everywhere you look. Old slag heaps are pretty much in the town. BHP (Broken Hill Propriety) is the main mine company here. Its a little bit interesting, but its still too hot to want to explore too much. Maybe tomorrow before we leave.
7/11/12: Last night started out ok with a meal and a bit of X Factor and a couple of other shows. Another van pulled in nearby. We woke up about 2 am to a full on thunder and lightning storm and heavy rain. We got and watched it for a bit when we noticed the other van had moved from the muddy bit we were parked in, onto the tarmac area nearer the road. And then we realised that to get there involved driving though a one metre dip in the ground which was filling up nicely with water. So we did the same, just in case. Slept like a log after that.
Today we are slowly headed for the South Australian coast, so we can drive back to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road. We drove south towards Mildura, which is farming country for citrus and grapes. We stopped 20 kms short of Mildura at another free spot which was ok. The flies are terrible here at the moment which gets tedious.
8, 9,10/11/12: We made our way through Mildura and south to Ouyen. We stopped for a bit of food, and drove on to Underbool. Its a very small place with a pub and not too much else. But they have set up a couple of campspots in town, and we stayed at the one at the reserve. It free to camp if you don't use the power they provide, and $3 to use the hot showers. Water and toilets are free. We will stay here for a few days to rest up and give the dogs a few days out of the van. The weather is high 20's C during the day and about 12C overnight. Blue skies. No TV but we've got internet and phones. Lazy days sitting in th sun reading, and mastering the new PS3 rally game I bought. Living the dream!
11/11/11: Time to leave Underbool and carry on towards the coast. We to Pinaroo and then south to Keith, bypassing Bordertown. We stopped for lunch and a few supplies, but not much was happening being a Sunday. We left Keith heading northwest to Tintinara, and then turned for the coast. It was good to see the sea again! We stopped for a stroll Salt Creek and had a look at the long sand bar / dunes of the Younghusband Penninsula. From the beach you can see pelican nesting spots on the small islands in the lagoon area, but it was too far for or camera to take any decent photos. We followed the coast road, and stopped at Granite Rocks for the night. It’s a good spot. Free, and pretty much on the beach, although there’s nothing in the way of amenities etc. We went for a walk along the beach and watched the sunset which was pretty good. When we got back to the van there were heaps of bees trying to make a nest in the back of the van which was fun! Dissuaded them eventually, but some got in the van and kept on appearing throughout the evening.
12/11/12: Today we left the beach site and went to Kingston for some bits and bobs. And then we decided to keep going along the coast. We drove to Mount Gambier and contemplated staying there, but in the end we kept on going. Before we left, we had a good look round the Blue Lakes which are volcanic in origin. We stayed the night at Mount Shank, which is another volcanic crater, and free!
13, 14, 15, 16/11/12: This morning we got up had breakfast, and walked to the top of Mount Shank. Its not that high, but is a bit hairy walking around the top of the rim. Good views though. When we left, we followed the coast road to Portland. There is a lot of forestry plantations here which was a different landscape than we’ve been used to. We drove on to Port Fairy. On the way there, we drove past a wind farm, which looks pretty awful. Right on the coastline. Pointless vandalism, but don’t get me started! Port Fairy is really nice – full of old buildings and nice streets. We had a quick look around and then headed for Killarney Beach reserve. $17 a night, hot showers, and TV reception. This will be home for a few days while before heading to some of Janine’s chums in Terang. The beach is ok here, and the dogs can be off leash all day. Time for more relaxing.
17-20/11/12: From Killarney we headed for Terang to catch up with Jano’s friends Claire and Peter. We drove through Warrnambool and inland to Terang. We ended up staying for 4 nights which meant we saw the X Factor final on the big screen! Terang is a nice town, and it was a very nice stay. Claire and Peter’s house is an old style place which has been done up really nicely. We were driven around and shown the area and made very welcome.
21-26/11/12: We left Terang on the Wednesday morning and drove back to the coast road. We stayed at Johanna Beach which is a free camp. There are toilets there but no water. Its quite a grassy nice spot, and the weather was great. We decided to stay for a few days before heading ‘home’ for my birthday and Christmas. Pretty much did nothing other than beach walking and reading, as usual.
We didn’t tell anyone we were coming back, but judging by the state of the driveway, I think we were expected!