Travels of the Gypsy July 2019

To keep reading August

Monday 29th July Gold Coast

Michael, Jess and Clive went off to Ipswich to see the girls. Michael drove which was good so Clive could have a rest from driving. At Alister & Crystal's the girls were happy to see them all with lots of hugs. Michael took some lovely photos and they ended up kicking a soccer ball in the garden. It was Michael and Kiara verses Jess and Allyssa. I don't know who won but they all had a good time. Clive ended up playing ball with Charlie. Due to an accident at Beenleigh traffic was banked up from the Logan Motorway, so the journey home took twice as long as it should have.

Breakfast at

Jess getting
into food.

Jess, Michael
and the girls.

Clive and the
grand children.

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Sunday 28th July Bundaberg to Gold Coast

So back to the Coast today. Clive thinks this will take between 5-6 hours. Looks like a good day for driving as temperature is in the mid 20's. We've had fun the past few days with lots of chatting, laughing and drinking. Clive even put Yvonne on the phone one night so she could talk to mum.

We left Watalgan at 10.00 and arrived on the Coast at 3.30. A long drive for me and not sure that we will do it all in one go on the way back. I think I would prefer to stay overnight somewhere. We'll be at Michael's until about the 19th of August, so probably no more updates until then.

Some stats to date for those interested;

Used 409.37 litres of fuel. Cost of fuel $597.46 with an average price of $1.459 per litre.

Travelled 3101km and getting an average of 13.2 litres per 100km or 7.57km per litre of fuel.

Only 4 days spent free camping - zero cost - with the rest being paid. Cheapest of $10.00 per night and the dearest $40.00 per night. We'll certainly be doing more free camping on the next leg of our journey.

Thanks for reading and we hope that you have enjoyed sharing our journey with us so far. Cheers from us for now.

last night.

Heading down
the drive.

Cars everywhere as a
festival is on in Childers.

Curry for

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Friday 26th July GinGin to Bundaberg

We off to Watalgan today. This is a small town about 45km north of Bundaberg. When Clive lived in Elizabeth Ted and Yvonne bought the house next door on Harvey Road. Some years later they moved to Queensland and after several moves bought the property that they now live on. It's over 100 acres and very peaceful. This will be our home for a few days now as Sunday we'll travel back to the Gold Coast.

We're camped out the back by the power pole. It's dark at night and we have to use our head torches when we leave the house to go back to the van. No street lights or van park lights here to guide us. Just the starry lights of the milky way.

Thursday 25th July Gin Gin

Weather was 2.9 overnight and up to 31 during the day. About 4.30pm it starts to cool down, dropping about 5 degrees every 30 minutes, so it doesn't take long for it to get cool.

Not a lot happened today. Just reading and relaxing as tomorrow we are on the road again. A few kangaroos around again tonight but not as many as last night.. Battered fish for me for dinner while Clive has a spaghetti marinara.

Clive was watching a van reverse into a spot when he heard a bang. Turns out the wife didn't tell him to stop so he's reversed into a palm tree. Then he un-hitches and sets up only to discover that the power he was going to use is not working. Not a happy camper. So off he goes to look for another spot while Clive goes off to a shed nearby. Turns out that there is 15 Amp power here but his lead is not long enough. So we lent him one of our long leads and he was truly grateful.

Wednesday 24th July Booval to Gin Gin

Cool night down to 5 degree, but a hot day. This must be a warm winter that we are having.

Today we are off to the Boolboonda Tunnel. The tunnel is located on the way to Mount Perry. Why are we going to look at a tunnel you may ask? The Boolboonda Tunnel is the southern hemisphere's longest hand cut unlined and un-supported tunnel. So truly an engineering masterpiece. It's 192m in length and can either be walked or driven. It was originally built in 1883 for the railway line between Mt. Perry and Bundaberg to service the copper mines, but it is now home to a colony of bent wing bats.

Then it was back to Gin Gin to the pie shop to get me a pie for dinner and Clive also bought me a match stick and a cream and jam bun. Yummy!! Around 5pm we had over half a dozen kangaroos come to visit, eating the fresh grass.


Inside the

Enjoying the

Roos in
the park.

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Tuesday 23rd July Biggenden to Booval

We're off to Gin Gin today. We were going to free camp at Booyal, but decided to give this a miss as it's a very small town. A very warm day reaching 28 degrees. We arrived about 11.30 and were told to park where we wanted. We drove straight in - no reversing again, (Yay), and Clive set up. The Puma Roadhouse Caravan Park is located behind a road house, just off the Bruce Highway, so hopefully there won't be too many trucks coming and going all night. It seems pretty quiet, so we'll see. We're here for three nights and then off to Ted and Yvonne's for a few nights before we head back to the Coast. Clive said he'll make a curry for tea for them on Friday, so I might just have a toasted sandwich.

Our home for
three days.

Looks like
pies for dinner.

Trying to get rid
of the date stamp.


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Monday 22nd July Biggenden

Clive went for his walk this morning. Town is about 800m from the van park, so off he set down Saleyard Road to have a look at the cattle sale. It's a huge yard and the park manager said that the other fortnight they had 3600 head of weaners up for sale. So you can imagine the noise all night as they were calling out for their mothers. He spent nearly an hour there watching what was happening. Most of these animals will end up at the meatworks. Fascinating to watch the flow of how they move and sort the animals after sale. The yard was only recently built at a cost of $3.7M replacing the old timber yard built in 1950. The new yard opened in March. The old timber yards processed about 40,000 head of cattle per year however with the new yard this is expected to increase as the Biggenden yard increases it's importance as a major selling centre.

Clive went by himself for a drive to Chowey Bridge after lunch. This bridge was constructed for the railways and opened in 1905 and was the first of it's kind in Australia. The concrete bridge is about 18km west of Biggenden and is supported by a 27m concrete arch and a number of smaller arches. To reach this bridge you drive though grazing land and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. As it's about 3km from the main road there is no noise about you except the sound of the bush.


Part of
the sale yards.

The Burnett


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Sunday 21st July Gayndah to Biggenden

Off to Biggenden today. We left after 11am as Clive went to church in the morning. We checked if this was OK with the manager and she said that this is the country and we're not in any hurry. Normally you have to be out by 10.00 sharp.

A nice easy drive and we are staying at the Mountain View Caravan Park. We were allocated a spot that allowed us to drive straight in. No reversing required. It's a grass site rather than a slab one.

Good TV reception so we don't need the dish. You can see the TV tower on top of one of the mountains from the park. We'll probably go for a drive tomorrow to have a look around. We back onto Saleyard Road. Today is the drop off day for cattle as every second Monday they have a cattle sale. So lots of cattle trucks - all shapes and sizes, going up and down the road this afternoon. Lots of mooing going on. The yards are about 600m from the park here, hence all the mooing.

Biggenden rest below the rugged cliffs of Mt. Walsh It grew as a service town after gold was discovered in 1880 on the Paradise and Shamrock fields. This was as short lived gold rush. If you climb Mt. Walsh you can see all the way to Hervy Bay on a clear day.

Mountain View
Caravan Park.

Us camped

Trucks coming
and going.

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Saturday 20th July Gayndah

It was 4.3 degrees last night but bearable. Maybe we are getting used to this weather as it didn't seem that cold.

Gayndah lays claim to being the oldest town in Queensland. It was originally settled in 1849. The wide main street features centre parking and also old and modern buildings including the Grand Hotel which was built in 1912. A unique thing about Gayndah is that all the named street signs are vertical.

Clive had already walked to town in the morning but he took me for a drive once I woke up. Just outside of the town is Pioneer Place. A great spot for a picnic and BBQ as there is plenty of space here. Then we drove to the Big Orange - for the mandatory 'Big" photo and then to Archer's Lookout, (yes I freaked out again).

After lunch Clive went off to find the Iderway Upside Down Railway Bridge. Built in 1906 this bridge spans 45 metres and is unusual in that the framework is under the bridge rather than above it.

Archer's Lookout sits on "The Duke" one of Gayndah's twin hills know as the "Duke and Duchess". Up here you get an excellent view and perspective of the town.

The town clock of which there are pictures on the web pages, was designed in the shape of a citrus tree. The stained glass and stainless steel timepiece stands proudly in the main street and depicts stories of the Gayndah District.

Clive also went to the information centre on his walk that is also entry to the museum. Cost is $5.00 per person but there is enough relics in the front to enjoy without going through to the back. There is a live display of the Ceratodus - or Queensland Lungfish as it is known. This fish has both lungs and gills, so can breathe either in the water or in the air. It does need water to survive though. The Ceratodus is only found it the Burnett and Mary Rivers and became a fully protected species in 1914. Studies have tried to introduce it to other creek and river systems but these have not been successful.

Battered fish and chips from the park, (garage station), for tea tonight. Off to Ban Ban Springs, about 35km away, and then onto Biggenton tomorrow for two nights. The fish and chips was the best have had so far. Lovely light batter and cooked to perfection.

The Court

The Citrus

Information and
the Museum.

The Big

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Friday 19th July Eidsvold to Gayndah

We drove to Gayndah today and arrived about 11.30. The countryside is pretty but very dry. We took a detour into Mundubbera to see the Big Mandarin and also a 360 degree mural called 'Meeting Place of the Waters Mural'. Mundubbera means 'footsteps in the trees' or 'meeting place of the waters'. The mural features the meeting of the Boyne, Auburn and Burnett Rivers and the native flora and fauna found in the area. This was painted in 997 by Rain Hart. White settlement began in 1848 with 4 stations.

Next stop was Jaycee Park which is located about 2km from Munduberra on a hill. This park is home to the famous Black Stump. A plaque and the history and botany of the famous Knobby Tree is also located in the park. An actual live specimen is located about 4.5km further down the road on the left hand side heading to Ganydah.

Now onto Gayndah. The park we are staying at is about 750m from town's main street. Easy parking of the van or is Clive getting better at this? It was cold here last night, so we are expecting it to be cold again tonight.

No TV reception at all so out comes the satellite dish. It only took about 10 minutes to get the right co-ordinates, so all good. Clive explained about the Skew, Azimuth and Elevation to me.

Meeting Place
of Waters Mural.


Gai at the
Black Stump.

Us keeping

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Thursday 18th July Eidsvold

I knew it was going to be cold. 3 degrees last night but a lovely typical sunny winter day.

We drove out to the Kirar Weir today. Not a lot of water about but it was a nice drive. There is a free camp spot just near the weir that can be accessed from the main road or via the dirt track that we ended up on. Still it's good to get out and about as this is pretty country.

Clive walked to the R.M. Williams display which is also at the information centre. We back onto the golf course so it's just a walk across the course and over the road. They play golf her every Wednesday and Saturday. R.M. Williams was born in South Australia and later in life moved to Queensland where he settled at his property called 'Rockybar', a cattle property west of Eidsvold.

Clive walked into town - about 5 minutes away and down the main street. A point of interest is the Alice Maslen's Hitching Rail. This was a place where she could tie up her horse when she came to town as she never gave up her horse and buggy for modern transport.

He also went past the Eidsvold Historical Museum. This was closed as it is run by volunteers. It's probably a good thing as we end up with another 100 photos. Still he managed to get a few through the fence.

Tomorrow we head to Gayndah stopping on the way to see the Black Stump.

Loved this

R.M. Williams

Fence of


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Wednesday 17th July Eidsvold

7.5 degrees last night - heatwave.

Clive washed the Jeep and the front and back of the van today. Talk about dirty. A nice day with clear blue skies. It must have worn him out as the rest of the day was spent reading by both of us.

7.7 degrees at 7.30pm, so another cold one. By 9.50pm it's down to 4.4 degrees. Clive has even put gloves on as he says his hands are cold. Such a precious thing. Mind you, I've been wearing fingerless gloves for quite a while now.

The Eidsvold area was originally settled in 1848 by Thomas and Charles Archer. They were Scottish born Norwegians who emigrated to Norway in 1825. In 1848 the Archer brothers moved to the region naming their stations Eidsvold and Coonambula. Eidsvold was named after Eidsvoll where Norway's constitution was signed in 1814.

In the 1880's the town emerged as a bustling gold town. It boasted 15 hotels to cater for the thirsty diggers with a population of over 2000. Today this is around 460 people. Eidsvold is home to the traditional owners, the WakkaWakka, the GoorengGooreng and the WulliWulli people.

Tuesday 16th July Monto to Eidsvold

It's getting warmer. Only 4.3 last night, so summer must be on it's way.

Leaving Monto we went through a small town called Mulgildie. This town has the Bunyip statue and also the Bunyip Hole. Good job that you have to slow down to 60 or you would think you were just passing a couple of buildings. Still as the photos show they do have a post office.

We arrived at Eidsvold around 11.30. This park is quite large and there are not many people here. There are plenty of cabins about but these are all booked out. We were told we could park wherever we wanted to, so we took an end slab that overlooks the golf course. It's lovely and quiet here and very peaceful. It will be lucky to reach 20 today as it was only 16 when we arrived.

Clive got our blog up to date and had a chat with some other vanners. Talk about 'Mr. Have A Chat". Another cold night expected. The cows are very noisy tonight, mooing away. Maybe they are cold too!

The Mulgildie

The Post

View from
the toilet.


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Monday 15th July Monto

Clive thought he would go to the 9am Mass this morning but it was a no show, so maybe at the last minute it got cancelled, so he decided to go for a walk around town and also along Leister Street where the Information Hut is and where there is some stone and metal street art.

During his walk he found a menswear shop that had western shirts that were lined, so he bought himself one to keep out the wind. He loves it. Then a few shops down he came across a 2nd hand book shop. This shop is run by community volunteers and all the money raised is donated to community charities. For example $1000.00 was given to the rescue helicopter, a new bed for the disabled was purchased and decking was done on the hospital verandah. Books are only a few dollars each, so he ended up with 2 for me, 2 for him and 3 for mum. Every time he came across an author mum would read, he would phone her and see if she had that book. Worked out well for her.

When he came home he insisted I should have a jacket too. So I tried his one on and it is certainly warm. So off to town we go to get me a jacket and I found a Monto hand towel, so well worth the trip. He drove me around town and showed me various places and buildings. Monto has a 72 hour rest area at the end of the main street where you can stay for $5.00 per night per vehicle. If it wasn't so cold we might have looked at this. There was a lot of vans in there.

In the afternoon Clive went for a walk to the local Historical Society Village which is just next door. He came back 10 minutes later, as the battery on my camera had gone flat. We'll have to get a spare on EBAY delivered to the Gold Coast for when we are back. So he took his SLR and as you can see on our web pages by the number of pictures he took, he had some fun.

8.9 degrees at 8pm so another cold night coming on. It doesn't feel as cold as yesterday but we'll see. Watching the news we see that the Gold Coast is cool too.

Fish and chips for tea - delicious and we are off to Eidsvold tomorrow for three days.




wagon 34.

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Sunday 14th July Cania Gorge to Monto

Cold again last night. Was only 10 degrees at 9am but it did manage to get to 17, so a cold day overall. Probably the coldest day so far. Clive got out my thick cardigan which I wore for the first time this winter and Clive has layers on and a beanie as well.

We arrive at Monto about 11ish and had an easy park. Pete and his wife run the park so he guided us back in. This park isn't really big but it's well maintained with plenty of space between each van and it's quiet. TV reception is good and we are back on the Wide Bay Network Area, so we recorded some more TV programs for a rainy day.

7pm and it's 7.4 degrees. Certainly looking at another cold night ahead. 10pm and it's 2.2.

We agree that Cania Gorge is the prettiest so far that we have seen and been to, despite poor mobile reception and no direct TV reception, despite that we had noisy neighbours the whole time we were there.

Clive went off to a 6.00pm Mass at St. Therese's Church in Monto.

Saturday 13th July Cania Gorge

A cold night last night going down to 4 degrees, but we had a lovely sunny day around a top of 22.

Clive did the Dripping Rock and Overhanging Rock this morning. He said that the best one was Dripping Rock. This has been named as in the silence of the bush you can hear the dripping of water as it falls from the fern fronds onto the floor below. A very beautiful and serene place. They have seating there so you can spend as much time or as little as you wish. The Overhanging Rock was certainly not as good as some of the other walks he has been on in the past few days. The colours in these sandstone rocks on the walk are amazing.

This afternoon at 4pm we both went off to watch the bird feeding. These birds have beautiful colours and are so tame. You are seated at a picnic table and they put a trail of seed along the middle. The birds fly right down to you, even though they did give a slight flutter when Clive clicked his camera at them as he had it resting on the table.

It's only 6.30pm at night and it's already down to 16 degrees. Looks like we are heading for another cold night again. Lots of caravans left today, but these have been replaced by new ones. Off to Monto tomorrow for a change of scenery.

Dripping Rock and the Overhang - Total walk 3.6km for 1 hour 20 minutes

This pleasant walk starts at the southern end of the picnic area. After crossing the Three Moon Creek the track winds through eucalypt woodlands and dry rainforest before leading to the base of Dripping Rock, (2.2km return). The track then continues on to the Overhang, where water has eroded the base of this sandstone cliff.

coloured rocks.


Gai at the
bird feeding.


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Friday 12th July Cania Gorge

It was only 6 degrees last night, a tad on the chilly side, but the day was lovely and sunny. I even sat outside and had my lunch. Tomorrow is 2 months on the road. It's gone really quickly we both thought.

Clive did the Shamrock Mine walk today, 1.4km return. It's a beautiful walk through woodlands where he saw kangaroos and cows. Plenty of birdlife around too. He said that it's very peaceful as when he walks there doesn't seem to be anyone else around as he is generally gone by nine o'clock and people are still getting up and having their breakfast.

Shamrock Mine site - Total walk 1.71km for 23 minutes.

This walk begins from the northern car park about 1km south of Lake Cania. The track meanders along a creek before passing into eucalypt woodland. At the Shamrock gold mine site there is a self guided walk with information about life on the gold fields. The remains of the old battery, mine shafts, processing sheds and mullock heaps can be seen along the way. Gold fossicking is not permitted.

Life on
the Goldfields.

An old
mine shaft.


Gai enjoying
lunch outside.

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Thursday 11th July Cania Gorge

Sunny and blue skies today. 22 with 13 overnight.

Clive drove into Monto to empty poodle in the public dump site that is located in the showgrounds. He was gone a while and later I discovered that he got chatting to someone at the dump site. While he was in town he bought us some pies for dinner and a jam and cream doughnut for my lunch. Delicious. While he was there he uploaded some photos from the last few days so that we can get the web pages up to date.

After lunch we went for a drive to Cania Dam and saw Lake Cania which is surprisingly large. A trip to the lookout had me freaking out,(remember I don't like heights)and then a drive around the parks areas at the dam. It's very neat and tidy and well maintained with plenty of picnic spots and grassy areas for children to play.

Clive wants to come back as just outside the dam is a walk to the Shamrock Mine site. He didn't want to leave me in the car by myself while he did the walk. It's way too rough for me to be walking on and it also has an incline.

It's a bit cool tonight as it's already done to 13 degrees and it's only 7pm.


and joey.

The boat
ramp area.

Cows by
the road.

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Wednesday 10th July Cania Gorge

Weather - down to 10.6 last night so a bit on the cool side. So glad I have an electric blanket as it was on all night.

Clive did more walking tracks today. He was supposed to be back by 11.00am but was a no show. So I rang him and no reception so left him a message. This is what I was concerned about. Anyway, he did show up at 11.20 all in one piece and told me his phone beeped with the message just in front of the park. The sunny day turned cloudy in the afternoon.

Nooooo! After Home and Away,(Channel 7) we go to Fox 3,(Channel 9) and it's down. No picture or sound. Not a happy Clive and I'm thinking about leaving the country. So the satellite dish comes out and in 10 minutes it's all set up and working perfectly. Talk about pressure. I said a quiet prayer and it worked. What's more the game hadn't even started yet. Who will win ?

Sadly to say NSW, (Cockroaches) won and win the series 2-1. Oh well, at least we got to watch it and it was a good close game. Lots of screaming going on in the park tonight so I think a few others were watching the game too. Clive thinks that it had something to do with the licencing when Channel 9 sold some of the TV rights to Foxtel as Channel 3 is working fine now the game is over.

Clive drove to the picnic area which saved about 1800m return. Total walk was 3.37km and 59 minutes.

Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave - 2.6km return

The Dripping Rock track travels for about 400m before taking a right turn over the bridge across Russell Gully. A moderate steep track leads to the cliff face where a side track branches north to Dragon Cave, (1.8km return). Here, the natural black mural of a 'dragon' can be seen highlighted against the white sandstone wall. The southern track leads to Bloodwood Cave, so called because the roots of a Bloodwood tree can be seen in the left hand side of the cave.

Comment Clive - A left turn from the Bloodwood Cave track leads to the Gorge Lookout, (240m). To get to this lookout there are 69 steps that have to be climbed over the 240m, where the height over this distance increases by 34m. Something to get the heart pumping I can tell you.





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Tuesday 9th July Cania Gorge

Weather - after a cold night of 10 degrees it has turned out to be a lovely sunny day. Blue skies and the sounds of birds chirping away, or sulphur crested cockatoos screeching as they fly along.

Clive did two walking tracks this morning, totalling over 5km. He said that he really enjoyed them and was gone for about one and a quarter hours. He did the Big Foot Walk, then the Two Storey Cave circuit which includes the King Orchid Crevice.

At 4pm every day they do bird feeding by the main office, so at 3.58 he suddenly disappears. Lots and lots of Lorikeets that seemed to appear from everywhere, and a cheeky young Kookaburra that was on the ground eating the scraps that fell off the table.

Seafood marinara being cooked tonight for Clive and I'll have a toasted sandwich. State of Origin tomorrow night - GO QUEENSLAND!!

Even though the sun is shining it feels a bit cooler here.

Total walk was 5.5km and took an hour and 15 minutes as Clive walked from the park rather than drive to the main picnic area.

Big Foot Walk - 1km return.

This short trail begins in the car park and runs parallel to the bitumen road. It features a large brown image of a four toed foot on the white sandstone cliff.

Two Storey Cave circuit - 1.3km return.

This scenic walk starts opposite the picnic area. Starting to the left the circuit meanders upwards around isolated sandstone monoliths. A 20m side track leads to King Orchid Crevice, a parting of the cliff that has created an ideal haven for epiphytes, (air plants). The top section of the Two Storey Cave is an important habitat for insectivorous bats.


King Orchid

Two Storey

Bird feeding

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Monday 8th July Biloela to Cania Gorge

Weather is sunny and a cool 19 degrees.

It took about 2 hours to drive from Biloela to Cania Gorge, climbing up and down hills. We were travelling across the tops of the ranges part of the way, and there were great views into valleys. Some steep decents into the Gorge, as we are surrounded by lots of hills and towering rocks. Looks beautiful.

Quite a nice caravan park, but with all this land they have put the caravans close to on another, meaning that if you have a noisy family, (which we do), you can hear everything they say and do. Sound travels here very easily and they do ask people to respect their neighbours.

We have TV via the Park's Foxtel, so we don't really need to get out the Satellite system. Only five channels though and because it is Fox, it's not possible to record any of the shows, so looks like we will have to watch 'live' TV and put up with the adverts. Phone calls are OK here, but the internet is average. Only 3G but poor quality, so there will be no uploading of photos until we are back in a town with some decent reception. Clive should be able to hopefully still upload the Blog.

The park is advertised as having a dump point, BUT they have to see what chemicals you are using before they will allow you access to it. The ones we are currently using are from Aldi, and this is not allowed. You have to use the Thetford brand, which they do sell in the shop, but as we already have some Aldi product in our unit this has to be emptied and cleaned first and then the Thetford product used. We're lucky as we have 2 cannisters, so if one gets full, we can take it into Monto and use the free dump point at the show grounds. Pity that this information is not available before.

Heading to
the Gorge.

Plenty of
walking tracks.


My tidy

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Sunday 7th July Biloela

Weather is partially sunny, cloudy and windy. Clive went to Mass at St. Joseph's this morning. He said that it was a lovely church, with a very mixed community. A lot of Asians - whether these are seasonal workers or what who knows. After Mass he did a drive around the town. Not a lot to see here, but he did discover a large water tank with a mural dedicated to both Aboriginal and white women. The time line went through achievements of women through time, so he took plenty of photos of that. The mural is divided into sections and you can read the plaque and then relate to the picture on the tank. Well worth a visit.

He then went to Greycliffe Homestead. This homestead was home to the Nott family, who were district pioneers. This Historic Slab Homestead was built in approximately 1870 and was resited in Biloela from Greycliffe Station.

Apart from that, we had to listen to one of the neighbours swearing his head off. This carried on throughout the afternoon and into evening. We were meant to be here for three days, but have decided to head to Cania Gorge tomorrow as at least there will be plenty of walking tracks to keep Clive busy, as there really is nothing of note here. Clive also discovered a free camp at the information centre where you can park up for 48 hours.

Turned cold in the afternoon with gusty winds. Bring back the sunshine, but I see that they are having strong winds and seas on the Gold Coast too with plenty of beach erosion.

The "Spirit of
the Land" mural.




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Saturday 6th July Gladstone to Biloela

Overcast and a cool 20 with drizzly showers. Not too bad a day for travelling.

We left Gladstone and headed for Biloela this morning. It took about two hours to get there.

Two rookie mistakes for Clive so far today. Firstly, he locked his keys in the front boot when packing up. This is the second time he has done this, as the first time we only had one key. Thankfully, we have two spares now so the keys were easily retrieved.

Mistake number two. When we got to the van park, he noticed that there were leaves all over our bed and on bear. When Clive looked up at the skylight, he found that he had not locked it in place, so it would have been flapping open and shut as we drove along. Then he said, "I thought I heard someone come across on the CB and ask - Gypsy are you on channel?", so it appears that someone did see it. Thankfully no damage done.

Can't get any station except channel two here, so Clive decides to set up the satellite dish. Well that's why we bought it. Setting it up wasn't as easy this time around. He had to go back to the DVD that came with it for help, in getting the approximate bearings for the azimuth, skew and angle. Then it decided to rain, so rain stopped play. He was having difficulty as we have a lot of trees around us, so he takes it across onto a vacant slab across the road, and manages to get a signal perfectly the first time.

Next, he brings it back and tries different positions at the back of the van. Then it's to the front of the van and finally he manages to get a reasonable signal, through a gap in the trees. Due to the strong winds, it's not a good signal all the time, so only the news. Still we can watch Downton Abbey again which we are really enjoying.

Friday 5th July Gladstone

Another cold, rainy and cloudy day. Clive needs to start packing up as we're on the move again tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will clear up for our travels. We both read most of the day and finished our books. More to put aside to post back to mum and Deidre from church.

Looking for new books and Clive decided to become the 'Librarian'. So he sorted out all the books, into his cupboard and then my cupboard. All organised now. My cupboard is full to overflowing whilst his is only half full. One thing you learn on the road is that organisation is a must. Everything should have a place. Splashed out on Chinese for tea - Sweet and Sour Pork. Delicious.

Thursday 4th July Gladstone

Overcast and cool with strong winds.

A few showers on and off so we read most of the day - a lazy one.

Clive got the web pages up to date. We've been watching TV through the satellite dish and recording shows as well. It works perfectly. No breaking up, or pixelating like normal TV. I so enjoyed 90 minutes of Home and Away and after that had finished, Clive watched the Storm win in the Thursday night NRL game.

Wednesday 3rd July Gladstone

Another warm sunny day, but they are forecasting showers for tomorrow, but we'll see.

We drove to the Tandoon Botanic Gardens. These gardens are on the outskirts of Gladstone, about 5 kilometres from the city centre. The Garden is quite large in size spanning over 150 hectares, but sadly there are no flowers, just greenery and trees. We did visit the Orchid House, but not a single orchid was in sight. The Gardens boast more than 1500 plant species from the local Port Curtis region and Far North Queensland.

The Gardens' centrepiece is the Toondoon Dam which was the town water supply from 1916 to 1945. Still featured is the old pump station and water tower which is below the dam wall. Another link to Gladstone, is the fort like entrance which represents the local Indigenous police, who were stationed on the area back in the 1800s.

There is also a Japanese Tea Garden with traditional ornamental landscaping. As traditional Japanese plants are not ideally suited to the Queensland climate, they have been replaced by similar Australian native ones. This Garden was constructed in 2010 with the symbolic 'less is more approach'.

There are also some carved Totem Poles that have plaques on them with names of community members that have celebrated their 100th birthday. What a great gesture this is.

Next door to the cafe was an art exhibition with some great pictures on display. The view from the cafe overlooks part of the lake, as it is raised up off the ground to make it a great place to have a drink and a bite to eat.

We've decided to spend an extra couple of days here as we were meant to leave tomorrow to head inland, but will now leave on Saturday. Roast chicken for dinner tonight. It seems that our meal routine that we used to have at home has now vanished.

The entrance
we missed.

Clive up a
viewing platform.

Part of
the lake.

The 100 years
Happy Birthday tree.

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Tuesday 2nd July Gladstone

Weather - you guessed it. More of the same. Warm and sunny. It got to 28 today and was 12 overnight.

We went for a drive down to Boyne Island and Tannum Sands. Lots of new homes going up, so development appears to be happening here. The road to Boyne / Tannum is the main one we came into Gladstone on. You just take a left turn about 10km down the road. Along the way are plenty of mangrove flats, so the tide must come very close to the road.

On the way back, we then went for drive around Gladstone and through the city centre. Some lovely old buildings here but nowhere near as many as Maryborough. Well Clive knew parts of it, as he had to collect the satellite dish and visit a caravan spares shop in search of a light globe. Then it was off to the Port of Gladstone, past the Marina and coal yards. There is plenty of green space and parks here too. Next to the Aluminium Smelters and then past what looks like a power station. We might go to the Botanical Gardens tomorrow.

Clive successfully set up the satellite dish and VAST Decoder. (More luck than judgement, as he got it first go.) There are bits of equipment that help including a compass and angle finder. The dish needs to point 14 degrees from North,(towards East), and 62 degrees from the horizontal. Once he had this pointed to the sky, he connected what they call 'The Marriage Saver' and then he had a picture. The idea being that you then rotate the dish to get the strongest signal. Also the LNB needs to be rotated about 30 degrees, skewed. Sounds confusing? I'm glad that he knew what he was doing.

'The Marriage Saver' is a digital satellite finder, so when you are looking for the satellite it gives you the actual picture on a screen. Once you get a signal, you just unplug this device and connect the cable to the decoder. The other way is with an analogue tuner that they call a 'screamer'. This is put inline with the decoder and you then rotate your dish until you hear a scream.

So we watched TV via the satellite tonight. It was good to be able to watch an hour of the Brisbane News, as normally we get 30 minutes of the local news and then 30 minutes of the Brisbane News. Oh..the simple things of life. At least I'll be able to watch Home and Away now and Clive can have his football back.



A Kookaburra
above our van.

The Marriage

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Monday 1st July Gladstone

Happy New Financial Year

Weather - warm and sunny.

Clive went to the local Post Office to see if the satellite dish was there and sure enough it was. So, he collected it and then then next trick was trying to get it into the car. Because my wheelie walker was in the back, it couldn't go through the back door, so he had to push it into my side of the car and then slide it over the head rest into the back, as he couldn't drive with it on the front seats.

The next trick was getting this out of the car once he was back at the van park. The only way to do this, was to open the box and take out each piece separately. Then the main box could be folded flat and removed from the rear of the car. Talk about fun and games.

Next he sat down to read all the manuals and then he put the dish together. Talk about confusing. There was a DVD that came with it, on how to set it up which we both watched. Besides nearly putting us to sleep, Clive actually found it informative as it mentioned things that were not in the manual.