Sandy Beach Russell Island

On the southern end of Russell Island is a patch of Sand that is known as Sandy Beach. When the tide is out there s sand there, and around the corner is a sheltered spot people like to swim, not worrying about the sharks that are also swimming around in this area, making it not really a safe swimming place.

The Island is 13 kms long, so Sandy Beach is the longest drive for charging up a vehicle, and it also is a great place for walking dogs, or just enjoying the view. The downer is Sandy Beach is also the home of millions of sand midges and you do need insect repellent at dusk and dawn and also the rest of the day. Many birds spend time at the waters edge at low tide, and there are sand crabs that also live here.

Its also a great fishing place…and in season, which is the months of the year with “r” in it.. September to April…the waters are rich in mud crabs. Fishing here is mainly brim, and also squid, but the prize has to be the mud crab which you need a watched crab pot to catch. ‘Watched’ because there are crab pot thieves who steal the crabs as well as the pots.

Sandy Beach is a beautiful spot to bring the family for a picnic. The Lions Club have created a camping area here as well as playground equipment and great picnic shelters with tables and a free electric barbecue. There is fresh water for drinking and washing and cold showers and a great public toilet, but, don’t forget the insect spray.

Sunrise at Russell Island

Every so often a sunrise appears that is stunning and memorable. This one started as a dark glow in the morning sky and grew into something spectacular because it was simply different.

I thought the sunrise was over and then the colors changed again and suddenly the sky was spectacular again

Below the Black Swan swam placidly in the ever changing colors of the water reflecting the amazing sky, and slowly the day begun

Sapphire RSL Club Queensland

The Sapphire Gemfields is situated in Central Queensland on the tropic of Capricorn, 320 km West of Rockhampton, 400 Km East of Longreach and 42 km West of Emerald on the Capricorn highway. It was time to find another camping place at Sapphire, and I went to the RSL Club

where there is camping for veterans behind the club. Here there are grassed areas with power for $20 a night, and hot showers and toilets as well as a washing machine and of course access to the club on the nights it was open. There was a kitchen fully equipped with everything a traveller would need, including a barbecue and cooking bench top and an open fire that I lit up first thing in the morning from the coals of the night before. A donated woodpile meant wood was available and it was chopped and ready daily.

The added bonus was access to the Greens, the open to public free fossicking area where you could fossick for sapphire. You need a license, available online, and after searching for possible sapphires, you could bring the sand back and wash it in the tubs available behind the kitchen. Across the road there was also free fossicking areas all walking distance from the camp.

The caravan park which also sold hot food, and food supplies in a small grocery area also included meat and vegetables and fruit, means that you are centrally located with access to everything you need to be comfortable. I liked Sapphire so much that I stayed there ten days, and enjoyed the friendly veterans also camping there.

The River, which now has no water, was also walking distance and I would walk up and back searching for the elusive sapphire.

Sunset At Russell Island

It is not easy to see the sunrise or the sunset on Ooncooncoon Bay from my house as I am facing north. The sun rises in the East, and the last month I have been seeing the sunrise as the sun has been rising more north. The sunset however is hidden behind the trees, so seeing this one, where the entire sky went into color was rather special especially as it was joined by a beautiful sickle moon

My property looks across at Lamb Island, and I can see the ferries and barges as they visit the island on the way to the mainland or back to Lamb Island, then Macleay, Karragarra and then the mainland. This morning the sunrise sky was pink and mauve and beautiful .

Possum Park Miles Queensland

Camped at Possum Park

I went to the Information Centre at Tarooma asking where to camp and was told to visit Possum Pak at Miles. It was actually a few kms before Miles as I drove along and Possum Park was certainly a delight. My first impression was a wonderful garden in the dry country and meeting the friendly owner was enlightening.

Possum Park lies nestled in 360 acres of tranquil bushland, 20 kilometres from Miles in south west Queensland.  Now know as Possum Park, Kowguran Explosives Depot was a World War 2 ammunition dump located 20 kms north of Miles in Queensland. The property was bought to be used as a storage area but the owners soon realised the potential for converting it into accommodation units and Possum Park was born.

Camping is $10 in unpowered and $15 in powered. There are great toilets and showers and a well equipped camp kitchen with barbecue areas and shaded shelters with fresh water and hand hewn tables and seating. Every night a campfire hosted by a staff member with a wealth of local knowledge creates a friendly meeting place. I cooked and shared a damper on the fire and everyone is very friendly and happy to chat and share experiences.

The owners purchased a Qantas aircraft which is currently being renovated into an apartment. There is an old railway train, Kowguran, also converted into a library, reading room and games area as well as accommodation. The surrounding garden and grassed areas provides a relaxing environment and playground for kids and adults.

I particularly enjoyed the birds and the green grass and the trees and the walks. It is a tranquil home away from home and a sanctuary for the traveller on the road.

Isla Gorge Queensland

Isla Gorge

I travelled here from Biloela after the Information Centre recommended the Gorge. I booked 3 nights through National Parks and arrived to discover I was the only camper on the mountain. I set up in a spot just near the edge of the gorge so I could see the gorge and the sunrise.

Isla Gorge lies between the townships of Theodore in the north and Taroom in the south, on the Leichhardt Highway. Just 1.3 km in from the Leichhardt Highway the bush camping and picnic area is a perfect place to stop and stay. A stunning natural viewing area, overlooking Gorge Creek and across to Devil’s Nest – a large cluster of jagged rocks jutting up from a distant ridge.

Isla Gorge is a national park in Queensland, Australia, 415 km northwest of Brisbane, gazetted in 1964. It contains a rest area with toilets and a camping area, situated along the Leichhardt Highway just south of Theodore.

Isla Gorge National Park is located on the traditional lands of the Wulli Wulli and Jiman Aboriginal people at the southern end of Dawson Ranges, between the townships of Theodore and Tarooma, 415km northwest of Brisbane. The park has two areas open to visitors – the Flagstaff Section and the Isla Gorge Lookout. The main feature of the park is the sandstone which has eroded to form sandstone cliffs and gorges.

At the Flagstaff Section is the most remote of the two areas of the park open to visitors. There are two walking trails – Hand Paved Road and Glenmoral Lookout. Both tracks are classified as a grade 4 track due to unevenness and some steep sections. Each track is said to take 45 minutes each . The Isla Gorge Lookout is a 10 min walk each way along a track that follows a ridge giving fantastic views from both sides.

There is a camping area located at the Isla Gorge Lookout section of the park. The area is 1.3 kilometres off the Leichhardt Highway along a gravel road which is accessible to all vehicles and small/medium caravans and motorhomes. Facilities at the campground include a composting toilet, picnic tables and fire pits.

Magnificent sunrise and sunset from the Gorge Lookout


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