To the outback
Trip Start Oct 05, 2010
29Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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There weren’t very many nice beaches at Hervey, so we read from our all- knowing Lonely Planet that a place called Bargara was supposed to have them. It was almost on the way and we really wanted to include Wilson more in our group activities, so it was decided
We drove the whole day, slept a night in the tent by the road and on the next day we arrived to Arlie Beach. It is a relatively tiny town, which can at times feel as busy as Brisbane or some other capital. It is a launching pad to The Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. After taking a tour around the town- it’s beaches and the artificial lagoon, we all agreed that we should stay here for some days. Another backpackers, tent and we were back in business. We booked an obligatory tour for visiting the Whitsunday Islands and it included snorkeling at The Great Barrier Reef. The tour was on the next day and it wasn’t with the usual cruise ships, but with speed boats and a company called Whitsunday Ocean Rafting
We were in Arlie Beach for one more day, which we used to take care of our gear, clean the car and of course lay by the lagoon. Our original plan was to go all the way to Cairns, but it would have taken couple hundreds of extra kilometers and since we had a really good time at Arlie Beach, then we decided to head inland as soon as we could. The Outback, as it is called, is basically nothing! There is a road that goes straight for hundreds and hundreds of kilometers and there is nothing but savannah and desert on both sides of the road.
After maaany hours in the car, we were happy to find Porcupine Gorge National Park and a chance to do some bushwalking
Our last stop before leaving Queensland was a mining town called Mount Isa. The town is all about mining- it was supposed to be one of the world’s largest sources of copper. There are thousands of tunnels witch go up to 20 levels underground under the town. We found a caravan park and got us a Villa! It was 2- bedroom, campervan with kitchen, electricity, tv, shower and air-condition! Hello, civilization! That day we were like kings (and a queen)- we ate like ones and we lived like ones! The only thing we did was visiting the City Lookout at the sunset. The next day we took a Hard Times Mines guided tour. It was a tour that took us 10 meters below the ground and showed us how the mining was done in the old days. We saw tools and machines and even got to use some of them. The tour was interesting, only problem was that it was not allowed to take pictures down there.
On our travels in the outback we stopped at one random gas station just to find a sign with a Norwegian flag on it and writing: “God Jul og Godt Nyttår ønskes alle! Kom inn og snakk med en gammel nordmann.” It means “Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to everybody! Come in and have a chat with an old Norwegian man.” We tried to get to his house, but since it was late in the evening we couldn’t find the right way and it might have been little too late for a visit anyways
From Mount Isa it was another 700 kilometers to the place where we are right now- it is an intersection between 3 ways and it is, cunningly, called Three Ways. The way we came from goes back to Queensland, one goes south to Alice Springs and the famous Uluru rock (which we are dropping because of the huge distance and lack of time). The third road goes north, towards Darwin (969 kilometers) and the many national parks there. That’s the one we are taking.
Kaupo & Renate (&Rainer & Ermo)
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