The dawn sun is much cooler than later in the day, and until the flies get really active there is a pleasant, but short, time to enjoy the outdoors in peace. We had a leisurely wander around the remnants of the Hamilton Hotel where we had camped, before the insects drove us back onto the road.
For someone that has not travelled the roads of Australia, sleeping on the rest areas on the roadside, with no agenda and a vague date of arrival in the future, this unrushed and laid-back way of life is a great way to relax. Much of Australia is welcoming to travellers, and many sleep in their vehicles, including the drivers of the huge road trains that cover these endless roads regularly to bring supplies to the most distant places. We had four and a half days to travel 3100 km, but the days were long, we had two drivers, and found plenty of time to wander sedately along the highways of Queensland. We had travelled most of these roads before, so were revisiting many places.
Middleton, however, was new to us, and we stopped for a while, for a chat, a few photos, and a top up (both the car and ourselves). This town, now almost abandoned and dead, was once a bustling stop for the famous ‘Cobb and Co’ coaches, where the horses were changed and the coach (as seen above) made ready for the next leg through isolated terrain.
Then we were travelling towards Winton, where we had worked on a nearby station several years ago, and suddenly we were travelling on familiar roads and the country was no longer unknown to us. One of my favourite memories of this trip is he delicious banana bread we had in Winton for morning tea. Isn’t it great how some things stay with you for years? We also stopped in to see the Supermarket that had been closed due to a fire just before our time in the area.
We showered at Blackall- we always shower at Blackall, because their FREE shorts are toasty and warm (and that is the cold tap only), and meandered south east heading towards the Gold Coast where we had a number of appointments- hair, nails and the most exciting of all- Daniel O’Donnell- out favourite singer of everyone. This time we were staying in a B&B, and the bed was super!
We had the luxury of four concerts in the Brisbane and Gold Coast area, as well as Canberra, and the opportunity to meet lots of old friends at the shows. Then our journey took us west, back across Australia, while Daniel, Mary Duff and their entourage back to Sydney and across to Adelaide. We were now on our way to their final Australian concert in Perth.
- previously-Australia’s Longest Shortcut