Monday, 28 April 2014
Yet again though, this sunburnt country had some surprises in for us.
We sighed into Georgetown, ready to restock the camper with essentials like nappies, bread and meat (what can I say, when you look at cows and dry wood all day, the Afrikanerrrr in you gets to thinking of nothing but braai braai braai). So its a pretty small town in the middle of nowhere, hence they have every right to charge you exorbitant prices for everything, except for the best public pool I've seen in a long while. Having bought the absolute essentials, and hoping for more for less in Normanton the next day, we made our way over to the gorgeous little public park, its free gas BBQs and lovely pool. The park was our first indication that we had crossed that invisible line into the tropics, being all blooming hibiscus and staghorns under the enormous shady trees. And it was bloody hot.
After barbecued sausages (with a side of chillies for Caesar who had found a bush of the little red hot ones in the park. Ouch!), we all lounged about in the sparkling pool and commented on how this tiny little town in the middle of Queensland was an oasis in all the dust and bush. (Alright "oasis" is probably a bit rich, but it was an awesome spot after a hot and long day's drive.)
We drove a further 20 kms on to 'The Chimney', a spot recommended to us by a number of
Nomads and endorsed by Georgetown locals alike as lovely. And it did look that way, though disconcertingly it was devoid of any other people camping there, whilst a pretty big 'Construction Site. No camping' sign was. But, it was kind of turned the other way and had sort of fallen over, so ignoring it and common sense, we found a spot to set up for the night.
It really is a nice spot, with a beautiful billabong and big shady trees. We fed the kids, put them to bed and settled down for some fireside star gazing... Or rather some settling down, peering into the dark and jumping at the slightest sound. We are such pack animals- it's nice to have a bit of space between you and your fellow man, but when faced with being completely alone, we crave some company. So said the true townie.
Anyway, we awoke the next day having made it through the night, unmolested by bunyips and packed up for Fiela's Gulf of Carpentaria Mecca... Ay Karumba!
Friday, 25 April 2014
|Descending into the gully where the tubes lay.|
|Entrance to the first lava tube, The Archway.|
|A lovely oasis after a hot day's walk.|
|Camp. Note half-clothed children.|
The next morning (having located the leftover chicken, surrounded by satiated looking crows and currawongs and binning it) we went on our lava tube tour. Our guide was a bit of a Crocodile Dundee Wannabe with an attitude (having managed to get pretty much the entire tour group offside with some unsavoury comments about ex-wives amongst others) but incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the lava tubes and the bush in general.
|Looking out of the first tube.|
|The second tube where Croc Dundee was feeling so outrageously fit and athletic.|
|Seed pod on the crater walk.|
|You can see the rim of the crater in front. The pimple far left is another lava outlet.|
We spent the next day doing a few bush walks around the campsite and one around the rim of an extinct volcano, and one horror where we were attacked by mosquitoes so large they could f*#k chickens, ticks, took the long way mistakenly and Marguerite fell over grazing every limb she owns... and swimming in the pool and chasing wallabies, kangaroos and currawongs. We’d love to come back for the Undara Experience Blues Weekend and had a great time here in general. On our last morning, we trekked a few hundred metres away from the resort for the ‘Bush Breakfast’ complete with bacon stealing kookaburras.
|Lava outlets (pimples) across the Undara horizon line.|
|Fun in the pool.|
|The bush breakfast site. Beautiful amongst the gums.|
|Bush Breakfast sans kookaburras.|
|Eastern Grey Kangaroos.|
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
|"Brolox" Fiela and Marguerite's pet globe spider. |
Many a happy (and disturbing) hour was spent catching
grasshoppers to chuck in his web and watch as he spun
them into his next meal.
|The top of Porcupine Gorge.|
|Marguerite "the leader" on the way down. Not to be repeated on the way back up!|
|Fiela with The Pyramid in the background.|
|Rock hopping and creek swimming fun.|
|Marguerite, ready to tackle the walk she "never want(ed) to do ... again" yesterday.|
|Swimming hole fun...|
|This waterhole was a few metres deep and directly below The Pyramid.|
|Fiela and his mini-me.|
|The road on the way out of Porcupine Gorge up to the Undara Lava Tubes....|
Porcupine Gorge did more than give us a few simple lessons though. It allowed us to reset ourselves after the Winton debacle and spend time together in the most constructive way possible: in a campertrailer, just us, the bush and a beautiful little gorge.
Friday, 11 April 2014
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
|The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum|
|View from the top of the jump-up at AAOD|
|Dinosaur bones, wrapped in alfoil, paper then plastercast waiting to be processed. They have a five year backlog of bones to be properly 'unearthed', and some people spend weeks volunteering to do just that.|
|Some bones are easily identified before they are preserved in the alfoil and plastercast combo...|
|... and some aren't.|
|Ben and Marguerite with a partially processed bone. It's a dinosaur vertebrae, with the white thing a vertebrae from a cow.|
|Fossils found from around Winton, which was once at the bottom of a sea.|
|Fossilised shark teeth found around Winton.|
|The processing centre.|
|Toad seen trying to get in photo at left... |
Otherwise the bones they've found of this dinosaur with thick wire replacing those missing.
|The dinosaur 'Banjo'... the one they've found the most bones for.|
|What we wanted to do with the kids after this museum visit.|
|Even the bins in Winton are from dinosaurs...|
|Fun in the main street of Winton.|
|Feeling the history.|
|Marguerite struggling with the amusing billboard and your imposed face concept.|
|Caesar defiling some of the old stuff.|
|Cool moveable model dinosaur.|
|The stampede... you can see the predator dinosaur marks in a line on the right. |
The rock shelves show how far down they excavated to get to the stampede.
|Close up of the big dinosaur and then the scattering of the smaller ones. Below is a better explanation..|
|Beautiful colours at Lark Quarry.|