Touring with Gibbo:
1/2 Lap of Oz: Qld
Day 1: Home to Texas Qld.
The plot was that the 'Gang of 4' , Bill, Kog, Wiffo and yours truly would meet at the Stockman Hotel in Texas to begin the 1/2 lap, which is exactly what happened. We came from Wauchoppe, Ashby, Kyogle and Brisbane and all met there....seemed central enough. For me it was 350kms, an easy day ride. There was a cold howling southerly blowing all day which meant cross winds for most of us. The Stockman's is great, with decent rooms and good food.
Day 2: Texas to Mitchell.
A cool day awaited us as we headed northwest through St. George to Mitchell the back way (approx. 600kms), with a stop over at the Nindigully Pub. I have never seen such large amounts of road kill on the way, and wildlife attempting suicide, and I have never used the horn so much clearing birds off road kill. It was all worth it on arrival at the Courthouse Hotel in Mitchell. Great pub under new management of a couple of gals and some very cute barmaids. Old style accommodation, good food and beer. What more do you want? You will see that 'happy cute international backpacker gals' working in hospitality in the outback is a clear theme of this trip.
Day 3: Mitchell to Longreach:
Great day in the saddle (approx 600km). We decided that we deserved and upgrade to to motel which worked nicely meaning we could also do the socks and jocks wash. We rode via the Barcoo Hotel (this is already sounding like a pub crawl) at Blackall and Barcaldine. The Tree of Knowledge is definately worth stopping for and taking it all in. In short, this is where the foundations of the Australian Labor Party lie, with the shearers strikes of the 1890's.
The Nindigully Pub and the gang of 4. Definitely worth a stop between Goodiwindi and St. George
"In the outer Barcoo where churches are few and men of religion are scanty..." Blackall.
The famous Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine.
Day 4: Longreach to Kynuna:
The plan was to stay 2 nights in Longreach, but with a question over accommodation for the second night, we decided to press on after going through the QANTAS Museum and the Stockman's Hall of Fame... Both worthy of extended visits. In the arvo we decided to press on through Winton to Kynuna and stay a the famous Blue Healer Hotel (approx. 350kms). There ain't much in Kynuna, (or either side of it for that matter) but it is a classic outback pub with the normal basic 'dunga' accommodation. What made the night was the German packpacker barmaid... we all fell in love.... My God!
Day 5: Kynuna to Camooweal:
This was a nice warm day in the sun. Probably the warmest day of the trip, which was generally cool to cold the whole way. A really nice day's ride ending mid arvo at Camooweal, just inside the Qld / NT Border. We rode via the Walkabout Creek Hotel at Middleton and Cloncurry. Mercifully, the Walkabout Creek Hotel was not open. We stayed at the Post Office Hotel, where where you can choose to have a ensuite 'delux' room, a dunga or camp. We did all 3. Since I had dragged the camping gear all that way I wanted to use it. Bill decided to put his tender arse in an ensuite, Kog after a few hundred beers decided the closest room to where he was sitting, was best, and I did the camping thing on the grass out the back of the pub, which was excellent. Good food and several hundred beers later, no one was feeling any pain. Did I mention the cute international barmaid... French this time. The border is in spitting distance of Camooweal.
The Qantas Museum is awesome, especially if you are keen on flight. Very impressive.
This is a Catalina, but there is a Constellation engine, 18 cyliners, arranged in a radial configuration... 3,350 cubic inch. It blew me away.
The Blue Heeler Hotel. Your genuine outback pub. Truly awesome.
The famous Walkabout Creek Hotel. I looked but I did not see any crocs in the desert.
The 'three amigos' at the border...nup not much there!