Now this is what I considered the start of the ‘Walkabout’. Places never seen, ‘4WD only’ roads, campfires under the stars, befriending the new neighbours Sir Grasshopper & Lady Bug along with the Fly Family and the Spider Sisters. Ok, so ‘befriending’ might be an optimistic term but I was certain they would be coming around uninvited at all hours so I needed to learn to tolerate them.
WAITING FOR THE BARGE
I had convinced Angus to go to Fraser Island. It sounded so sandy and rugged and remote whilst maintaining some basic amenities. It felt even more remote as we drove out onto an unmarked peninsula of sand to wait behind one other 4WD, hopefully for that barge-looking boat we could see across the water. It was only when we arrived at our camp after driving along the beach for 11km and inland on a short soft-sand track that I realised how relieved Angus was we made it. Turns out it is not common to tow such a large camper trailer. Yes. There are people willing to travel even more simplistically than me! They are the real brave ones but I am sure they are only doing a week or 2, right? Another reality check was being told I could not leave the car or the fenced campsite as the dingoes would smell my milk and definitely don’t let the kids more than arm’s reach away… ok, more danger element than I was expecting.
LAKE BIRRABEEN FRASER ISLAND
We had a lot of fun on the 4WD tracks and racing along the beach really proving the usefulness of the Prado. It didn’t seem to hold excitement for the boys for as long as I hoped, although Solly loved sleeping with the bumpy roads and would cry out in protest if it got too smooth or we stopped. I was surprised by the variety of vegetation and differing ecosystems. Rainforests of Bangalow Palms, dune scrubland, old pine forests, big old scribbly gums and banksias. It was then an interesting contrast to find the lakes edged in powdery white sand with crystal clear fresh water on the edges. I felt like I missed out on the experience by not being able to swim in either lake we visited due to sleeping children both times…..any other moment in time they were crying or whinging or asking if we can go back to camp yet.
ME AND EDDIE ENJOYING LAKE MACKENZIE, ANGUS ENJOYING THE CARPARKFavourite thing about Fraser Island
Duke “Car boat”
Angus “Driving through bush tracks, early drive with boys and changing bush scenes”.
SOMEONE IS BOGGED
I was surprisingly sad to be leaving and found myself questioning if we could stay another night or 2 but we had a deadline, meet Angus’ parents in Katherine (roughly 3000km away) in 2 weeks. Sounds feasible? Not when pack down takes 3hrs, set up 2hrs, average driving distance in a day is 300km and you wouldn’t mind stopping just a couple of places for a few nights to actually see the country and have a rest.
WHEN THERE IS NO MORE PEPPA PIG....
On to the next adventure…… a stinky rest stop on the side of the highway near Gladstone. We arrived at night, left kids in the car watching Peppa Pig, slid out the beds, wraps for dinner while sitting on top of all our belongings inside the camper and off to sleep to the dulcet tones of the road trains all night long…… Even so, I think this will become a common occurrence for us.
A HWY REST STOP FOR THE NIGHT
Not wrong. Next stop was an empty showground carpark for the night with tiny bats swooping at the bugs. I have been super impressed by the boys not being scared of the creepy crawlies
Going through the centre of Queensland we really didn’t think there was anything in particular to see so we hadn’t planned any particular stops. We were pleasantly surprised with our visit to Emerald which coincided with the rodeo which was heaps of fun. Then our stop in Sapphire where we fossicked for sapphires and came away with 12 of questionable quality. Ifracombe was a town of virtually nothing but it had the main street lined with historic machinery and vehicles, a classic pub and an artesian spa.
ILFRACOMBEThen came Mt Isa. After so many kilometres of flat, golden grassed plains speckled with trees I was surprised by theses sudden rock formations rising up with beautiful quartz boulders and white trunked gumtrees. We found a working cattle station to stay on which was an absolute gem with the scenery and adventure of cattle drafting and droving, horses and frogs galore! Also happened upon a free music festival which was so great for the boys and let’s be honest, it was mainly for me.
TOO MANY PICTURES TO POST!
Slashed toes, shin and hand - Angus tripped on barbed wire fence whilst on sunrise shoot….couldn’t drive for 2 days.