Forever Friends ….

Got to Cairns, did a few things then travelled to Cardwell (half way between Cairns & Townsville) on the 9th October 2020, our great mates Mandy & Raymond live here, its always a joy & so much fun to spend time with these folk. Thankyou so much Mandy & Raymond for sharing 3 nights with us in your home – awesome as always.

Back to Cairns, we went to a delightful resturant on the water(boat mariner) & shared a great meal. We organised a few things in Cairns then we went south again, 1st stop – Bramston Beach, WOW! what a beautiful spot, we camped about 30m from the high tide water mark, there were hundreds of starlings nesting in one particular tree, we didn’t park too close to them. Next day we called into Babinda for a coffee, apparently Babinda & Tully vie for the ‘wettest town award’ every year. We drove out to the boulders, had a few light showers of rain but we still did the small walk, quite a spectacular area & very beautiful but also dangerous if you venture where you shouldn’t.

Mandy overseeing the cooking – what a great job they both did.
Hinchinbrook Island
Mandy in her hometown of Cardwell.
Driving through Tully, you cannot miss the sugar mill chimneys in full force, even in wet weather.
Dinner at Cairns overlooking the bay.
Dinner before we started.
Dinner demolished – yummo.
Saw this ginger plant flowering while walking the streets of Cairns.
Bramston Beach Park
Lotz of starlings were nesting in this particular tree, the night before we got here was windy & quite a few branches with nests were on the ground the next morning but there was hundreds of the birds.
Beautiful elkhorns, orchids & ferns can be found just up from the beach.
A flowering Beach Almond – the fruit is edible & just like a normal almond you buy in the store but smaller.
We called into Babinda for a coffee & found this delightful sculpture – amazing how clever some people are.
The allocated swimming area of the Babinda Boulders – quite lovely but a little too cool for us.
It was great going for the walk…….

Hots Springs for a treat.

After leaving Mitchell River for the 2nd time – wow! both awesome spots to camp up for the night, we headed towards Chilagoe (once known for its mining of a range of minerals but now a small zinc mine & marble quarries).

We drove through a few old mining area’s, majority of them were mining tin, these days – who knows but they are still utilised. Lotz of little towns full of history.

There are lotz of tracks going off the in every direction, you spend weeks checking them out, getting lost but having fun. Saw quite a few brumbies & they were all in pretty good condition considering the lack of rain & environment.

Innot Hot Springs – very nice, they have 3 outside pools & I think 2 indoor pools. A nice camping area & the pub walking distance for dinner – 🙂

Driving into Chilagoe – this is the main street.
A few of these beauties in the main street of Chilagoe – Embrert (Scrambling clerodendrum), apparently parts of this plant are used in tradional medicines.
We camped up just off the road near a waterless creek, very quiet & peaceful.
A little bit of interesting history.
This is how the countryside looks.
There was a few brumbies around – these 2 looking pretty good.
The road just keeps going – quite good really.
Life has been difficult in these areas in earlier years & probably still now.
Found this family enjoying the Montalbion Town water supply.
More interesting history bits from the town of Irvinebank.
We parked up under some amazing ‘ficus’ tree’s – weeping fig. They were magnificent.
We saw lotz of ‘blackboys’ (grass tree’s) & they were beautiful.
WOW! Innot Hot Springs – this is the pub, great meal.
Our next camp, just before Kuranda, not too exciting but we just set up & went to bed.

Moving on from the Gilbert River (north QLD)

What a beautiful time of day, watching the sun rise over the Gilbert River -the bird life is quite active this morning. The collection time for the parliment pots…..so exciting. we did okay, got about a dozen mixed size, they will taste good.

The next night we camped on the Mitchell River, once again a lovely spot & all to ourselves. we put in the partlimount house pots & managed to catch approx a dozen cherabin. The following night we camped on the Mithcell River again but about 100klms upstream (Hughs Crossing)- a really, really, really nice camp although there was someone on the other side of the river, once again we baited up the pots (dry dog food, very easy) & we caught about 20 keepers.

Not sure if this fellow was a ‘great egret’ or the ‘intermediate egret’, I imagine he would be the 2nd one as they are very common in the northern areas of Australia ……..? But still an awesome bird.
A Hawkins side tipper, carting gravel from Normanton to Kowanyama approximately a 5 hour drive each way.
Jabiru
Burdekin ducks on a mission.
Happy snappers always around.
Sunrise, what a beautiful time of day.
Jabiru – what a magnificent bird.
Woo ho – not a bad catch – approx a dozen all up, dinner to tonite
I think fellow saw a Happy snapper & ?????????
On the road again, this road train was going a little faster than us so we pulled over.
Passed quite a few brumbies.
Our camp – Mitchell river.
This causeway is covered in a type of matting – quite interesting.
There was quite a few crows.
Lotz of kites keeping an eye on things.
Honeyeaters in big numbers.
The doves were plentiful & put quite show on while I was drinking my cup of tea.
Wild mangrove flower.
Small seed pods growing wild over a dead tree – Loofah (Luffa Aegyptiaca)
On the road again, the road was very good.
Quite a few moo’s along the way.
Our next stop, Hughs Crossing – Mitchell River again, approximately 100klms from our last camp.
We had an amazing camp site.
This fellow flew across the causeway empty & came back an hour later loaded up with cattle.
The pee-wee’s were having a great time.
More Burdiken ducks.
Our catch overnite.
It was a fantastic camping spot.

Leaving Normanton – WOW!

September 29th we departed Normanton for the next amazing adventure in our life…….yea!

The 1st night we stayed on the Gilbert River – what an awesome spot & our campsite was the best. The Jabiru’s were beautiful – what an amazing bird they are, saw some fish movement but we didn’t wet a line BUT we did put in the parliment pots so look out 2moro. The sunset was lovely. Quite a few ‘happy snappers’ but I think they are freshies.

I know the signs says welcome to Normanton but I couldn’t find a “farewell from Normanton”…..hahaha

When you are travelling this is a very popular sign.
We will go as far as Chillagoe then change direction slightly.
When travelling on gravel roads its always a good thing to let some air out the tyres – makes life much easier if problems arise.
Soooooo many of these to be seen.
Passed a few Hawkins side tippers along the way – definately a good idea to get off the road when any roadtrain comes along.
Our camp for the night on the Gilbert River.
This critter kept his eye on us.
The Corella’s were very prolific & loud…..
These 2 characters did a few miles but they always stayed together- Burdikin ducks
This Jabiru is definately a good fisher bird – a reasonable size catfish for dinner.
This freshie was doing a little sunbaking.
This little piggy needed a drink, I’m sure he wasn’t that little (I was a long distance from him) -there was lots of signs that the pigs liked this area.
Quite amazing, I watched this fellow dig a hole a few metres from waters edge to find water to drink – very ‘croc’ savy.
This fellow not so timid……
But the freshies are always around.
WOW – a pink grader. Actually this fellow is based in Normanton.
A shag drying out.
But……… they are always around.
Dinner time, I think she had another one in the pouch…..
Isn’t it surprising how trees can survive growing on the edge of banks with their roots exposed.
The sun setting on the Gilbert River.S
Always need at least one scary pic…hahaha

Normanton #12

WOW! another weekend off – we had booked the boat (Dory) in for a service at Karumba, dropped it off Thursday arvo & picked it up Saturday morning – We decided to have a look at Karumba in the water, was awesome, got a little windy later on in the day but was a wonderful day – we even managed to catch a fish keeper – ‘blue nosed salmon’, sorry no pic.

This is our last Normanton blog, we have 9 days left of work (no days off) then we heading Cairns way, we are taking the Chilagoe Rd but I not sure if we will have much service but I will try to take lotz of pics.

Keep smiling. 🙂

This is an amazing boat ramp in Karumba – its very boat launching happy.
Karumba Point – a very popular spot especially to feast on some local take away fish & chips.
Leichardt River quite a beautiful spot – during the wet season & if good rain there is water running over the rock cliffs – ‘Leichardt Falls’
Windmill in the background.
The roadwork water trucks fill up their tankers from here, this fellow works for Hawkins so we stopped for a chat & a wander.
A very beautiful spot, but apparentley there are ‘big’ happy snappers here so no swimming.
Passed a few of these boys on the way back to Normanton.
The birdlife is pretty amazing.
Lotz these termite hills around, they look like a massive cementry.
Gravel off loaded waiting to be flattened..
Quite a few of these characters too, although a lot of their family/friends spread out on the road – makes the bird life plentiful.
Crossing over the Bynoe River saw this fellow having a bit of a look.
Bynoe River.
Sun setting 30 minutes from Normanton – saw quite a few black cockies hanging in the trees.

Normanton #10

WOW! days off again. SO good. 11th/12th July.

We drove to Mt. Isa, along the way we stopped at the Burke & Wills roadhouse for breakfast & seemed to have a few friends..

Did some shopping & relaxed, was nice. We left Mt Isa Sunday morning & drove towards Camoweal (towards the NT border), after 120klms we turned left heading to the Gregory River, was an interesting drive, we drove past quite a few stations. Gregory River is a lovely looking spot, is fresh water so NO salt water crocs but there is proabaly a few freshies around but we may come back here & camp along the river – it is quite beautiful. We had a counter luch at the pub which was quite nice, no need for social distancing – we were the only ones there…..haha but a few people die call in for fuel.

Back in the yard at Normanton, Peter does have a couple of hairy jobs…….

The sunsets have been providing us with some amazing colours.

I go walking with a guy I work with, it is always interesting. We find some interesting sites.

We stopped at Burke & Wills Roadhouse for breakie & these critters keep a keen eye on us.
Ptilotus Exaltatus.
After the bitumen the road was very good in most parts, some parts were a bit hairy.
What amazing signage – metal artwork is fantastic.
Ringers moving cattle along the road.
The Gregory Hotel.
The Gregory River – looks like an awesome spot
Melaleuca Linarifolia.
We found some long horn moo’s along the way.
The Flinders River.
The Bynoe River, on one side of the river there was heaps of cockies in the trees.
Peter & the boys emptying some very long & heavy metal framework from the truck.
Great sunsets in Normanton.
The bloke I go walking with the majority of the time.
This all part of the local water supply for Normanton.

Normanton #9

Days off again – time flys when you having fun……..

This time we headed north, north-east along the road to Chilagoe, came across a family of wild pigs, Mum & bubs went one way & Dad went in a different direction – clever animals. Obviously saw heaps of cattle all swanning around waterholes & the roadside, where the cattle were was also lotx of brolga’s. Drove past a few Station entrance’s – Van Rook was very eye catching. Crossed over the Gilbert River, it definately has the ‘wow’ factor but there was some rather large signs saying no camping etc so we drove on, after about 70klms we drove over a dry creek called Wyaaba Creek & turned left, there were a couple of waterholes(brown looking water), the area had been recently burnt out as there was still a few stumps still smouldering but then we came across a lovely fresh looking pond – our camp for the nite & we had a few critters around. We had a great little fire happening & Peter’s cooking definately hits the spot. It is always nice to get away & see different area.

On way home we drove to Karumba & had early dinner, fish & chips by the sea – so yumm.

These little tackers were pretty quick on the foot.
These guys were very content, didn’t bother moving when we slowed down, took pics & drove past – cute little fellows hey!
The Gilbert River – WOW! it was very picturesque.
Our campsite, worked a treat.
This fellow kept one eye on us…haha, our camp was about 20m from his sunbaking spot.
Our swag – its very comfy.
Even though most of the grass had been burnt out the vegetation around the pond was green & quite plentiful.
‘A happy camper’
Peter nearly stood on this fellow…..
Couldn’t find the name of this fellow in my book, probably have a ‘blonde’ moment….haha
I went for a walk in ‘Wyaaba’ creek, obviously a well trodden creek, but still quite lovely & the grevillia’s were just beginning to flower.
We caught these 2 blue claw in the brown water ponds – we did the catch & release thingi!
Caught this ‘sleepy cod’ in the clean pond at our camp – catch & release again, although they are very tasty.
He was watching as we retreived our pots.
Drive back, saw lotz of these critters.
& quite a few of these also.

We drove to Karumba & had fish & chips by the sea along the way I noticed a willy willy.

Normanton # 8

Just a quickie.

We are on days off again this week-end, not sure yet where we are going but we will go somewhere. Had quite an easy day today (quite surprising) I think it will be a build up for tomorrow as Fridays are never nice, they are early start, late finish & usually no break!!!!! We look forward to our time off & now as restrictions are easing we can check out a few more places.

Keep smiling. 🙂

A new moon still there just before sunrise.
Full moon still shining, daybreak due soon.
Peter & the other 2 boys unloading a very long hoist that came over from Cairns in a fridge van truck (fridge not on).
Getting the fire happening, have marinated chicken bits on the BBQ 2nite & coleslaw with a few friends up here.
My nephew Darren made this BBQ while at high school – its wonderful, not sure how I scored it but its a keeper.
My sunflowers are trying hard & they haven’t had an easy life………
We are getting closer.
WOW! – they are still beautiful even though they are a little ‘special’
I see the sunflowers & they make me think of Harry below – what a joy he is.
I don’t think this little fellow will be a vegetarian early in life….haha. He is so cute.

Normanton # 7

Weekend off – yea. 13th & 14th June 2020..

We met up with great mates Jenelle & Darren Brincow from Georgetown at a cute little river approximately 50klms east of Croydon – callegoodd Little River. We left Normanton as the sun was dawning so I tried to capture a few pics. Lots of wallabies on the drive to Croydon, luckily we did not harm any although there was quite a lot of road kill around. We called into Croydon for breakfast which was quite yummy then we drove to ‘LittleRiver’ – our camp spot for the night. –

Was awesome to catch up up Jenelle & Darren again, had a few beverages, played some cards & actually caught a snack to share. We managed to use our swag for the first time, it was very comfy, the fire was awesome.

Our catch for the night was 1 good size cherabin & 5 regular redclaw.

On our way back to Normanton we stopped in at Lake Belmore at Croydon, quite a lovely spot but unfortuneately no camping allowed.

Little River
Relaxing on the causeway over the river thinking about preparing our parlimount pots to try & catch some cherabin or redclaw overnite.
Preps are happening…
Placing the pots in strategic spots – hopefully.
Back to where we have parked up for the night, approx 150m from the river.
It was a beautiful camp fire.
This is the first time we have used our new swag (purchased March 2019) – it was really good.
Jenelle & Peter on the causeway.
Jenelle collecting our pots th enext morning.
Yea – we managed to catch a snack.
A beautiful wattle is in full flower.
Lookout overlooking Croydon township.
Croydon.