Thursday, 28 July 2016

Gorgeous Gorges

Daily journal extract --Saturday, 9th April - Monday, 11th April

Saturday - an interesting day -- 

 After leaving our free camp spot early we decided to take the advice of local roadworker, Greg, and chose the route towards Mt Garnet rather than the rougher route to Mt Surprise. A very good decision as this road had been recently graded after wet season wash aways and was very good travelling. It brought us out about 12 kms from Mt Garnet on the Savannah Way.

Creek crossings a-plenty in this region
Travelling west along the bitumen we were surprised to find a coffee stop with a sausage sizzle set up at the gates to a property about 25kms from Mt Surprise. As we drove past the organisers waved and we decided to turn around and support these folk. Another good decision. They were a lovely young couple with three boys, and they were raising funds for the Mt Surprise primary school.  We spent over an hour chatting them about their plans to open a van park on their property in June. It would be a lovely spot to camp and they had some very good ideas to attract campers. They are listed on Wiki Camps, just look for Pinnarendi Station, Mt Garnet.

Einasleigh river
After a really lovely coffee and such a long chat it was time for us to be on our way. On the advice of Nadine and her partner we detoured via The Lynd (stopping for fuel and checking out the smallest bar in Queensland!) before taking the back road towards Einasleigh. It always pays to chat with the locals and follow their advice. This was another great decision.  The countryside once again changed as we crossed several creeks through savannah grasslands on our way to Einasleigh.
Mrs OWO fishing!

We found a wonderful overnight free camp spot right on the river where we saw our first freshwater crocodile, and Mrs OWO caught her first eating-size fish.
Freshwater croc sighting
Riverside camping
Yep - finally caught a decent size fish in the river!

Sunday -- Copperfield Gorge, Einasleigh

"Savannahlander" rail bridge at Einasleigh
Today we travelled a mere 40kms from the river to the sleepy outback town of Einasleigh. Our overnight camp was the Copperfield Van Park -- recommended by Kevin the mechanic who fixed our vehicle in Mareeba. A very interesting park in that it is an adults only camp - no children under 18 years. A novel idea for "grey nomads" travelling through the area.
The sign says it all!
 Our host, Mark, is the brother-in-law of Kevin, and he was a very welcoming host. This is the quiet time of year for this region and Ada was the only van in the park!
A "lonely" Ada at Einasleigh
The park is walking distance to the Copperfield Gorge and "The Pub", the latter being our first port of call, naturally! Being a Sunday, the pub closed at midday but we managed to meet a couple of locals collecting their 'supplies', before we set out to explore the Gorge. There is a lovely collection of miniatures held in the pub, along with some beautiful photographs and information about the local history.
Sunday afternoon in a country town

One of the beautiful miniatures in the Pub

The "Pub" seen from the Gorge
Einasleigh was a thriving town in the 1800s with gold and copper mining in the area, today there is very little here except for "The Pub" and the Gorge -- even the local police station has been closed since 2005 and the nearest police officer is now located in Georgetown. The "Savannahlander" train still stops here (outside "The Pub") on its regular weekly run from Cairns to Georgetown. The line looks a little "rickety" as it runs alongside the main road bridge into Einasleigh.
Police station and stocks!

We spent the afternoon exploring the Gorge. Such beautiful colours in this natural phenomenon which is like an oasis in a dry and dusty land, and a delight for this amateur photographer.

Looking through the Gorge

Exploring the Gorge

Calm waters in the Gorge

Railway and "highway" side by side
 Monday -- Einasleigh- Forsayth- Cobbold Gorge
Moving on from one Gorge to the next our first stop was Forsayth. The route along the way followed alongside the railway line and changed between dirt and bitumen as we traversed the Newcastle Range.

The "Willy"
Willy's Touring Car info
Forsayth has a rich mining history and there is a lovely park in the centre of this outback community next to the railway station, where a number of interesting relics convey the special history of the region. Exploring the park, the OWO was delighted to find an old relic of a "Willy" -- apparently his grandfather drove one of these funny vehicles from Warwick to Darwin many, many years ago!

Our final destination today would be Cobbold Gorge so after a little more exploration around Caschafor Park, and a coffee break at the Goldfields pub (which has been beautifully restored by the new owners and is also the local post office and local grocery store), we continued on our way along another 49kms of dirt road. The road was pretty corrugated in some sections but again our Ada was no problem to tow.

This is rather interesting country covered in sandstone rocks and huge termite mounds and looked very dry after the Savannah grasslands. However, when we arrived at the Gorge campground around 1.30pm, we were immediately impressed with what we found.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We hope you are enjoying our Adventures and would love to receive your feedback.