Our journey from Mt Isa to Longreach was relaxing and more learning – it was the first time we have experienced emu’s keeping pace with the motorhome along the highway. The total travelling kilometres were 575 kilometres and we did it in a ‘relaxingly’ in three jumps – Mt Isa to Kynuna, Kynuna to Crawfords Creek and Crawfords Creek to Longreach.
We left Mt Isa last Wednesday morning after trying to solve an air conditioning problem. We were not sure quite what was wrong but it seemed we were pulling more hot air into the motorhome than cold air. Unfortunately Mt Isa was not willing to attempt to solve the problem as our aircon unit was not familiar to them. We should have really checked the unit more thoroughly before we left New Zealand but because aircon is not really a necessity at home, we were a little blasé’ about it. Unfortunately for us, when we needed the system it let us down. We could do nothing so it was a problem for another time.
Our next overnight stop was at the Blue Heeler Hotel in Kynuna (164 kms from Isa). It was very similar to our Prairie Hotel stop in that the overnighter was behind the hotel, almost free and we had the ‘run’of the place. The Blue Heeler has been in existence since 1870 and was initially a ‘Cobb and Co’ stop in the Australian stagecoach days. We ended up having ‘one or two’ with other travellers and a few locals and partaking in a delicious ‘in house’ mixed grill dinner. Gee we love this life!!!
Thursday morning we set off from Kynuna with no real ‘next stop’ plan. As we have said before we are not very good at long distances so there was never expectation we would get to Longreach that day. As it turned out we did the princely total of 140 kms and ended up at the rest area called Crawfords Creek.
For those unfamiliar with rest areas in Australia, they are normally one to three hectare parking areas (with toilets and water) beside main highways where travellers are encouraged to stop and ‘rest’ for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. Some are excellent, some good and some mean we pass right by. However we have to say, and without prejudice, at least these small Australian towns encourage travellers to stop and participate (and spend) in their community. They recognise the spending (and voting) power of the growing international ‘grey nomad’ community. In our hometown of Whangamata in New Zealand, motorhomer’s are permitted to ‘overnight’ beside the estuary but must be gone by 7am.!!!! Give me a break – even the smallest brain could advise the local Council that if the ‘traveller’ were encouraged to stay in the area longer, they would spend in restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, local clubs, retail outlets etc. etc.
Enough of the obvious and back to our journey.
At Crawford’s Creek we met four other traveller groups who were all undertaking a similar journey to ourselves. Two were Australian couples discovering their own country, one was a lone Australian traveller who was just about to embark on a journey around Australia in a ‘chuck’ wagon drawen by two draught horses and then there was a young Austrian couple (and their eleven month old baby) who were doing their ‘international’ journey. They leave for New Zealand in November so we were pleased to be able to advise them with their New Zealand travel programme. A few wines, a couple of beers and ‘a’ rum and it was a very pleasant evening in the middle of nowhere.
This morning we headed away from Crawford’s Creek to Longreach with the sole purpose of getting our air conditioning sorted and arranging for Dearne to ‘hitch’ a ride on the local Cobb and Co stage coach. We made telephone contact with a local aircon company, Rocket Air Conditioning, and they had us sorted in about two hours. Many thanks Brendon – we will certainly recommend your services to all our travelling friends. Dearne’s stagecoach ride is sorted for Monday.
We will update the blog on our Longreach visit over the next few days.