Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Phil & Christine Rettke's Honeymoon Day 4

Up early and with little to pack we enjoyed a comfortable breakfast in our cabin at Barcaldine while listening to the parrots chatter in the tree behind us. As there was no cloud in the sky we gave the sunrise a miss and took our time leaving Barky. I mean it was only 110kms to Longreach and we didn't need to be there until 9.30am. An easy drive!! We headed West on the Landsborough Hwy (Matilda Way) and about 20 minutes in we passed the first cop car since Ipswich. About 2 minutes later we stumbled upon this beauty, a very cool windmill!

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Cool hey!! We then passed through Ilfracombe and then around 8.30am we hit the outskirts of Longreach. We pulled over at the entrance to town for a few photos since we had some time to kill. 
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We then moved on in the direction of The Stockman's Hall of Fame. It wasn't far, and the giant windmill stood out big time reaching way over the tree tops around the building. 
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We had arrived with time to have a coffee and some morning tea before the Hall of Fame opened. A few photos from outside and it was time to enter and have a look around. So much info and history, it took us quite a while to work our way through, but is definitely a must see for anyone visiting the area. It really is a place all Australians should visit.
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Before we left a quick toilet break was needed...
We then headed across the road to the QANTAS Founders Museum. Again it was brilliant, and well worth the entry fee. The amount of history that is housed behind these walls was amazing.
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The day was starting to move well into the afternoon by time we had finished looking around the museums so we thought a drive around town was in order and maybe also grab a bite to eat. We chose to dine at the Merino Cafe and have some meat and salad rolls. They were yummy!! We got a few more supplies from the IGA including a 10pack of coke that was around 10 years old. We also got an extra billy for the campfire cooking as one is a bit limiting sometimes. After fuelling up at BP Longreach, we checked ours books and decided where we would camp. As Welford National Park seemed an ideal and very scenic place to set up camp, we considered heading there until we found out that it was still closed due to the floods. So running out of daylight (2pm) we decided on Lochern National Park. Off we go South from Longreach towards Jundah, overtaking a beautiful horse drawn carriage. About 60km later something caught my eye on the side of the road so I pulled over and run back to see what it was. Now those of you that know me know that nothing much gets past me when I am driving, I can spot a needle in a haystack from a mile off. It was a big, beautiful Wedge Tailed Eagle feather. It was massive and in perfect condition. It got put in a very safe place. Not far further on we stopped for a quick walk around the car and a stretch of the legs when I found this old run down shed and yards at Windapole Creek. Wow… I love old stuff like this!
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I actually had a brainwave and decided shoes would be a great idea before walking off into the spiky wilderness here, so glad I did, but shorts may have been the best choice.. Never mind a few scratches and puncture wounds never hurt anyone... Did they??? We soon made it to the Lochern turnoff where we hit our first red dirt track. The dust looked pretty cool behind us as we hurtled towards the scrubby forest.
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As we entered the National Park we encountered another wild animal, this time a feral one. Feral pigs are a huge problem in outback QLD and these ones took off from the side of the track pretty quick as they are quiet fearful of humans and vehicles. We spotted quiet a few carcasses on the road that had been left from the shooters in the area.
Can you spot these 2???

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We also come across some big red roos along the way, these also a target of the local shooters in the area as they are in plague proportions.
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We turned off the main road into the track to Broadwater Waterhole Campground and followed the river bank down to the self registration box. Here we had a bird of prey keeping a very close eye on what we were up to.
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We preceded through the packed out campground (ok there was one other lot of campers) to the last campsite, to be met by a beautiful spot under the Bloodwoods along the banks of the Thomson River. We had time to set up camp before it got too dark and then we had a stroll along the banks wishing the whole time I had packed some fishing gear. There were fish jumping and going nuts everywhere!!
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As the sun began to set I thought a shot here was needed, even though the sky still didn't want to play the game... It was again quite bland.

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Not wanting to give up the tradition of a good meal while camping, I again cooked up a big serve of chunky soup and toast on the trusty old cooker... We never tire of soup!! While tea was cooking we decided on Windorah as the next day’s destination. As it got darker those scary bush noises started so I set up the camera to grab a shot of the night sky again before we went to bed. The light from the campsite and fire lit up the trees nicely and also the track leading in to our site. We really were away from any lights and the sky was just stunning. A great spot to lie in bed and watch the stars. We called it quits for another day... zzzzzz
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Overall Day 4 was quiet an easy driving day, with only a total of 257km leading to a total of 1636km all up.

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