• Departed Kingaroy on Wednesday morning around 9am

  • Travelled to Kumbia

  • Stopped in Bell for a break

  • Travelled on to Jimbour House

  • Stopped just south of Jimbour for a break

  • Travelled on to the Warrego Highway at Macalister

  • Travelled on to Kogan

  • Stopped for a break in Tara

  • Passed through The Gums

  • Looked at staying at Meandarra

  • Camped overnight Wednesday at Glenmorgan




Day 1


Wednesday 18th November 2009

Click on the pictures for larger versions

The day had finally arrived!

I woke around 4.00am. I'd told Judy I'd be at her place at 6.00am. I still had to pack my clothes into the caravan, find places for the various tools I wanted to take and wash the van and the caravan.
Around 6.00am I still hadn't finished, so I rang Judy to see how she was going. She was nearly ready.
Around 7.00am, I arrived and packed Judy's gear in. Then, the dogs and the canary.

I thought we had everything and jumped into the Daihatsu ready to go. We went through our minds to try to remember if we'd missed anything. The trip had been more than a year coming but even with all of the planning I was sure we'd forget something.

We DID forget something. The dogs' "Cubby House"!

I built it to take with us. It's designed to be the same as the ones they have at Judy's, except, whereas at home they have one each over their own bed, for the trip, they will both sleep in one bed!

It's made of aluminium and dismantles quickly into 2 light frames and 6 uprights. It uses one of their existing covers that shields them from the weather. It will sit beside the caravan and go over their bed. Well, that's the theory anyway!

We had used it for the past week to see how it went. They didn't notice any difference and it didn't blow away in a storm we had.
But it was still on Judy's verandah fully erected. Arrrrrrrgh!

So around I went and quickly dismantled it. In the Daihatsu it is tied above the dogs and the canary to a "loft" I had made, which stores a lot of our lighter gear.

I had designed everything to be available in "normal" circumstances. By that I mean, at each stop everything goes out in a sequence and when we pack up, it goes back in the reverse sequence.
So, that was how it was when we realized we had forgotten the dog's "Cubby House".

Part of the sequence is, canary LAST!
The reason, because the cage goes up inside a square of the "Cubby House" frame, AFTER the frame is tied above it.

Being keen to get away, I decided in my wisdom to try to fit the frames without removing the canaries cage. BAD move!

As I was just finishing, the cage, which was unrestrained to allow me to fit the frames, was bumped somehow and took a dive to the floor of the Daihatsu!
The bird took fright, water tipped out of the reservoirs and worst of all, bird seed went everywhere!
So much for starting the trip with a nice clean floor.

Judy wasn't a happy child of course. The atmosphere wasn't a happy one. Our first disaster.

After the cleanup, with everything packed in, away we went. We filled the fuel tanks at the outskirts of Kingaroy and were on our way.

Judy likes her "cuppas", so, at Kumbia we pulled into the rest area. It also gave us a chance to check how everything had travelled.
No problems seemed to have emerged.

Like in most rest areas, there were a couple of other travellers. We acknowledged them and went about our business.
Just before we left, one of them ventured over and asked about the dogs. One thing led to another in the conversation and eventually I learned he was from Hervey Bay. We had a great chat and found we had friends in common in Hervey Bay.
He was in Kumbia to do fruit picking but was a retired plumber.

With the weather pleasantly warm, we headed for the Bunya Mountains.

As we passed through Porters Gap in the Bunya Mountains, we noticed a shift in the temperature, to a LOT warmer.

By the time we reached Bell, the north west wind was blowing moderately but the temperature was HOT.

We grabbed a couple of bottles of cold water from the shop in Bell and headed for Jimbour House.
I had planned taking Judy there to see the building. I'd seen it around 1986 and was impressed with it and the gardens. As it was in the path on the way to the Warrego Highway, I thought it would be a perfect chance to visit it again and show Judy.

I have a digital thermometer mounted in the front of the Daihatsu. It shows inside and outside temperatures. It was rising fast.
By the time we reached Jimbour House it was 37 degrees.

We drove in and found signs everywhere. "No vehicles allowed here", there etc etc. It had chairs arranged outside in the heat.
The building I had seen in 1986 was off limits.
Like a lot of places now, it was arranged as a "Cellar Door".
That's great if you are interested in wine. Judy is, but I'm not, but anyway, as we run on a tight budget - near nothing - buying wine doesn't figure in the budget.
So, being shockingly hot, no shade and signs preventing us seeing what I'd hoped to show Judy, we drove out and on towards Jimbour.

We crossed the Dalby - Jandowae road near Jimbour and pulled over to give the dogs a run.


The wind roared across the open land from the north west. We couldn't drink enough cold water.
The temperature reached 38 degrees inside the cabin of the van.

We have no air conditioning in the Daihatsu or the caravan.
Above is the paddock we pulled up next to. The black soil was baking hot.
Both Judy and Goofy were really feeling the effects of the heat. I didn't mind so much as I'm more affected by humidity. This heat was a really dry heat.


All aboard and away we drove again, dogs panting, humans sweating, even though the humidity was below 20%.

We crossed the Warrego Highway at Macalister and headed towards Kogan.

Kogan is a very small settlement as I expected. A friend used to visit there a lot in the 80's, so I was interested to see it.

The heat hadn't let up at all.
was next on the map. We decided to buy a cold drink and maybe something to eat there. I once worked in Dalby and was sent to do a few jobs in Tara.
I have to say it seemed a lot shorter trip then.
We arrived in Tara and I looked around for the main business area. Either my memory plays tricks on me or there are a lot less shady trees.
The main street seemed hot, dry and dusty.
There was no place handy to park, so I sat with the motor running in the centre of the divided street, while Judy walked over to the Bakery and grabbed a loaf of bread, some drinks and a pie for Gary.    
[ I love pies :) ]

As there was no real shade in the town area, we decided to find a place out of town to pull to the side and have a break.
Because the railway line ran alongside the road, there were no places to stop for what seemed an age. In the distance we could see showers building.
Relief from the searing heat at last!

We found an entry to a property that had a few bushes and cactii.
They gave enough shade for us to walk about and eat our food.
The dogs were pleased with the freedom, but not the cactus prickles lying around on the ground.

The sun was disappearing into the clouds in the south west as we drove off.

The rain seemed to be getting further away as we stopped at the Leichhardt Highway junction at The Gums.

The road was getting bumpier and the heat getting stronger as we pushed towards Meandarra.
In Camps Australia 4, Site 541 - Brigalow Creek looked like a good spot to stay for the night.
As we reached the airport and the turn into Meandarra, the showers started.
I drove to what I assumed was the site, ready to pull up, when I noticed signs saying it cost x amount of dollars etc.
Nothing was mentioned in the book and there was certainly nothing special about the site that made you think it was worth paying for.

Glenmorgan was chosen as the overnight stop when I was planning our trip, so, as the rain set in and blew horizontal at the drivers side, I drove back out of town.
Glenmorgan was only another 23km further on.
The temperature dropped from 38 degrees to 25 degrees for around 10km, then rose back to 38 degrees as the cloud cleared.

At least it had given us some small relief.

We arrived in Glenmorgan to find a great spot beside the Railway Station, with tank water, toilets and hot and cold showers.

After setting the caravan etc up, I went over to the little shop and bought some cold drinks and had a yarn with the owner.
She was very friendly and welcoming.

We were concerned about running the alternator needed for Judy's CPAP machine ( Sleep Apnoea ) and the fridges, but noticed the only other camper was already running the same brand alternator, a Honda E20i.

So, after a great shower and feed we settled in for the night, very hot though it was.





Last Updated : 24/01/2012 08:46 PM +1000