Day 9, Sunday March 24th Palm Beach
It’s warm, wet, and humid again! We assemble the bikes, do a lap of the park and have a swim to wash off the sweat. We all meet for a farewell BBQ lunch before everyone goes their own way. we drop C at the airport. It’s time now to stock up for the next leg of our trip at the Tweed Heads supermarket. A large storm passes overhead and there is a lot of thunder and lightning, but little rain, that is a change.
Day 10, Monday March 25th Palm Beach to Moree
Our aim is to head north on the M1 expressway, then west on the Cunningham highway to Goondiwindi where we can pick up the Newell highway for a relatively quick trip south as we must be in Bendigo by Thursday. Forgetting about peak hour and that Qld isn’t on Daylight Saving Time we set off at 9:05am (southern time) and run slap bang into the peak hour traffic heading north on the M1. It takes us an hour to travel what should take us 15 minutes. Eventually, we turn off at Nerang and head to Canungra. Being a military town there is a lot of army traffic about. On the way to Beaudesert Gabbi Garmin decides to send us on a gravel shortcut (it looks like I’m going to have to review her settings again). Passing lots of manicured horse studs, we arrive in Beaudesert to find that last night’s storm has felled hundreds of trees in the town (we also find out that C’s flight was diverted to Brisbane then cancelled due to the storm, causing him to stay overnight in Brisbane).
After Boonah we cross the magnificent Cunningham Gap, it looks like the whole of Queensland is laid out at our feet. On our way up the ridge we are stopped by road works where there have been rock falls. To stop the rockfalls they have erected a barricade of shipping containers stacked two high, frighteningly there are some huge dents in them.
Over the Great Dividing Range and travelling down to Warwick the valley is a food bowl with fields of vegetables. Warwick is a pretty town the streets are lined with flower beds and roses down the centre strip. There are lots of beautiful old buildings of many different styles.
The road to Goondiwindi is a little rough and quite monotonous, on the roadsides, there are thousands of green prickly pear cacti with pink fruit. The road signs are probably the most interesting feature.
Are we nearly there Mum?
Only an hour to Gundi kids
At Inglewood, there are many kilometres of olive groves. We bypass Goondiwindi and then battling tiredness, regret that we did but we’re hell-bent on getting to Moree now. The road is very straight and we pass artesian bores and water channels. In the paddocks, there is wheat stubble and cotton that is almost ready for picking. It is now quite warm and the air is dry at last.
Exhausted, we pull into the Gwydir Carapark & Thermal Pools at 5:15pm. It is neat and clean, and our neighbours are a friendly bunch. This is both a transit park (being at the crossroads of two highways) and a holiday park (because of the hot artesian pools).
There are four pools 34, 35, 37 & 39 degrees and a cool pool. It is surprising how much difference just one degree can make. It’s a great way to relax after a long drive and afterwards, we sleep like babies.
Towing Kms: 550Kms
2022 Note: We have since returned to the Gwydir Pools but on our second visit they were much busier. On mentioning it to Woody’s brother, Woody the Elder he gave the sage advice “When it comes to cruise ship spas, artesian pools, and seniors, there’s only one word to remember, seepage.”