Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
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28 July 2009 - Tambo to Charleville
The night was very cold; the morning bright and sunny and still cold. We drove out of the Tambo caravan park then stopped outside Tambo Butchers for chops and sausages. Daphne, at the caravan park, had been glowing about the quality of the meat and we wanted to get some.

Then we were on the way along the Landsborough Highway towards Charleville. Leaving Tambo at 402 metres elevation the road climbed a little to 465 metres about 26 kilometres from Tambo where a roadside sign proclaimed that the road was entering the Murray Darling Basin, specifically the Warrego River catchment.

The Lake Eyre Basin and the extensive grey-black clay Mitchell Grass Plains were behind us. The soil here was bright red-orange or red-brown loam and the vegetation mixed with lots of mulga but without a single species dominating; gum trees were common. We also noticed an increase in the number of magpies along the road.

The road trended gently downward and by the time we turned onto the Mitchell Highway just past Augathella elevation was 362 metres. The Landsborough Highway had been pretty bumpy for much of the way and the Mitchell Highway was not much better. Queensland country roads are generally fairly poor and these roads were no exception. For the first ten kilometres or so the Mitchell Highway had been re-surfaced; the new layer of bitumen had all the bumps of the old road but just looked nicer being uniform black with new white lines. A speed of 75 kph was comfortable for much of the way.

As we approached Charleville we crossed the Warrego River (with water in it) then travelled parallel to the river for a while through eucalyptus woodland. Despite occasional patches of mulga, generally nothing but gum trees could be seen from the road; we hadn't seen that for a long time. There were also scattered patches of cypress and scatterings of pear tree or prickly pear.

The destination caravan park was at Thurlby Station 9 kilometres from Charleville along the Adavale road. This was a single-lane bitumen road of reasonable quality. Once away from the Warrego River the gum trees disappeared; now we were in solid mulga.

The caravan park was marked by a small, multi-coloured caravan standing beside the road. We turned in, drove past the property homestead and turned across the cattle grid into the park (a cattle grid at the entrance to a caravan park is unusual). I had booked for three nights (later extended to five nights total) and was directed to an excellent site.

The caravan park is new (opened March 2008) built on a section of the property beside the homestead. Sites are comfortably spaced, big, drive-through, with gravel for the car and caravan and grass for the awning. Access roads to sites were wide enough to easily manouver a van. Most caravan parks in Outback Queensland squeeze caravans into every spare spot at this time of the year making the park uncomfortable; we repeatedly heard new arrivals here comment on how pleasant it was to not be squeezed in and to have some space.
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