The joy of freedom camping

Beautiful free camp area

Can you see Matilda? She is tucked in behind the middle gum tree.

The hammocks up the solar panels out Matilda is in her element…

Well I hope I don’t lose this post… I will click the draft button regularly… Have you ever lost a post? Isn’t it frustrating? (See I have read the latest Daily Post article!!!)

Well we left Townsville on Thursday. The friendly and efficient people at Town Automatics had given Matilda a full body wash, she sparkled both outside and in, she purred along. It was so good to be back on the road again. Staying at the Backpackers had been an experience, (more of that in another post)

A stop for groceries and wine and we headed north.” Now wait a minute” I can hear you saying, “I thought you were heading south and home!” Well we have been told to run the new gear box in for 500 to 1000 kilometres then bring her back for fine tunings. This is a lovely part of the country and still lots of areas to explore, the weather is perfect, not too hot and humid, with a pleasant breeze. It could change any day as cyclone season is looming. Hopefully we will be further south by then. So we head north…

With the music playing  we head out. At 12-30pm and 35 kilometres from Townsville we pull into the Blue Water rest area for lunch. A small bush area is inviting to walk and explore to find the toilets and to stretch our legs before leaving. Round the corner and we see over the other side of the sports ground a number of caravans and campers parked. When we drive over to check it out we find this beautiful free camp area. It has large shady trees, toilets, cold shower and drinking water on tap. Only 3 other campers and space under a lovely, old, shade tree. It is just too tempting so we decide to stay over night.

The original plan was to drive to Paluma National Park, approx 100 kilometres from Townsville. The last 10-12 kilometres is up a very steep, narrow, winding road to the national park area which I have been told is beautiful. Not too many hills around here so thought this drive would be a good test for the new gear box, make or break it time….

Now it is 3 days later and we are still here…

Bush area in front of the camp area

This is the area that is between the camp and the main road. Then when I went exploring in the other direction, and followed a narrow little track it took me down to a creek. What a beautiful place, clean, clear water reflecting the paperbark and gum trees that lined the bank. Perfectly safe for swimming, no crocodiles or any other nasties. Jack was straight in…

The narrow track down to the creek

Reflections in the creek in the early morning light

We parked next to Lizzie and her little dog Raven. We all bonded immediately. Lizzie was born the same year as me and has been on the road 16 years, she has been round Australia 5 times. Her latest trip, last year, she travelled round in a year and never paid for any accommodation, she used free camping areas, she knows all the good, bad and indifferent areas right round Australia and has lots of stories to tell of her adventures, great company. Next day another friend of Lizzie’s turned up. James is another regular full-time traveller and he also has a dog. Stanley is only a young dog and full of bounce, vigour and vim. It was a laugh to see him stirring old Raven up.

The next night, Friday, was to be the local community country and western night with hamburger and chips dinner. On Saturday it is farmers market day. Lizzie gave us all this information so of course we had to stay. Now Liz has just brought out her key-boards to entertain us all so that’s all blogging I am doing today, also the solar panel will only give a certain amount of power and I think it is nearly to its capacity. Bye for now I will get back with tales of country n western shin-digs and true Aussie blue community spirit, it’s just great….

Could be here a while, Paluma has been there for millions of years I’m sure it will still be there when we eventually get to it…

Categories: Australia, australian travel, freedom camping, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “The joy of freedom camping

  1. Pingback: The People I Meet « gypsy life

  2. Beautiful scenery around, interesting people to be met…looks like you are having a really good time! That’ s the way to go! 🙂

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  3. any excuse to delay the journey home

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  4. You are having so much fun – keep it up 🙂

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  5. Jenn

    Ah what a life 🙂 perhaps one day i will follow suit 🙂 i know a lot of my friends have the dream of getting a winnebago and taking off around this beautiful country of ours 🙂

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    • G’day Jen, yes there are a lot of people travelling in bigger and bigger motor homes. We think smaller is easier. But just go for it when you are ready, there are ways to travel that do not cost a million dollars…

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      • Jenn

        smaller is certainly easier … every week i see more and more vans towing small cars heading out to set up camp and enjoy themselves 🙂

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  6. Sounds like you’re having a ball – it’s a great excuse to head north again for a while. Good on Matlida 😀

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    • Hello Dianne We move on this morning feeling so relaxed and ready to go, don’t know what today will bring, watch this space…

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  7. Andrea

    All I can say – don’t miss Paluma! It’s such a beautiful place. Little village and an amazing rainforest. Walk the 3ks to the lookout, where you’ll see the ocean. And when it’s really hot outside, it’s always cool in Paluma. The drive up is beautiful as well (just drive carefully and not too fast). Before you hit the serpentines, have a look at Paradise Waterhole. There’s a National Park Campground with nice facilities and also an area for Daytime Using for free. There’s a nice waterhole to go for a swim. Somewhere on the way to Paluma is the Little Paradise Waterhole, very nice as well. After Paluma you could get to the Paluma Lake, but it’s recommended using a 4WD. I did it two years ago with my Toyota Camry Station Wagon and for the 11ks I needed about an hour (it’s a really rocky road).

    The Blue Water Free Campground is nice. I went a few times for a swim, but the current there was pretty strong (it was just after the rain season, so the creek was pretty full).

    Happy Travels!

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    • G’day Andrea, so good to have that information I am really looking forward to Paluma I have had so many people tell me how beautiful it is. The best part of our type of travel is we can take our time, we have no set plans, just go with the flow…

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      • Hi Andrea Monday morning now and there has been an out of control bush fire in the Paluma region so may not be able to get in this time…

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  8. Pomm-
    Looks like heaven. Good for Matilda!
    Cindy

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