Travelling Australia - Journal 2011
18 April 2011 - Mitchell to Morven
There was very light rain falling when I began connecting the van and Pathfinder but it soon stopped and the weather looked alright for the day. The forecast included occasional rain and some thunderstorms for southeast Queensland with the rain extending to the area we were in, so anything was likely to happen. Leaving the caravan park in Mitchell we set off along the Warrego Highway a bit concerned at what we would find after the very poor standard we had found last week on the road between Roma and Mitchell.

The road turned out to be reasonable, about 90 kph was comfortable and higher speed would have been possible. Traffic was extremely light, we were overtaken by about three 4WDs between Mitchell and Morven while one truck, one light truck and two cars went the other way. The road was nearly deserted. We had seen road trains configured to carry stock stopped at the roadhouse in Mitchell but there was no sign of stock transports on the road while we were on it. But heavy transports do use this stretch of road, just outside Mitchell we passed a trailer exchange park containing more than twenty road trains without prime movers lined up waiting for drivers to connect primer movers and take the road trains to their destination.

Between Mitchell and Morvan the terrain was nearly flat and lightly treed with gentle hills and red soil growing eucalyptus, cypress and acacia in different parts. The shades of green and blue-green were striking. Unusually, there were frequent signs pointing down side roads indicating the name of the property down that road. We came over one low crest to see a wallaby standing in the middle of the road with us coming from one direction and a passenger bus approaching from the other; the wallaby appeared unaware of the vehicles and was stopped and staring to the side of the road; it was about to be a case of "what now?" when suddenly the animal jerked its head around, looked at us, and quickly hopped off the road. We believe it heard the whistles we carry mounted on the Pathfinder roo bars specifically to let kangaroos know we are coming; we have learnt from experience that cows and sheep pay no attention to the whistles but wallabies usually get out of the way. Emus just dither - as usual.

In Morven we stopped at the Post Office to get information on Tregole National Park then had a look around the town before driving along the narrow bitumen road to the naional park day-use area. Along the road we encountered two Australian Bustards standing in the middle of the road with their beaks in the air; they stayed long enough for a photograph to be taken. The caravan was far too big for the motor vehicle parking bay at the national parks so we stopped to one side, hopefully out of the way; the parking area was deserted. I went walking along the track looking at and photographing the plants. At about 4 o'clock we left the park to return to the Morven Recreational Ground where the council welcomes travellers to stay the night for a small donation.
Swamp Wallaby Swamp Wallaby with joey in her pouch interrupted while feeding in Tregole National Park

The storms forecast by the weather bureau did not eventuate during the day but light rain began falling at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon and continued intermittently until we stopped at Morven when it became heavy and continuous. The evening was spent with the sound of steady rain on the roof. The evening was also much cooler than expected.

Travelling Australia - 18 Apr 2011, Mitchell to Morven - page 2
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