A bit of island hopping today to explore Thursday Island and its cultural and military history.
We seem to have spent as much time watching others achieve the seemingly impossible and/or wreck axles, side panels and radiators than making our own crossings on the Overland Telegraph Track. The Jardine River crossing by ferry has been the least stressful of all thus far.
Here is a selection documenting our own attempts and those of others.
Monday’s landscapes from Laura to Musgrave varied from termite and fan palm plains to lagoons, wetlands and floodplains.
Most of the wildlife we saw was captured on camera. Featured here are some highly pushed photos of a jabiru, ducks, brolgas, a goanna crossing the road, a great egret, a freshwater crocodile and a small pigeon-like bird.
Missing in action in this post are black cockatoos, some with yellow and others with orange-red tail feathers, a blue-winged kookaburra, rainbow bee-eaters and many raptors yet to be identified.
We spent Monday night at Musgrave Roadhouse and today, navigated the mixed bag of road surfaces up to Weipa via Cohen and Archer River.
We are at the beginning of the mother of a road trip, destination Cape York. Our first few days, before we reach Cairns tomorrow to rendez-vous with our travelling companions, have been spent visiting family members along the way. Here is a taste of Days 1-3.
Thursday 22 June
Cool weather and a fine day for the first leg. Just south of Maryborough we spotted the first sugar cane fields. We made a coffee stop in Childers on the main street that boasts many heritage buildings.
Our destination for the night was Moore Park Beach just north of Bundaberg, where we made an obligatory stop in homage to a big user of sugar.
It is a rare thing these days to see any cane fires. There was a big one burning as we approached Moore Park, with smoke blowing across our path as the late winter afternoon sun lit up the fields.
Friday 23 June
This morning it was strawberry fields forever as we took off to meet an old friend at the Fingerboard Roadhouse where shutting the bathroom door is a necessity.
We pulled into a rest stop at Clairview near Blue Rocks before lobbing into Mackay for the night.
Saturday 24 June
Today’s lunchtime stop was Bowen, where from Flagstaff Hill we were treated to some stunning views of the offshore islands. Bowen is the capital of mangoes, tomatoes and salt, given the big low tides that stretch out from the town.
Due to a major traffic accident on the highway about 40 minutes south of Townsville, we had to back track and take the road near Guri across to the A6. Some vehicles got a bonus wash from the irrigation sprinkler.
We ventured further than Georgetown today and took a Hop On Hop Off bus on the beach route, where a whole new world of high-rise apartments lines the north coast of the island. We stopped off at the Tropical Spice Garden for a walk around and had a mid-afternoon lunch of Thai food at the cafe on the grounds.