To the Tip and Back – 11.7.2013 – 11.9.2013

What a trip !

July 11 – September 11 2013 – over 14,000 kms on a road trip from Thirroul to the Tip of Cape York / Thursday Island and south west to the Gulf of Carpentaria – then down through western Queensland to the Darling Downs – through the New England – south to Mudgee and finally back to Thirroul.

We really made use of “Cape York An Adventurer’s Guide” 2010 edition by Ron and Viv Moon – but didn’t use GPS or satellite phones.


Our Itinerary : 11.7.2013 – 11.9.2013


Thirroul to Wallabadah

Thirroul to Wallabadah

Wallabadah to Yamba

Wallabadah Yamba

Yamba to Townsville

Capture Yamba Townsville

Townsville to Laura

CaptureTownsville Laura

Laura to Weipa

Capture Laura Weipa

Weipa to Seisia / Punsand Bay at the Tip then down to Portland Roads / Chilli Beachand back down to Maytown

Capture Weipa Maytown

Maytown to Adels Grove

Maytown Adels Grove

Adels Grove up to Lorella Springs then down to Barcaldine

Capture Adels Grove Barcaldine

Barcaldine to Thirroul

Barcaldine Thirroul

An amazing journey – experienced heaps – caught up with family and friends.


Day 60 – 63 – Inverell to Mudgee to Home – 8.9.2013 – 11.9.2013

A drive from Inverell to Mudgee

First a look at Bingara when some of my Waters – Robinson family lived.

Dodging a “few cows”


Bingara and Inverell are also quite close to the site of the infamous Myall Creek Massacre  of Kamilaroi people in 1838. This was a time when stockmen were slaughtering Aboriginal people. Subsequently seven men were found guilty after the second trial and executed.

Capture Myall Creek Bingara

Then onto Barraba – and more of my Waters – Robinson family lived there too.

Then Manilla – more in the extended family network up this way – and the olives were nice too.

Carroll – birthplace of TicToc

Onto Gunnedah – Hicks family were there and not all on the north coast it seems.





A few days of fossicking and wine tasting in and around Mudgee


An interesting cafe on the site of a former pharmacy


The last morning of the trip and pack up of the camper trailer at Mudgee.


Past Lake Windemere


A quick stop at Lithgow and then lunch at Leura in the Blue Mountains where Spring flowers and blossoms are breaking out.

IMG_20130911_113850 IMG_20130911_123225

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Heading along the Heathcote Road

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Finally after two months, looking down from Bulli Tops over the NSW South Coast.

Heading up McCauley Street Thirroul – nearly home


Back home, the Odometer reading is 24,866 kms. We’ve done 14,256 kms to the tip and back – and around some of the Gulf of Carpentaria along the way.

The To Do list for the Green Machine and the Prado includes :

  • Prado
  • fix rear door lock – stiff from dust
  • wheel alignment
  • front passenger parking light needs fixing after a little jack knife incident or two
  • replace the  air filter
  • investigate the fuel performance
  • Green Machine etc 
  • repair the legs cracked welds
  • repair the pantry light
  • fix the driver side reflectors
  • fix the nut on the gas pipe
  • replace the rubber around the brake handle
  • replace seals around the pantry, the opposite sides, and on the 45o angle
  • what can be done about the sink drainhole ?
  • lockable cap for the poleholder
  • need a new xelco pole with velcro
  • fix the chip in the front fibreglass
  • fix the electronic water pump
  • need a new “string” for the pantry shelf
  • investigate LED lights
  • getting the 12 Volt TV and remote control to work
  • chat about the Inverter ?
  • checking the Waeco 12volt 240 fridge freezer – back home we discovered the fitting had gone AWOL in the back area – probably during some of those corrugations. A really simple fix – that one.
  • check the solar panels – back home we found out the Green Machine batteries were   not maintenance free – and they were replaced with maintenance free type.

Well after over 14,000 kms on some rough, dusty, corrugated roads, well you’d expect there’d be some repairs


Now the great unpacking and clean-up. And getting to” just “a few fixes” for the Green Machine and the Prado !

Day 57 – 59 – Goondiwindi to Inverell – 5.9.2013 – 7.9.2013

We headed towards Warialda as the first stop – past turn-offs to North Star and Croppa Creek

We spent a couple of nights at Inverell at our favourite camping ground and David had a lot of time to do some fossicking finally.


Tingha out of Inverell

Dinner at Inverell RSL


Fossicking at Fraser Creek

Tomorrow morning it will be off to Mudgee



Day 55 – 56 – Toowoomba to Goondiwindi – 3.9.2013 – 4.9.2013

Dad grew up in Boggabilla and spent a lot of time in Goondiwindi

Boggabilla State School - Seniors-1

Dad’s grandparents Arthur James Adams and Matilda (Waters) with their children and grandchildren

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It had been nearly 40 years since I had last been at Goondiwindi and Boggabilla – we were due to catch up and stay with Dad’s cousin Doug Adams and wife Carol. Doug’s my Uncle Gidge Adams’ son. Last time I had seen Doug and Carol, they were engaged and building their house next to Nanna Adams’ in Merriwa St Boggabilla. Doug called up his cousin Lenore (daughter of Uncle Dick and Aunty Vene) and her husband Jimmy. Lenore arrived with a crate of family photos and so I was busy photographing these. And the next day I repeated with with photos in photos Doug inherited from his mother Joyce (Suhl) Adams. I have shared these on “Our Macintyre Adams Family

We headed past Milmerran and Pittsworth – there was a Federal election the following weekend so it was not surprising to spot a Shooters and Fishers Party poster. Alan Jones and Ray Hadley had a big following out this way as their programmes are widely syndicated throughout Queensland. And it has been Pauline Hansen’s heartland. We voted absentee at Goondiwindi Court House


As on the Queensland coast and all the way up to the Tip, we found a lot of roadwork going on – they have Pilot vehicles up there as well.


Too early for the Australian Camp Oven Festival being held in Millmerran



There’s an amazing museum at Millmerran


The WW1 Lighthorse display intrigued me, my great great uncle Captain George Hicks had been at Ennoggera before embarking for Egypt and onto Gallipoli then Palestine. He was at Romani and in the vicinity of Beersheba but not in the actual charge itself. A great uncle Percival James Barden was also in the 7th Lighthorse and served at Gallipoli, before transferring to other units.

A lot of room at Millmerran Museum – inside and out

Charlie Barden had spoken of the efforts to eradicate Prickly Pear, he called it “The Pear” – so no surprises to see Prickly Pear poison containers – but the Prickly Pear Wine ? Out along the Millmerran – Goondiwindi road they’re still prolific.

No museum’s complete without a Manual Telephone  Exchange


Country kitchen decor


and a Long Drop Dinkum Dunny


It was encouraging to see the road was open to Goondiwindi and great to see the Macintyre.



Where is  Goondiwindi ?



IMG_7271The Macintyre River dominates Goondiwindi and Boggabilla – and floods do threaten – on the Goondiwindi side, flood levees were installed decades ago.



The old bridge over the Macintyre River

The Old Goondiwindi Customs House by the Macintyre River



Goondiwindi Cemetery

Boggabilla on the other side of the Macintyre River

The Wobbly Boot Hotel. Dad’s great uncle Patrick Joseph McCosker had the licence for the hotel from 1919 till 1929. It’s the latest of the Boggabilla inns that date from 1866.


St Alban’s Boggabilla

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Boggabilla Cemetery



Day 53 – 54 – Miles to Toowoomba – 1.9.2013 and 2.9.2013

Dad lived in Toowoomba after WWII and it was a place I always wanted to visit.  In 1949 he lived at 734 Ruthven St (New England Highway) Toowoomba and 15 Goodwood St East Toowoomba – and occupation given as Painter. These days 734 is the Garden Restaurant, a Chinese Restaurant – coincidentally Dad always loved Chinese food, especially from MARS Thirroul.

We left Miles and headed south east – along the Warrego A32 Highway

  • Chincilla


  • Brigalow


  • past the Wilie Creek Coal Mine


  • Dalby
  • Past Malou Quarry area and south to Oakey with its power station


  • Caught behind an old red truck about 25 kms out of Toowoomba


  • Crossing the Great Dividing Range yet again


Finally Toowoomba – with its spring blossoms and wattle along the A2 and turning into the A3 along Ruthven St.


We set up the Green Machine for a few days at the Garden City Big 4 Caravan Park – on grass !


It wasn’t that far from either of the addresses that Dad lived at in Toowoomba in 1949.

Capture Dad Toowoomba

Capture Dad Goodwood

There was time for scenic drives at Toowoomba –  we called in at Preston Peak Wines – the Venus Re, Syrah Mouvedre Viognier, Cab Sav Carmanere,and Wildflower Sparkling Shiraz appealed as did the Golden Gleam “sticky” and the Tawny Shiraz was particularly nice. We left with a dozen bottles !



The courtesy bus, from the Big 4 Garden City Caravan Park out to the local RSL, enticed us to have dinner out there – we’d been told to reserve a table as it was popular.


Next morning it was out to the Toowoomba Military Museum in the old Drill Hall –  with its WW1, Milne Bay WW2 and Vietnam War Roll of Honour focus.




Warrant Officer Kevin “Dasher” Wheatley was featured prominently, and when I explained I had been at school with his kids, the Museum volunteers insist I place a poppy next to his photo. It’s one of the traditions they have at the museum.


Postscript – three years later the Black Diamond District Heritage Centre Bulli had an exhibition in the Vietnam War which I curated – and Dasher’s family kindly loaned items for the exhibition.

Lunch was at the Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba (opens 10-4), close to Toowoomba’s iconic Queens Park, at 27 Lindsay Street, Toowoomba. We were meeting some of Dad’s Barden relatives for the first time, sharing Barden and Adams stories and photographs.


Charlie Barden was very involved with the Cobb and Co Museum – we found it fascinating. Some of the family had been involved with Cobb and Co in Boggabilla about 100 years ago. Charlie loved telling old yarns.


Although Toowoomba is quite a large and growing city,  there are still glimpses of of its past to be found, especially around Queens Park and the Cobb & Co Museum.