The drive from Ilfracombe to Isisford was once again over single lane bitumen. Because we were travelling slower than single vehicles we were happy to move off the bitumen and give them right of way. It's just something we do along with ensuring we are not sprayed with stones as they pass by.
We stopped at the free camp just on the outskirts of Isisford for morning tea. The stop is right beside the Barcoo River and is a very large area with a number of campers strung out along the banks.
A change with cooler temperatures and rain associated with a front was heading our way. We were unsure of how much rain there would be so we decided to head towards Blackall. We camped just outside town on the Barcoo River with a mixture of black soil and grass under the van.
Distance today 246 Km's Total distance 7405 Km's
We woke to a cool overcast morning. The change in temperature is a welcome relief considering the past 4 weeks temperatures have been above 36 degrees. We have had a few spits of rain this morning and the radar shows significant rain is falling all around us. Isisford appears to be getting more rain so our decision not to camp on the river was a good one. We are on a slight rise with about 400 metres of a mixture of grass and black soil before we are on the bitumen. Rain continued to fall during the afternoon with showers becoming more frequent and heavier. Several vans packed up and left to camp nearby on a large bitumen area. We watched the Swans win the AFL grand final which was just great to see.
Distance today 0 Km's
No rain overnight. The black soil still has that tacky feeling to it and sticks to your boots and makes you feel as if you have grown inches taller. Lovely clear skies this morning so we are off to camp at Welford National Park.
The first 42 Km's is bitumen followed by 66 Km's of dirt before we reached Emmet.
A further 93 Km's saw us turning north onto the Quilpie to Jundah road that passes through Welford National Park. We camped at Little Boomerang Waterhole on the Barcoo River.
Distance today 325 Km's Total distance 7730 Km's.
We are on our way to camp at Lake Houdraman just outside Quilpie. It's almost 12 months to the day that we camped here last. We had about 70 Km's of dirt to negotiate before reaching the Diamantina Development Road and turning south towards Quilpie.We pumped up our tyres and headed off on another single lane bitumen road. This one however for most of it's length was quite difficult to drive on. It is the channel country and when it rains the flood ways and bitumen are covered with water causing a rocking and bucking sensation as you drive over it. I'm sure it would be easier to travel over without the van connected.
Distance today 278 Km's Total distance 7808 Km's.
Tonight we camped on the Wilson River at Noccundra. Last time here we had come from Quilpie via Eromanga but decided to take a different route this time so we went south through Toompine and Thargomindah. It was a much longer distance but different scenery. The bitumen road was once again single lane bitumen but in far better condition than the road south from Windorah to Quilpie. Once we reached the sign welcoming us to the Bullo Shire the road turned to dirt for 50 Km's with the last 26 Km's into Thargomindah being bitumen. The hundreds of pelicans that were on the waterhole last time we were here have moved on with just 7 remaining this time.
Distance today 347 Km's Total distance 8155 Km's.
This morning we headed south towards the NSW border. The first 14 Km's on bitumen before the dirt. The dirt section for the first 70 Km's until we reached what was listed on our maps as the vermin fence was made up of gibber stones.
Distance today 242 Km's Total distance 8397 Km's.
We fueled up at Tibooburra and headed 25 Km's east towards the Mount Wood pastoral museum where we walked around the open air display.
Distance today 249 Km's Total distance 8646 Km's.
October 6:Today sees us heading further east to Bourke with just over 150 Km's of dirt. The whole dirt road was very corrugated and stony with some sections of corrugations quite severe. 4wd tire pressures were down to 28 and van down to 26 psi to help reduce and cushion contents and inhabitants. We were relived when we once hit the bitumen on the final stretch into Bourke. The roads leading south to Tara and Louth and signs out indicating that graders were on those roads but unfortunately we were not going that way. We are staying at the Kidman Camp caravan park with its lovely green grass under foot and a swimming pool to cool down in with yesterdays temperature of 37 degrees and a strong westerly wind blowing.
Distance today 190 Km's Total distance 8836 Km's.
Cleaning and washing today. Then into town to shop followed by lunch at Diggers on Darling in Sturt Street.
Distance today 36 Km's Total distance 8872 Km's.
Shopped and filled tanks before we leave tomorrow for Walgett.
Distance today 20 Km's Total distance 8892 Km's.