This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

1998 Travels December 5

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We were up at 6.15am and away at 8.10, after a good, uneventful pack up.

It was a hot day, of course.

We found it a rather monotonous drive south to Emerald. From Charters Towers, as far south as the Cape River – about 125kms – the road was mostly just a one width strip of bitumen; after that it was a normal two lane road and was pretty good. There were a couple of long stretches of road works on the single width sections.

We wonder whether weekends are THE days for moving extra-big loads? Had to pull over – right over – for five different lots, all with police escorts front and rear. Two lots had big dredges or machine buckets; one was a big shed or building; two were big machines, with huge double sets of wheels hanging over the edges of the tray of the carrying vehicle. They were monster loads.

12-05-1998 wide load south of belyando.jpg

It is a good thing that the road has wide shoulders – south of Belyando Crossing

The country was a mix of scrub and grazing lands, but was pleasantly green.

We stopped at Belyando Crossing for a drinks break. Truck finished up parked by a big stock road train that came in after us, which dwarfed our rig. We worked out that the road train had 62 wheels. Would cost a lot to get new tyres on that!

12-05-1998 belyando crossing.jpg

Our rig is dwarfed by a road train at Belyando Crossing

There was a big coal mine – Blair Athol – just north of Clermont.

We did not deviate to drive into Clermont township, which is slightly off the main road. We had originally thought of overnighting there, but John was feeling able to push on to Emerald.

We had lunch at a roadworks site, south of Clermont.

The Peak Range in the distance, to the east, made the last 100kms or so, more interesting to travel. Closer to Emerald, we came into farming country which was quite lush.

We bought fuel in Emerald – 75cpl. It is hard to account for the variations in fuel prices that we are encountering.

Then drove on out to Lake Maraboon Caravan Park, by the Fairburn Dam, some 20kms south of Emerald. We had decided that this sounded a more pleasant place to stay than in the town.

The Fairburn Dam was built across the Nogoa River for irrigation and forms the second largest dam in Qld, after Lake Dalrymple on the Burdekin. We drove over the dam wall and spillway to get to the caravan park. The road over the dam wall was not all that wide and it is definitely not the sort of feature I like driving over! We got good views, though.

The caravan park looked ok, so we booked in for a week. It cost $81 after Top Tourist discount and we get a free night. Pretty good deal, we thought. The place turned out to be rather busy and noisy today, though, with a large group out here for a Xmas party – with many children. There is some sort of cafe place attached to the park that obviously caters for such things. There were also motor boats and water skiers down the hill at the lake. But, we have a pleasant site. Hopefully, things will quieten down after the weekend.

There are lots of rainbow lorikeets and apostle birds around the park.

After we got set up, went for a walk along part of the lake side, where there was a path. We needed some exercise after the day of sitting.

Tea was vegie stir fry with hokkien noodles.


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