This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2005 Travels March 24


Today was doing the final preparations for the coming Easter period – and hopefully, some business.

John helped clean up some of the Wet season fallen timber, down in the grove – getting it ready for those campers (without generators or dogs) who chose to camp down there.

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Using the bobcat to clear away some fallen timber by the creek

In anticipation of some demand, there was now a helicopter and pilot and sightseeing flights on offer at peak times. He flew in yesterday, and was parked at the side of the airstrip.

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It was supply truck day. There were no grapefruit in the order for me. Boss had ordered them, but the supplier noted that they were too poor quality to send. Fair enough.

The ice freezer in the shop had broken down. Much melted ice. Awful timing.

We had worked with whoever else was available and had managed to get all the B row DBB tents up, over the past few days. No C row as yet, but unlikely they would be needed yet, anyway. They were least in demand, being furthest away from the creek and the shade.

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2005 Travels March 23


It was a day off for us.

I read for a while – some magazines that were around – then wandered about, taking photos.

We watched birds. Saw a dollar bird – they were only here in the Wet season. We had put out a couple of bird drinking water containers and these brought the birds in close for us to observe while we sat outside the van. The bird life around here was so prolific and wonderful to watch.

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White browed robin

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Great bower bird

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Yellow tinted honeyeater

The boss’ friends, J and J, in the next van, were really nice. They travel a lot and were also into birds. He’d fallen out of a canoe recently and drowned his binoculars and was waiting on new ones to arrive. Then they would be moving on.

It was mail plane day. We received a small bag of mail forwarded by the sitters.

Discovered that Truck would not start. Both batteries were flat. As they were only recently new, this was disconcerting and we had no idea why it happened. They seemed to recharge alright at the workshop, so we may have been lucky and not wrecked them. Bit of a worry, though.

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2005 Travels March 22


It was the same sort of day as yesterday.

There was a party of work experience students from Doomadgee here, and John was tasked with supervising them and working with them. We wondered if there were any who remembered him from when we were there in 2002. They assembled and oiled deck furniture, but John found them pretty sloppy and unenthusiastic workers. No surprise there, as they were part of the group of boys deemed unsuitable for classroom education!

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Oiling the new deck furniture

We were told about a fly-in guest, last year, who landed on the airstrip with his wheels UP! How embarrassing – not to mention costly – would that be? Apparently, he’d just bought this new plane and his old one had a fixed undercarriage, so he wasn’t in the habit of thinking about wheels. I could envisage a scenario where he was wondering what that alarm noise was, and thinking he would look up the manual after he landed……..

Even worse for the poor man was that he had to stick around for a while until the required repair work was organized. No doubt the subject of a lot of whispered comments on the dining deck, at night.


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2005 Travels March 21


We did some more tent putting up work.

I then painted some of the metal  frames  of tent beds, that were showing signs of rust.

Lovely new kwila wood tables and chairs had been bought for the dining deck. John did some assembling of these. Then we both did some oiling of them.

It was very hot and humid – just an ongoing thing. It was very hard to sleep at night, in the van, even with the fan going. It was lucky that we could have this – the main generator was being run all night, as there were few guests to be disturbed by it. The air was stifling. I’d often wondered what it was like up here in the Wet – guess I was finding out!

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Lawn Hill Creek at Adels Grove

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2005 Travels March 20


John and I worked with A to put up some of the Hiltons – the creek front DBB tents that had a premium charge because of their views. A couple, closest to the main building and a little back from the creek, had been put on platforms, and stayed up permanently.  But the majority were right on the creek edge and came down for the Wet.

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Creek front tent on platform, and some of the ones we had to put up.

It was very hot and humid. X was still being wimpy and contributing very little.

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2005 Travels March 19


We started work today.

John went up to the kitchen for breakfast. I had mine at the van, as I preferred to do.

John and I worked with L and put up the tent hire tents – which had been taken down last year, for the Wet season.

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Hire tent with protective tarp over roof

Tent hire tents had made up beds, a table,  chairs, towels. Guests who wanted to self cater hired these. They had the standard fire pit and tap.

We had to put up the tents and the tarps that covered their roofs. The tarps provided some protection from falling tree debris and also kept the tents a little cooler. In the rather unlikely event of rain, the not very waterproof tents stayed drier.

The new lady X was supposed to set up the tent insides, after we’d put up each one. She was incredibly slow and complained so much: the mattresses (single bed foam) were too heavy to carry, it was too hot to work, and so on. What a wimp!

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Hire tent with great shade

It was very hot and humid, I must admit, but one just kept up the water intake and worked through it.

After work, I wandered about the place, taking photos that might be able to be used on postcards. I thought it was high time the very limited old range of these was extended – it had the potential to be such a money maker for the place.

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2005 Travels March 18


Once again, we set out on the familiar way to Adels.

Topped up the fuel at Burke and Wills Roadhouse – $1.33cpl.

The skies to the north looked really quite threatening. Found out later that there had been heavy rains, last week, up Burketown way. Associated with that cyclone that went across the Gulf I guess. A Ringrose Transport truck got bogged up by the old Tiranna Roadhouse – and stayed bogged for several days. But that was really an exception in what had been a light Wet season.

We stopped to eat lunch beside the road, west of Gregory Downs.

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Lunch stop

It was not as green through here as I’d expected, but there was some water pooled beside the road in places.

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Between Gregory and Adels we saw brolgas, and several bustards.

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The unsealed road was not too bad, for this time of year. We travelled pretty cautiously. In some of the little dip gullies, there were water worn gutters to crawl through. The Louie Creek crossing was dry.

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We looked out for the drum top signs, on trees, that John had made in 2003. Most had gone, victim of souvenir hunters, but we saw three or four survivors.

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John with one of his 2003 signs, by Louie Creek

We received a great welcome from the old hands and management at Adels Grove.

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Took the rig down to park in the usual staff area in the Grove.

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The Grove camping area, without campers

A new couple from interstate had been there for a week. They got the idea of working here from a previous staff member they met somewhere. They certainly gave off vibes that they were not happy to see more staff and did not want our van anywhere near theirs! They told us that the friends of the boss’ who were camped down there, were leaving tomorrow, so we should park over near them. Turned out they were not leaving at all……..

The baby of our 2003 time was now two and a half. Very independent, bright and articulate.

Set up for a possibly extended stay. Connected up to power from up in the shed. The other couple had commandeered the  water tap, but John put on a two way splitter and connected us too. John knew where to find some old lino that we could put down to be a floor under the awning.

Then we went for a wander, looking at the changes since 2003.

There was a lot of green grass in the DBB tent area – because of it still being the Wet season.

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As green as it would get, until the next Wet season

Back in 2003, the boss was experimenting with putting tents onto a permanent, roofed platform. There were now another six tents on platforms. An extra hire tent place had been carved out of the bush over in that area.

There was a new, second, shower block for the DBB tent area – same style as the other one, which was great – spacious. A long drop toilet had been installed down in the grove – needed, because it was a long walk from there to the other amenities.

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New shower block

There were seven brown hens roaming about. I wondered how long they would survive the pythons?

Gardens had been established in front of several of the permanent tent platforms and they, along with the ones in front of the dongas, were looking very groomed.

There was a second bus to do tours.

The water supply for the main building was now being pumped from Louie Creek, which did not have the heavy calcium load of Lawn Hill Creek.

The whole place looked really neat and tidy. Each year sees incremental improvements.

We had tea with the other staff, up on the dining deck. It was only the handful of us – no guests. The boss and her friend cooked tea. Apart from the bosses and their friends L and R,  J and J, and the unfriendly couple X and Y, there was a lass, A – some relative – whose main job as the season progressed, would be to mind the toddler.

The establishment now had its alcohol licence – for guests and staff only, no sales to drop ins. Bar duty would be another job for the work roster.

It was so good to be back. Kind of felt like coming home!

We had driven almost 3000 kms in nine days – two of them lay days.

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2005 Travels March 17


It was a hot and cloudy day.

Uneventful drive through country that was a bit better grassed and greener than when we usually travel through here.

Went into the Gilbert Park Caravan Park – $18 after Top Tourist discount.

Unhitched Truck from van, for only the second time this week, to drive to the shops.

We bought some emergency (as in, I haven’t a clue what I will find there) supplies for Pungalina – packets, tins and items that would keep. Got some more wine and beer, for us.

John had decided he needed sweatbands for his head, after experiencing the heat of the past few days. We had to hunt a bit to find a store that sold same, and they were very expensive.

Refuelled Truck – $1.15cpl.

Truck was now packed really tightly!

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2005 Travels March 16


Refuelled on the way out of Longreach in the morning. $1.09cpl

It was a very hot day, but a much shorter day of driving, thankfully. John actually agreed with me that to push on to Cloncurry today would make for a horrible day. Plus, he wanted to visit the opal shop!

There was cloud build up. It looked very much like there would be rain, but we only had a few drops. We really didn’t want to be driving in the heavy downpours that can happen in these parts at this time of year.

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Refuelled in Winton – $1.15cpl.

Went into the Matilda Country Caravan Park. $18 after Top Tourist discount.

Walked to the town centre and to the opal shop at the far end. Had a long talk with the owner – about developments in the area since we were last here. Left some Pungalina brochures with him and also agreed to take some of his brochures up to Adels for display there.

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2005 Travels March 15


Another hot day of driving. The road remained good – wide and smooth.

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Lots of large truck traffic on the highways

Ate lunch at the well set up roadside stop at Tambo. Refuelled in that town too – $1.11cpl.

Set up for the night at the Gunnadoo Caravan Park in Longreach – $22. The parks up this way were still very empty.

We walked up to the Stockmans Hall of Fame. There, persuaded the lady in charge to display some of the Pungalina brochures. They are rather selective about what they display, clearly.

The brief time in the air conditioned building was blissful!

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