Day 83 Wednesday Aug 27th 2014 Moura to Gayndah
Moura is a purpose-built coal mining town, neat, tidy and quite spread out. As we leave town we pass the Queensland Nitrogen Plant. Wondering what it is and what QNP stands for, a voice comes on the radio and explains. These UHF radios are really handy and not just for talking to passing trucks. The hillside is a large open cut coal mine and there is a conveyor belt that snakes its way off into the distance on its way to the port of Gladstone.
We cross the Banana Range and the soil and climate immediately improves as there are now small farms and green crops. Biloela is inviting and it is exciting to see a fruit barn once more, especially one that serves Genovese coffee. We turn south onto the Burnett highway and run parallel with the Great Dividing Range. The road is undulating and quiet. At Monto there is a water tower with a great mural of a guy sitting on the dunny reading a newspaper. These folks must have a sense of humour. Beside the road we see a sign “Monto Stockman’s store, open 7 days unless closed”.
We discuss our craving for a pub roast and the fact that we haven’t seen a pub advertising cheap meals in ages. Lo and behold at the next town the Mulgildie Pub has a board out front advertising $10 roasts.
The old wooden pub is painted bright green with quirky drawings everywhere. Inside it is a feast of art and craft for sale. The ladies loo has ducks painted on the seat and the men’s loo is a little scarier with barbed wire. We sit on the tiny verandah and munch our super cheap roast rolls whilst gazing across the cow paddocks. This is a top pub. They have a free van park out the back but we fear that ‘free’ may become quite expensive for weak folks like us.
We wind our way through little towns, Eisvold, Binjour (where it’s always bin day) and ever-changing countryside. There are small farms and rusting windmills, houses with mango trees and bananas around them. Yes, we are getting close to the coast. The distant sky is filled with grey bottomed clouds and there are warnings on the radio of imminent hailstorms for the coastal towns.
Not wanting to catch up to the bad weather we intend to stay at the Claude Wharton weir at Gayndah but it has been closed to campers. There is however a travellers rest called Zonhoven Park beside the Burnett River just east of town.
It is quite a pleasant spot and there is a farm beside us. The river is about 10 metres below and its far bank looks to be several hundred metres away. There is a beautiful sunset over the river as we chat to a local lady who is out walking her dog and pleased to see us sitting outside. She complains that most campers set up then lock themselves away for the night.
Towing Kms: 271Kms
2021 Note: I can’t post this without mentioning the discussion on the CB radio as it has kept us laughing ever since:
Double or Nuthin’: What’s QNP?
Us: Dunno, Queensland something?
Unknown Voice: It’s the Nitro plant?
All of us: Nitro??
Unknown Voice: F***ing fertiliser mate!
If there is such a title, Gayndah is Australia’s mandarine capital and there was a packing shed opposite our camp site.