Late departure from Maryborough but finally have escaped winter 2015 and heading North.
We meet up with good friends Jerry and Van (Victorians on their first big trip) at Calliope a great free camp near Gladstone where we stayed for a couple of nights. This is a great stop over where you have a choice of grassed area on the top side or virtually on the Calliope river on the lower side. We stayed on the lower side to watch the fish jumping in the mornings and evenings it was a great unwind.
This is a great stop over which is shortly to have a fee put on camping. This would not be bad at all as the council provide hot showers and toilets at the moment on a donation basis,and there is potable water available, container only no top ups for vans or motorhomes. There is a great wet land walk here that was full of birdlife and well worth the walk.
Next stop was at one of our favourites Lake Elphinstone http://www.mackayregion.com/destinations/nebo/attractions/lake-elphinstone about 92 kms west of Mackay.
We caught up here with Margie and Brian another Victorian couple and stayed for 3 nights also in the company of Van and Gerry. Finally we could light up the faithful pig (fire) and believe me it was needed. Could not believe that it could be so cold,had to live with a very brisk breeze straight off the lake that felt as though it was coming off ice,brrrrrrr.
Our friends parted company with us at Elphinstone as they were headed for different destinations and had varying times available for their travels. Next stop for us was to be Collinsville about 87kms South West of Bowen,but after stopping for lunch in the Showground free camp,we decided to push on as the place did not look too inviting. We pushed it a bit to camp the night at Funny Dunny (donation only see pic below) camp just South of Home hill, we got the last available spot. This left a very short run next day to reach our goal of Groper Creek
http://www.gropercreek.com.au/ 17kms South of Home Hill. The caravan park here is generally very difficult to get into as most people come here on a regular basis for the fishing. Luck was on our side and we booked for a week that turned into a month. Unfortunately fishing and crabbing was poor for the whole time but it was a great relax and the creek was picturesque from the boat.
Brian and Margie joined us for 8 days and Brian and I nearly wore out the seats in the boat trying to get fish and muddies (crabs), note I said trying. Like most popular fishing spots,fish are scarce due to the lack of rain for the last few years. Having said that we didn’t starve with several good keeper crabs and a few fish. The regulars were managing a little better with their local knowledge .Mavis’s Sister Margaret and Bro in law Bob had an overnight with us here on their way to the Cape and friends from Maryborough Michael and Jo also overnighted with us. Being here for so long allowed me to put the boat motor in to Ayr for a service. Groper Creek is one great spot to unwind,most first timers end up staying longer than originally planned just enjoying the birdlife and the water way. The State of Origin (rugby league) decider was held while we were at Groper Creek and the local volunteer firies held a BBQ and showed the game on a big telly. A good night had by Queenslanders at least.
The Burdekin area still burns their cane before harvesting. We woke one morning to the dreaded black snow that lands on everything when the wind comes from the burn direction,what a blo.dy mess.
It is a very pretty spot non the less.
To be continued.