The LeLievres

Townsville Travel Blog

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Cattle droving on the Gregory Developmental Road between Capella and Charters Towers.
Long drive today to get to Townsville for a few nights with our friends, the LeLievre's.  Much of today's drive is along the development road, which is basically just a way of getting from one place to another - very little scenery as such, very few towns and lots of wide open country.  In it's own way, this type of country is quite beautiful - very stark and open and no doubt incredibly unforgiving.  We saw some baby emus walking along the fence, looks like they've were out for an explore without Mum and Dad, although maybe they had been kicked out to start life on their own!  From an Aussie perspective, we were most amused to see that Barry Crocker would be leading the Carols by Candlelight at Capella - he must be getting very hard up for work to be way out here, or very philanthropic!
The main danger of the development roads (apart from animals) is the road train.
Noel and friends at a coffee stop along the Gregory Developmental Road just before the road goes single lane.
  Road trains are huge semi-trailers with lots of trailers.  They are very long and travel very fast so best to keep out of their way.  Luckily we only passed one so we gave him a wide berth - although this is tricky when the road is only one car width and the verge is 10metres of stodgy sand!  Better than being annihilated, though!
We stopped at Charters Towers for lunch, an old gold mining town, once again with some glorious old buildings to wander past.  We were hoping to see the Venus Battery which is now open for tours, but found that it doesn't open over summer because of the heat.  We are now in a part of the country that lives with excessive heat continually - don't think we could do it full time.
This time of year is stinger season in northern Queensland. Stingers are poisonous jelly fish, the sting of which can kill you. Most tourist places have special beaches with nets that you can swim in, but is is not safe to swim in un-netted areas.
  After a long day travelling, it was fantastic to arrive in Townsville and have a swim in Naomi and Peter's pool - what more could you want.
Our Townsville sojourn was basically to catch up with our friends that we haven't seen for a long time so did not do a lot of sight-seeing.  We had a great afternoon with Nay and Pete down at the Waterfront, sitting in a pub,drinking and eating - very civilized.  Unfortunately, just before we arrived there had been a helicopter crash near Fiji involving the Australian army, the soldiers involved being based at Townsville.  We were in town on the morning of the pilot's funeral and we saw the Blackhawk chopper fly-over for the funeral.  They sat around Magnetic Island for quite a while and then flew across the city in memory of those who died.  It was an incredible sight, but a very sad occasion to be seeing them.
Townsville at this time of year is normally quite humid, but luckily it hadn't really set in, so much more comfortable then when we were there 7 years ago.  The town has really developed too, and seems a pretty good place to live.
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Cattle droving on the Gregory Deve…
Cattle droving on the Gregory Dev…
Noel and friends at a coffee stop …
Noel and friends at a coffee stop…
This time of year is stinger seaso…
This time of year is stinger seas…
photo by: tamara1973