I took a flex day on the Friday, so we could pack and we hit the road with Graham, heading south down the highway to Calliope (just over 100km). We set up camp under the gum trees at Calliope Sports Ground, and said hello to a few fellow campers. We were pleased to meet an old acquaintance from Gin Gin - Richard. In the evening we walked down the road to the
Although, on Saturday, some people took off early on walks, we decided on a relaxed start, and spent the morning socialising before a very enjoyable drive and walk in the afternoon to Bindawalla Gorge. This small, but picturesque area is along Tablelands Rd, which leads to Kroombit Tops. Howard and his wife were the walk leaders, pointing out features on the way...such as the unique 'emu' mailbox along the road. On arrival at the crossing on
A short walk downstream led to a flat rocky area, where we had afternoon tea, and some walkers cooled off by going for a swim in a waterhole. Around this location, I saw native Pepperomia, and Hoya, along with some Shield Ferns - quite lovely!
On the way back to the cars we saw some wonderful fig trees, and finally found some Burdekin Plum trees with fruit dropping from the trees.
We had brought along our Canadian canoe to go on the canoe trip on Sunday, and discovered in the morning that, apart from the leaders, Noel and Bev, we were the only partakers. The trip started from the 'Old Bridge' picnic area on the Calliope River, which had lots of campers enjoying the banks. We found a good spot to launch, and started a leisurely paddle upstream. Huge trees hung precariously to the high banks..some looking like they might fall in the next flood.This river has no barrages or weirs, and is tidal, but, even so, we were surprised to round a corner to see hardy, fresh-tolerant mangroves, and stingrays startled by our passing. Fish were in abundance, from millions of small fry, up to probably a half-metre in length. We stopped on a sandbank for morning tea at an area which seemed to be close to the limit of the tidal effect.
Along the banks there appeared to be some sort of quarry. We came across a camper/fisherman, but he said he hadn't caught much. There were several ducks along the way.
There are some really big pools, full of fish, and we eventually turned around and headed back to 'barbecuearea', a sand-bank which had an old rusted metal BBQ grill sitting on the spit. This was where we enjoyed our lunch, a really peaceful spot. The trip back was equally relaxing and enjoyable, apart from some cattle which startled and then ran along beside us for around a kilometre. Eventually we swapped to the opposite side of the river, and they lost interest in us.
At night we enjoyed the dinner provided by the Gladstone club, and were then entertained by skits, including one with a fantastic Ozzie dunny, bush poetry, and the handing over of the 'Wolca Stick' to the club which will host the event in 2009.
On Monday, many walkers headed off on the many interesting walks which had been organised, but I was intending to have a relaxing day, and as Darryl was still feeling a little ill, we decided to pack up and head home. What a lovely weekend! Thanks Gladstone Club!
Check the photo album for more photos.....