Camooweal to Northern Territory

Having left the Corrella Dam site we drove on to the town of Camooweal where we pull up another free camp which runs along Lake Canellan and is quite similar to the site we just left.  This stop is a great location being so close to the Northern Territory border.  This will give us plenty of time to complete our entry declaration allowing us to enter the state.

Today we are pretty happy to get off the road again as it continues to be windy and in fact we end up staying here for a couple of nights due to the high wind gusts.

There aren’t many people here and there is plenty of room and privacy.

When we came through Mount Isa to do some shopping I took the chance to head in to the local ARB dealer because when we drove to the cape and back we lost several bolts from our bull-bar.  This made the bash plates loose and were getting pretty noisy.  The guy at the ARB store couldn’tj have been better.  He apologised that this had happened even in tough conditions then promptly supplied the missing bolts for free!!  I then went in to BCF as the first time using the compressor we purchased the bag ripped itself apart,  The store swapped the bag for a new one without question again apologising that this had occurred.

Now with a couple of days without driving I took the time to fit the new bolts then checked all round the car in case there maybe more but thankfully there were none.

Later we had a visitor from another van who came over to chew the fat about where we were heading, where he was heading and the good oil for both directions.  He then told me that he and his wife are gold prospectors.  They travel Australia in search of gold nuggets and in fact have had considerable success.  So much so that they now use a $10,000 dollar detector which has paid for itself in a relatively short time.  It seems there are more and more people doing this on the road and hey we might even have a go one day without the $10k machine.

Finally the wind has dropped allowing us to move on.  We drive in we drive in to  Camooweal where we fill our water tanks then queue up to get fuel.  

Whilst filling up we notice a group of young people sitting in the shade with their bags and at the same time see a truck with a couple of vehicle’s on the back.  A girl from the group approached us asking if they could get a lift to Mount Isa but we have to say no as we are heading west.  She then explained that the vehicles on the truck were theirs and they were now stranded.  If we were headed that way we certainly would have helped them out but we left hoping someone picks them up.

At last we make our way to the border where we get stopped and have to show our completed border declaration then driving licenses before happily we can drive through in to the Northern Territory.

We drive on for a bit then stopped off for the night at a roadside rest area called Wonarah Bore where we could drive a good distance from the road which avoids some of the road train noise through the night.  We were the only ones here but later there were about eight vans.

Here there is no service for phones or tv but our bus mates had given us a box set of DVD’s from the series Love/Hate, it’s pretty gritty and came out in 2010.  This will keep us entertained at night as it is a five series box.

After a great night sleep we are back on the road now heading a bit further west before arriving at three ways roadhouse where we again fill up with fuel had lunch then headed north for a change on to the Stuart Highway.

We then repeated our stop like the previous night.  This time at the Old Cattle yard which looks exactly like its name suggests but again it’s a free stop with no problems and another great stop.  Max is slowly turning in to red dog due to the amount of red bull dust he is picking up.  

Friday the 24/09/21 we are the the last to leave but get back on the road north.  Today we will make it to the famous Daly Waters pub which has a campsite next to it.  We have been here before as it’s a good stop before Katherine.  On the way we  stop at the town of Elliot. We only stop as we have phone service but take the chance to have an early lunch before getting back on the road and later arrive at  Daly Waters Pub.

It feels funny being back here after our last visit four years ago and thankfully it hasn’t changed a bit with all the usual quirky stuff around.

We head straight to the bar but just to book a spot in the free camping section which puts us in with a variety of campers and back packer type vans which we prefer as they are a varied and chatty bunch just having fun.  

Having chosen a spot we get set up, awning out for some shade against the hot sun then went for a wander around the place.  Last time here we booked in for the famous beef n Barra food night complete with entertainment provided by an Elvis impersonator.  This time we don’t other now that we are full time travellers and need to tighten the spending.

We intended staying here for one night (Friday) but Saturday is the Australian Rules Football final.  We ask if the game will be shown on the big tv in the bar which is confirmed and we decide to book in for another night to make sure we see the game.

Later we head for the bar as happy hour is on from 4pm till 6pm.  Food is also not served until 6pm.  A couple of drinks later we order some food, Burger for Kaz and fish n chips for me.  The waitress asked me if I want the seperate salad which comes with the fish, I say yes please but i am yet to see it.

Later we take in a bit of the Elvis guy and the owner turns up with his horse who thinks it’s a dog as it follows him wherever he goes. The same can be said of the goat which wanders around as it pleases. Funny thing is there are no dogs allowed in some bits of the place but the horse and goat access all areas. The goat reared up at one stage in head butt mode on a poor dog that didn’t appreciate it. Thankfully it didn’t come near Max probably due to him showing his teeth to it earlier.

We then retire to the van and watch another episode of our Love/Hate DVD.

Endeavour River Escape, Cooktown – Cape York

Arriving at the Endeavour River Escape we are immediately impressed as we drive up the 3K long dirt driveway to the homestead.  The property sits overlooking a river which meanders through the massive acreage.  We had a chat with the owner, then we follow his you bloke on a huge quad who directs us to the spot we will occupy.  We are again delighted as the spot is massive and we have it all to ourselves including the bus.  Unfortunately, although the river is close by we will not be swimming due to it being home to croc’s.

Having set up we took a drive in Cooktown where it seemed pretty quiet but then we remembered it was Sunday.  We managed to scope out somewhere to eat for dinner later which was the bowls club in the Main Street.  Then went down to the wharf where we saw an old guy fishing with a bare line and hook.  Every time he dropped that line, 10 seconds later he pulled up a fish.  

On our way back to the van we stopped in at the souvenir shop where we purchased a mascot for the trip in the shape of a crocodile who will travel on the dash to the cape and the rest of Australia we get to.

It would not be us if we didn’t find the local pub for a cold one.  Cooktown would be no different.  We found the Top End Pub where we could also take Max in to and enjoyed a nice freezing cold beer.

Back at the van we met a dude who walked in to our camp section then asked if it would be ok to use his metal detector.  We asked him he had found any gold where he replied, yes, about 55 dollars.  We were thinking of actual gold and not gold coins.  He then wished us “safe travels” then left.

Later we returned to the bowling club for some food and drinks.  This place must have the youngest crew in Australia working the bar.  The poor bloke behind the bar didn’t look old enough to drink never mind serve alcohol.  It took him 15 minutes to pour 3 beers while blaming it on the keg, gas and even air in the pipes.  We grabbed a table then the menu where since we had 30 minutes before meals could be ordered gave us plenty of time to study it and the specials board.

All that studying resulted in 2 parmies and two steaks washed down with a bottle of red.  And a scoop of ice cream was scoffed by myself and Richo which the kids didn’t finish.  It was then back to camp and lights out.

Next day we got busy sorting out the cars for the trip to Cape York as we would now be using roof top tents and the van and bus would be in storage for a few weeks.  The dogs would be going in to kennels as there are to many croc’s around to take them with us.  Our metal detector friend then walked past and wished us “safe travels” again.  

Having checked and double checked everything it was time to have some dinner before a couple drinks then an early bed.

The day had arrived where we hit the road on our Cap York adventure.  We hooked up the van and bus then moved them in to storage.  Next we headed to the kennels to drop of the dogs.  We did this quickly before Max had time to realise what was happening.  Then it was time to start with a 350Km drive to Cohen where we free camped just outside of town down a 4×4 track next to the river.  There was one other person there but he left and we had the place to ourselves for a while before two caravans came in and stayed the night.  This was the second spot.  The first was down off the road then over a river in to a camp which had loads of people around.  We decided to give this one a miss.  Having had a long day we called it a night early and climbed up the ladder in to the roof tent for a well earned sleep.

In the morning it was off in to Coen where we filled up with diesel dumped our rubbish then waited for the local hotel to open so wee could buy some beers.  We weren’t the only ones and when at last it opened at 10am we bought a box of beers which cost $90.00 for Great Northerns cans.

It was then back on the road in to the dust and corrugations heading only 60Km to the Archer River Roadhouse.  Since we dropped the tyre pressures the corrugations didn’t seem so bad and with a decent east west wind the dust cleared a bit faster as we followed Richo who was about half a kilometre in front.  In no time we reached the roadhouse which we went past turned right before the bridge and down then over the river on to a cracking spot with easy access to both the river for swimming and the roadhouse should we need anything.

Tonight we would light a fire so we all went, collected some wood and had a good supply for later.  We headed for the roadhouse for a look.  It was really basic but we are miles from anywhere.  A bottle of soft drink was $6.60 but the cost is definitely in the shipping.  We bought a bottle of ginger ale as these places need supported by buying something whilst there and also we are alcoholics.

In the evening and with darkness descending, the fire set and a meal on the go we were treated to a fly over by a large group of bats heading out.  This looked great until quite a few of them landed on trees close to our set up.  This means in the morning we would be guaranteed bat shit on the car.

The fire was lit and with a reasonable wind blowing it got fanned in to an inferno pretty quickly.  We then added a packed of Rainbow Flames which burn turning the flames as you would guess in to all sorts of colours.  Had there been less wind they might have been more of them but the breeze kept the colour show short.  We sat in the heat of the evening gazing between stars and flames while listening to the river flow, amazing.  It was then up the ladder to enjoy another solid night sleep.

After a couple of days at this fantastic spot where we picked up so much information about the Cape and met some really nice people it was time to leave.  We made a quick stop at the roadhouse to bin our rubbish.  Whilst there we were told of several vehicles that had broken and were waiting for days to be recovered to Cairns costing one couple who had a bus complete with trailer would cost them in excess of $20,000 dollars.  There was also a couple in a motor home where they couldn’t select any gears.  That would cost them in excess of $5,000 to be recovered.

Leaving the roadhouse we started out on a short stretch of tarmac which didn’t last long before it changed to gravel, red dust and corrugations.  Our destination was the The Bramwell Tourist Park which would have music, a buffet and a happy hour.

We booked in for two nights and set up our rooftop tent and went for stroll around the place which sits on 300,000 acres.  There are hot showers and toilets but not much else but that’s as usual on these types of stations.

We managed to get the last half of happy hour, then the start of the music but left shortly after without eating. Instead returned to camp to have an early night.

Mount Carbine to Cooktown

Saturday arrived sunny and warm today will be close to 30 degrees as usual which will provide us with heaps of lovely solar power.  Since the second solar panel was added we have been consistently high in our solar charge.

Today we sat down again with our bus mates and have now formulated a plan for the next few days at least.

We spend some time down at the little stream which seems to have been taken over by weekender people who have placed their chairs in the stream and don’t look too welcoming.  We take the hint and remain upstream where we spot a snake having a swim. 

Later in the day it’s all about footy with two games being played.  Between those two we stuff our faces on some beautiful chicken and then began the task of getting ready to move on Sunday then it’s bedtime.

Having packed up most things last night we have the easy task of getting all the little stuff packed then say our goodbyes to our bus mates who we will meet up with in Cooktown.  Today is also their seventh year anniversary.  We will definitely celebrate this milestone tonight.

We drive up to the farmhouse to pay for our second night where the owner asks us if we will return here after the Cape, we say for sure he then says well have a free night and see you on your return!!  You just gotta love country people.

We have a bit of a longer drive today on our way to and just north of Cooktown.  Here we will stay at the Endeavour River Escape.

Cairns Then On To Biboohra, Queensland

So up really early this morning and arrive at Bob Janes, Cairns to have the stock Land Cruiser tyres replaced by BF Goodrich KAo2 all terrains.  These will be better for the rough roads as we drive in to Cape York.  With this done it was then off to Pacific Toyota for the service to be done.  I managed to drop it off early and get a courtesy drive back to the park where Kaz and Max were waiting on me having stalked me online as I travelled.  

After a quick bite to eat we walked over to the pool and got straight in.  The outside temperature is around 30 degrees so perfect for a dip.  There are also two slides which we had a go at before getting in to the hot spa for some rejuvenating.


In what seemed a very short time I was picked up by Toyota where I returned to collect and pay for the service.  Good thing is the car was given a clean Bill of health including brakes which have had a hard time with the van attached.  

Having again returned to the camp we headed for the bar where every day there is a happy hour between 4pm and 5pm.  There are also a wide range of bar snacks including small plates to graze on.  We enjoyed a couple of drinks then headed back to the van to eat.  I should say the site we are on is about 30 steps from the bar.

We then sat outside to tune in to the latest Survivor Australia episode before enjoying a rare early night.

After a long night where Max was up and down drinking water due to it being warm then understandably needing to go out, it was good to see morning arrive.

Today we don’t mess about enjoy some breakfast with sourdough rolls from the local baker.  Washed down with tea and coffee.  It was then off to to the pool for a nice swim, slide and spa before we headed in to Cairns.  

Due to tomorrow being one of the last days we will be in a place this size with all the amenities you would expect we thought it wise to get in to the big supermarkets to stock up on supplies of mostly pasta’s, rice and an assortment of tins.  We also grabbed 3 x 10 litres of water for the trip which we will add to the 15 litre container we already have.

Tomorrow we will hook up leave camp to go back up and over Kuranda, in and through Mareeba to meet back up with our bus mates at Biboohra.  We will then work out a semi concrete plan together as we motor on with our journey to the top of Cape York.

Leaving Kenilworth Northbound


Finally the day arrived where we forced ourselves to leave Kenilworth.  We have had such a great relaxing time here where we met some really open minded funny people and enjoyed some laughs around the fire.  We know if we don’t leave now it would limit our time as we travel in relation to the heat followed by the wet season in the north of the country.

Before leaving we met up with Karen & Helge for breakfast.  We had a lot in common with them and our conversations always flowed easily.  We will definitely keep in touch as we continue our travels.

Todays road trip will sees us head to the coast for a change with Rainbow Beach the destination.

A mate of the O’Neills on the bus offered them an empty block to park at which our bus mates also offered to us which we grabbed.  We arrived at said block which was large enough to take both the bus, Landcruiser & caravan.  For once we arrived first due to the bus leaving a bit later.  The block was 3 streets from the beach and kind of level but was definitely a very sandy surface.  The neighbourhood looked pretty posh with some large houses with the usual boats and utes to tow them.  The immediate neighbour came out for a chat and offered us a power and water hook up from his house, amazing.  Across the road another one asked if we needed anything and where we were from.   We settled on a part of the block which we figured would leave enough room for the bus complete with trailer to reverse on to then went for a walk through the little town.  Feeling thirsty we headed in to the Deck a bar on a corner which had three levels.  The top level offered great views but as we had Max we could only use the ground level.  Still it was great, I had an alcoholic ginger beer and Kaz an Asahi. 

Deciding on some lunch we went to the local cafe chip shop where a lot of people were buying from.  One fish and chips was enough for us, we headed to the beach found a large rock to sit on then split our bounty between us.  Honestly both the fish and the chips were huge.  The fish was bright white, breaded and was lovely and thick but tender.  The view was pretty amazing with low tide and heaps of 4×4’s driving up and down.

By this time we reckoned our bus mates should be arriving soon so we headed back to the block.  Not long after the bus pulled in and surveyed the block.  Richo decided the best spot and decided to reverse on and up.  With lengths of wood placed to help lift it over the kerbs up it went reversing complete with trailer which had their Prado on board and that’s when it happened.

The heavy weight of bus and trailer combined to sink in to the deep soft sand where it remained bogged.  Poor Richo then had to dig around the rear driving wheels then tried to pull out with no luck as the wheel just spun without traction.  Luckily we have a pair of Max Tracks and take two involved stuffing them under the tyres where hopefully the would help to provide some grip but once again the wheel just spun.  Next idea was to try pulling it with our Landcruiser.  A snatch strap was added after out tow ball was removed and replaced by a heavier duty version.  With revs built up, the slack taken up, I floored it but the bus didn’t move an inch.  Rich then said “put it in 4 wheel drive” this done I selected the elec pwr option then floored it again.  This time the Landcruiser roared, gripped then dragged the bus on to the Max tacks with wheels spinning pulling it forward and out of its bogged position.  The bus was then removed from the block, parked back on the bitumen of the street to the amazement of the neighbours who had assured us that that car will not pull that bus out.  This then left the trailer with Prado on board to be removed which was completed easily.  Of course by this time we now had nowhere to stay tonight but Rachael had shown smarts and called the Big4, we grabbed two large sites then had to ask them to wait until we arrived as closing time was in 10 minutes.  Then with everything hooked back up including our van we all raced for the Big4.  The girl at reception had stayed past her finishing time to book us in, what an absolute legend.  To say a beer was needed would be an understatement.  This kind of drama we don’t want to repeat but at least we know we can get ourselves out of it if it does reappear. With darkness descending we get our sites set up and for a change have a welcome early night.

After a great and peaceful night where we slept like logs we take Max for a walk down to the boat ramp which is adjacent to the site.  On a beautiful sunny calm morning there are heaps of boats being dropped in to the water as each heads out hoping to land that dreamed of catch.  

We however have our minds on our own catch which is a bacon and egg roll complimented by a cup of hot coffee for me and tea for Kaz.  Max will enjoy his usual feed before waiting on the scraps from us.

Having only booked in for one night it’s up to the office to stay another night which is no problem and a bonus that we don’t need to change site.

Follow us on Facebook Group our wee journey send a request to join this private group

Birthday, Roof Top Tent, Late Night

In a few weeks time our plan is to be ready to drive up to Cape York.  With this in mind we had a rethink about our ground tent and decided we would rather be off the ground.  With this in mind we got on to the 4WD Superstore to check out some rooftop tents.  Deciding on a 4 person one complete with awning we got the card out and confirmed that we would collect at our nearest store on the Sunshine Coast.

This entailed a drive of about 50 minutes which was really easy.  The guys at the store helped us get it out of the packaging as we could fit it there and then.  This sounded great to us but when it was unwrapped then thrown on to our roof rack the two guys left us on our own to fit it.  This was never going to happen.  We just put our ratchet straps on and headed back to Kenilworth.

Richo our bus mate has one of these tents on his Prado.  He knows his way around them and was a blessing when he fitted ours with a tiny bit of assistance from me.

Richo and Rachael not only printed some stickers for the Land cruiser and caravan promoting our online sites but also fitted then as well.  

The ground tent we advertised and sold very quickly on Marketplace to a great buyer who turned up on time and without drama.  Next to go was the fire pit we purchased as we are sticking to our somethings in equals something out plan and once again bought by a top bloke.

We also had to move as the site we are on was booked out by the Queensland caravan club who are also taking over the middle of the entire camp area we are in.

On the 5th of July we celebrated my birthday.  I have to say I have never had so many people come and wish me happy birthday as I have at this camp.  From kids to adults all took time to celebrate it.  I also received many birthday wishes from home in Scotland and from Facebook friends.  Also a jazzy birthday collaboration from Brian, Rhonda and Keelen back in Geelong which was funny to watch.  Our bus mates surprised me with a 1kg donut cake complete with candles and gifted me an amazing personal stubby holder.  

Later we went to the local pub and enjoyed some food with great company.  Drinks were enjoyed including a wicked cocktail which was too easy to drink.  Later we returned to the big bus which has a wicked gazebo.  A fire was lit, we had some great tunes, a singalong and were joined by another couple of travellers and had some great laughs.  Amazingly and stupidly we eventually headed for bed at 2:30am!!  

Not the best pic but you get the idea.

Me Richo and Joe were the last men standing in fact we were the last ones period as all the smart people went to bed hours earlier.  It was however a great day and night which we all enjoyed.

Join our Facebook Group – Our wee journey

Bunnings, Brisket Pies and COVID


Having survived another night of constant rain which still continues this morning, we have to venture outside on to the saturated grounds to give Max a walk.

Then having watched a video by trip in a van on YouTube showing a simple way to add a washing line to an awning we head to Bunnings in Gympie.

Having collected all the bits required we head back via the town of Imbil once more.  

There is a Deli in town who produce fantastic gourmet brisket pies which we are dying to try.  We did try before and the place was closed but this time we are in luck as we catch it just before it closes.  Our luck is in again as there are only two of the pies left.  

Instead of going straight back to Kenilworth we sit in a little covered wooden gazebo in the town and tuck in to the pies.  I can confirm that they didn’t disappoint and taste amazing with fluffy pastry, a crispy crust and stuffed with chunks of melt in the mouth brisket covered in a tasty gravy.  Definitely recommend these, they are delicious.

Amazingly on the way back the rain stops which is very much welcomed.  It will at least help the grounds lose some of the water but will take several days to dry out.

We then get news that a person with COVID has visited Kenilworth.  We are yet to find out exactly where in the town but rumour has it that it might have been the pub.  The advice is to monitor yourself and if any symptoms at all, then get tested immediately.   We will have to keep watch in case the advice changes and tests are ordered which would result in a 14 day quarantine for us.

tonight our bus mates informed us they were having a quiet one tonight just as we were about to tell them the same thing. Tomorrow we will be up early and head to the coast to collect an item we have purchased.

Visit our Facebook Group – our wee journey 

Queensland Lockdown, Kenilworth

As expected a lockdown was called in Queensland but luckily only for 3 days at this stage.  To be honest the only difference it made to us was the number of people heading out of the camp.  It was quite funny watching a large group from a caravan club working feverishly like ants packing up we assume to get home before the lockdown measures take effect.  

Caravan Club Packing Up

Kaz took a walk in to the town with Max and already people were walking around wearing masks.  Later we did some panic buying, the beer fridge was our main concern and amazingly the bottle shop was quiet.  We did add some of the usual needy items of food but we travel from major towns stocked up pretty much. We also extended our stay here until 11/07/2021 just ensure we avoid most of the herd on school holidays. We will have to move next Wednesday as the entire camp has been booked out by the Queensland Caravan Club who are having a huge meeting.

At times like these we are very lucky to be self contained with bathroom and shower in the van.  

Next morning we walk up to the bakers only to find it closed and the usually bustling street is pretty much deserted with a couple of the cafes supplying takeaway coffee and a certain amount of food.  The local supermarket however is open meaning supplies should not be an issue. 

Main Street Deserted.

Our Showgrounds are now closed and people who could not leave before the lockdown are now stuck at least until Friday.  It is also not possible to enter the Showgrounds or leave unless in an emergency.

So not much to report other than this so I have added a few pic’s around the place.

See our Facebook group – our wee journey

Imbil Railway Bridge

Booloumba Falls, Queensland

With the increasing chance of a Covid lockdown or increased restrictions in Queensland, we head today to do some 4×4 driving.  Our mates Richo and Rachael will lead the way and us novices will follow along.

We are heading close to the park where we seen the Fig Trees but this time we turn and take the road towards the Booloumba Falls.

The road starts off pretty straight forward although part single track then it changes to dirt then on to some rough stones.  Then we come to an open gate with a sign which states “4×4 only ahead” and in front is a river crossing that Richo reckons is not too deep and if we are happy to have a go, follow them in.

Although this is what we bought this car for we are still a little nervous as we drive in.  This is the point when we will miss the ARB snorkel that we have been waiting to fit even before the trip had begun.  As we watch Richo (with snorkel fitted) continue on we follow on and with the car plunging deeper in to the water we are relieved as it crosses complete with bow wave then climbs up and on to the opposite side without any drama.  The road then becomes more dirt, stones and some big holes to navigate.  We are glad to be doing a tag along with our mates as we might have hit some holes and dips a bit too fast.   Then before we know it we have another water crossing but as we are now experts we cross without hesitation and are having a great time laughing as we go.

After quite some time we arrive at the car park that has a few other 4×4 cars parked and begin the 1.5km walk to the falls.  This is a bit up and down but has a massive drop on it’s left hand side.  We arrive and had envisaged the falls to be higher, they are however spectacular and on a hot day would be a dream to swim in.  We spend a bit of time taking photos and videos then climbing around the massive rocks surrounding the water.  Its then a repeat all the way back to the main road including the two river crossings and reverse holes and dips.

After returning to camp we all decided that tonight there will be no fire.  Instead we can all enjoy an early night.

To watch the video of the river crossing go to our Facebook Group – Link Below

https://www.facebook.com/groups/651792458340071

Thanks far all the likes everyone. 👍