October 28: MUNDUBBERA —–> KILLARNEY
After a good night’s sleep we headed south towards New South Wales….First was Jandowae where we stopped near the old railway station for a cuppa. We parked unknowingly in the middle of a patch of the nastiest little bindi-eye type prickles we managed to find anywhere on this trip…..which sneakily came into the motorhome embedded in our sandals and made the towels on the floor completely unusable. For me it was an afternoon’s entertainment as it took me ages to pick the tiny little buggers off. The cup of tea and the nenish tarts in the morning were worth the inconvenience of the prickles though.
Crops up this way are doing well and the wheat is already off the paddocks. The citrus and avocados are doing well too. There’s an amazing variety of cropping in this part of Queensland.
We left on our loop through the towns of Crows Nest and Esk….stopping in Crows Nest at an antiques store. We noticed that a convective area just to the southeast of town had everything rushing in from all directions including from the NE. Our problem in that area, which is very pretty….. is that the trees and the hills (oh, and the trees) get in the way of seeing the storms. We hadn’t explored that section of the state so we continued on and enjoyed the drive once we had worked out we couldn’t chase storms there anyway.
From Esk we drove through Gatton and Warwick and down through to Killarney. Most areas, except those which are usually dry, look really good and it is still oddly cool for this time of year.
Storms grumbling around tonight with intra-cloud lightning. Nice van park with very good showers. A bunch of loud and enthusiastic kids down near the back boundary of the park who finally started to quiet down at 9.30pm – but they were happy and having fun and not disturbing anyone.
Dinner was ham steaks, pineapple rings and potato salad.
29th October: KILLARNEY, QLD —–> stormchase up the Bruxner Highway to TENTERFIELD on the Northern Tablelands and back down the range—–> CASINO, NSW
Today we discovered a scenic “chase road” from southern Queensland into northeastern New South Wales via the village of Bonalbo – the area isn’t good for chasing storms as the best speed for the trip we could average was only 40kmh, but if you are after a pleasant and very pretty drive this one can’t be beaten.
Once over the range and into NSW we hunted for a location to pull over for a break. It was 30C (86F) at 11am and very humid so shade and any breeze we could find was going to be pretty important…..
A spot for morning tea at Pioneers’ Park near the little rural village Old Bonalbo in northeastern New South Wales suited us and while there we came across what had to be the happiest dairy herd we had ever encountered….their paddock included a creek and a pleasant bank…on this morning a few cows were wading in the creek, a few grazing on the side near the park we stopped at and the majority of the herd just chewing their cud at the top of the bank and taking in the activities around them…..a feeling of calm and contentment hung over the herd.
Moving further south…we detoured off to our west and stormchased our way up to Tenterfield on the Northern Tablelands – we did see a brief funnel but could only get rushed off shots of it (with lots of trees blocking our view). We filled up with very cheap diesel at the Metro on the east side of Tenterfield on our way back and then sat and watched a couple of storms try and get organised from a vantage point at the top of the range – these storms made the detour completely worth it!!!!
We drove back down to the largish town of Casino on a windy highway through the forest to set up for the night in the caravan park out near the airport. It had been a few days since we had walked any great distance so we decided to go and buy dinner and get some exercise at the same time…..we walked from the van park to the shopping centre on the north side of the river and back again….(nearly 6km /3.5 miles) for some excellent Chinese takeaway.
(to be continued)