Copyright ©2016 Paul F Greig
The Website of Paul and Pam Greig - Queensland Australia
Calliope River Camp -  Central Qld - 2017
The Website of Paul and Pam -
Queensland, Australia.
North X West trip from July 2020.
Side trips notes and photos
 
Much of this 2020 trip is through country we have traveled many times before, a lot of good memories along the way. There are also a number of places that we hear about, places off the beaten track, often told to us by fellow caravaners or folk along the way...it is these places that we will show on this page of our website....a clickable list below.

P & P July 2020.
Mt Perry.

Towards the beginning of this trip the rain set in, with little or no sun to rechage our batteries we decided to wait it out in Gin Gin showgrounds, while there we looked to see what was in the area. One interetsing and historic place is Mount Perry, an old town, originally to service the copper mines and timber industry in the area. Gin Gin to Mt Perry is a distance of about 54 km.
Alomg the way we heard of a now disused old railway tunnel.

Boolboonda Tunnel is an abandoned heritage-listed railway tunnel at Tunnel Road, Boolboonda, alomg the Gin Gin to Mt Perry road. The tunnel is 192 m in length making it the longest unsupported man-made tunnel in Queensland. Its construction represented an important engineering feat for rail transport in Queensland. It was built from 1881 to 1884 by O'Rourke & McSharry. It is also known as Boolboonda Railway Tunnel and SEQ-6Q 1. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 24 September 1999.
The Boolboonda Railway Tunnel opened 12 November 1883 following a construction period of two years. It was built by Queensland Government Railways as part of the Bundaberg to Mount Perry railway line, constructed to service the Mount Perry copper mines. It took two years to dig and was officially opened on 2 November 1883.The line was deviated in 1960 and tracks removed the following year. The section of the line between Tirroan and Mount Perry closed in 1960 and was removed in 1961.
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Tunnel visitors can drive right through, the road follows the old rail road for some distance and rejoins the Gin Gin to Mt Perry road, (an excellent road) some 2 km on. We actually took a video as we drove through the tunnel....we have uploaded it to Youtube and you can see it here


Mt Perry has few shops these days, a pub, caravan park and not a lot more, a nice little town anyway. We stopped for coffee in a small park in town and was amazed to find an excellent example of a Leopard tank!. I wondered how, and why it is there. :)
Gladstone side trip.
Gladstone is about 30 km from Lake Awoonga....along the way we decised to drop into Calliope campgound...a favourite spot, a large campground and very popular with nomads heading up the Bruce highway on the way to northen beach resorts. We had planned to stop for a couple of days at Calliope but sadly, it was closed. The campground does not have a caretaker and sebsequently there is no-one there to record details as is required under covid-19 rules, the Gladstone Shire council therefore closed the campground. Photo below.

Gladstone Marina below
Another view above of the Gladstone Marina from a lookout.....and to right, the new Cruiseboat terminal...not yet opened.
Fairbairn Dam. (Lake Maraboon).

Lake Maraboon is some 20 km south of Emerald, we took a drive there for a picnic.
This huge lake is held back by Fairnbairn Dam...the lake dams the Nagoa River, it has a storage capacity of 130'0000 mega litres (3 times that of Sydney Harbour)...on our visit the water level was at just 11.34%...it has been at its lowest (0.02%) in 1974 and a high of 175.87% in 2010.
 
 
 
The spillway and a view of the wall.
The low (11%) level can be seen here....the normal swimming level in the photo on the right. It was a nice day for a picnic anyway.
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Bogantungan Rail Disaster
The town of Bogantungan was the scene of one of Australias worst rail disasters. While we were camped at Bogantungan I took a walk to the site....some 1.8 km west of the town along a graded country road...it is actually possible to drive to the site providing the creek crossing, just west of town is not flooded.
 

There is a memorial alongside the old railway station....photos on the memorial to the right. There is also a bronze plaque placed there not long after the accident (below)...oddly, there are many examples of different name spellings on the plaque and on the memorial.

The crash site today.....the height of the new bridge is roughly the same as the original bridge....in the photo to the right the original wooden piles can be still seen.
I spent a considerable time searching for anything that may have remained from the crash, given the carnarge I thought I would have found some remnant, maybe a small piece of broken glass or metal but followiing 60 years of floods all I found was a steel rail nail wedge, (below) of the type used under spikes in wooden sleepers of old...it might, or might not have come from the bridge when is was reduced to splinters that fateful morning so long ago.

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Longreach.
A day trip.
Longreach is approximately 700 km from the coast, west of Rockhampton. The town is on the Tropic of Capricorn in the south-east of the locality. The town is named after the "long reach" of the Thomson River on which it is situated.

The main industries of the area are cattle, sheep, and, more recently, tourism.

The Landsborough Highway enters the locality from the south-east (Ilfracombe), passes through the town and then exits to the north-west (Corfield). The Central Western railway line takes the same route, the town being served by the Longreach railway station.

In Longreach, the streets are named after species of birds, with the streets running east–west named after water birds and those running north–south after land birds. The main business street is called Eagle Street. Other streets honour Hudson Fysh, an Australian aviation pioneer, and Sir James Walker, a farmer and long-serving mayor of the former Longreach Shire Council.

We have visited Longreach a number of times over the years, for us there are two main attractions, The Stockmans Hall of Fame and for us on this visit, the QANTAS Founders Museum which tells the story of Australia’s national airline, from its early days in Outback Queensland to present day.  Characters of the early Qantas days, their pioneering spirit and the impact the airline had for all Australians, this brought to life through life size exhibits, historical artefacts and interactive displays including the National Heritage Listed Qantas Hangar.  Visitors enjoy informative guided tours of the Boeing 707, Boeing 747, Super Constellation and DC-3 in the Museum’s new Airpark Enclosure.
 
Longreach is like an oasis....after driving hundreds of kilometers through flat, largely desert country with little vegetation other than spinifex and stunted trees up pops the town....about 3000 people call Longreach home.
As mentioned, our reasons for not staying in the Longreach caravan parks were due to poor reviews given for the two in town....4 KM west of town, on the Thomsom River, sits an RV camp, 'Apex Park'...the camp is not that attractive, a lot of dust, we visited Apex Park to have a look. A new shelter has been erected (above left) and a nice grass park-like area alongside the river. (above right). The 'river' is actually a series of billabongs, in the wet season however it runs freely, it, and the artesean bore are the water supply for Longreach and the sorrounding area.
The Qantas Founders Museum, our main reason for visiting Longreach did not dissappoint. An excellent museum and a very informative tour of the four aeroplanes ($57 seniors) which takes almost two hours.
A huge cover has recently been erected over the planes, prior to this travellers arriving into Longreach from the east could see the tail of the Jumbo from over 5 km's away....no longer, just this huge shed. :(
We have visited The Qantas Founders Museum on several occasions over the past 15 years or so, one thing that always strikes me is evident in the two photos above...on the left we see a replica of the AVRO, Qantas' first ever passenger plane in 1921....to the right 'The City of Bunbury' Jumbo 747....between these two planes there is just a little over 50 years...the advances in technology amazing.
History and information on the four planes under the cover is given during the tour, The 747's are now all out of use, the one here is one of only a few around the world available for public viewing. A DC3 can be seen beyond. On the below left a Constellation, a 707 to the right....both popular planes, the 707 was taken out of service due to it being very noisy.
On the left below is another shot showing the size difference between a DC3 and a Jumbo....the tour on the right is worth the cost and we reccommend it.

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EJ Beardmore Built on the Balonne River in 1972 about 21 km north of St George, the EJ Beardmore dam holds up to 81,700 ML when full.
We took a drive there from St George and had morning tea.

It was named after Edwin James Beardmore, a long-time advocate for the Balonne region. The former stock agent served on the Balonne Shire Council for 15 years and was its deputy chairman for eight years before being elected to State Parliament. He represented Balonne in Parliament for 12 years before his retirement in 1969.

The dam’s primary function is to store water for irrigation and urban use and was not designed for flood mitigation and does not include a flood-mitigation compartment

The body of water created by the dam is known as Lake Kajarabie.
Various shots of the dam, the lake and the picnic grounds below.
 
Bengalla Reserve, we were having coffee in Goondiwindi and we started chatting to a local couple, we were told of a different route we could take as we headed east, an alternative to the Cunningham Highway. A tourist road runs alonside the Dumaresq River, this river forms the state border here, the reserve is a large open grassed area that stretches along the river banks, this peaceful patch of bush camping is FREE. There are no facilities. The road in is quite narrow and a little bumpy but quite ok for the caravan, It is a place we will return to some day.
 
There are a number of camping spots along this section of the border.
Some photos taken at Bengalla Reserve, NSW is on the otherside of the river....I skimmed a stone 'interstate'..:)