destination Mt Isa
You can see the curvature of the earth on this wide flat country.

Back on the road again – destination Mt Isa

Hi all, we’ve been blessed to find ourselves living in Agnes Water and have enjoyed setting up our new home base, but the yearning for spending time on the road is never far from our thoughts. It’s a special feeling leaving our driveway, watching the towing mirror as the van settles behind the Isuzu D-Max, and any thoughts of work immediately dissipating into freedom. destination Mt Isa

I am very lucky to have a partner who loves the outdoors lifestyle and thrives when we’re on the road and off the grid. Though this trip was only a nine-day coastal run, it was a great way to re-live a few of the travelling memories from the past. It was this time last year we were camped with our oldest son Clint on the banks of the Gregory River. He had met us in Normanton, and we travelled to Karumba for a spell and then down to Gregory Downs, Camooweal and eventually on to his home in Mt Isa. destination Mt Isa

destination Mt Isa
The reward of the campsite.

It was the section from Gregory to Camooweal that I will forever hold close to my heart. As you travel the outback, the colours of the landscape fill your eyes and touch your soul. The bluest of skies collide with the red dust, and the dry vegetation seems to roll on forever. There are flat plains where it appears as though you can actually see the curvature of the earth, and the magical sunsets give way to the darkest nights, with the only light being from your fire and the stars.

These views remain consistent for days and suddenly, in an explosion to your eyes when you see it, the Gregory River appears. Most people tend to camp at the two areas within a stone’s throw of the Gregory Downs Hotel, by the bridge that crosses the Gregory River, while these are free camps, at times they are too crowded. Heading out of town, you’ll come across a left turn that takes you along bitumen to the Burke and Wills Roadhouse.

If you go straight ahead at this intersection instead of turning left, you’ve made a fantastic decision. This road soon turns to gravel with sizeable rocks, so caution should be taken with driving speed and weather conditions. You shouldn’t need a four-wheel-drive if you stick to the main road, but in saying that, the excellent quality of your tyres and tyre walls is paramount to you making the 160km.

This road is notorious for the hardship it places on your rubber, and many standard road tyres have been shredded to pieces by the sharp rocks. In fact, we met a traveller at the Gregory Downs Hotel who had lost two tyres on the above stretch.

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About Paul 'Chief' Graveson

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