If there were any slightly boring bits to our driving, they were in the section between the inland Queensland border and Cairns!
With the above said, Queensland did provide more frequent towns for driving stops, and larger towns with more amenities, so that was appreciated. Our first stop across the border was Mt Isa, an actual city, which was built on the back of copper, lead, silver and zinc mining. One of the first things you notice when you drive in is the smoke stacks, mining buildings, and moulds of moved earth.
|More Mt Isa|
Where Mt Isa was large, our overnight stop Cloncurry was small. We stayed in a Discovery Caravan Park that seemed to be used predominantly by miners (who stayed in the onsite cabins). When I went out for a brief run in the morning (there's nothing like a day of driving to inspire morning exercise on holiday), I found myself being chased by a dog. After recovering from that trauma, I had to walk past a very large group of miners when I returned to the caravan park. It was a stressful morning! Cloncurry is a bit more memorable than it perhaps should be.
After Cloncurry, we hit what is known as the outback Australia dinosaur trail. I really had no idea that Australia used to have dinosaurs, never mind that dinosaur fossils and skeletons had been discovered in Queensland. It turns out that we did, and they have. One of the more impressive is known as 'Hughie', the skeleton of which is housed in the town of Hughendon (thus the name), and who is an example of a Muttaburrasaurus.
|Hughie the Muttaburrasaurus|
We stopped at Hughendon for lunch (of the self-catering variety), before our last 'outback' overnight stop in Charters Towers. I wish I had taken photos of the Charters Towers town. It had stone buildings, from an era where buildings were designed well, and seemed like a very different place to the mining communities we'd been passing. It was a nice town.
It also provided pizza.
|Vegetarian pizza, half no cheese|
I enjoyed our camper van cooking, but a hot fresh pizza on a thin woodfired base, topped with vegetables and helpfully made without cheese on one half...well, it was an exciting dinner prospect. We served it with carrots. It was great.
|Charters Towers Big 4 caravan park|
From Charters Towers, it was a reasonably short distance before we hit the greener, lusher scenery that makes far north Queensland as beautiful as it is. We also hit the first of many fields of sugar cane, an attractive sight after two days of rather empty driving.
From there, our trip went on to Cairns and then the Daintree, which very much deserve their own posts.
Have you seen any dinosaur bones / fossils? And what sort of scenery do you enjoy driving through or by?