New Years day 2006

Hello again.

We haven't said much about our route yet. Our route so far has taken us from Sydney into the Blue Mountains and north through Mussellbrook, Armidaale, around Ipswich avoiding Brisbane, Gympie and then on to the coast road the Bruce Highway.

We continued north until Gordonvale just south of Cairns and turned inland to Atherton. There is nothing much at Cairns but the boats to the reef and as we had done this before we avoided an over expensive town full of tourists.

The tablelands around Atherton were much cooler that the coast as we were at 3000 feet and it was very pleasant indeed. After this our route took us back down the Bruce Highway to Townsville where we turned inland again to Charters towers. From here, the road south through Emerald, Rollerston, Roma and St.George gradually changed from arid dry scrubland to a more fertile greener agricultural land.

At Emerald, daytime temperatures reached 41c and dropped to 28c at night. We have now fitted netting to the side and back doors of the van so we can sleep with the doors open. All sorts of insects are bothering us and as soon as we turn the light on in the evening we are inudated by small and large flies, moths, stick insects and cicaras. A quick spray of insecticide inside the van and a sweep up of all the dead ones all over the bed and it is safe to go to sleep.

We have by christmas covered 2000 miles with sometimes 100 miles of nothing including other vehicles. There are plenty of emus to be seen as well as many road casualty kangaroos. Often, we have to avoid large lizards crossing the road.

At St.George we came across a nice campsite by the river Warrego. The owners took in orphand wildlife and currently had a baby kangaroo and an emu. Both followed us around like pet animals. David has been looking for snakes since we have been here and has only spotted a couple of small ones. One night after dark he was walking towards the back of the van when Joan suddenly grabbed him and prevented him treading on a particularly large brown snake of unknown type. It slithered quietly away.

From St.George the desert and scrub continued on through Burke and Broken Hill and we ended up in Port Augusta, North of Adelaide on New Years eve. Here the temperature has reached a scorching record temperature of 46c with hotter forecast for tomorrow. ( Is it cold in England?)


Dave and Joan Wooldridge