|Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
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18 July 2013
Gilbert River to Cumberland Chimney
The night had been peaceful and cooler than we have experienced for a while. A temperature of 12°C at 6 o'clock in the morning was definitely a bit of a change for us.
The Gulf Developmental Road was empty as we drove out of the rest area and across the single-lane bridge over the Gilbert River. Once over the river the road reverted to two-lanes of good bitumen and remained between 170 and 205 metres elevation via a series of short hills and bends. The two-lane road ended 21 kilometres after leaving the Gilbert River. Thereafter the road was a sequence of one and two lane sections; the two-lane sections were in good condition, at least one long section had been recently completed and was still covered in small blue metal which passing vehicles threw up.
We were not going far today and turned off the road 55 kilometres from the Gilbert River. Of that distance 15.1 kilometres had been single-lane bitumen. There had been significant differences in the quality of the single-lane bitumen roads. One longer sections of 9.6 kilometres had a good surface and the verges were at least two metres wide and graded level with the bitumen; this road looked as if it had been prepared to be a single-lane sections for many years to come. On the other hand the last six kilometres of single-lane, immediately after several kilometres of completely new road, had a poor surface and the verges were narrow and not level.
Our destination for the day was a large free camping area behind Cumberland Chimney. The chimney had been built as part of a gold-ore processing plant in the 1880s and was readily visible from the road. A dam had been built to hold water for the boilers as part of the same project; this was now a lagoon with a good cover of water-lilies and an interesting variety of birds in residence.
Several caravans were set up just inside the entrance (behind the very obvious chimney) but we drove along the track below the lagoon wall to find a very pleasant site I backed into. Some time was spent chatting with neighbours before lunch and the afternoon was spent looking around the lagoon and taking photographs. The weather had remained sunny all day, reaching the low thirties early in the afternoon.
|Cumberland Chimney with some of the caravans parked nearby. This is a small part of the caravan parking area.|