2015 Rudall River Trip - Caboolture Qld west to Alice Springs

Thursday, Jul 02, 2015 at 14:06

Navigator 1 (NSW)

Our long wait for a new Michelin spare tyre and our spare from Sydney finally ended but not before we experienced the incredible ‘rain event’ in Caboolture. Believe it or not, 400mm fell in just over 4 hours. Roads were flooded and 5 people lost their lives in three separate incidents. Houses were flooded and hundreds of cars were caught in flood waters.

On the way to Toowoomba, while travelling the back roads, we discovered the disused Muntappan railway tunnel. It is always a treat to find parts of our history.

In Toowoomba we spent time on top of the hill overlooking the town then went out to Well Camp to visit the airport built by the Wagner family – a staggering investment but hey, they have the $$$$$. It was built to international standards and is outstanding. Several flights per day maximum at this stage.

We had an overnight stop by the road on the way to Quilpie then on the Cooper River at Windorah. The Solar Farm in Windorah is impressive! The 5 mirrored dishes, each 13.7m across, were commissioned in 2009.

Some of you may remember the blind man who operated the service station in town. What an incredible man he was, you couldn’t get away with anything!Well, the service station has been taken over by new owners and renovations are under way.

From Windorah to Bedourie the country was flat, dry and dusty. Out there, ‘miles from nowhere’ we stopped for the evening at Monkirra Rest area – a roadside camp. The evening was still and the stars amazing!

Not too far north of Bedourie we drove to the top of Vaughan Vista Lookout for spectacular views. Chicka was particularly impressed with the Fordson Tractor. It was on display in a cage for its protection.

In Boulia, although we had a few drinks, we still did not see the allusive ‘Min Min Lights’.

From Boulia we headed west on the Donohue Highway, a dirt road back in 2002, but now nearly half sealed. It made for a very smooth run into Tobermoray Station, just over the border in NT. The station still provides a large grassed area for travellers with toilets and hot showers. Fantastic!

From the Qld/NT border, the road is named the Plenty ‘Highway’. Conditions changed dramatically once on the ‘Highway’. Corrugations! Corrugations! Corrugations!

We were delighted to see that the most photographed massive termite mound still stands today and Hugo lined up.

The countryside changed dramatically once we reached the Hart Ranges. Our favourite lunch stop is down the track beside the Police Station, near the airstrip. Further on from the airstrip is the horse racing track which only sees activity on the annual race weekend.

The Stuart Highway soon appeared and we were delighted to turn onto a sealed road. Just north of Alice we spent time at our secret location and walked up the gorge. Several days later it was time to hit the town.

The outback calls
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