A slow pack up this morning while we sorted and rearranged gear. Next stop is Blackdown Tableland NP. Interesting drive via Moura with various coal mining activities visible from the road. At one point the road had recently been cut by a giant dragline and there were some road works being done to put the road back together.
It was a lonely drive up to the Dawson Highway and then up the Fitzroy Developmental Rd as we only saw about 4 cars all day. Stopped for a bite to eat in a drainage runoff on the side of the Fitzroy Dev Red and enjoyed the sort of peace and quiet that sounded almost foreign to my city ears. Had a bit of a scare after the turn off the Capricorn Highway on the road in to the National Park. We hit a cattle grid at speed and on the other side of the grid was an Australian Bustard standing on the road. The car and trailer were still a little ‘light’ from going over the cattle grid so I couldn’t attempt much of a turn and all Megan could do was yell “Bird! Bird!”. The car started to settle so I could apply more steering and we managed to miss it by a metre as it wandered off into the grass.
Final bit of drama was going up the very steep road that takes you to the top of the plateau (definitely no caravans up here) when the transmission temperature light came on. Nothing to do but find somewhere to pull over and let everything cool down. Once it had cooled it was fine so we put it down to a very steep climb at the end of a hard days driving. We had booked in to the camp ground for 2 nights but when we got there it was wet, cloudy and very cold so we greatfully accepted Megan’s cousins offer to stay with him in the rangers house. He was doing a temporary posting as Ranger in Charge and had a 3 bedroom house to himself.
Josh took us out for a late afternoon walk down Mimosa Creek to the beautiful waterfall at Mook Mook. It started raining on the way back to the house and the temperature dropped enough for us to appreciate the fire.
The next morning the rain had set in and there was low cloud everywhere. Josh had arranged a day off to show us around so we went for a slippery drive down to Gudda Gumoo which featured quite a long walk down the edge of the tableland to another spectacular waterfall.
The weather was horrible with a constant drizzle of rain showing up how inadequate our wet weather gear was (everyone’s coats reached saturation point and the linings started to get wet) and the clouds obscured what I imagine would be amazing views off the tableland. It was however perfect weather for waterfalls and the clouds and rain really made us feel we were somewhere special.
We finished the afternoon with a walk around the Goon Goon Dhina loop which has some good signage highlighting natural ,indigenous and early settler features of the area. The kids especially loved the rock overhang full of rock art. On the way back to the car it absolutely poured down and we were all soaked to the core.
A big thanks to Josh for showing us around. This is definitely a place to come back to and we really should have allowed a week to see more.
Tip: Get some decent hiking shoes for the kids and make sure they keep their feet as dry as possible while walking around creeks or in the rain.