Well, it started with an idea from a mate, to take our 2 sons on a swag touring trip in the outback. It was something I had always planned to do with my boy and there was no time like the present.
We packed some food, swags, pillows, and clothes. Then it was on with the roof racks and the awnings, filled the tank with fuel and we headed out west.
We traveled via Warwick and through Texas via Stanthorpe. To ease the boys in with being away from home we stayed in Moree for the night at the Thermal Springs Caravan Park where we had a relaxing dip in the thermal springs just on dusk before dinner.
After a good night’s sleep, we packed up and kept heading west, this time about 5 km out of Moree we hit the dirt. The boys loved the change of black top and general scenery. We started to see some wildlife animals that we would normally only see in a Zoo, so it was pretty cool. We had a quick stop at Lightning Ridge (another thermal spring dip, which my muscles thanked me for). The boys also got a shock at this point because this was the last shower they would have for a few days. We filled up with fuel, and also the reserves and then we were heading towards Jobs Gate. We never saw a car or person the whole entire day, which was a peaceful change. The kids loved camping in the middle of the bush, where the stars seem to shine brighter than usual, and they couldn’t believe the size of the Milky-Way. Next morning up packed up and got in the car, off to Cunnamulla.
A quick stop for lunch and fix a broken UHF aerial (corrugations do that), then back in the car to Thargomindah where we topped up fuel and spoke to the local Police to find the best camping spot. Well, the kids were so blown away to be camping in a private oasis on a river with our own fire pit and shed, if we needed it. We had a bit of a chat that night and decided to head off early and I mean early. Does 4 am sound ok to you? Well, let’s just say it was dark, cold and the sun didn’t come up till about 7.45am out there. We drove the Bulloo Downs in the dark, which we missed a fair bit of scenery, nevertheless we experienced an awesome sunrise overlooking the valley from Grey Range.
We kept on pushing through to Camerons Conner for lunch and a run around with the local dog for the boys. Afterward, it was a great drive up the Strzelecki Track, all the way to Innamincka for a nice cold beer at the pub. We then drove a short trip to the Bourke and Wills Dig Tree to explain to the boys about the explorers and what they experienced in discovering our great country. After a short stop, we went a few minutes up the road and set up camp for the night beside a dry river. Once we had dinner and the boys climbed into their swags, it started to get rather gusty and the wind picked right up. About 40 mins later we made the call to pack up and drive to a more sheltered area, and this turned out to be about 1 hour down the road at Nockatunga, which has very clean and well-kept amenities in a great camping area. We woke at about 8 am, gave the boys much-needed showers and set off to Eromanga, then on through to Charleville for the night.
When we got to town again we asked the local Police station for a camping area recommendation and this time it was the Charleville Showgrounds with plenty of light and shelter, which was great because we knew what was heading our way. That morning when we spoke to the pub in Nockatunga they had been told to close the road to Tibooburra and also, that the road from Innamincka had been closed due to 45mm of rain, so that meant we had made it in the nick of time.
After a nice dry sleep, we woke to heavy rain so it was time to pack up and keep on moving towards home – through Roma, Dalby and Toowoomba. Needless to say, the boys loved every minute of the trip, so much so, we overheard them planning when they can do a sleep out in the back yard next!
The idea ended up an unplanned trip that was an absolute blast, and they’re always the best kind of trips.
Thanks for reading,