12 August 2013
Today we dropped out of the high green country of the Tablelands into the dusty creeks and valleys that were mined in years past. We also decided to try and organise a shower along the way as it is always great to freshen up. Approaching Irvinebank we had been told about a little coffee shop and some excellent showers. Reaching the coffee shop, there was no one there..bugger. Turning on the showers, we found that there was no hot water there. A cold shower is so refreshing. From here we continued on to Emuford and found a camp on the side of the Emu Creek. The trip today had been extremely dry and dusty and any benefit of a shower was soon lost. We had also hoped to visit Emuford Battery historic site again but it was not opened to the public anymore (at least not without an invitation).
13 – 15 August 2013
An early rise this morning as we are heading for one of our favourite towns in Australia, Chillagoe. We were last there 14 – 15 August 2006 – see Chillagoe 7 years ago and we wanted to create something special for ourselves being there 7 years later to the day.
Last time we visited here we met some wonderful people and had hoped that they were still here. To our delight, Viki is still running the local shop. Viki was very kind to us 7 years ago and provided us with internet when others could or would not. Over these few days we spent here we were able to revisit many of the the sights we had previously seen, but at a much less frantic pass. A couple of visits to see Tom Prior, another local with a heart of gold and an incredible collection of Ford motor vehicles was certainly top of the list.
Chillagoe is famous for its smelter. Sadly, you can no longer drive into the smelter and now must view it from a distance only. The Smelter site is now managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Although most of the buildings and equipment were auctioned off in the early 50’s, a good deal of infrastructure remains to give an idea of days gone by. Unfortunately a clean up of the site since we were last here meant that a lot more of the old infrastructure was removed, probably because of asbestos issues. Even so, it is still worth a visit, especially at dusk.
Other highlights of our stay included
- Chillagoe Mungana Caves
- Southern and Northern Sections
- Mungana Branch Railway
- Drive out to Walsh River where we saw eagles swooping
- Swimming in Chillagoe Weir
- Our meals with Viki and Andy – oh what amazing meals. mmmm
- Time spend just walking in the wilderness
On a negative, The fridge is causing much worry and is draining our house batteries each night trying to keep cool. Will need to address this on return to Brisbane and it will involve a good service and upgrade to our solar and electrical systems.