Sapphire to Surat

We arrived at the Higher Ground Homestay on Sunday afternoon and ended up staying for two nights instead of the one as planned. As said in our last blog update, the Homestay is on a private block of land of approximately 50 acres. For the princely sum of $6 per night per van, parking is allowed just about anywhere as long as you can safely get your vehicle to your selected park. We managed to weave the motorhome through the trees to a lovely site and with just enough sun getting through to be able to charge the batteries via the solar panels.  A couple we met at our Jericho stop, Lyn and Bruce from Bundaberg, had also stopped over at the site so it ended up a very social two days.

Rod setting Yabbie pots

Rod still persisting with the red claw

In the river running beside the property Rod tried his luck at red claw trapping (again).  Unfortunately (as we were informed on the day we left the river), the red claw do not start moving until ‘the weather warms’ in mid October. All was not lost. We managed (unintentionally) to trap a nice little catfish in one of the yabbie pots. Rod has not been put off by the challenge of red claw trapping  – “another day, another river” was his positive response.

On Monday afternoon Bruce and Rod headed off to the Fairburn Dam to try their luck at a bit of fishing from the edge of the dam. Without going into too many details and with having experienced previous disappointments, we had fortunately taken a meal out of the freezer in anticipation of lean pickings. It was indeed the leanest of the lean!!!!

A few more shots of our Higher Ground stay are HERE.

With the evening setting in and ego’s stroked, it was time to sit back, pour the wine and contemplate what could have been if the fish were more cooperative.

We left Higher Ground on Tuesday morning on our next leg of our journey to nowhere. We were not due in Roma until Thursday and we had no stopover plan.  Bruce and Lyn were going in the same direction so we decided that it would be a good idea if we travelled in ‘convoy’.  The problem with travelling ‘in convoy’, and having UHF radios onboard, the girls were in constant communication and we ended up stopping at every ‘tiny’ town fossicking in antique stores, art stores and curio stores. Springsure and Rolleston both profited by our passing through.

As a result of the casualness of our travel plan it was 4.30pm and we still did not have a place to park up for the night. As we have said previously, to be on the road around this time is courting disaster. At about this time of the day the local animal life come out to feed and most have absolutely no road sense at all. The possibility of colliding with a kangaroo/wallaby/emu/pig/wombat and a variety of other wildlife is quite high.

Group photo

Relaxing after arrival at our side road stopover

After a bit of exploring, and about 150km north of Roma, we managed to find a newly sealed road (Nuga Nuga Road if you want to search for it on a map) and we headed up the road to find a place where the contractors would have stored their vehicles and roading material. This type of site is always flat and normally well out of everyone’s way. We lucked in and about 500 metres up the side road we found a great flat spot and parked up for the night. Once settled, out came the wine, Coruba and snax and the travellers relaxed. A couple more shots of our side road stopover HERE .

We left Nuga Nuga Road at about 7.30am this morning as we had been told the day before that there was a free camping area in a town called Surat (about 80km south of Roma) and right beside the Balonne River. It is reputed to be the best free camping spot in Australia. Historically Surat was the site of a Cobb and Co Changing Station. The original station has been preserved as a tourist attraction.

Tonights banquet

Victory is New Zealand’s

As it turned out the information provided was spot on. The area was all grass with plenty of trees for shade and was directly beside the river. Once settled we walked into the town of Surat, had lunch and a beer at the local hotel then returned to the motorhome for Rod and Bruce to do a bit of fishing.  It was a Bledisloe Cup type of event with Australia coming second ‘again’. Only one fish was caught but that was all that was needed for the victory.

A few more shots of our Surat visit HERE .

We leave here tomorrow morning and head to Roma to attend the weekends Food and Fire Festival. Bruce and Lyn have friends in Roma so are staying with them and we have booked a site close to the Festival venue. We will probably catch up with them again in Toowoomba as we are both attending the Flower Festival the following weekend.

We depart Roma on Sunday and will be going west to Amby to meet up with a friend of Rod’s who joined the Navy in the same intake as him.

We will update the blog again before leaving Roma.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Sapphire to Surat

  1. John Bullock

    I recall an ex-Sparker Lorry Coggins lives in Roma. I went to one those unofficial reunions in Caloundra a few years ago and he fronted. Even Jeff Still’s ex-missus Pat (ex-Wren) showed….amazing who comes out of the woodwork!

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