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Ageing Traveller Series

The Ageing Traveller series is written by Rose Howell, who has been traveling the world for over 40 years, beginning with New Zealand and then the ‘Hippy trail’ in the 70’s. Her travels have taken her to; Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, South America, USA, Canada, China and the Pacific Islands. In total she has visited 67 countries plus all the states of Australia except Western Australia, and her goal is to make the century club. Her passion for travel is documented on her Facebook page.

Click here to find out more about Rose.

Outback trip to Mt Isa
(North Queensland)

At present my husband Ron and I are travelling in a small but spacious campervan throughout the Queensland outback. (May to July 2017).

Our van and 4x4 (photo by Rose Howell)
Our van and 4x4 (photo by Rose Howell)

Motorhome tour of north Queensland August 2000
www.avalook.com.au

Our mission is to visit our daughter Kellie (in Mt Isa) for the birth of her first child. (since writing this blog I am proud to announce I have a beautiful granddaughter ‘Lucy Rose’)

Daughter Kellie, with husband Shaun and baby Lucy (Photo by Rose Howell)
Daughter Kellie, with husband Shaun and baby Lucy
(Photo by Rose Howell)

Her husband Shaun is a geologist at the Mt Isa mine and is on a two year contract with a chance of staying longer.


Our journey began on the 15th May from Adelaide South Australia. First off, we had a wedding to attend in Byron Bay and the chance of catching up with our eldest daughter Angie and our grandsons Ryder and Hunter.

We fit the category of Grey Nomads because we bought a 4wd Nissan Pathfinder and a “Jayco Penguin” campervan for the trip and of course we are over 50.

Photo by Rose Howell outside camperPhoto by Rose Howell inside camper
Inside and outside camper (Photo by Rose Howell)

The first part of our journey took 4 days travelling up through the New England area to Byron Bay.
After spending three days there, on the 21st May we were off again heading into new territory, the Queensland outback.

“Please be mindful when travelling in outback Queensland that it is different to driving elsewhere. Road hazards such as livestock, long distances and flat terrain may take a little getting used to.” (Outback Queensland traveller’s guide 2017/18)

What can I say, but, interesting, boring, long hours travelling, few and far between small towns, interesting characters, fellow nomads and historical sites.

Road trains (Photo by Rose Howell)
Road trains (Photo by Rose Howell)

Cattle road train (Photo by Rose Howell)
Cattle road train (Photo by Rose Howell)

Stock, kangaroos and emus on the road, not to mention the 53 metre long road trains (semi-trailers with three to four trailers). Flood can be a problem as well in the wet season.

The wildlife come out at dusk and dawn so the idea is not to travel at those times. There is a lot of accidents caused by hitting kangaroos in particular. We saw a lot of road kill which is a shame for the wildlife.

Red Bellied snake – venomous (Photo by Rose Howell)
Red Bellied snake – venomous (Photo by Rose Howell)

Brolgas (Photo by Rose Howell)
Brolgas (Photo by Rose Howell)

Brolgas and wallabies (photo by Rose Howell)
Brolgas and wallabies (photo by Rose Howell)

We broke up the trip with many stops for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. We took our dog with us so we had to have numerous stops for him. Worse than having a toddler on board.
The one problem travelling with a dog is the weather. If you want to sight see and it is hot you can’t leave your dog in the car too long. Another issue is many National Parks will not permit dogs to come in so you are restricted there too.

Jasper resting at Karumba. (Photo by Rose Howell)
Jasper resting at Karumba. (Photo by Rose Howell)


We didn’t feel like we were really in the outback until we stayed in Longreach.
In this blog I would like to share what there is to see in Longreach “The gateway to the Queensland Outback”.

Longreach is the main community centre for the region, home to many historical stories and sites since the completion of the rail link in the late 1800’s.” (Outback Queensland traveller’s guide 2017/18)
Population 4,238.

Jasper checking out Longreach caravan park – 100’s of vans (Photo by Rose Howell)
Jasper checking out Longreach caravan park – 100s of vans
(Photo by Rose Howell)


Longreach caravan park, at least 100 vans there (Photo by Rose Howell)

Firstly we booked into the caravan park in the late afternoon. The temperature was around 35 degrees and the park was red dirt and gum (eucalypt) trees. To me that was the outback look at last.

I couldn’t believe the amount of caravans in this park. The park holds 306 vans and has at least 30 or more cabins and several tent sites. I think it was the largest caravan park I have ever seen. Most of the guests were Grey Nomads like us. Some of which have sold everything including their houses and have been travelling around Australia for up to 10 years or more.

The reason there are so many here is that the weather between June and August is the best time to visit. It isn’t too hot and is cool in the evenings. During the summer it is wet and humid.

What is there to see?

  • Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame – pays tribute to Australia's pioneering legends and outlines our outback history. Includes artefacts, electronic displays, photographs and films. (It is well worth the visit. Expect to spend at least 2 hours there. Longer if you attend the live Stockman show)

  • Qantas Founders Museum – commemorates the founders of this great Australian company that became a leader in world aviation. Be guide through a passenger jet, take a wing walk or test your skills in the flight simulator.

  • Cruises and Outback Shows – Step aboard one of three magnificent boats and spend an evening on the Thomson River complete with sunset, dinner and entertainment.

  • Cobb & Co Tours – Experience the pioneering history on a Cobb & Co stage coach as you gallop through the Longreach common paddocks. Afterwards enjoy the Old Time Tent Show and browse through outback products.

  • Camden Park Station Tour – Meet the Walker family on their property as you experience a working sheep and cattle station. Walk through the historical homestead gardens, shearing sheds and cattle yards.

It was suggested to us that to see everything you need at least 5 days. We only had a few hours so we got to see the Hall of Fame museum.

“It is an impressive building and covers six major galleries.

  • Royal flying doctors
  • Aboriginal workers in the pastoral industry (very interesting)
  • Outback properties
  • Pioneers
  • Stock workers
  • Hugh Sawrey art gallery (the history of the Stockmans Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre was created from the vision of Hugh Sawrey in 1974. He wanted to create a memorial to the pioneers of Australian outback and preserve the outbacks rich cultural heritage.

It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988 and since then has attracted over 1.5 million visitors from around the world.” Australian Stockmans Hall of Fame. www.stockmanshalloffame.com.au

Hall of fame (Photo by Rose Howell)
Hall of fame (Photo by Rose Howell)

Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame (Photo by Rose Howell)
Photo by Rose Howell

Museum piece (photo by Rose Howell)
Museum piece (photo by Rose Howell)

Brahman bull (Photo by Rose Howell)
Brahman bull (Photo by Rose Howell)

Brahman bull (Photo by Rose Howell)
Brahman bull (Photo by Rose Howell)

Stockman and his mate who do a show at the hall of fame (Photo by Rose Howell)
Stockman and his mate who do a show at the hall of fame
(Photo by Rose Howell)

Qantas museum (Photo by Rose Howell)
Qantas museum (Photo by Rose Howell)

Historical building Longreach (Photo by Rose Howell)
Historical building Longreach (Photo by Rose Howell)

 

How to get there?
Rail - Spirit of the Outback – Brisbane to Longreach
Air – Qantas and Rex
Coach – Bus Queensland
Self drive – outbackqueensland.com.au

 

Rose Howell Biography

Rose has been traveling the world for over 40 years, beginning with New Zealand and then the ‘Hippy trail’ in the 70’s. Her travels have taken her to; Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, South America, USA, Canada, China and the Pacific Islands. In total she has visited 67 countries plus all the states of Australia except Western Australia, and her goal is to make the century club.
She has taken all kinds of transport and accommodation from budget to luxury. She has travelled through war zones, survived a bus accident in the Andes and visited areas that are no longer available to tourists, such as the Khyber Pass and Bamiyan Statues in Afghanistan.

Rose wants to inspire others to travel and offers free advice to all travellers in particular those who are embarking on their first travel experience. She has a passion for travel and since retiring from an Adult teaching position with TafeSA, has recently resumed clocking up kilometres interstate and overseas.
Her daughters have inherited the travel bug from their parents. The eldest daughter is a travel journalist/documentary maker based in a beautiful area called ‘Byron Bay’ in New South Wales and with her husband, has two globetrotting toddlers who at the age of 5 and 2 also love to travel. Her youngest daughter and fiancé have recently returned from 2 years working and traveling in the UK and Europe. They have only been home a couple of months and are already getting restless. Oh the travel bug!!!!

You can see more of Rose's travels on:
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