Queensland Outback Experience
Page 2

Day 9 - Ward River, Charleville to Blackall

Up very early as the noisy fisho's camped nearby woke us up with their calling out etc and fishing on the river. 

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE fishing and am a fisherman myself, but these guys were just real yobbos and more out for a good time than a trying to win a competition, so we packed up, Ed & Ros headed off a bit earlier than us to get some oil and check tyre pressures etc. By the time we headed off there were quite a few cars, arriving, with tents etc being set up around the place so we are glad we decided to leave.

We headed into town, went to the butchers, bakers and also the dump point then met up with Ed & Ros and made our way towards Augathella arriving there just after 10am when we called in and had a break and a cuppa there. It too is a pretty little town.

Headed off and slowly made our way towards Tambo, the roads out here presently are very bumpy and rough so we had to drive accordingly and slow right down for some rather long stretches.

Got to about 30K's out of Tambo and Ed & Ros blew the front right tyre on the van. Was amazing to see this weird smoking mass suddenly appear from under their van and lie in a smouldering mess on the road.

We cleaned the mess up and were able to get off the road at some roadworks and change the tyre and then limped out way into Tambo where Ed was lucky enough to get a replacement tyre for $100 from one of the local trucking companies, who also sells tyres etc in the town.

After a 2 hour break at Tambo in the heat we headed off again just taking our time because of the condition of the road, and finally got to Blackall where we re-fueled and then made out way to the Information Centre where we paid $5.00/night to camp at the Barcoo River Camp CAW7 #623 - which is a reserve right in the heart of town, one street over from the main street and on the banks of the Barcoo River. A bit noisy from all the road trains passing through but other than this it is quite a nice spot. There would be about 20 vans in here at the moment.

We will stay here for 2 nights as we want to do a bit of sightseeing around the area and also relax and recharge our batteries.

Had a lovely evening sitting outside chatting before we headed off to bed around 9.30pm.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & Beau the 'Wonder Dog'

Historic House in Charleville
Main street of Augathella looking West
Post Office & Police Station Augathella
Main street of Augathella looking East
Ed & Ros replacing blown tyre
The demolished tyre
Tambo Rest Area
Grandma feeding the ducks at Tambo Rest area (as usual)
Campsite at Barcoo River, Blackall.
Another view of Blackall camping area
Horse & buggy came to visit us
Another view of the horses & buggy

One of the many sculptures around town

Ed & Ros with Ed's choofer burning heat beads


Had a relaxing day, went and saw the Wool Scour Mill Museum and did the tour of the place.

Wool scouring is where they used to wash the wool to get rid of all the rubbish, lanolin etc which made the wool lighter and therefore they could get more into a bale for sale. By scouring the wool they could get 40% more wool into a bale. 

The whole plant is run by a large steam engine with wood fired boilers, however these days it is fired by a diesel heating boiler. They are firing the steam engine up tomorrow and it will run continuously to August now. They said we could get our money back and come back tomorrow but we decided to stay and do the tour today. It was a shame that we missed out by one day, however the lady tour guide was most upset with the Information Centre as she said that they should have mentioned this fact to us when we went in there and they never did.

The plant also had an artesian bore on site which is 2831 ft deep and in it's day used to pump 2000 gallons per hour for use in the wool scour. Now the actual bore site has been re-located and the water flow reduced to what it is today. The water temp is a constant 58°C and when Grandma felt it she said,”that you could wash your dishes in the water it is that HOT”

A very, very interesting place and something well worth visiting and getting a look into Australia’s past.

After visiting there we had a look around the town and decided to get some fish and chips for lunch, came back to the van and just had a relaxing afternoon in the warm sunshine.

Temps got to 33°C here today which is quite warm.

Listened to the football on the radio and just “chilled out” and cooked dinner over Ed's heat bead choofer fire and had a reasonably early night.

We are off to Barcaldine tomorrow which is only about 107K's from here and hope to stay at the Lloyd Jones Weir which they reckon is terrific

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & Beau The Wonder Dog
Main street of Blackall
One of the old Queensland Style pubs in Blackall
Sign out the front of the Fish & Chip shop which gave us a laugh.
Blackall Wool Scour
Albino White Fox on display at the Wool Scour
Hot artesian bore at Wool Scour - water is 58°C and the bore is 2831 feet deep
Another view of the bore
Grandma testing the HOT water - said "you could wash your dishes in it, it is that HOT"
Steam Engine that drives the machinery in the wool scour - they are starting it up  tomorrow and it will run constantly till August
Some of the old belt driven machinery
The 'newer' Australian designed wash plant that had been installed
Bins where the washed and dried wool was blown up into by HUGE blower and where the wool was stored till baled and shipped out, the timber on these doors came from Fraser Island
A pic of some of the surrounds


Had breakfast, packed up and headed off at 8.30am went to the dump point at the showground as the local one near the campsite is out of action at present with the local council doing major upgrades to the toilet block etc.

Whilst there my TPMS told me that my right rear tyre was down a bit – it's the same as the one I had to pump up a bit the other day. Pumped it up using my compressor and then put the sensor back on. I will have to check it again later today when the tyres are cool. I think it needs re-setting as it was showing the same pressure as it did the other day.

Headed off towards Barcaldine which is only 105K's away and we had a leisurely drive up the highway till we got to the turn off to Lloyd Jones Weir CAW7 #337 and made our way to the weir arriving here around 10am.

This is truly a lovely spot, with sand filtered crystal clear potable drinking water from a tap, toilets, dump point, bbq's etc etc. A really magical location.

Set up camp and the girls did the washing again and as we have plenty of good clean water at hand and we are probably going to stay here for 2 or 3 days – will see what eventuates.

Have Next G coverage on the phone but the modem won’t work in the van so have had to set the GME aerial up and now have full service again.

Another hot day here as well temps are around the 32°C mark, not a cloud in the sky, sun is shining brightly, batteries are full both meters are blinking away merrily and there is a nice breeze blowing keeping us cool.

Just had some terrible news a great friend of mine and ex-workmate Tony Tamplin passed away at work this morning. Tony was larger than life, had a great sense of humour, always laughing and smiling and never had a bad word to say about anyone. He only celebrated 35 years dedicated service to the Police Force about 2 weeks ago and loved his job and died doing what he loved. 

May you Rest in Peace Tony a sad day and a BIG loss not only to the community but to his loving family.

On a lighter note just had a van pull in alongside of us, he is that close if he were any closer I would be cuddling him in bed tonight plus they are not a very sociable couple either. Some people, have no idea,  I tell ya …......

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & Beau the 'Wonder Dog'

Pic of the camping area Lloyd Jones Weir
The 'Shoe Tree' right near our site

Bee hive in a pair of volleys in the tree

Beau the Wonder Dog chilling out in the shade on a hot day at Lloyd Jones Weir
Grandma hanging the washing out on her Ezy Line clothes line
Ros doing their washing


Had another relaxing day just sitting back and enjoying the serenity of this place. Grandma & Ros washed the sheets today and some other clothes and after this was all done, we went into Barcaldine for a look around.

Went and saw the 'Tree of Knowledge' and Grandma tried to get some knowledge instilled into her. LOL.

Barcaldine is not a very big town, so we saw most of the sights pretty quickly, also went to the butchers, bakers and local IGA store for some groceries and then came back to camp where it was another HOT afternoon getting to around 33°C yet there was a cooling breeze blowing.

Cooked a nice roast dinner in the campoven on the campfire/choofer and had a beautiful candlelit dinner for the 4 of us trimmed off with a lovely cake that Grandma bought at the bakery this morning. It was a truly wonderful evening.

We have decided to stay another day so will just sit around and do little tomorrow as well I would say.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog.

Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Memorial in the main street of Barcaldine
Tree of Knowledge Memorial
Tree of Knowledge (it is now dead as it had been poisoned so the just the trunk etc remains)
Tree of knowledge memorial plaque
Grandma trying to gain some knowledge from the 'Tree of Knowledge'
Ros & Grandma at the Tree of Knowledge
Union Prisoners memorial
Union Prisoners memorial plaque
Main Street of Barcaldine
Sign outside Artesian Hotel - there are 5 hotels in the main street and in its heyday there were 11 hotels in the one street.

Blue eyed honeyeaters that visit our campsite every afternoon

Camp oven roast dinner
Beautiful Roast beef cooked to perfection in the camp oven
Dinner table laid out
Ready for dinner
Glow from another campers fire in the trees
Grandma & Ros playing 'Candy Crush Saga' on their tablets


Firstly we must say a BIG


We hope you have a really GREAT and FANTABULOUS day and have heaps of fun on your birthday.

PopPop & Grandma love you lots and hope to see you soon.XXXXXXXXXXXXOOO

We are staying here for another day today just sitting back in the warm sunshine and enjoying the place.

There's a nice breeze blowing and sun is shining brightly presently 28.5°C here in the van and no doubt will only get warmer as the day goes on.

Had a relaxing day just sitting around chatting to the various travellers nearby and generally relaxing. Ed aslo cooked a piece of roast beef in the camp oven but we reckon he tried to 'smoke it' instead of cook it.  LOL 

Had a few spits of rain that lasted all of about 10 secs and stopped. After this it became very hot n humid and finally cooled down late into the night which was not too good for sleeping.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog.

Ed's "smoking' choofer fire