It’s been a few days since you have heard from us, and no we are not lost, we have just dropped off the grid- not intentionally, but due to lack of preparation and research of services in the outback. We had full phone and internet service in Charters Towers and lost everything when we were heading out to Hughenden!
Our second day in Charters Towers we walked the main street with the girls and took in the sights of the old buildings and the history of the town. We visited the Miners Cottage where the girls got to try their luck at panning for gold. Kiahna and Eliana struck it lucky and walked away with about $3 worth of gold, while Nevaeh and Elliotte are still scratching their heads as to why they didn’t find any gold. It was hard to convince Kiahna and Eliana to leave as they both caught the Gold Fever, meanwhile the rest of us were happy to head to the local pub for a cold drink to spend the findings. Pity the girls didn’t find more gold!
We checked into Big 4 Aussie Outback Oasis Holiday Park where the girls enjoyed a swim and later that evening we sat around the campfire for happy hour.
Bangers and Mash was the meal for the night and the girls licked the plates clean- pity they ate most of our meal too! The entertainment area is sensational; something you would like in your own backyard. It is complete with a big pizza oven, camp oven cooking area and the fire fit. We spoke to many other guests who are regulars at the park and agreed that the park had great facilities and enjoyed all the activities that Cathy and Paul put on for guests to enjoy.
On Thursday we drove 247km to Hughenden. Along the way we stopped at Pentland and had coffee and home-made scones, which was very enjoyable. We got chatting to one of the locals who had just arrived home from being on the road for a quick three-week trip. We took a photo of the ‘outhouse’ and the girls were wondering what we were doing, as they had never seen one before. Another quick stop along the way was at the White Mountain National Park lookout, where we took plenty of photos and the girls were happy to be exploring the area. Photos just don’t do the landscape justice- it’s a shame that fellow travellers have etched their names into the sandstone.
Hughenden is the home of the Muttaburrasaurus and where we lost contact with the world via internet and home. We really felt like we were living in the dinosaur era!
Renae at the Flinders Discovery Centre has a wealth of knowledge and was very welcoming and helpful. We all enjoyed the museum where we saw a replica of the Muttaburrasaurus and learnt that it was discovered by a 14-year-old boy. There is a great collection of fossils, gems and stones in the museum as well as a light and sound show on the formation of Porcupine Gorge.
On our second day in Hughenden, we travelled to Porcupine Gorge and walked 1.2km down into the gorge, where we admired the impressive canyon; it really is like Australia’s little Grand Canyon.
The girls enjoyed walking along and climbing the rocks and searching for fish in the water holes, while we appreciated the coloured and sculptured sandstone, boulders, potholes and shallow caves. The serenity (if we muted the girls) was welcoming and the sight was breathtaking! We walked towards the Pyramid, where we sat on the sandy bank and enjoyed a sandwich, while watching fish and turtles in the pool and the girls were amazed to find shells in the sand. The day started off quite cool, yet now we needed to walk back up the gorge in a nice warm 32*. While we were down in the gorge, we had butterflies and dragonflies all around us, that followed us on our adventure back up the gorge. The girls in typical form, raced to the top, while we took the slow and steady approach and paced ourselves nicely (this is the polite way of saying we are really unfit). Even with two dodgy knees and asthma we did it and had our own cheer squad (the girls) shouting ‘you can do it!’ from the top.
–Tina and Kylie
August 16, 2018