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    Sue & Steve - on the road again!
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Sue & Steve - on the road again!

We had planned another outback experience to Lake Eyre and up to Birdsville. We were mentally ready, clothes selected and gear piled up high under the deck. However, it all changed when Steve was offered another work which he couldn’t refuse.

Sue & Steve
Unfortunately, the paperwork we received just a couple of days before leaving showed a commencement date of smack bang in the middle of our proposed trip. We didn’t feel we could do the trip justice in just two weeks so decided to do something different. 'Suitcases' were re-packed, boxes re-jigged and the fridge re-stocked and we headed off up the Coast.

Lady Musgrave Island
We knew some of our friends were already in the same area as we were now heading. Paul and Brenda were on their way home and Dave and George were out to sea in a beautiful pea green boat... well actually in a beautiful 11.6 metre white Catamaran. We spent a great two days with Paul & Brenda in Bargara (near Bundaberg). Cycled, sunbathed chilled and just drank wine! It was so good to catch up after their eight months away travelling Oz.

Mud Crab
At least we know it won’t be so long before we catch up again. Catching up with Dave and George became more of a challenge, trying to get from A to B! Paul was so good to drive us to the township of 1770 to get the ferry out to Lady Musgrave Island to meet up with them.

Dave picked us up off the floating pontoon and we then commenced a fabulous two days anchored up in the lagoon at Lady Musgrave. We walked on the Island taking 50 million photos. We tried their inflatable kayak and snorkelled on the reef. It was just magic. Another one of those great lifetime experiences!

The trip back to Bargara was choppy and Sue spent more or less the whole ten hours on deck not daring to venture below! So back to our campsite for two more nights. Cycled, had coffee and edited those 50 million photos!!!

Camp Set Up
The roof top tent set up on the trailer works really well for this kind of trip - it’s a great bit of gear - don’t leave home without one! Thanks to the boys at Gordigear in Southport for helping us out with it.

1770 and the Calliope River

It’s Thursday and it’s weather for ducks! 1770/Agnes Waters is very wet and it looks like it’s going to stay like it for a couple of days - a shame as it has great potential. We are camped at a place called Workman’s Beach, in a lovely bush setting just a minute’s walk to a lovely beach.

Bird Photography
Black Cockatoos in abundance but we can’t get the cameras out to photograph them - very frustrating! Not much to do on days like this but shop - oh dear what a problem! Good job Agnes Waters has some.

Pale Headed Rosella
Tent holding up well in this wet weather. Everything pretty dry inside which is the most important thing. We were advised by some friends to waterproof the four corners just in case which we’re glad we did. What a difference when we got up Friday morning - sunshine, blue skies and everything dry.

We made the most of it and took the surf skis out on the river at 1770, took a walk up on to the cliff top, swam in the sea and sunbathed. Steve had to do a bit of work but was persuaded to take a break long enough for a swim. Sue took a great photograph of an Osprey - she just needs someone to identify the fish!!

On Saturday we decided to move on and have pitched up at a place called Calliope. We have an elevated spot overlooking the river. Quite lovely. The best thing of all is there are two pairs of whistling kites here - flying right over us.

Calliope - Yeppoon - Monto

Camp at Calliope River
Sunday was lovely - hot and sunny. We took the bikes out for a run, had ice cream and just chilled for the rest of the day. Monday morning we packed up and then got the surf skis out for a trip up the Calliope River before heading for Yeppoon. It was great - so glad we did it.

Monday arvo we arrived at a rather dull Yeppoon. Headed out to Byfield National Park and set up camp. We had only just got the tent up when the rain started.

We had monsoonal rain, were surrounded by croc infested rivers and and there were swarms of Ross River Mossies wanting to get their little stingers into us. But hey – we are roughy toughy campers so we just sat under the awning and smiled. It wouldn’t last after all!!

We checked out the forecast and decided to move off straight away - it looked quite foreboding. It stopped raining long enough for us to pack up and boy were we glad we did. The heavens opened again and we just headed for Yeppoon and breakfast.

We decided to head in land towards Monto to have a look at Cania Gorge and more importantly get away from the rain. Steve got breathalysed on the way but as it was only 3 pm he was good to go!

On Tuesday, we found a campsite - which had a great place to dry the tent out and all our wet gear. After doing the washing, we’ve had dinner and relaxed with a glass of wine.

Kalpowar to Austinville

Up and off to Cania Gorge on Wednesday morning. As gorges go, and we have seen some of the best, this was very mediocre but we had a rather nice walk - getting the 'boots on' for the first time this trip. We had lunch and headed off towards Gin Gin. We spotted what we think was a Black Falcon and got a great picture of it - very happy.

Barred Finches
Came across a place called Kalpowar. It’s in a state forest with old logging tracks and has been turned into a recreation site.

It’s obvious that it is used a lot by 4WD vehicles and we would have loved to have given it a go. Steve relaxed and read his book and Sue walked and took more bird photos.

We got up early next morning not really knowing what to do - head home or go somewhere else. We stopped for breakfast at a great little pull in - lovely views and very pleasant. We dithered too much though trying to decide what to do and before we knew what was happening we were on our way home.

Artwork and text courtesy of Sue Rodwell and Steve Fitchett. They have a photographic studio in the hinterland of Queensland's Gold Coast, where they do some outstanding and highly original portraiture. Their photos have been published all over the world. Check out their webpage at www.fitchimages.com.