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Monday, August 30, 2010

Another day kayaking, another reptile encounter

On our way home we stopped at Bedford Weir for a few days (north of Blackwater). It's a great free spot to camp, and the kayaking is usually very relaxing. We put the boats in the water mid-afternoon and went for a leisurely float among the dead trees up a side branch. We'd watched the spoon bills fly away as we approached, and then return to high branches as we sat quietly. The ducks didn't let us get very close at all, but we did scare a number of large fish (probably catfish, according to the fisher folk) and caused some great jumps and splashes (the fish, not us).

All of a sudden Dazz noticed something swimming in the water ahead of us and quickly realised it was a snake. Of course we chased it. It went up a tree - what a perfect photo opportunity. Focusing on a snake, rather than on all the branches around it, was quite an effort (especially since it was the older camera with only a 50mm lens - the one that gets taken out on the water). He got a good photo of the snake, but we didn't quite get the 'crocodile effect' we were hoping for.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


After we left Karumba we spent a night on the river at Gregory Downs. We arrived nice and early in the day and had time for some campfire cooking (no fires at Lawn Hill NP, and it was too hot to even want a fire for most of the time we were there). The cheese and olive bread was voted the best yet!

Karumba was all about seafood - fresh Gulf prawns for lunch every day, a nice seafood meal out at the local restaurant and fish and chips on the beach watching the sun set over the Gulf. Dazz and Dad went out fishing on a charter boat for an afternoon and came home with 13 really good sized bream between them.

As we were planning on which way to head home we had a phone call from some friends who are travelling in their van (of ‘Darren’s bad for kids’ fame). They were keen to meet us on the Gemfields, and we love the Gemfields, so our direction and time-frame was set.

We stopped in Normanton for a photo with a replica of the largest salt-water croc ever shot, and had a quick look around some of the mining relics in Croydon. Next day was a big day, but we fitted in one photo stop at a lagoon and chimney ruin just outside Georgetown. Now we’re back at Sapphire for four days and Dazz is teaching another crop of children (and their parents) how to speck.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lawn Hill

We had a fantastic week at Lawn Hill, with a few nice walks, a drive down to Riversleigh Fossil Field and lots of kayaking on the crystal clear creek through the gorge.

We saw some new birds, including the rare purple crowned fairy wren. There were plenty of lizards/skinks, along with turtles and fish.

Undoubtedly the highlight was croc spotting. They were only freshwater ones, but now we're at Karumba in salty territory the kayaks are staying strapped to the roof!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mount Isa to Lawn Hill

We had a couple of nights in a caravan park in Mount Isa - just enough time to catch up on washing, shopping at a real supermarket and for Dazz & Dad to do an underground mine tour. Of course there were also a few trips up to the lookout at various times of the day and night for photos of the town and mine.

We're expanding our knowledge of birds as we travel west and north. Some of the photos aren't great though - it's so hard to get the birds to sit still in the sun, but with the sun behind the camera, and close enough so they don't have to be cropped too severely! Here are some from our overnight camp north of Cloncurry. There will be lots more from Lawn Hill when I catch up on those photos.

Out here dots on maps don't always mean towns, but there is usually fuel every 200-300 kms. The Burke & Wills Roadhouse is halfway between Cloncurry and Normanton, and the junction where we turned west to go out to Gregory Downs and Lawn Hill.