Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
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6 May 2013

Casino to Bonshaw Weir
location map
Our plan for this trip is to visit Darwin and the surrounding area; we would take our time to reach Darwin with stops planned in Queensland enroute. Our destination after Darwin/Kakadu, etc. would be decided in view of the weather and time remaining.

On this first day the goal was to get inland and up and over the edge of the Great Dividing Range on the way to Charleville and Winton eventually. We would go along the Bruxner Highway to Tenterfield continuing along the Bruxner Highway to recommended rest areas for overnight.

After some last minute shopping and a cup of coffee in Casino we headed inland along the Bruxner Highway through Tabulam and Derby and the long climb to 908 metres elevation on the edge of the Great Divide. Weather was good for travelling with a fair cloud covering, wind was light, outside temperature dropped to be about 18°C at Tenterfield. The road is reasonable; traffic in our direction was light but there was a surprising number of caravans going in the opposite direction; we estimated that twenty to thirty caravans (and two or three motorhomes) passed us between Casino and Tenterfield.

At Tenterfield, we turned on to the New England Highway for about 4 kilometres before the Bruxner Highway resumed its independent track off to the left. After turning off the New England Highway we travelled just over 100 kilometres along a generally good highway with mostly good bitumen surface with few sharp curves or hills; driving on this road's surface was pleasant. The road is mostly slightly downhill with elevation decreasing from more than 800 metres at Tenterfield to 300 metres at Bonshaw Weir where we spent the night. The road initially runs through woodland comprising eucalyptus, acacia and cypress as obvious components, with a sprinkling of prickly pear visible near the road; vegetation varied from thick to scattered, sometimes with a few cattle grazing in the thinner woodland. As we moved inland the country became more open with a few more cattle. Properties along the road were marked by their mailboxes beside two-lane dirt tracks heading into the surrounding bush; none of the buildings could be seen from the road.

Traffic on the road was negligible; we saw no more than half a dozen other vehicles in a couple of hours. Two of these were caravans going in the opposite direction, the rest were light trucks, 4WD or sedans. Weather remained good; sunny and no wind, the temperature slowly increased to reach 25°C.

Eventually the cattle country merged into more diversified agricultural activity although the area is lightly populated and signs of human activity are not common. We passed two winery cellar doors but if today's very light traffic is typical they cannot be attracting a large number of customers. There were some crops of various kinds, some with spray irrigation equipment set up on them, and around the village of Bonshaw we passed at least three clusters of brick or stone kilns once used for drying tobacco.
weir Bonshaw Weir across the Dumaresq River.

The Bruxner Highway runs from Tenterfield west until it reaches the Queensland border, marked by the Dumaresq River, then runs more or less along the southern bank of the river as it flows inland along a curved path.
Casino to Bonshaw - page 2


The road runs south, then curves through west to be running nearly north, still following the Dumaresq River, when it passes through the village of Bonshaw.

Eight kilometres north of Bonshaw a clearly signed side road leads a few hundred metres to Bonshaw Weir on the Dumaresq River with a rest area on the bank. A neighbour had recommended this rest area to us and the recommendation had been very useful; this was a pleasant place to spend the night.

two herons Two White-faced Herons at Bonshaw Weir.

two herons A White-faced Heron waiting for a fish meal at Bonshaw Weir. It has been speculated that the bird hunches down to reduce the possibility of a distinctive outline frightening fish under the water.

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