Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
3 July 2013

Bullwaddy Rest Area to Goanna Creek - Carpentaria Highway
location map
We were ready for another cold night and that is what we got. The gas heater worked well to bring the van temperature up to a comfortable level in the morning which was bright and sunny. The wind of the previous days had gone in the morning although it was to re-occur as the day progressed.

We were soon on the way out of the Bullwaddy Rest Area on to the Carpentaria Highway. The dual lane section continued to the east until the road entered the Bullwaddy Conservation Reserve where it reverted to a single lane.

Bullwaddy Conservation Reserve was established to preserve stands of the Bullwaddy tree. A national parks master plan, available on the Internet, does a good job of explaining the background of this tree and mentions a plan to develop the reserve with signage near a parking area and associated walking tracks. None of this has occurred yet and anybody wanting to look at Bullwaddy is better advised to stop at the Bullwaddy Rest Area where Bullwaddy trees are easy to see and study.

The road remained a single lane of bitumen for the rest of the 140 kilometres covered today except for a couple of dual lane sections 1.6 and 4.5 kilometres long. Comfortable speed on the single lane varied between 65 and 80 kilometres an hour without any observable reason for the changes in surface. The verges were consistently at least a metre wide and, for most of the time level with the bitumen so going onto the verge to pass oncoming traffic was not difficult. There were no corrugations and no potholes. Provided a driver chose to drive to the conditions then driving on this road was not difficult.

Much of the road was in long straight sections going up and down the various hills and ridges and it was generally easy to see other traffic. On a few occasions this was not the case and oncoming traffic appeared around a bend. Fortunately, the verges were adequate and passing was not a problem.

Land along the road was mainly covered in tropical woodland, sometimes with differences in the species of trees growing. Termite mounds remained a standard feature of the scenery; sometimes up to three metres high and two metres across but more often narrow spires about a metre high. We passed a few small herds of cattle grazing in unfenced paddocks and surprisingly passed four road-kill cattle. I say surprisingly because cattle are not often seen as roadkill and we would like to hear the story associated with them. Other roadkill were a few kangaroos or wallabies but very few.

We pulled into October Creek rest area to check it out and because we wanted a cup of coffee. This is not a big rest area and three caravans took up most of the space, although three motorhomes fitted in by taking up nearly all the remaining space. Also in this rest area was an open top MG sports car, one of several we passed today. Among the caravans and 4WD vehicles these older style open-top two-seaters stood out as very different.

As planned we turned into Goanna Creek rest area. This was small with parking for no more than four or five caravans; we were the second caravan to arrive so secured a suitable position and set-up. During the afternoon several other caravans drove in, looked around, and drove out. The cold and gusty wind of previous days had returned during the morning and continued during the afternoon but died away after sunset. The rest area is on a bluff facing west and we watched the sunset before the black and moonless night came down with thousands of stars and the Milky Way standing out.

GPS Position
Turn-off to October Creek rest area: - 16° 37' 54.0"S, 134° 51' 31.0"E
Access road to Goanna Creek rest area: - 16° 42' 12.4"S, 135° 22' 01.3"E
3 July - page 2
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