Capricorn Coast

Couldn't Stand the Weather - Stevie Ray Vaughn

Our first stop for the day was the visitor information centre in Yeppoon.  They were very helpful and made a booking for us for a camp in Byfield NP.

After a quick lap of the local Woolworths we made our way approximately 40km north to the small town of Byfield.  

We had read about Byfield NP in a 4WD magazine and it looked really nice, with rainforest and beach sections.  WIth the car nice and clean we decided to avoid the sand for a few more days and opted for the rainforest section.

Byfield NP

Byfield NP

The camp was quite full but we managed to find a nice flat spot to park Hillary for the afternoon and evening.  Then it started to rain.  As the afternoon progressed into the evening there was more rain than clear sky.  It would be the first water test on camp four.  Climbing into bed the mattress and sleeping bags were dry - a good start. 

The rain was pretty heavy and noisy on the roof but we remained high and dry.  The test will be tomorrow packing up a wet tent.

We have made a booking at Carnarvon Gorge so the plan is to head back inland for a few days tomorrow.

Swans - Camera Obscura

Aidan took us for a morning spin in the Supra through the cane fields at the back of Mackay.  Lets just say the speedo maxed out at 180km/h.  He needs to fit the one he has sitting in the garage that goes to 300km/h.

Packing up and leaving town at lunchtime we made our way south towards Yeppoon.  We had been warned about the amount of roadworks, and there was lots!

Luckily we had the AFL grand final to entertain us on the radio.  With Jaks cheering on the red and the white, there were a few tense moments, especially in the last few minutes when the broadcast ceased for no apparent reason.  When it came back on a few minutes later, it had good news - yay for the Swannies.

We made our way to the Big 4 caravan park, just south of Yepoon and checked into one of the few remaining sites.  The park was full of families, enjoying the coast for the long weekend.

After quite a few late nights in a row in Mackay, we opted for an early night.  

Clean - Robbie Williams

After a night by ourselves in the middle of nowhere we continued on towards Eungella. After missing a turn that wasn't signposted we backtracked and found ourselves on a windy track up through the hills. Eventually we popped out on top of a long ridge line that led down to the hamlet of Eungella. Lunch was partaken at a lookout which had speccy views down the valley towards Mackay.

A swim was in order at Finch Hatton Gorge.  A 2km walk was needed to reach the gorge.

Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton Gorge

The water was not as cold as the gorges we had swum at in the centre, a pleasant surprise.

Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton Gorge

Deciding that since Mackay was less than an hour away we would head to Adam's place and the big smoke.
The next couple of days were spent fixing and cleaning Hillary. A broken bolt on the sump guard had to be drilled out and retapped and another bolt had broken in the rear bar. The tyre carrier will be removed when we get home and a few improvements to its mounting system will be fitted.  Thanks to Eimy for her help.

Hillary gets fixed with a little help from Eimy.

Hillary gets fixed with a little help from Eimy.

A big thanks to Adam and Jess for letting us stay and have access to all the tools we needed. It made a big difference knowing that everything is back to normal.

Thursday and Friday night were spent with Aidan and Donna.  They have an amazing tropical salt water aquarium.  The snowflake eel was a bit shy but the clownies were very friendly.  Fin kids!  Thanks Aidan and Donna for letting us stay.  Have an awesome time in Vegas!

Before leaving the big smoke we did a final interior clean of Hillary. She looks very different without a fine layer of dust covering everything!
It is a long weekend in Queensland and school holidays, so we will be looking for somewhere quiet to lay low for the next few days.

Under the Moonlight - Travis

The locals road report for the Peak Downs Highway "loads of mining traffic, heaps of roadworks". With this in mind we decided to take the back roads between Emerald and Mackay.
This area is dotted with coal mines and small mining towns.
We passed through Tieri and Middlemount. Tidy, quaint little places, full of miners. We had originally planned to spend the night in Nebo as the brochures showed an older looking town. We were greeted by another mining town full of dongas and miners.
With no appealing places to camp we decided to press on and try to make it to Eungella NP.
Turning onto an unnamed back road we came across a sign for Moonlight Dam Camping Area, in Homevale NP. We made a hard right, drove down a narrow gravel track to a beautiful little campground.
We were lucky enough to have the whole area to ourselves. It appears the camp ground doesn't get used very much. Maybe cause nobody has heard of it.

Moonlight Dam Camping Area

Moonlight Dam Camping Area

A top night in a top spot.