SW Queensland – July 2007
by Sharon & Neville
Well we are back from a great trip (the first big trip
with the new Pioneer Camper towed by the diesel Pajero). We headed up the
Silver City Highway into Broken Hill (from Melbourne). It was a big day
the first day out! Next day we headed north into Tibooburra and spent the
night at the Dead Horse Gully campground in the Sturt National park (1km
out of Tibooburra). This was a great find as it was a lovely peaceful
spot with sheltered gas bbq’s provided (they only ask for donations to use
From there we decided to head up the Bore Track which
turned out to be a good choice. It was a fun track and we ended up
meeting friends from our old 4by club in Sydney on the way. We decided to
camp with them for the night. Unfortunately, that group had a tendency to
travel a bit faster than we normally like so this track has been put on
the list as a definite must do again – but at a slower pace so we can
enjoy the scenery more!
We called into Innamincka the next day to refuel before
heading up the Cordillo Downs Road. We made it up to just past the
Cordillo Downs Homestead before deciding we had had enough for the day and
found a spot to camp along the creek bed.
The first part of the track out of Innamincka was easy
going with sandy stretches but the gibbers started after the Arrabury
turnoff – it was very rocky but we took it easy and no problems were
encountered with vehicle or trailer.
Next stop was Birdsville & a queue to check in at the
caravan park (talk about back to reality!). We found a spot by the
billabong where we had to dig a hole to sit one wheel & the floor supports
in to level the trailer a bit.
Dinner at the pub that night & a good catch up with
fellow travelers we had met on the road so far. Next day, we took the car
for a spin up Big Red to test it out – first go we were so close. Backed
down the hill, lowered the pressures to about 17 and up & over we went -
easy. Stopped at the top to watch some others attempt it – that was good
fun! We then headed back into town & stopped in at the Bakery for lunch
before heading for a tour around the Museum – talk about a fascinating &
After 2 nights we headed north to Boulia for an
overnighter before heading on towards Winton. We stayed at a sheep &
cattle station 85km south of Winton (Carisbrooke Station). $5 per person
per night and you get nice & tidy facilities, a communal fire pit with
wood supplied and magnificent countryside all around you.
We drove down to Lark Quarry to look at the dinosaur
footprints the next day and then out to the Old Cork ruins for lunch and a
look around. Good dirt roads around here – just a few grids and floodways
you have to look out for.
After being in the middle of nowhere for a week or so,
it was off to civilization in Longreach for a couple of days to do the
touristy things there before heading east to Carnarvon Gorge. We stayed
at Takarakka Bush Resort – full facilities with big open camp kitchens
with everything supplied. They have a communal camp fire so we enjoyed a
few nights sitting around with the other fellow travelers (a lot of grey
nomads) sharing tales of the walks covered during the day and other
It was amazing to see the devastation from the floods
which swept through the gorge in February this year. It just made it more
interesting in my opinion – apparently you could only see the creek when
you crossed it prior to the floods. The rangers have done a fantastic job
of repairing the tracks for the many visitors to the gorge.
We didn’t make it to the end of the big walk but did go
as far as creek crossing 13 before turning back so we could go into all
the side gorges on the way back. Still did about 16kms that day with our
7yo in tow – so not bad when you think how well he went. He only had to
be bribed by an icecream for the last km or so. He also had no problems
with the big climb up Boolimba Bluff on our last day.
They say there are about 960 steps to tackle on this
walk. From listening to the oldies you would think that it was tough
walk. It was steep in places but it wasn’t a solid climb straight up the
bluff like we were imagining. (Well it sort of was but it was only for
about 300m or so – it wasn’t that bad!)
After Carnarvon it was off to Toowoomba to visit
relatives, then south to Dubbo (to ride around the zoo!), and our next
overnighter in Forbes.
Our final stop was beside the Murray River in Cobram in
the regional reserve (we wanted a final camp fire before we go into
hibernation for the rest of the winter).
And our last glorious sunset!
All in all, just over 6,000kms traveled in 23 days.
The trailer was a breeze to tow. A small amount of dust got in in 2
places but we tightened up the locks and all was dust-free from there on.
It was great for the quick overnighter set up and we only pulled out the
annexe and our son’s tent when we stopped at Carnarvon.
We had put carpet on the floor before we left and this
made it warmer on the colder nights (plus we utilized our little fan
heater that we made sure was plugged in whenever we had power!).
We’ve decided that this trip was only a recce as we
have to go back to the areas we visited. There was some fantastic country
and we missed out on so much that we would have liked to have seen but
were unable to visit. Oh well, there is always next time. Now to decide
on where to go for the next trip!