The end of our trip

After leaving Charleville we headed off in the direction of home, planning to find a free camp somewhere along the way when we got sick of driving for the day. During the drive we did stop in to a little town called Wyandra. This town is small, but the people were all so friendly … and it has it’s own beach? Yep, you heard that right, although it’s nowhere near the coast, they have a beach! Of course this had us intrigued so we went to find it. ‘The Beach’ is located on the Warrego River and was named because of it’s sandy enclave. In days gone by, apparently the whole community would gather there to celebrate Christmas Day with picnics and swimming. It is actually quite a nice area, so you could only imagine it filled with families enjoying the surroundings back in the day.

First was a stop at the cafe to grab some food. The people were great, so friendly and accommodating. Next we called into the Gladstone Hotel and had a good chat with the caretaker who told us a little about the town, the residents and how he came to be living and working in Wyandra.

The sign in the last photo is what it’s all about though. If us travelers don’t stop in to these small little country towns and say hi and buy a coffee, beer, meal or souvenirs they simply won’t survive. Ultimately it’s up to us to keep these places alive, otherwise these cool little country towns will be wiped from the map, like so many others already have.

Next was Cunnamulla and course we couldn’t drive through without stopping in and getting a photo of the ‘Cunnamulla Fella’. The Cunnamulla Fella is an iconic Australian bush character who was immortalised in a song written by Stan Coster and sung by Slim Dusty. The town of Cunnamulla has erected a statue of the Cunnamulla Fella as a tribute to Stan and Slim and to the ‘ringers’ of the bush. 

The last two days of our trip provided us with more amazing free camps, the first one located just outside of Bourke. Known as Mays Bend, this free camp covers quite a large area (and there were many people camping here), but it’s so big you certainly weren’t on top of each other. We found a spot right on the edge of the Darling River, absolutely beautiful area, filled with birds …. and the odd cow or two!

Our last night was spent at Macquarie Woods in the Vittoria State Forest, which is located about halfway between Bathurst and Orange. This was a great little camp in the forest, which even had picnic tables and fire pits/bbq’s and toilets. We were quite impressed with this little gem and will definitely be back to this one to stay for a night or two and explore the forest. Just maybe not in winter as it was definitely a bit cold!

And that’s it guys, that’s the end of our 2 week trip to The Big Red Bash! Over 16 days we traveled 4,838 km, across 3 states. Bring on the next trip!

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The day it rained kangaroo chunks

OK, so things were going really well, we’d had a great stay in Longreach and were making our way home, heading towards Charleville to stay for the night. Traffic wasn’t too bad, we were having fun and we were enjoying the last few days of our holiday …… and then it happened ….. that moment you never think will happen …… that moment when it rains kangaroo chunks all over the 4WD! 

Driving on outback roads, you see roadkill all the time, it’s nothing new and quite often skippy is laying dead in the middle of the road. Whilst not ideal, it’s a situation you can generally deal with and drive around him.

In all of our years of travel, this is the first time that plan hasn’t exactly worked! You see, this time Mr dead kangaroo was laying in the middle of the other side of the road. A case of very unfortunate timing meant that us and a road train ended up side by side and he had no choice but to drive over it.

Initially we thought he missed it, but we soon realised we were wrong when bits of kangaroo pieces and blood hit the windscreen ….. yes it started raining kangaroo chunks (with numerous blood splatters over the 4WD and camper trailer!) 🤮 Gotta love outback travel!

Anyway, enough of flying kangaroo chunks! …….. that wasn’t all that happened that day!

We called into a little town call Tambo, the oldest town in the Central West region of QLD …. first stop was The Royal Carrangarra Hotel, which happens to be the oldest licensed site in Central Western Outback Queensland.

Tambo is a small country town with only a few hundred people, but it’s a nice little town with many historical buildings and great picnic areas along the Barcoo.

I’m guessing most people wouldn’t have even heard of Tambo, but this is the location of the first ever Qantas plane crash. Whilst Qantas has never had a fatal jet airliner accident, they did suffer several losses in their early days.

On 24 March 1927 the DH9C G-AUED was on a regular route between Charleville to Cloncurry and while attempting to land on the clay-pan that serves as Tambo’s airstrip, it was seen to suddenly dive into the ground. All on board died in the crash.

A monument just out of town marks the site of the crash.

We arrived in Charleville and headed just out of town to a free camp we heard of called, ‘Rock Pool’. There were quite a few other vans and trailers there but there was plenty of room for us to all be spread out. We found a little spot down the back and set up, lit the fire, cracked a beer and relaxed for the night.

The night sky out this way is absolutely incredible, it’s like the stars are surrounding you and falling down on you, like you could just reach up and grab them. It’s an amazing sight and something everyone has to experience.

Finished the night with waffle cones filled with gooey chocolatey marshmallowy goodness cooked over the campfire ….. mmmmmm yum!