Well on Saturday 24th August I went on my final walk at Lawn Hill National Park. It was called the Dog Dreaming Walk & I returned via the Lower Gorge. A return distance of about 3 klms and it tookmy about 2.5 hours.
So now it all just resting, getting ready for my next move on Wednesday to Burketown on the Savannah Way on the Gulf of Carpentaria.
I ended up spending 5 nights in Burketown. It only took less than an hour to see all the touristy things about the area. Burketown actually started out as a centre in a Gold Rush, but it petered out quickly. Then when the Government put inthe Bore in 1897 Burketown got a Meat Works, the only one in North Western Queensland.
So now Burketown was a major exportport for processed Meat (Beef). But in 1947 the CSIRO found that the water was no good for young cattle and this affected the Meat Export and the town. Then the final blow was stuck a few years later when after more testing of the water, it was found no good for any stock, humans or irrigation. This was the final blow for the declining town, but they were fighters and found out that it was a great fishing area. But due to the now lack of wharf facilities, Commercial fishing was not practical. But locals started pushing it in the Recreation Fishing World and now it is known as the Barramundi Capitalof Australia. Burketown is also said to be the most remote town in Queensland and the town of the Morning Glory. My first morning in town I did get to see a Morning Glory, but unfortunately my camera was not handy, so I didn’t get any photos, but I have now seen it. Being remote, nothing is cheap. Petrol just under $2 per litre from the only outlet in town. One Licensed Restaurant come Cafe. One Butcher come Baker. One P.O. come mini supermarket. The pub burnt down earlier this year, and the new one is not yet open. The community are still hoping it will be open before the start of the wet season.
On Monday 2nd to was time to move onto Normanton. Well 230 klms to Normanton and about 140 klms of it is unsealed. But most of it was in fairly good condition, so I could get along at a reasonable speed, but it was very dusty. On arriving in Normanton I find they are in the middle of very servre water restrictions, so I had no chance of washing the dust off everything.
I stayed at Leichhardt Lagoon Campground, about 25 klms east of town. A lovely spot but the wind would stirup dust now and then. Overlooking a Lagoon with great Sunsets over the Lagoon and the Lagoon has heaps of birds. Black Swans, Pelicans, Ducks, Geese, Brolgas, plus heaps of other water birds. Small Wallabies hop around the Campground a lot of the time (I’ve been told there are no Kangaroo around here, but numerous varities of Wallabies)
While in Normanton I came across a replica of Krys the Crocodile. Krys was shot in the Norman River just downstream from the town in 1957 and is the biggest Crocodile on record Worldwide. He measured 8.63 Metres or 28ft 4in, so I guess if you were in a 10ft tinny he wouldn’t be a friendly sight. I went on a day trip to Karumba and really there is nothing there much unless you want to go out to sea to do some great fishing. Below is a photo overlooking the Gulf of Carpentaria from the Esplanade at Karumba Point.
I also went on a ride on the Gulflander from Normanton to Croydon. Lunch & a bit of a lookabout Croydon, then back to Normanton by bus. This trip was very informative & I learnt so much about the district. Even the way the RailwayTracks were just laid on the ground, so the flood waters could run over them causing minimal damage, as result, much of the line is still serviceable after 118 years. Here is a Flood Marker beside the Track on the Norman River Flood Plains, which in places is up to 40 klms wide.
I headed off from Leichhardt Lagoon on Tuesday, to head to Mt Surprise. Try to wash some dust off the Camper Trailer & enjoy a rest day before heading off on a tour on the Savannahlander.
The Savannahlander tour went from Mt Surprise to Einasleigh, where we enjoyed a beer at the pub and meet our bus. During the trip the Train Driver gave us a full commentary on the Fauna, Flora & Ecology of the region we were passing through. How the track was built on a tight budget, meaning it followed the lay of the land with minimal cuttings & embankments, but a lot of ups & downs.
Then down to Copperfield Gorge & a tour of town before heading back towards Mt Surprise.
After a few kilometres we stopped on the banks of a dried upstream where the driver had already set-up for Afternoon Tea. Then off back to Mt Surprise along areasonably rough and very dusty road arriving back close to 5:30pm. Luckily the Caravan Park were having a Pizza night and I had ordered my Pizza before heading of that morning.
Then Friday morning I headed off from Mt Surprise to make the 53 klm journey to the Undara Lava Tubes.
I had a rest day Saturday to recover from packing up at Mt Surprise, then setting up at Undara, but Sunday I was booked on an Assisted tour of the Archway Lava Tube, This complete tour was Wheelchair friendly, I did use the Steps Chair Lift going down, but I managed the step coming up OK. Our Tour Guide was actually the Resort Owner. His family settled this area in 1861, but to save the Lava Tubes from vandalism & abuse, he decided to give cattle away & go into Tourism, His Sister and her husband still operate the neighbouring property, which was the original property and her children are now the 6 generation on that property.
Bram our Guide told us all about the Lava Tubes dating back to and early postal contactor from the new settlement of Cardwell, and with his horse & dray that took one and a half months to complete his delivery, then one and a half months to return, but the Lava Tubes was one of his major stopovers because of its water source.
When I returned to the Resort, seeing I had an hour to fillin before lunch I decided to do the Bluff Lookout walk. Great views, but I was really buggered when Igot back and I think I might have even caught a few winks of sleep after lunchover a few beers, before I left the Bistro.
Tuesday Morning I decided that it was now or never to do the Kalkani Crater Rim Walk. So off I go on the 16 klms drive to the Crater. It was a 2.6 klm walk. 600 metres up a good track, but a very steady climb. When I reached the Rim I was buggered and I decided to return back down, but after a rest on a bench seat, I had my second wind, so off I went. The first 500 metres was fairly hard going, stepping over or around rocks, but the views were great. Much of it the trees made taking photos tricky, but I got some good ones.
So until next month.