BURKE and WILLS ROADHOUSE ► GREGORY RIVER
THANK YOU FOR BEING PATIENT WHILE THE PICTURES LOAD
Tuesday 23rd August 2005
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|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.
|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.
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
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.
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.
|The left picture
shows the bridge used to access the river.
On the right, Goofy had no complaints about having to stay with the caravan, after travelling so far in the back of the Daihatsu.
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
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.
|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.
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.
Last Updated : 28/01/2012 01:10 PM +1000