Our first free camping experience
13.06.2011 - 13.06.2011
13/6/11 Kinka Beach to Gin Gin
Up early on the Queens Birthday long weekend. It looks like it's going to be a good for traveling - clear and crisp. Need to fill up van water tank before leaving in case there is no water at Gin Gin Rest Area. I doubt there will be.
Packed up and showered (me) and were off by 10.30am. Saw 3 camels on a property on Emu Park Road heading into Rocky!
Into Rocky to the supermarket for coffee, milk and sugar, plus a snack for Jimmi.
On the road and our first stop a service station to check tyre pressure about 35kms out. I noticed in Rocky that there are more US pickup trucks and less Defenders then inTownsvillle. We saw Ford F series, Chevrolet Silverados, Dodge 2500 & 3500. Queensland is still the land of the Toyota Land Cruiser in all it's ages and variations from ute & flatbed to wagon, with dog cages to full serious well used off road bush recovery gear!
Back on the road to Gin Gin 222kms. Turning out to be a stunning day. Sun is hot, little or no breeze, still a little cool. Flat bottomed fluffy clouds plentiful the more south we head, no rain forecast yet.
Planned to stop at the rest stop at Mt Larcom, its on the right heading south. The rest area is a park across from the pub with a sand play area aand toilets but so many vans and poorly parked that Jimmi had to mount the curb and drive across a bit of park just to turn around. They'd blocked the turning circle! Inconsiderate old fogies. We'll need to be more observant of public holidays, school holidays and the nomadic patterns of the "Grey Nomads" or as we refer to them "Grey Gonads" having experienced bit of the "I'm entitled" attitude that SOME, not all, of the older travellers have. Either their driving (not letting trucks pass), parking (wherever hell I want regardless if it affects others) or in the van parks ("who are you") attitude.
So we'll try for Calliope River in 27kms for a coffee.
Got to Calliope River (105 in Camp6 book) which is adjacent to the Calliope River Historical Village. It's on the right hand side heading south. We made the mistake on the way up of just heading into the car park directly ahead and setting up for coffee at the little under cover benches. This time we saw a guy on a ride on mower and he said to follow the bitumen to the right and instead of driving back onto the highway go straight ahead passed the Historical Village. The camp space next the village is day use only but if you continue down the road it opens out into a large area for 48hr overnight camping (also on other side of the river - possibly accessible from the Historical Village car park after the first turn right where the road becomes dirt?) toilets. Definitely stay here in the future. Either overlooking the river or on the little pond in the camping area.
Went back to the Day Parking area, stopped and made coffee, let the dogs out since there was no one else there. We didn't Check out the Driver Reviver like we normally do if only for a donation because we wanted to give the boys more free time but it was at the entrance to the Historical Village.
Passed the Boyne River Rest Area and on the left side heading south there is a road down to the river where we saw people camping in vans and on the river on boats - looks like a good spot to try. The rest area was on the right heading south. If heading north it would be on the left after Station Creek.
Again Army vehicles on the road, this time heading North, a couple of Bushmasters and two trucks.
Pulled into the Bernie Christensen Rest Area, where the guard dogs were on the way up. Large undercover eating area (no fires) and toilets. It's the sadder of the rest areas, it's looking a little tired and needs a good cleanup. There was a Driver Reviver here though and there were about 10 vans and Caravans - everyone looks you over suspiciously even though we smile and wave. Some wave back others just look.
60kms to Gin Gin.
Into the Gin Gin Rest Area about 4.20pm and we were set up and sitting down to a drink by 5.10pm
Our first free camping! Frig on gas and van on battery which means lights but no power points working unless we hook up the generator so we'll use the stove top for coffees!
I love Ginger Beer!