• Departed Rest Area 103km South of Burke and Wills Roadhouse - Rest Area QT628 - Tuesday

  • Travelled to Burke and Wills Roadhouse

  • Travelled to Gregory River

  • Camped overnight Tuesday at Gregory River




Day 14


Tuesday 23rd August 2005

Click on the pictures for larger versions


Camp for Night 12 - Sunday 21st August 2005 Camp for Night 13 - Monday 22nd August 2005 Camp for Nights 14-15-16 - Tuesday 23rd to Thursday 25th August 2005 Camp for Nights 17-18-19 - Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August 2005 Camp for Nights 20-21 - Monday 29th to Tuesday 30th August 2005  



After a relaxing breakfast, we packed up and got away around 9.00 am. Travelling north towards Burke and Wills Roadhouse was a bit of a push for the Daihatsu, as we were travelling into the wind on that day, so a lot of time was spent looking out of the window at the very, very dry surroundings.
Just before 11.00 am we pulled off the road near the roadhouse. The Burke and Wills Roadhouse is situated just south of an intersection. Travelling north takes you to Normanton, turning left takes you to Gregory River and Burketown.
As it had become very hot and the humidity was very low, we were all very thirsty so I grabbed a few bottles of soft drink from the shop. It was a very popular shop as it was the only one between Cloncurry and Normanton.

Below are shots taken around the roadhouse.

10.50am 10.52am
10.53am   10.53am
We headed off and turned onto the "Barra Byway". Our destination was Gregory River. Judy had been there in 2001 and camped beside the river. She said it was a lovely spot. The gossip at Burke and Wills Roadhouse, among the caravan owners, was about signs indicating camping was no longer allowed beside the river but we were told that was not the case. According to their stories, it was OK to stay there but a local argument had people confused, as signs indicated it wasn't allowed. We were advised to ignore the signs.
The terrain became flatter - if that was possible - and the roadside plants became lower and more sparse. Cattle sheltered from the heat in areas which looked man made but maybe were natural. The areas were depressions in the black soil with low bush scattered through. The bushes were high enough and thick enough to give shelter to the cattle. Who knows how far away the nearest water was as we didn't see any close by. In wet times I assumed those spots would actually be the watering holes but maybe I was wrong. They seemed to appear at fairly regular intervals on the road to Gregory River.
A lot of cattle paid the price for wandering onto the road, as bodies were to be seen off to the side, obviously hit by large vehicles.
11.09am     11.23am
11.23am   11.24am
Around lunchtime we arrived at Gregory River, which is on an intersection similar to the Burke and Wills Roadhouse. Passing through the intersection takes you to Burketown. Turning left takes you over the Gregory River bridge and out to Lawn Hill National Park and the Century Zinc Mine.
At the corner is a pub with fuel bowsers, very good public toilets and hot showers - a very welcome sight.
We saw the signs warning about camping by the river but did as we had been told and drove towards the bridge that crosses the river. I had been told to turn left just before the bridge, which I did. The track took us down to a low bridge seen in the pictures below. Ahead of us was a very happy little community of caravan campers. I found a suitable spot and parked the caravan.
The pictures below show how beautiful it is. Clear, cool, running water. Lovely treed bank, and a sandy lead into the water.
Small reddish birds were flitting back and forward from the water to the reeds after bathing in the water.  (Left and middle pictures)
After the dry countryside we had passed through since around Winton, Gregory River was like an oasis.
1.22pm 1.23pm 3.56pm
The left picture shows the bridge used to access the river.
On the right,
had no complaints about having to stay with the caravan, after travelling so far in the back of the Daihatsu.
3.57pm   3.58pm
A curious Wallaby on the river bank opposite our campsite.
Around 5.00pm we decided to cool off. I was feeling grubby from setting the camp up and the temperature was in the high twenties. I was very wary of the water temperature at first - I assumed it would be freezing - but found it really pleasant and refreshing as I waded into the fairly strong flowing stream.
I took the camera with me and took the pictures below to try to illustrate the beauty of my surroundings at near water level.
 The pictures are looking upstream towards the fast flowing water. During our stay we saw groups of people who were camped upstream of us floating downstream with the current. The water was crystal clear and small fish - around 15cm / 6" - could be seen in the weeds.
Goofy wasn't impressed as I tried to convince him to join me. After a lot of talking he joined me and loved it too.
4.56pm 4.57pm 4.58pm






Below are closer shots of the reddish birds. Maybe Finches?? On the right is what I assumed was a Cormorant. It was very interested in the passing water on the downstream side of the access bridge. I noticed it as we took a walk up to the intersection where the showers were located.
5.45pm 5.47pm 5.59pm
Around sunset, after exploring the conveniences, we wandered over to check the fuel situation at the pub. Because of the location, the price at Gregory River pub was the highest we came across - 145.9 cents per litre.
The showers were great but popular of course. Because people queued up at times, Judy decided to use the male showers to get over and done with quickly. Only one problem though, the lights were on timers and the male timer was faulty, so Judy got me to reach in and press the timer every minute or so. Onlookers must have wondered what I was up to!

Any, after a great hot shower and another of Judy's delicious meals, we went to sleep beside the Gregory River.

Bliss :)






Last Updated : 28/01/2012 01:10 PM +1000