Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
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10 May 2013

Morven to Charleville
location map
The morning was sunny and bright as we drove out of the Morven recreation ground after more than half of the other vans in the park had left. We were quickly onto the Warrego Highway heading west bound for Charleville. Just west of Morven the road divides with one arm, to the Warrego Highway to the left, going to Charleville; turning to the right goes onto the Landsborough Highway and leads northward, to Blackall, Barcaldine and other northern places. We continued on to Charleville.

The road here was passing through flat paddocks extending to the horizon. The road itself was variable quality bitumen; some parts good but mostly poor with a bouncing surface making 90 kph the fastest comfortable speed. Long sections of the road were being rebuilt as part of a major upgrade programme of the Warrego Highway and we spent several minutes waiting at traffic lights for access to one-way sections of highway. The recently rebuilt sections of the road were more pleasant to drive on.

Traffic was generally light but included a number of trucks; several of these were engaged in moving road-building material for the roadworks but other were more conventional transports.

The cleared paddocks soon gave way to extensive mulga on red soil. We were now in that part of Queensland generally, and accurately, known as "Mulga Country". The road was mainly in straight sections undulating over nearly continuous low hills. Elevation remained around 300 to 450 metres. There were no overtaking lanes but traffic was light. Most vehicles moved at 80 to 85 kph because of the road surface.

Weather remained good for travelling although the wind had increased considerably. Initially I thought the good fuel consumption we were getting was because of slower speed on the uneven road surface, then I checked the wind and realised that we had a substantial tail wind helping us along.

Roadkill wallabies and kangaroos were frequent with very well-fed ravens and whistling kites feeding on them. The ability of ravens to consistently get clear of roadkill in time, or to know the oncoming vehicle was on the other side of the road so they didn't have to move, remains intriguing. Even more interesting was to watch a raven feeding on road kill in the lane ahead of us just stroll a metre or two to be clear of the bitumen before we reached it; they appear to know that an approaching vehicle will not leave the bitumen. Whistling Kites were not nearly as expert at leaving roadkill in time as vehicles approached; small piles of brown feathers on the road marked several kites which had left it too late to get clear.

We encountered one pig road kill which was swollen to such an extent that I was not prepared to risk driving over it and getting bits of decomposing pig on the underside of Pathfinder or caravan. We waited while the opposite lane was clear than drove around the dead pig.

Entering Charleville we passed a large paddock holding hundreds of goats; this was Western Meat Exporters plant where goats are slaughtered for export. This is one of Charleville's largest employers.

We drove through Charleville to our selected caravan park about eight kilometres out of town, in the middle of mulga, where we checked in for three nights. The park was nearly empty; the travelling season doesn't appear to have reached Charleville yet.

We unhooked and set up in a drive-through site. After lunch we went into Charleville for shopping. By then the wind was strong and gusty and the cloud thickening. But towards sunset the wind dropped and the cloud cleared so the early evening was still and cloudless.

Morven to Charleville - page 2
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