After playing tourist at Uluru and Kata Tjuta it was time to leave comforts of the Ayer’s Rock Resort camp ground and head back off grid for a couple of nights. Finke Gorge National Park has been on the “must visit” list for quite a while and it was on our way home, so no better time than now. 🙂
Ayer’s Rock and the Olgas, or Uluru and Kata Tjuta – whatever you choose to call them, these awesome stone monoliths are a must-see natural feature of the red centre.
We arranged our itinerary to include a few days in the area when driving from WA to Queensland, staying at the Yulara Resort campground, the nearest place you can camp to these red rock marvels.
The Victorian High Country sits near the top of most Australian off roaders list of places to visit. Few places in Australia offer such a substantial area of 4WD tracks, gorgeous camp sites and scenic outlooks as the Victorian section of the Australian alps.
Knowing that the area was so vast we elected to get a local to show us around, and few locals are better qualified to guide you through the high country than Ron and Trent Moon, so we joined a TVAN only Moon Tours tag along trip for a week that cherry picked the best of this superb area.
What great news, Brisbane managed to reel in the COVID outbreak and lock down ended at 4PM Sunday. That meant we could get on the road and catch up with Lachie and Sarah who were already in Far North Queensland waiting for us us. We decided to stay in motels for the run north, given that we had long driving days planned and there would be plenty of nights in the swags once we got closer to the Tip.
Well the last few weeks have flown by as we get closer to ETD for our Cape York trip, with plenty of preparation tasks in amongst the normal hurly burly of life. From vehicle modifications and repairs to accommodation bookings and food planning – we’ve been pretty busy building up to next weeks’ departure.
We’re in the final stages of getting organised for our Cape York adventure, mainly camping out of the car, so we thought that a shake down trip would be a good way to check things would work as intended – it would also get Suzzanne acquainted with her new Crashpad swag. Goomburra section of the Main Range National Park seemed like a good place to head, only a couple of hours from home and with some great little hikes, but when picking the dates to go I didn’t think it would get down to -2.5 degrees C!!
On the run from Old Andado to Finke we got to see extent of the rain and flooding that had caused the change in our plans. We looked to be the first vehicles through this part of the desert and were making our own tracks at places where the road was submerged or missing altogether.
I’d long heard about Woodgate and its beauty, mainly from a mate who ‘went home’ on an annual trip from the Central Queensland coal mining fields to his home town of Bundaberg and spent that time fishing and crabbing in and around the area. Suzzanne’s mum Greta lives at nearby Hervey Bay and we invited…
Belbrooke Farm is a Hipcamp listed property and a working cattle station. They even have their own beef brand with meat from cattle reared on the farm that you can buy at the farmhouse. The six camp sites are well spaced and vary from sites surrounded by gum forest to a ridgeline site with open views across the stretch of river linking Somerset and Wivenhoe lakes. On this trip we were back at Old Cattle Camp, a site with plenty of trees through which you can see the snaking river and distant hills forming its valley.
Although replacement of the Landcruiser is a significant unplanned expense we believe it will pay off in the long run because the resale value will cover the intended upgrades, plus we will gain benefit of a newer higher spec vehicle for the extended overland touring we have planned.
Soon I reach The Head, so called because it is start of the Condamine River headwaters, and very beginning of the mighty river system catchment that eventually becomes the Murray-Darling. Rain falling in this valley eventually flows to the Southern Ocean via NSW and South Australia, making it a significant area given role of that river system in opening up of Australia’s interior, and its continuing use for agriculture. The river and the road following it slice through foothills of the Main Range, forming a beautiful gap called Cambanoora Gorge.
Hmmm, Suzzanne’s reaction when I started showing her camper trailers was hard to refute, some serious coin gets asked for a vehicle with half the wheel count of a car, and without all of the expensive bits like engines and gearboxes and interiors made from the hides of a dozen steers. Until now, I had…