Departed Maraboon the next morning for the shopping run into Emerald then off to Theresa Creek Dam near Clermont via Sapphire and Rubyvale. Stopping for lunch in Rubyvale we bumped into neighbours from RV. Steve and Pauline were in the Rubyvale van park but not too happy with it, they weren’t allowed to use their own washing machine or shower in their van and had to pay a premium for the park showers and machines, all on top of unfriendly reception. Guess that is another badly run park off the Christmas list.
Arrive at Theresa Dam and camped right on the water front with a carport beside the van and the boat in the water out front of our camp.
This is a top spot with great facilities for $15 a night per couple. No power (generators can be used between sociable hours) no plug in water but tank water available for drinking and potable town water available also in tanks definitely come with full water tanks if camping here. Great hot showers and toilet facilities and redclaw on tap if you are lucky. Phone reception is available if you drive to the top of the hill that is just before you enter the park.
We checked in for a week but decided to stay longer by adding another week. Redclaw were not scarce but elusive for the first couple of days until we realised that they loved par boiled spuds and not the dog biscuits that were supposed to be the ducks guts. We only had 4 traps ( 4 each person are legal) due to my negligence in packing so the hauls were not great but none the less good and we were getting good numbers. Decision was made to pick up some groceries check the essential internet and buy 4 more traps at Clermont. This was done on Friday 06/05 and we went back to the van to make bait holders and attach ropes and floats. Fridays dinner was prepared by Mavis and was a redclaw Mornay on a bed of rice yum oh.
All of the new traps were taken out and set for the mornings pick up of the bounty on Saturday and what a bounty it was.
Hard to believe but we scored 60 redclaw during the pick up on Saturday with the 8 traps, some were monsters. It was the best ever haul for us anywhere. 62 were taken on Sunday.
Went to town Saturday to get water and vinegar to pickle some redclaw (great on bickies for fivesies). Rang friends Rob and Jewel who were just setting out to go to the gulf country. Told them about Theresa Creek Dam, a place they had never seen and they messaged back about 30 minutes later to say they were on the way to meet us, rendezvous Mothers day Sunday.
Plan in place to take Mavis to the cafe at the office at Theresa Creek Dam for menu posted fish and chips with salad glass of bubbly and desert $15, how good is that for Mummy’s day. My every intention is to send a bill to all the kid’s for $15 each for the mothers day lunch. I will make a blo.dy fortune :-).
Lunch was great fish perfect and chips crisp mmmmm. The only downer was the time it took, I think they were overwhelmed with not only campers but locals from Clermont area.
Rob and Jewel did not get there until Monday 09/05 as they were enjoying exploring places that they had never seen. Next morning Rob bought 4 cray pots from the kiosk at the dam. Wouldn’t ya know they were cheaper than the pots we bought in town 😦
Several great days were spent with Rob and Jewel just relaxing and exploring the dam. We saw Jabiru, Brolgas, a huge variety of water birds, kangaroo and wallabies. Even saw two roo’s boxing each other, oh and a small wild pig that was feeding on the banks of the dam every morning that we went to check our pots. Wonderful place to spend a couple of weeks.
Finally time to head off on Friday the 13th and head for Townsville to say gidday to Grandson Lachlan. We pushed through to Macrosson free camp just out of Charters Towers leaving a short run to Townsville the next day.
Spent the night with Lachlan Lauren and Maison in Townsville and left the next day heading for Pinnacle village in the Daintree. We needed to slip past Babinda where Judy the birthday girl lives. Her Daughters have arranged for a surprise party for her in Cairns on the 21st of May.
Overnighted at the Garradunga pub almost free camp. Bought a six pack of XXXX bitter and was charged $20 ouch , but it was a good spot to camp.
Holding our breath we passed Babinda (hoping to not be seen by Judy), heading for Cairns and on to the Daintree arriving Monday the 16th and checking in for 2 weeks.
The boat was off loaded and the rods rigged for the assault on the fish population. Two days of fishing only managed to produce 3 keeper Pikey bream and a range of under sized fish.
Saturday saw us driving to Cairns and checking into the Pullman Hotel for the party that night. Judy was out the front of the hotel with a heap of family when we arrived and was pretty teary as she gave us big hugs. A great night was had by all with pre going out drinks in the pool shelter followed by taxi’s to the Greek restaurant for dinner.
Did I mention the late wet season that crashed down on us starting on Friday night. Heaps of rain all the way up the North and it is still coming down as I write this on Tuesday the 24th.
Plan “A” was to spend 4-6 weeks here but it ain’t looking good at the moment,we will decide by next Monday when our 2 weeks is up!
Yehaa the sun has come out (Thursday the 26th) and the river looks great, fish or not, the boat goes in tomorrow.
Guess what absolutely no fish and quite disgusted to be paying $43 a day for no returns so we are moving on.
Finally gave up on the Daintree and we moved up to Dimbulah for a couple of weeks to do some badly neglected maintenance and cleaning of both the van and truck. This is a lovely little park where you are encouraged to use their water to clean vans and cars.
More to follow in instalment “C” of the Winter escape.