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Following completetion of our moving experience from Underwood to Laidley where all of the main work was completed, we decided to get one last trip in for 2019....about the middle of October and things were starting to warm up....we had already had one day where the thermometer nudged 40 degrees...39.8 to be precise!. We knew that if we left it any longer we would not be going any where until next year.
We planned to take a 'round about' route, perhaps visiting some old favourite spots previously enjoyed....despite our planned destination of Elliot Heads to our north, we headed off to the south west. :)
The map to the right is our planned 'up' route....we hesitate to put up the whole route as we usually/always change our minds many times!
Scroll down for the story.
Our first stop was at Nobby...a delightful little free camp around an hour and a half from home....a lovely old country pub..a feed here and a night in the free camp night would be a good way to start this trip.
Our plans changed and it was almost spooky!!...let me explain:
I start back 5 years ago....June of 2014 in fact and the location was Wallumbilla....a small town and free showground campsite out west..near Roma. We had only arrived and not yet set up and alongside us up pulls up another van....a couple a few years advanced in age to us...."Can we camp next to you?" they asked...and so commenced a long friendship.....Brian and Gloria....we had several unplanned HH's there and parted company two days later.
Brian and Gloria are very non-tech-savy accepting neither text messages nor emails...we had no further communication apart from one phone call I think at Christmas 2105.
Jump forward 18 months now, 2016....we were enjoying the shade under our awning at Wallabadah, a splendid free camp down on the New England....and who should drive in but Brian and Gloria....I didn't recognize them at first but Pam did...another couple of days and some minor alcohol consumption....at the time we were Sydney bound, B & G were also, the site they had pre-booked some months previously at Lane Cove, just 6 away from ours!!.
That visit to Sydney saw little flowing of drinks given we, and B & G were entertaining grandkids.
Now we go forward another year or so and we again we are camped at lane Cove....Caitlin had learned to ride her bike, Brayden his scooter....following them around the kilometers of roadways within the park a must, good exercise for us of course ....down in a shady area of the park I spied a 200 series Landcruiser...distinctive in that it had a black panther silhouette on each rear quarter panel....I recognized this car as belonging to B & G!!....I wrapped on the door and despite them having their afternoon nap wrecked they were happy to see us.
Once the GK's had returned home we had a couple of memorable HH's with B & G around a BBQ in the Lane Cove van park....Brian is a retired NSW police sergeant and a couple of beers will always get some very interesting stories flowing...Brian, riding a police motorbike at the time was a first responder to the Granville bridge disaster.
On Tuesday of this week we were watching the passing parade at Nobby, a small free camp just 60km from home....only one other caravan there....in pulls a 200 Series Cruiser.....no panthers....but the Majestic caravan very familiar and when the driver alighted I instantly recognized Brian...and then Gloria!!
A huge meal at the Nobby Pub, more beer than normal and lots flowing under the bridge. Sadly however, B & G are now quite advanced in years and some health issues exist, Gloria has difficulty walking as does Brian, with joint issues...they were heading south with no particular destination in mind...Brian's daughter is 'somewhere near' Glen Innes in a motor home are they were hoping to catch up.
From Nobby we went north west, B & G south...we all wondered where and when we would meet again.
Nobby....with the drought on it was very dry with little grass...we found a tiny spot of green alongside the now virtually unused rail way track...Brian and Gloria's van behind us.
From Nobby we ventured north west to Dalby....we had stayed in Dalby several times before but decided this time to try a different caravan park. Our trips always involve searching for places to stay on Wikicamps, an excellent mobile phone (and laptop) app that lists just about every campground and caravan park in the country...over the years we have learned to take the comments and reviews on Wikicamps with a grain of salt...these comments are uploaded by camp users...we have found it is not uncommon to find excellent reviews and poor reviews on the same site!
Another thing about Wikicamps we dont particulary take notice of is the star rating....one would think that a one star camp woud not be so great, a four or more star camp great...not always the case.
Our stay in Dalby had four stars!....it was indeed very ordinary....very little money goes back into this park...the camp kitchen was missing the BBQ, there was the 'always present' Out Of Order hand written sign stuck on a dryer in the laundry, ancient caravans with equally ancient torn annexe's, old building materials laying around. The amenities block however was excellent, recently restored.
And the park gave a pensioners discount, our main reason for staying there.
The sign at the entrance should have warned us.
In hindsight the other caravan park in town would have been better, we think.
Not always a good idea a 'do it yourself' entrance sign.
Our site in Dalby.
Our next stop was Barambah Bush Camp and Caravan Park, 160 km north of Dalby...a pleasent place it was.
Our site at Barambah (#12)....nice location...,if not a tad squeezy.
Following Barambah we traveled on to Biggenden....a small town on the Isis Highway...about 120 km away.
Biggenden has an RV camp right in town, we have stayed there often.
Sadly Biggenden, like a lot of rural towns is getting smaller and smaller...now the newsagent has closed...so too the Commercial Hotel.
From Biggenden it was a 130km drive north east to the coast and our destination, Elliot Heads.
The local council, Bundaberg Regional, have been busy beautifying the beach front area, the caravan park has new managers now too.
We took a trip into Bundaberg and went for a boat trip....The Bundy Belle ....we have actually been on her before..a number of years ago. The Bundy Belle takes tourists down the Burnette river...about 15km to the river mouth and back again...with comentary along the way....not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
At the end of our week at Elliott Heads we decided to move on...as much as we like the place the flying bugs were doing us no favours...tiny biting midges in particular, the little buggers are able to get through the screens even!.
We returned over pretty much the same route except this time we stayed in the Mountain View Caravan Park in Biggenden, not the RV camp as we stayed in on the way up.
The Mountain View is an old favourite, we have stayed there many times over the years...it has changed little.
Following Biggenden we continued our trip south...we were in no hurry. We decided to return to Barambah Bush Caravan Park...we had stayed here on the way up about two weeks ago.
Along the way we stopped at Goomeri, we had a break outside the Emporium, where all kinds of western gear could be purchased...I was however a little dissappointed to see that much, or most, of the products, including the iconic RM Williams brand is now produced overseas.
Little had changed at Barambah Bush Camp since our last stay two weeks before....this time we had site #7...at first a lot better than our first site #12, that was until a large van came on site directly in front of us.
There are a number of pleasent camp kitchens dotted around Barambah Bush Camp
Following Barambah Bush Camp our final stay on this trip was in the Blackbutt Showgrounds...a plave we have visited many times before...$20 power and water, a short walk to a neat little town.
And so ends this little 3 week trip....with summer approaching it is unlikely we will do any more trips this year.....once the kids get back to school after the holidays...about the end of Janurary we will probbaly be ready to hit the road again...thanks for following us.