Our original plan for today was to either drive to Longreach (an outback town) or go to Rockhampton for tomorrow evenings rodeo show, but we still hadn't decided which one when we woke up. Ideally we would have gone to Longreach from Rockhampton, but I don't think we'd have been able to fit everything in before the 9th (Blake- the Surfer's Paradise manager- wants us to go to the new menu meeting then), so we decided against both, with the intention of taking a trip to see somewhere in the outback whilst in Surfer's.
Alice wanted to get her phone sorted out (it wasn't charging last night) so we went back to the shopping centre, and used the Wi-Fi until the shops opened. Whilst she was in the phone shop, I was in the book shop, slyly noting the places we could camp for free from the camping book. Once I'd jotted those down, I was flicking through an outback travel guide and decided Longreach looked heaps better than anywhere near (or relatively near) Surfer's Paradise so when Alice met me there, we spontaneously changed our plans and commenced on the 8 and a half hours journey to Longreach. Alice spotted a 'shortcut' in the road map, so we took that... it was only after we took it that I noticed in the symbol key the hollow lined roads meant 'unsealed', which we had been told not to drive on by the Jucy man. This meant that for long stretches of the road, it was just a red, gravelly track. It was definitely an experience though- I feel like we've seen more of the outback than most. There were loads of cows by the sides of the road, and towards the evening spotted some kangaroos. We kept seeing school bus signs, and every time thought 'why on earth would you go down this every day' but then we saw the school bus- it only had about 5 seats. The radio couldn't tune to any stations, and so I really enjoyed to singing songs instead.
When we eventually got to Longreach, we cheekily asked the woman at the reception for the proper campsite where the free campsite was.