A Travellerspoint blog

Mount Coolon to Kinchant Waters

From the desert to waterhole

semi-overcast 23 °C

9/6/11 Mount Coolon Hotel to Kinchant Waters Resort
Awake at 6am. A coffee with my baby and then dressed and into the Hotel to check out if they were serious about the breakfast offer made last night.  All the semis are gone from the grasses parking lot out the back of
left at 8.15am.
A road in the making! Road workers all from the Hotel last night! Friendly bunch.
Changes in flora. More wattles although only scrub and acacias in the dry grass and sand.  Only traffic is the work truck
Stopped at Suttor River for a pee break after suffering many dog farts, we figured it was time for a break also we'd been on the bitumen for at least 5kms. It's now 9.20am.
Drove back to Cerito in case we'd missed the turnoff but it was a property, so we turned around and headed back toward the Suttor River.
11mins drive from the Cerito sign is the new road to Glendon (sealed). Green signage, can't miss it.
Lots of wattle trees (pic) in the dark red dirt, creating a fragrant avenue south.  Hit a bee that had been collecting pollen from the wattles. A yellow splash on the windscreen.  
The sun was warm on your chest whilst the breeze created by the car was cool. Now traveling south the sun is on the left if the car (east).
Passed an eagle on the right lifting off the shoulder from a roadkill.
7mins in and there is a detour sign, then passed over a new bridge over a huge construction and machinery laying railway tracks (pic).
At the T intersection, (Newlands Mine) turn right to Glendon passed the 1000m Clearance signs for overhead power lines.  Now there a telegraph poles! More traffic than previously, mine trucks, flatbed semis and road trains (3 trailers) and through a short tunnel. Road now has electricity poles on both sides! Almost civilized! (pic)
A line of electricity towers stretching off in the distance to the west.  There is some mine way in the distance.  You can see small mountains of dirt and a tunnel of dust lifting into the air.
10.32am stopped at the really big scoop (pic) for breakfast coffee. Met a couple who dropped in to fill up on water.  Staying at Lade Elphinestone where they are having water problems at present so no showers.
After speaking to Noel's Erica and finding out he'd be taken to Mackay last night we changed  our destination to Nebo and then see how far we get towards Mackay.  A stop at Lake Elphinstone seems an opportunity not to miss.   With a thought to do the coast road (Bruce Hwy) to Rockhampton and then head inland via Biloela, Monto and end up at Kilkivin to visit Robby.  We'll take it one day at a time.
11.40am back on the road.
Turn off onto the Sutton Dev. Road and within a minute you catch sight of Lake Elphinestone. Lots of swans, geese, ducks. Lots of parking, shade and open spots, also right on the lake. Only one showers and toilets block so byo. Avoid on public holidays warned the couple we met at Glendon rest stop, said there was 600 people at Easter. Worth a stop.
Stopped at the BP Roadhouse on the cnr Peak Down's Hwy & Suttor Dev. Road - 2nd best burger this trip. The Junction burger (works) had steak, meat patty, egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, beetroot, pineapple & BBQ sauce - WOW!
Decided to not go into Nebo and turned left heading east to Mackay. Roadworks at The Retreat Hotel, Epsom so continued and we're looking out for Eton.
Scenery changed - eucalyptus and black boys, rivers with running water although low and the weather is a little more overcast.  Clouds darker - looks like rain. Lots more traffic, still the majority mine related vehicles & still the huge road trains and semis. More hills.
Sugar cane
Saw sign advertising "Topless waitress" on Wednesday at the Eton Hotel, it's Thursday so we pushed onto Kinchant Waters Resort! (pics)
Arrived at 3.30pm. Stopped to take dogs for a walk and Tank had a dip in the dam then onto the van park around the corner.
Kind of an open plan type setup. We got a spot on the water with a hairy driveway off the road but do-able. $20/n for a powered site and the toilets and showers up at the kiosk/bar.
By 4.30pm we were sitting by the lake, cooling off. Watching 2 domestic ducks and a runner duck. There's heaps of birdlife. We saw peacocks, peahens, an albino peacock, a gaggle of guinea fowl, and egret, waterbirds, brush turkeys and peewee magpies. (pics). Levi got scared by some flying bug so he and Tank are in the van in the air-conditioning.  It's very quiet here
Across the lake you can see either a bushfire or a burn off which makes sense if the predicted rain happens. The forecast is for rain on the coast and I'm not sure if we're inland enough from Mackay (38kms).
Had a shower during which the lights went out! Apparently there's a timer to press once you come in the door but since there was already someone in the shower area I didn't notice the sign hence showering in the dark!  Lucky I remember where everything is!!!
We mucked around with the footings of the caravan because there was still a tilt to it and Jim could feel a current in the metal clips of the van.  It leveled off a bit better but this bit of land is far from any form of level - should be for camping only but for one night we'll put up with it.
The nozzles came out in force once the sun went down. They are bigger and slower which made it easy to vacuum them up - yes I said vacuum!  My little Dyson came in handy. The nozzles that came in as we went in and out the door all settled on the pelmets so I could easily suck 'em up! Problem solved.
We were both pretty tired and after leaving messages for van parks for sour next destination we both kind of snacked for dinner and in bed by 9.30pm - must be a record.

Posted by Jimandtina 01:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Townsville to Mount Coolon

My first taste of Inland Queensland

semi-overcast 25 °C

8/6/11 Townsville to Mount Coolon Hotel
Alarm went off at 5.30am but didn't get up until 6.30am. A couple of coffees and toast then started the last of the packing up the little items inside and out ready for the final pack up and pull down.
We finished without a hitch, had showers - dislike immensely washing my hair with soap! Next time I'll leave out my shampoo!
We were heading out at 9.55am.
A stop for the boys to "relieve themselves" nothing like a good poo to start your trip in comfort!
We drove through Townsville, passed the Palmetum and out onto Stuart Drive which becomes Flinders Highway. A last phone call to Jim's Mom to say "Goodbye" and we head to Charters Towers.
There's quite.a bit of roo roadkill which as a result we saw two flocks of hawks and some crows as well as some single or multiple hawks either feeding or circling. Jimmi had to toot the horn well ahead to worn the birds, apparently they need to release the roadkill from their talons and if you don't warn them you can hit them.
Found a new picnic spot for when we return up here. It is at William Henry Webb Creek - old road still accessible from the Charters Towers side, down to the creek bed but not all the way across. A lot like Keelbottom Creek location.
Stopped for a doggie pee and stretch our legs break at the Burdekin River, approx 20kms from Charters Towers.
Charters Towers is 130kms west from Townsville.
We stopped for another pee break and stretch on our way to Cape River.  Large stretches of roadwork being done and all the roads are pretty good. Red!
Drove through a lot of cattle country - Brahmans, then the trees changed and it was all wattles - yellow blooms, hugging a small section of road. With the delicate scent of wattles filling the car.  The tree foliage became greyer.  Not a lot of large trees, and those eucalypts had mistletoe all over them - not a sign of health.
Crazy cloud formations on a stunning blue sky. Took some pics through the windscreen.
It's a long pretty straight road, except when it's not!  Jimmi says it's not boring to drive like the Bruce Highway (coast road) because the scenery changes so much and is more interesting. Stunning country. Soil changes from deep red to pale almost colorless sand. Lots of creeks although not much water at present.
We haven't seen much wildlife other than hawks and crows. A lot less butterflies than the coast road.  If you don't count the roo/wallaby roadkill!
After stopping at Cape Creek which turned out to be a semi circular parking area with little shade and just off the main road, we had a coffee and the boys and I walked down to the little creek before Cape Creek. Water only on one side of the road, it had slowed down to become a billabong. Lilies growing so you know there is no real water movement and it looked a bit brackish at the roadside.  Thee boys got their feet wet and we went back to the truck for that coffee and the boys a drink.  
Back on the road and we get a call on the CB from a patrol for a wide load coming north, she said when we see the first police car to pull right over coz the load is 10 meters. After a little while we saw the police car followed by a semi and a cattle truck and pulled off to the left. Thinking that the load must still be coming Jimmi pulled completely off the road as far as the shoulder which dipped down allowed.  And then came the vehicle! It was a flatbed semi with a house on it!  It took up both lanes and Jimmi was concerned whether it was going to clear us.  Only be 2 meters even when we were completely off the road!  Got a picture with the iPad. When they mean wide load or oversize in Queensland, they mean it!
Cattle grids across the bitumen!
We pulled back onto the road after the 2nd police escort and several trucks passed.  On to Bolyanda Crossing to check it out otherwise we go to Mount Coolon.
Was the smallest caravan park, two islands of trees with power and water connections. We decided not to stay and to head to Mount Coolon.
We Turned onto the Bowen Dev Road - unsealed dirt road with a couple of sporadic bits of bitumen - usually at the floodways! Those small sections of paved road, as a reprieve, then back to gravel.
Galahs, flocks of tiny little birds, willy wag tails, no fences and Brahman cattle on and next to the road. Saw a couple of kangaroos too.
More Cattle grids!
Dust clouds followed us to the Mt Coolon Hotel.
More kangaroos across from a man-made billabong.
Jimmi called out "giant budgies" I didn't see any and darned and behold we saw on dead on the road that looked like a big budgie!
Looks like they've been doing a bit of fence line burn off - fire break or weed control?
Egrets, herons, happy jacks and a magnificent sunset throwing colours of deep reds, pinks, yellows onto the undersides of the clouds and on the red dirt road.
Arrived at 5.40pm - did a basic set up, which means we unloaded the camper, piled everything outside, set up the beds and went off to the Hotel for dinner.  Was offered a powered site which meant we got a long extension cord plugged into the washing machine slot at the back of their house, that ran out the backyard to the van.
We had the special which was steak, chips and salad.  We sat at the bar with the other mine and road guys and got chatting about where we're from, going, why Mount Coolon and what roads to take tomorrow, until our meals came.  Nice outback pub, nothing flash, food plentiful and cheap - not fabulous but edible.  Genuinely nice people.  Looking for a good night sleep.
Taking the boys out for a walk was not too successful except for the walk part.  They were so excited by all the smells and paths in the long grass they barely managed to stop to pee. Maybe another "walk" before bed.

Posted by Jimandtina 01:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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