Thursday, 6 October 2011

Phil & Christine Rettke's Honeymoon Day 3

We woke early to a brisk morning, we had some breakfast (I think I had Coco Pops) and then proceeded to pack up camp. The sun was just rising as we wheeled out of Nev Hewitt Weir Picnic Area. Overall not a bad place to camp, maybe a 2 1/2 out of 5-star place, very self sufficient, reasonably quiet, good toilets but not overly scenic.. Just as we were leaving we spotted a pair of Tawny Frogmouth Owls in a tree on the side of the road. Quiet a cute couple, catching some morning warmth.
Click Image to see a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography

I snapped a few shots and we left them to spoon in peace. We headed though Baralaba in the direction of Woorabinda on the Fitzroy Development Road, quite a good road and proved to be worth it. It was here, about 60kms into the day we come across our first wild Emu's of the trip, I quickly (and safely of course) pulled over into the pile of broken beer bottles and jumped out to grab a shot as they scurried off into the bush. Again we were both excited that we had seen another major Australian icon in the wild.
Click Image for a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography
After all the excitement we kept going and eventually hung a left onto the Capricorn Hwy and headed towards Blackwater. We bypassed the small towns of Dingo and Bluff where we managed to sit in road works for a small while and then wait for a wide load to move through. I had been this way once before, many years ago now when I was a young fella, but nothing looked familiar. We arrived around 10.30am in Blackwater, so having made pretty good time we had some morning smoko at the Lions Park and stretched the legs for a while. A quick check of the Patrol and also made sure everything was still secured on the roof and we were again on the way.
Click Image for a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography
The drive to Emerald was exciting as I had not been there for so long and I had small bits and pieces in my mind of what I remembered... None of which we saw I remembered. The town had changed a fair bit in 20 years. We found a Caltex and we decided to top up on fuel and then we found a place to park and sat down and enjoyed some lunch. After an hour here in Emerald we decided it was time to get going. Back on the Capricorn Highway we headed past the turnoff for Rubyvale and Sapphire, this I remember from my previous trip. We almost made a detour here but decided to keep to our one day at a time plan. Just after the town of Anakie, we spotted a pretty cool old crusty Homestead called "Willows". I braved the prickles but decided not to venture past the fence into the overgrown yard.
Click Image for a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography
The next stop was at the Drummond Range Scenic Lookout, and boy was it scenic. It was a lovely view East back out towards the coast. We stopped here and had a cold drink and wiped the sweat from our brows as the temperature had climbed ridiculously high for this time of year. I was actually starting to get sun burn in my singlet. We meet a nice old caravanning couple up here that had come from Broome, telling us just how cold it was the last few days of their travels.. Oh what we had to look forward to!!
Click Image for a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography
Later on in the day we saw a sign for a Point of Interest (POI) so I pulled over to find a historical marker that stated "Major Sir Thomas Mitchell and party passed this spot on 23rd July 1846 while exploring the Belyando River being the first Europeans to visit the area" The decision here to get out of the 4wd with no shoes one really was a bad one.. The amount of prickles and Bullhead Thorns I had to pull out of my feet was amazing and they do tend to hurt quiet a bit.
After Christine stopped laughing at me we proceeded on to Alpha, Jericho and then finally into Barcaldine or as the locals like to call it (Barky). We checked out the Tourist Info Centre and the giant windmill outside.
Click Image for a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography
We opted to spend the night in a cabin at the Barcaldine Tourist Park. The cabins here were quiet new, clean and everything worked well and it was the cheapest cabin we had the entire time we were away. The only place on the whole trip we found that actually had "free wi-fi" (except maccas). As the sun started to get lower in the sky, I made a call to head west a bit on the road we would travel on Day 4 of our adventure. We drove and drove and we drove some more looking for something of interest. A nice silhouette... A windmill... A tree maybe... anything... something... Then we had a win!! The Landsborough Hwy at sunset.
Click Image for a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography
When we got back to Barky we dined out on the town at a small cafe on the main street, I ordered a Steak Sandwich, only to be told after 10 minutes of waiting they had run out of steak... :S So I settled for a Hamburger... I knew we should have gone to the pub! After dinner we walked across the road to the Tree of Knowledge, which gets lit up quiet nicely at night. We took some photos, read the info boards. It was quiet amazing!!


Click Image for a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography

Click Image for a larger version, or click here to see more pictures from Phil Rettke Photography
After a good walk around the main street we headed off back to the cabin. After a total of 587km for day 3, a good nights rest was in order, as tomorrow we were by far into new territory and looking forward to reaching Longreach!!


Click here to read more of Phil and Christine Rettke's Honeymoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enjoy the article? Leave a comment below!