G'day and welcome to Day 2!
After such a busy week filled with lots and lots of fun wedding stuff, if was great to get a really good "long" nights sleep!! We woke just before sunrise to be greeted by a very thick fog over the dam.
We had breakfast and packed up camp (takes about 20 mins) and headed off to the Boondooma Dam lookout. Due to the fog the view was quite obscured. We left Boondooma Dam and continued on our way, only to be greeted by an amazing sight. Bottle trees poking out through the lifting fog. Some small, some skinny and some big fat ones.... I took quite a few photos along this stretch of road.
The fog started to thicken again so we kept moving heading towards Brigooda where we came across the Brigooda Hall. This community hall had definitely seen better days, with opened doors and missing iron from the roof. I walked around and couldn't help having a quick peep inside. It was full of old cutlery and plates as well as quite a fine piano, tables and chairs. In fact if it wasn't for the rat poo and pigeons it would have looked quite used. We learnt later in the day from a local historian that it has been sold for relocation recently.
We hit the road and headed towards Mundubbera where we spotted a sign for Boondooma Homestead, we pulled in to be greeted by a very happy local "Buddy" who's family once lived here. We paid our $5 each for a walk around the historic buildings where "Buddy" happily showed us around and told us stories and the history behind the homestead and the station. More info can be found at www.boondoomahomestead.org.au
The Stone Store was built between 1854-1858 out of local materials. It is believed to be the first building in Australia to be built with metric measurements.
We headed on through Mundubbera on the Burnett Hwy, about halfway between here and Eidsvold we stopped at a roadside stall selling fruit. We got a good supply of the yummiest, sweet mandarins and saw this funky fruit called Buddha's Hand. We didn't get any... After Eidsvold we stopped at a small park at Mulgildie to take off shoes and jumpers and have a loo break. I decided it was time for a singlet since it was so warm. While Christine wasn't looking a bunyip crawled up from the river behind her... I think it smelt the Mandarins??
We quickly left (unharmed) and headed to Monto where we saw a sign for Cania Gorge, we quickly detoured off the highway to the picnic area to grab some information brochures on the park. We figured as it was getting on in the day we would press on as it would be easy to come back to at a later date. On the way out we saw a very passionate QLD supporter waving his flag as we drove through Moonford.
Thangool then to Biloela where we stopped and grabbed fuel and an iced coffee and decided on a place of rest for the night. We consulted our HEMA Camps Australia guide and decided on a site at Neville Hewitt Weir Park beside the Dawson River at Baralaba. We left Biloela then and headed west towards Banana where we didn't see any Banana's at all??? We took the Baralaba turnoff and it was here we saw our first "Road Train" sign. We were excited!!
We got to Baralaba with a bit of daylight time to spare so we did the tour of town. 1 1/2 minutes later we were done... :) We called into the local store and bought a tin of Milo and a packet of quite old Tim Tams for an after dinner snack. We then proceeded to go set up camp for the day. We noticed all the caravans were all huddled together near the toilet block, this I still don't understand but felt kind of unusual setting up by ourselves under a nice gum tree (I can only assume it has something to do with weak bladders or the likes as it was a common trait with a lot of places we stayed at). As the sun started to set we took a stroll along the Dawson River, camera in hand to be greeted by an amazing river with absolutely nothing that could be used as foreground interest except a muddy bank... I took a shot anyway after trying a few angles and liked this one as it really starts to show a bit of those warm Australian Outback colours.(Click image for larger version, to see more photos from Phil Rettke Photography click here)
We got back to camp and I cooked up a storm. A nice warm plate of Spaghetti and toast, washed down with an ice cold rum and some quite old funny looking Tim Tams we bought earlier... They tasted ok but really did look funky. While we sat back and enjoyed the night sky I set the camera up on the tripod and did some long exposures to try and capture the amount of stars that were visible... To see this many stars was amazing and it started to sink in that we really were starting to get into remote territory.