Friday 28th September, (Moree).

6:30 PM

The thermal pool is something different, hot and relaxing, and it does leave one with a feeling that it has done some good. There is no doubt I will be going for a dip on several occasions while we are here. Linda wants to go again tonight, being open till 10:00pm, but as usual will not go on her own.

We visited the information centre today and found there are a few tours that took our interest, one to Lightning Ridge opal mining area, and one to a pecan nut farm. Other than these trips there does not seem to be a great deal more to do here than any other small country town, but we do get the feeling that we could spend a lot more time in the area as the atmosphere is different than that of the last few towns, The pool helps as well I think.

10:00 PM

Linda got her way with re-visiting the pool, and yes, she managed to drag me along with her.

After speaking to several others it was told how these pools are very therapeutic in the aid of Arthritis and such ailments. I do know that it relaxes one very much, to the extent that it will be interesting to see the difference it makes to Linda sleeping tonight.

A conversation overheard while in the pool seemed to sum up the feelings of others using the pool, he is obviously writing down stories of his journeys as well, and went; “How does one put into words about this pool in his report, as to how one can visit them any number of times and all it costs is $15.00 per day, and you get a camp site thrown in as well”. I don’t know how long he is staying here, but because we are staying for a week it only costs us $12.00 per day.


Thursday 27th September, (Moree).

We have in fact moved on from Goondiwindi and on to Moree, about 100km into NSW, on the Newel highway.

We have booked into the Gwydir Carapark as they worked out the cheapest and they have a thermal pool for guest use. The area is apparently known for its natural thermal springs. The one at the caravan park, according to the sign, obtains water for the pools from 2,500 feet below ground and is naturally heated to 39 degrees at all times. Maybe these are the conditions that are needed to get me into a pool; we will wait and see later into our visit.

We haven’t as yet had a look at what are on offer to see in the area, but there seams to be things to do to fill in time. The fact that we are closer to the township than at Goondi will give us a better opportunity to walk, or ride, into town for a look around, so this will help to fill in time.


Tuesday 25th September, (Goondiwindi).

I seem to have been a little lax in putting words down again, missing several days. There was not much to miss though as our visit to Goondiwindi has been a little disappointing.

We visited the information centre on Saturday and acquired a fair bit of information about the area, but when we visited some of the points of interest our disappointment became obvious. One in particular was the Boobera Lagoon, about 20km west of Goondi’ on the road to Boomi. This lagoon was well advertised as being a magnificent picnic spot with tables, seats, shelter and toilets and was also an Aboriginal sacred site. When we arrived at the turn off we discovered a fence blocking thoroughfare, so to our disappointment we returned to Goondi’ with no sight seeing done.

The local Botanic gardens were advertised as being well established and ongoing work was being undertaken, and when we arrived there we decided that it may be worth visiting in about 5-10 years when the vegetation has become established.

Mini Bondi on the eastern side of town; a good picnic spot and fishing and swimming hole could not be located.

The town common and Hilton weir, on the western side of town, another swimming and fishing spot was a crossing over a very dirty river leading to land that is being revegetated.

It now being Tuesday and we have decided we have seen what Goondi has to offer and we now have until Friday paid for in the park with nothing else to do, so I would not be surprised if we up camp and leave a day early.


Friday 21st September, (Goondiwindi).

Yes a relaxing time was had at Miles, except for the trains passing on either side of the park all day and night; road trains on one side and track trains on the other. There wasn’t much option though as the other park was similarly situated just a few hundred metres up the road.

We did have a day trip to Chinchilla to have a look around and break the monotony of sitting around and forgot to take my camera. Chinchilla is a nice tidy little town and we may just stay there when back this way, but on just a day trip there didn’t seem much to take photos of anyway.

Linda gave me the impression that she would like to stay in Miles a little longer, but I was reasonably happy to leave there today as there was not much to do and the road trains were really driving me batty.

So as you may have gathered we moved on today and are now at Goondiwindi, on the NSW border. The road we travelled today, Leichhardt highway, would have to be the roughest bitumen road I have ever experienced. Not previously knowing the condition of the road I ended up a little quietly concerned how the caravan would handle the quite large bumps, so some areas were travelled a little slower, but she seemed to have taken the trip in her strides and survived without problem. The main thing than concerned us was the catch on the fridge door that constantly worked itself somewhat loose and we had to keep a close eye on it as we did not want the food from the fridge on the floor, which has happened before.

We went through a different criteria today for selection of which caravan park we were going to stay at. In the past we have studied our several books on parks before making our move and generally pick our selection to stay at when we arrive at our destination. Generally our selection seems correct but sometimes we have wondered whether our decision was correct after viewing other parks in the township. This time what seemed would be our selection was the furthest from the township, we prefer parks close to town for the convenience, so we decided that when we arrived at Goondi’ that we would investigate all parks, there being three, and make a decision then. The first was the one we selected and it seemed to meet out expectations, the second was the last on our selection list mainly because it did not have a rating and when we spotted it we saw what was probably the reason why, it didn’t look very nice at all. The third was in a position close to town that we would normally give first consideration but there charges were a little obscure and we also took into consideration some advice we were given about not staying at parks close to town due to the possibility of louts lurking. After checking this park it seemed a little too small and the only site they could offer us was one nestled in a back corner of the park and secluded. This did not suit me, but Linda did not seem to worry, so we ended up picking the one we originally selected anyway. I guess this means that there is not much wrong, so far, with our selection practices after all.

One gets the impression that there could be a fair bit to do in this area, but I guess we will find out tomorrow when we investigate.


Chapter 10

Inland Toward Home

Tuesday 18th September 2001, (Rockhampton/ Theodore/Miles).

A change of mind involving our travel arrangements has occurred, we have decided, for several reasons, to head inland south to Melbourne area in readiness for our trip back to Tassie. I am still calling Tassie home as we have spent all our lives there and we do still own the house, but when we return after our visit the caravan will be what we will call home.

Our original reasons for travelling south via Brisbane do no longer exist, as Matthew and Louisa are no longer visiting as a lack of funds dictated the circumstances. It is probably just as well they decided not to make the trip, as they probably would have booked with Ansett, like they usually do, and they would have lost their money with the demise of the airline over the past week. We have not heard anything from Linda’s friend whom she intended to visit, except that she may not be visiting either, so we no longer have any real reason for visiting Brisbane. I would have liked to visit my sister Deris, but it is intended to visit for a reunion next year so we will catch up with her then.

We also considered, in the back of our minds, that a possible result of retaliation by the Americans against the alleged Terrorists, possibly war, could effect our travel situation and as Linda pointed out that if things do get to the worst possible scenario she would prefer to be back home when it does. As a result we have decided to immediately begin our travels south to Victoria so we will be closer to home and therefore possibly in a better situation to get back there.

We don’t intend to make a rush and dash to get to Victoria, travelling at a reasonably slow pace, but it will be in the back of our minds that we may have to make a rush trip.

The trip started yesterday with us starting off west along the Capricorn Highway to Westwood and turning south along the Leichhardt highway. We travelled down to Theodore where we set up camp overnight at a campsite in the township. It appears that camping areas along this highway are not as existent as they are on others, I guess because not as many tourists use this road, or at least we don’t see as many, and the caravan parks that we have seen do not look the most inviting. We are now prepared for stopping at rest areas so we look forward to the opportunity for an alternative to caravan parks, as it will be a saving on parking fees.

The campsite was a novel change with the site being a rather pleasant place to stay, peaceful with no traffic passing, no loud noises to wake one early in the morning, no pressure to move out by a certain time and I could have actually spent several days there. Maybe we will stay at a campsite for an extended stay one day.

This morning we packed up camp and moved on to Miles, a couple of hundred kilometres south. Miles is quite a nice small town and we will stay here for several days. The park we are in is well presented for a place of its size with the exception that it is alongside a main road, but several others we have stayed at have been the same and haven’t really been a problem.

The route we are now travelling is certainly a contrast to where we have been travelling, as the scenery is mostly the same; a lot of flat farmland separated by the occasional hill covered in trees. We were quite surprised to find on our travels today a lookout that covered scenes of a so-called gorge, named the Isla gorge, but it was more like a mini Grand Canyon covered with vegetation.

We have now settled in Miles and are looking forward to a relaxing couple of days.