This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2002 Travels October 21

MONDAY 21 OCTOBER   TOWNSVILLE TO MIDGE POINT   300kms

From other travellers, I had heard glowing reports of a caravan park at Midge Point, near Proserpine. It seemed a more peaceful alternative to staying at the nearby backpacker haven of Airlie Beach. This was an ideal time, I thought, to satisfy my curiosity about this place.

We drove south from Townsville, passing through Giru and wondering whether the mango shed work there would really eventuate. Initially the way south from Townsville was quite hilly, but closer to Giru the land flattened out, with just the Dividing Range in the western distance. Great fields of sugar cane appeared and then some mango plantations.

From Giru to Ayr was through flat, sugar cane growing country. Ayr was a good sized town. We would get to know it better if we came to stay here. Just south of Ayr, we crossed the impressive metal bridge over the Burdekin River. It is all metal girders and struts and the overall impression is rather temple like. This bridge is almost as long as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and testament to the sometimes huge floods of the river, with its large catchment area.

Just across the river was the large Inkerman sugar mill.

Beyond Home Hill township, the sugar cane country soon gave way to grazing lands – not as interesting to drive through. There were some pockets of crop land though, especially around Bowen, and closer to Prosperpine.

The highway skirted Prosperpine, then several kms south of the town, we turned onto a road that would take us past the Laguna Quays resort development to Midge Point.

We booked into the Travellers Rest Caravan Park – $97 for the week, after Top Tourist discount. Then we set up in what appeared as a very attractive, lush, green, shaded, tropical park.

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Midge Point Caravan Park

There were almost no other guests, a fact that I initially put down to the time of year, well outside the tourist season.

There were peacocks wandering about the grounds. A male made us a great display of his tail feathers.

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Peacock display – from the wrong side

We were not far from a beach, just down a little walk track, but decided to leave exploring until tomorrow, and just relax for the rest of the afternoon. However, sitting outside and enjoying the lush surrounds did not last for long, as the bities soon arrived. We retreated inside.

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1998 Travels December 1

TUESDAY 1 DECEMBER     CHARTERS TOWERS

It is the first day of summer. Up here that is, officially, the start of the cyclone season.

We visited the Tourist Information Centre, where I added to the information I’d picked up previously, in other places, about this area and places further south we might go.

Then we walked and looked at some of the superb old buildings. John went and browsed in the Mining Museum; I wandered about, window shopping and put in a film for processing.  Picked it up after an hour and was satisfied with the photos.

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The Stock Exchange Arcade and other grand buildings

We inspected the old Stock Exchange Arcade, which is superb. Yes – Charters Towers was so important because of its rich gold mining that it had its own stock exchange, from 1890 to 1916. This facilitated the trading of shares in the various mining companies, on the world stage. The arcade has an intricately tiled floor, and there is a barreled vault roof and stained glass use.  There are little shops tucked in behind columns, inside. Maybe these were once stock brokers’ offices?

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Inside the Stock Exchange Arcade

After lunch we did the tourist drive, as outlined in some of the gumpf I collected. This took us out to the weir on the nearby Burdekin River. There was a lot of water pounding over this – quite awesome to look at. It would be tremendous in a flood time.

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The Town Weir on the Burdekin River

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Burdekin River downstream from the Town Weir

The rest of the drive was just so-so.

There was a lot of lightning happening, within the clouds to the SE, later in the afternoon.

After tea of steak, salad and mushrooms, we drove to the Rotary Lookout to try – unsuccessfully – to take photos of the lightning.

I really like that this town is preserving and maintaining so many of its grand old buildings.