This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2006 Travels April 7


Near Augathella, we nearly hit a mob of emus, this morning. Of course, the group that was on one side of the road, all decided at the last minute that they had to make a dash to the other side. John managed to slow down just enough – without endangering the rig – to just brush the tail feathers of the last bird. That was one lucky emu. The brakes all seemed to be working quite efficiently!

Stopped for a coffee break at the excellent rest are at Tambo. Got chatting to the occupants of another van that was parked there. Discovered that they were also going up to Adels to work. What a co-incidence! But they were not due to start until the end of this month.

He had hit his van on the corner of the shelter roof, as he’d pulled in, and taken the top front corner off the van. So now he had to find somewhere to get repairs.

They seemed pleasant people, which was good, because working with people one does not get on with, in such an isolated place, gets really difficult.

Refuelled at Tambo – $1.36cpl. 420kms done.

Had decided to try to make Winton today. We would feel happier once we made it to Mt Isa!

Refuelled again at Longreach – 326kms done. $1.35cpl.

We were in rain from Longreach on. It was quite heavy at first, around Longreach, but had eased off somewhat by the time we reached Winton.

Resize of 04-07-2006 Rain band near Winton

Rain band near Winton

The radio news said the Landsborough Highway was closed at Kynuna, after Winton. However, we were not sure if this was still accurate, as there seemed to be a lot of trucks passing us, heading east, and they had to have come from Cloncurry or beyond.

Refuelled again at Winton, even though we’d only done 186kms. With the rain. we thought fuel supplies further on might be uncertain. $1.35cpl.

Went into the Matilda Caravan Park at Winton. $18 after discount, staying hitched up.

The camp ground was really muddy in the drizzling rain. Apart from necessary visits to the amenities, we just hunkered down in the van, had an easy tea and an early night.

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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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2000 Travels June 5


The sky was cloudy today, but it was high cloud.

We had a lot to pack up. Left Opalton about 11am – sadly, as we had become quite attached to our shelter and the camp area in general.

05-26-2000 opalton camp distant.jpg

Last view of our camp at Opalton

Reached Winton about 1.30pm, and stopped in town to collect the mail. Had a quick look through it, immediately. A cheque was there, for John’s inheritance from his sister, so he banked that straight away, at the Post Office. He wrote out a cheque for the money he’d promised R and sent that off.

I quickly bought a few supplies.

We booked back into the Matilda Country Caravan Park, for $13.50, and stayed in one of their sites where we could remain hitched up.

I had a looooong hot shower, washed my hair, shaved my legs, pumiced my feet. Then I felt really clean again! The shower at Opalton had been sort of adequate, but one did not linger in the very cold water, and of course, it was heavily sedimented.

John chatted with a couple of fellow campers who came from Wagga. One made wooden tool handles so they all chatted about that, and steaming wood to shape it, a process that interests John. He obtained their names and addresses and an invitation to look them up when next we go through Wagga.

Tea was pumpkin soup, sausages in bread.

We had TV again! I hadn’t missed it. Tonight did miss sitting out around the fire in the quiet of the bush, though.

The cloud cover made the night seem warmer.

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2000 Travels May 22


As we were starting to pack up, got talking to the people on the site behind us. He was another retired Victorian primary school principal, so he and John got to comparing experiences and thoughts about the system. So we were quite late getting away, but we did not have too far to go.

It was an uneventful run through to Winton, mostly over the same flat, grassy plains as a couple of days ago. There was occasional flood damage to the road, from earlier in the year, but it was not too bad.

As we approached Winton could see some distant ranges, which promised more interesting country.

We arrived at Winton about lunchtime, and booked into the Matilda Country Caravan Park, on its northern edge, for three nights. Cost was $13.50 a night, after discount.

It was a small park, but adequate. After all, Winton is a small town. The sites were gravel. There were some very nice shade trees for just about every site.

05-23-2000 camp winton.jpg

Set up at Winton

It was a warm day, but pleasant, so after lunch we decided to go walking and explore the town. Given the location of the caravan park, this turned into a substantial walk.

Winton grew up in the later 1800’s, as a centre for the surrounding pastoral stations. It promotes itself as the place where QANTAS began (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services), in 1920, and also claims that the song Waltzing Matilda was written by Banjo Paterson when staying on nearby Dagworth Station.

We found a shop with an extensive gemstone display. I had seen a reference to a place called Opalton, south of here, in a book, and I’d found some information about it in the caravan park office. It was not on the map in our Road Atlas, though. John talked with the man in the shop about it. So he then decided we would drive there tomorrow and have a fossick for opals. That will be different! We will see some more of the country, at any rate.

I hadn’t known until now that opals were found in these parts, at all.

There was a really pretty sunset.

05-22-2000 sunset winton.jpg

Tea was leek and onion soup, pasta with a rosemary zucchini sauce.

I went to shower in the lesser used block of the two available – an older one. The toilet cistern had pulled away from the wall, and there were seven little brown frog faces peering up at me from the gap!

05-22-2000 to winton