I was SO happy to finally be back on the road and even though we were aiming for the territory eventually, the first day of our journey took us through a bit of north west queensland. After obviously setting off a couple of hours later than planned (what changes) we made our way along the dimantina highway to Jundah, a tiny little outback tiny with not much more than a hotel, general store and a fuel station. Still it was a nice little place to see. The road to Jundah is made up of bitchumen and dirt but even the dirt sections aren’t too bad to drive on, there’s probably about 50km of dirt in total so not much at all. Our car is an AWD and even it handled the road really well, we passed a couple of caravans and RV’s who were going well too so don’t let it deter you from travelling that road. We stopped in Stonehenge for fuel (which was even smaller than Jundah) before continuing on to Longreach. I hadn’t seen such a large place since we left Brisbane! There were lots of shops and loads of people; there was even a Target! We had a wander round and did a quick bit of shopping before heading off even further north towards Winton. Unbelievably after waiting months for some rain in Quilpie it rained the first day that we set off on our way to Winton!
We finally arrived in Winton and after having a walk round and visiting every Opal shop (Sammy is obsessed!) we decided we wouldn’t make it any further north in daylight so we’d camp there for the night. The tourism info center told us where there was a free campsite nearby so we headed there to set up for the night. Long Waterhole is a great free camp area about 2km from town by a lovely little creek, there were a few other people camped there too. One couple across an empty creek from us were throwing sticks and rocks into a bush which looked so weird to us, but a minute later and we saw why! A giant python at least 5ft long came slithering out of the bushes! I couldn’t believe how big it was, Sammy of course went to have a closer look (note to parents- pythons aren’t poisonous don’t worry) but I stayed as far away as possible! After that bit of excitement we headed back into town for a drink at the Australian Hotel, we got chatting to the owners who were absolutely lovely and told us all sorts of stories about the town. Even though it has a population of about 2000, that’s a lot compared to Quilpie, it still has a good small town vibe where most people know each other and everyone is real friendly to tourists which is lovely. The town has free wifi as well which is great, obviously we used it to post pictures to facebook, very important!
The next morning we set off before it even got light to make some more headway on the hundreds of kilometers we still had to do, on the way we saw some incredible lightening in the distance, it lit the entire sky! On the way to Mt Isa which was our original destination for the day before we passed through a reasonably big town called Cloncurry, it even had traffic lights, that’s when you know you’re in a big place, we hadn’t seen them since we left the city! We were in for a real shock though when we reached Mt Isa, a Coles, Woolworths, K Mart… like being back in civilization! It’s predominantly a mining town and there are tons of industrial buildings and towers as soon as you approach, after buying our first reasonably priced food since arriving in the outback and picking up some clothes other than our work stuff we set off on the Barkley Highway to cover a few more hundred kilometers! Just before the NT border we passed through another tiny town called Camooweel, we had our first experience of pricey fuel there, but when you cover such huge distances you need to keep the tank topped up regularly, just incase! Not long after that stop we approached the state border, so excited to finally have visited all the Australian states, goodbye for now queensland…
Jundah, tiny town.
creek actually filled with water.
wool trade display in Longreach.
clock in Longreach centre.
the waltzing matilda centre fire.
sadly burnt down waltzing matilda centre.
amazing bins in winton, dinosaur capital of australia.
longhole creek, winton.
huge mine in the centre of mt isa.