Lake Callide, Gayndah and back to Mooloolaba
And so we left Lake Nuga Nuga. Our track took us through small towns, some looking prosperous but surrounded by ugly mining areas. Here even the blacktop was rough and potholed, the natural legacy of the huge trucks travelling in large numbers to and from mining sites. Holdups on the road because of the constant roadworks were common and eventually irritating as the delays and waiting became longer and longer and the crews "working" on the roads seemed not to give a damn about the road users. We stopped for information on the area in Biloela and a most helpful volunteer in the Tourist Information suggested we try out the free camping on Callide Dam, a bit to the north.
The dam was very picturesque but the looming power station dominated the view just a little... So we explored some cross country tracks taking us through farming land and forestry all with a view to finding a better camping spot. To no avail and we carefully retraced our steps to Lake Callide, found a spot off the road next to the water and settled down to watch the birdlife on the shores and watch the power station light up like the proverbial Christmas tree. Much prettier it was at night than by day!
Our last stop for a scenic interlude was Cania Gorge which we had been told was little-known and well worth the trip. We wandered around the Cania Dam which was moderately pretty and then, in the NationalPark, followed some walking tracks to 19th century gold diggings. A walk along the gorge walls themselves was steep, interesting and very pretty with several tracks to follow. However the main track to a lookout over the gorge was probably the most disappointing view we had ever toiled to get to!
As always with long trips, once you are within striking distance of home, there seems no great desire to linger or just mosey around the district. So, we settled down for a night in an "interesting" campground in Gayndah - home of mandarine orchards and the obligatory Big Mandarine - with a reasonably decent meal in the local pub and then pressed on the next day through Maryborough, Tin Can bay and to finally arrive in Mooloolaba.
Thus finished a nearly two month trip away from home (though we were still to head home to Sydney) encompassing four States and one Territory, 10 000 kilometres of road and off-road travel, 1200-odd sand dunes, crowded campgrounds in towns to remote campsites all to ourselves. We had great company on our two trips across the Simpson and up the Hay River track - thanks guys, we did have fun!
Before even arriving home, our discussions were all about the next trip…