Barcaldine - Top Tourist Park
So we ended up staying at the Top Tourist Park in Barcaldine. We were tempted to stay at the showgrounds or the free stopover into town, but were swayed with an offering of a laundry and free wifi internet.
Day 1: Monday:
- Leaving Duaringa:
- We saw a great sunrise at Duaringa 6:30
- Lots of people cleared out early.
- Tried out the gas grill for toast - worked awesome.
- Packed up our stuff after everyone else, decided to check the oil before driving off to barky. Surprise surprise - it was on the "low" mark. Topped it up to mid way and will check again in the next few days. Of course spilt it all over the engine trying to top it up from the full oil container (adds funnel to shopping list).
- Drive to Barcaldine was lonnnng but interesting.
- Stopped at Emerald to fill up fuel and had red rooster wraps omnomnom.
- Got supplies from supercheap.(tyre chocks, funnel (from this mornings oil disaster), cable ties, extension socket ratchet thingey.
- Dried to find a shop with Camps 6 book but everyone was sold out.
- Saw a man carrying two shotguns crossing a street.
- Army convoy drove through town - big convoy!
- Saw our first long trains - and the station where their carriages are loaded with coal (blackwater). All the trains were stopped on the tracks about 5km appart.
- Stopped at an old railway station
- Army convoy passed us while we were stopped over so we had to follow them for a long time. The last truck looked like a generator truck and was reallllly slow up hills.
- Almost hit a ferral cat crossing the road.
- Stopped for a nap at Alpha - Hayley made some friends with a couple traveling the same way as us. Got boxed in by road trains at the truck stop. Hayley made trucky friends too haha.
- Tried to do ab exercises while driving (note: only do this on an empty stomac - not after kfc)
- Arrived at Barcaldine:
- Nice town. 1 main street (the highway) and you cannot miss the HUGE building over the tree of knowledge.
- Couple of good free stopover places around town - the weir looks great.
- Setup camp then dropped in on a friend of ours.
- Went to the Hotel across the road for a great meal (Ironbark Motel). You have a choice of Lamb, Pork, Rump, Barramundi or Ribs. Then serve yourself roast veggies / salad bar. Highly recommended. About $25-$30 per meal. Pub meals in town are cheaper but they were closed on the Monday night.
- Discount voucher from the caravan park for a meal at the Shakespear.
- After dinner back to camp for drinks and yarn with baz outside the van
Day 2: Tuesday
- Went to baz's place with 3 loads of washing.
- Put one on then went to the shops, picked up fresh bread rolls, hot chicken and salad for a picnic down by the creek.
- IGA in town was good - had everything we needed. Next door was a bakery (good rolls!) and a butcher (really nice snags and stir fry beef - also frozen chicken filo's - Hayleys fav)
- Drove down to the weir (about 15k's out of town - single lane road 1/3 of the way.at the end). Weir is a great free stopover place, and also good for a lunch time picnic (all the morning campers leave and the arvo arrivals haven't turned up yet).
- Swapped the load of washing over at baz's and then drove out to the botanical gardens (a walking track through the dusty scrub showing some native flora - and fauna if you're lucky).
- Saw our first batch of emu's next to the road - cute!
- Dead stuff everywhere on the side of the roads - ew!
- Dropped baz off and swapped the washing over again (last load! weee)
- Came back to camp and rested for a bit.
- 3pm came round and the local singer started at the camp ground over the load speakers - only 1 song in and the power went out for the entire town (blessing?)
- 4pm came round and the camp ground billy tea / dampa session began. Don't need power for this. The local tour guide (Tim? Tom? Locky?) told stories about the local history and some good bush poetry. Really great - stay at this camp ground just to hear him haha.
- Dampa was amazing ! Especially with butter and golden syrup. like nothing we could ever cook. Billy tea was nice too.
- 5:30 back to the van and started cooking some yummy snags (from the local butcher) along with mash, peas and corn.
- Still no power, baz's tennis match was cancelled.
- Dave went round to baz's when the power came back on about 6:30. Relaxed for a bit while Hayley packed up the van =P
Day 3 in Barcaldine: Wednesday 3rd August 2011
- Packed up the van at the top Tourist Park ready to head out to the free spot at the weir.
- Had planned on doing some work this morning but the free wifi was still down from yesterdays powerout - oh well.
- Dave went for a ride with baz around town - nice little circuit - actually quite buggered after that ride haha.
- Shower before leaving - great water in Barcaldine - all bore water - tastes great and I don't think they actually pay for it like we do back home. Use as much as you want - not running out. Fill up your water at barcaldine before heading north / west as it just gets worse.
- More about the weir in next post.
Day Number: 10 and 11
Two commercial camps and the showgrounds in town ($26/night), one main petrol station, IGA, butcher, baker, 5 pubs and a bottleo. Couple of free spots nearby too. Great stay, 6hr blackout second night.
Dumb thing we did today
- Drove off down the main street with the kettle and a scrubbing brush on the front bumper bar. Random!
- Checked the oil for the first time on the whole trip - stupid us haha - it was low.
Travel Map from Previous Location
- Distance: 474km
- Average Speed: 78km/h
- Time: 8hrs (incl 2 hours of breaks)
- Stops: Petrol, Red Rooster, Super Cheap, Old Railway Station, Nap at Alpha.