Left Charters Charters Saturday 28th heading south on the Gregory Development Road. Had been shopping in town at the Red Circle Boutique (Target) for track suit bottoms to pull on of an evening around the fire as it has been getting a bit cold lately. At the Burdekin River we looked at the recorded flood heights. In the photo the second marker from the top is for 2009 which topped out at 26.7 metres. I’m glad the Prosser River at Orford never reaches such heights!
Charters Towers seemed a good example of how caravan parks and free camping can co exist. Whilst there are caravan parks in town there is also free camping 20 kilometres from town. There is also a dump point in town and several places where you can fill your water tanks. Drinking water can sometimes be hard to get. In most cases service stations no longer have a water tap and if there is no town signage showing where potable water can be obtained we look for a park with a convenient water tap. However in some towns there just is no way to get water unless you are in a caravan park. Luckily we carry enough water to leave such towns and carry on to the next.
Spent Saturday night camped behind the Belyando Crossing roadhouse. Sunday morning heading south again for Clermont. Not far down the road we came upon a wide load escort driving towards us in the middle of the road. He called us up on the UHF and requested we park clear of the road as two eight metre wide loads were a couple of kilometres behind him. We had just parked when a police car came down the centre of the road. He thanked us for parking and told us we should see another police vehicle that was directly in front of the first load soon. The first load took up almost the entire width of the road, the second load was even wider. I have never seen so many escort vehicles, we counted three police vehicles, five wide load escorts and a pilot vehicle. This move must have been meticulously planned as there were very few places where road trains could safely pull over.
Arrived Clermont around 11:00. There is something desolate about a small country town on Sunday when almost everything is closed. Luckily the supermarket was open so we could get a few supplies. After getting supplies and wandering around the town (which didn’t take very long) we headed out to the Theresa Creek Dam. There is no free camping near Clermont but $10 per night per caravan is pretty good value for waterfront camping with toilets and showers. There are about 50 caravans, camper trailers etc camped here but there is plenty of space. Some people come here for the fishing as the lake is stocked with barramundi, some come to camp whilst they go gold prospecting. We probably won’t fish as without a boat it is pretty hopeless and as for gold prospecting we wouldn’t know where to start.