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Mission Beach to Clermont

24th to 26th August

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We were up and about early, and decided to take our breakfast over to the beach for a last farewell. It was beautiful again, and we even had a paddle before we left.


We hit the road around 9ish, and had a big day driving. We drove south through Cardwell and down to Townsville, through sugar cane country. We had to stop at a railway crossing for the sugar train to chug through.


We had initially planned on going just past Townsville, however we got there around 1.30pm, and Pete was fine to keep on driving. We decided we’d keep going until he was ready to stop, as there were a number of free camps along the way so we could pull in when ready. We ended up driving 550km, heading inlaid from Townsville and stopping at Blackwell National Park rest area. It was a bit of a boring drive once we left Townsville as it is just one road, although it was nice to see bush land and scrub areas as we had on the way up. The campsite was small and there was only one other caravan there when we got there around 4.30pm. We did a quick set-up – not much to do when staying only one night and you don’t disconnect from the car or have power and water to deal with. We noticed there was a little camp fire area, so rummaged around to gather some wood and Pete quickly lit a fire.


As we were sitting there with a drink another caravan pulled in and set up. It was starting to get dark and was really lovely sitting by the fire. Pete invited the new people over and we sat chatting to them for an hour or so. They were older than us, and new to caravanning and travelling so were asking us lots of questions. Seems very strange that we have experience that others want to know about and learn from.

We all went our separate ways and we had our dinner by the fire, and of course marshmallows to follow. It was a lovely dark and quiet site, in the middle of nowhere. We had no TV or internet so was peaceful. We ended up listening to more of our audio book that we had started that day. We slept really well, although there was the odd road train passing throughout the night.

We were on the road again around 9ish, again the one road and all the way through to Clermont – about 200km. We stopped for fuel at the only place on the way – Belyando Crossing Service Station, and arrived in Clermont around midday. Not much to report along the way, lots of road kill again which brings eagles and other birds to the roadside, and a number of emus in the scrub.


We set up at another free camp 2km out of town, and went to explore Clermont. We knew nothing about the place, and at first glance it really wasn’t anything special. We found a café for lunch and were really surprised at how great the food was – lots of choice and really fresh when it arrived. After lunch we wandered around the town, but couldn’t find an information centre. We had a drive out of town to a place called Copperfield that had been a mining town for a few years at the end of the 1800’s, visiting the general store and the chimney – the only things left.


We learnt that Clermont town had been in a different location prior to 1916 flood that washed the town away, so went down to the river to see if there was any water there now. And wow – it was really beautiful! They have made a walkway along both sides, rebuilt the bridge that got washed away in the flood, and created a memorial walk. We walked both sides of the river and looked at all the points of interest. There were lots of birds in and around the water, and turtles too. It was really peaceful and beautiful, and not what you would expect of a small inland country town.


We had a drive around the outer streets and looked at the houses and other parts of town – it is so clean. Definitely a lovely place to stop for one night.

Posted by Capes Crusaders 03:20 Archived in Australia

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