As I sit and reflect on the month that has been, the coals on the fire are glowing keeping my feet, still in thongs, toasty warm. Around me the crickets are singing, stars glistening and the smells of earth and grass waft around me. I can’t help but reflect on how privileged I am that for tonight and for a short period of time this is my living room and backyard.
This month started in the Atherton Tablelands which had chilly nights and warm days with a harsh sun and ended up further West with similar weather after experiencing a few hot days and with warm nights. A major highlight of this month was having a close encounter with a wild platypus at Zillie Falls. He just popped up out of nowhere and came within less than a metre of Steve, and then proceeded to dive into the water towards some small rapids. For at least 15 minutes we just stood there watching this amazing creature swim up and float back down the rapid having a feed on something on the rocks. It was a money can’t buy experience which we feel so lucky to have had.
We headed further West where the landscape changed quite suddenly from lush rainforest and tablelands to drier rocky land more suited to mining than farming.
There in a small town called Irvinebank we spent a week recuperating from something that made us both feel quite rundown. At the end of this the town had its annual John Moffat Festival and we joined in on the festivities.
Only an hour or so down the road is Chillagoe (check out our video of the area), a town surrounded by rugged limestone outcrops, caves and marble mines. We were lucky enough to be shown around a couple of mining leases from a local and gain some understanding about the techniques used to cut out the 25 tonne blocks of marble from the earth. Camping on the Walsh River just out of Chillagoe was just pure bliss. We had beautiful warm days where the sun had a small bite to it, simply perfect to spend the day just dipping in and out of the cool and crisp waters which host some freshwater crocodiles, fish and cherabin. Otherwise Steve was scrambling over rocks and sandy river beds to explore further for a nice fishing hole.
We slowly made our way to Karumba, a sleepy seaside town which comes alive for the tourist season. Then onto Normanton where we stopped for a week waiting for new solar panels to arrive to keep the power up to our new freezer. Alas it did not arrive but we were able to get it diverted to Mount Isa where we will pick it up when we drive through. We definitely wouldn’t have normally stayed in Normanton for a week, we definitely weren’t in love with the town or the area but we tried to make the most of it and I got square eyes from trying to sort out photos and videos on the computer. It was so good to get on the road again and hit the roads exploring, it felt good to go bush and not have any signal to distract us.
We have spent the last few days in Julia Creek, a quaint little town with such a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where we lived it up with a cheese platter and artesian bath while the sun set. We detoured after talking to some other travellers to check out the billabong where Waltzing Matilda was born, Combo Waterhole, and then to Walkabout Creek Hotel from Crocodile Dundee for a drink. At Cloncurry there is the museum for the man on the 20 dollar note, Reverend John Flynn, who started the Royal Flying Doctor Service and we found ourselves gobbling up all the information and history this place had to offer, it was absolutely fantastic. We aren’t quite sure what the month ahead has to offer us however we plan to cross the border in a short while and start exploring the Northern Territory.
What we have learnt
We are actually good at spending money and need to reign it in from now on.
Steve’s Collection- the ‘things’ he has found along the way
• 5cents 😂
Click Here for an update on our expenses for our trip so far.