We have arrived at Adels Grove, which is a private camp ground near Lawn Hill National Park. Tomorrow we will do a bit more exploring, but right now just a bit of swimming and relaxing after a long drive all the way from Sydney. For those interested here is a link to some of our travel stats giving distances, times etc.
After leaving Charleville, we headed north with the first stop at Augathella. This is a really quaint town which seems to have a great community spirit, friendly people and a few resident artists who have set up odd sculptures around the town which encouraged us to stay on quite a bit longer than we initially planned.
A few hours further north in Barcaldine we ran into some quite heavy thunderstorms. It was good to see the countryside getting soaked. However, by Longreach they had pretty much cleared. We plan to spend some more time in Longreach on the way back down, so we drove straight through and camped at a free bush-camp next to a dry creek about 500m off the main road, 15km north. It was wonderful to be totally alone in the bush with all the comforts of the caravan watching the sun set with dark thunder clouds and lightning flashes to the south.
Leaving the bush camp, we continued through Winton (another town to visit on the way back south) and on to Cloncurry where we stayed at a caravan park to fill up our caravan water tanks, do some laundry and stock up with supplies for the next few days.
En route we stopped at an interesting roadhouse which had quite a menagerie of wildlife all attracted by the presence of water: Australian Bustard outside enjoying the sprinklers; apostlebirds, miners and corellas everywhere and green frogs in the loo. Not to be outdone, the next roadhouse had a group of turkeys waddling around which were set off gobbling each time the rooster crowed.
North from Cloncurry the dry dusty plains gave way to more dense bushland – signs that we were reaching the tropical north. After 5 days we were pretty keen on getting to our destination. Also some rather large thunderstorms were brewing and if a downpour was going to close the 50km dirt road into Lawn Hill for 2 or 3 days, we wanted to make sure we got there before it closed. We therefore high-tailed it to our destination and were greeted to some of the most idyllic scenery in the country. A deep clear blue river flowing through dry countryside creating a bird filled oasis along its banks. Being out of season there was only one other party in the camping area so we had a choice of spots and set-up at the far end of the camp where we could look out over the river and feel like we were the only ones around.