Feb 6, 2010

Wells Crossing - Old Benalbo

Copeton Dam was a big dissapointment, we had entered via Auburn Vale road and went looking for the CAW5 – 271 site, we expected the water levels to be low but didn’t expect the millions of mozzie’s & sandfly’s that greeted us. We were literally swarmed by them and in the time i had left the car door open the inside was alive with every one of them, no need to discuss whether we would like to stay here and it was a quick grab of the mortein spray and fumigated the van & car and out of there! The Bastard mongrel things were still crawling out from under seats and dash mats for many kilometres later biting any flesh they could find. The dash mat is littered with thousands of dead mozzie’s.

Where to now? As we were expecting to camp up here a week we hadn’t thought much further, a quick look at the map’s and we decided to head via Inverell and check out Pindari Dam near Ashford. We took the dirt road out from Bukkulla through some beautiful countryside, everything lush & green. We came across a beautiful camp spot at Wells Crossing 7klms East of Ashford on the Pindari Dam road, this will do us we thought as we drove in and liked what we saw, green grass, shelters with benches, lovely shadey tree’s and a water tank full of clean rain water, and beside the Severn River. It was hot and we made use of the river and sat on the bank and cooled off.

Wells Crossing

Pindari Dam

We should have unhitched the van and driven out to the Dam to check things out but i didn’t as i thought if it’s any good we will stay and save the double trip, if not we will just come back to Wells Crossing. As it turned out Pindari was not Caravan friendly with lousy signage pointing to where large caravans & buses can park but no parking, we drove down to the water’s edge and the ground was very uneven and the banks covered in slime and mud. Back up the top the view was lovely and we did find a parking area that we could have turned around in but we thought, what then? So we headed back to Well’s Crossing, Bugger our ‘spot’ had been taken and though we thought about stopping anyway we choose to continue on and head to Bonshaw Weir, [CAW5-240] Hoped you enjoyed it Kimberley Karavan Travellers.

This was another lovely camp spot, the Weir wasn’t as nice as the Severn River we had left but the area was clean with freshly mowed grass, shelters & tables and basic toilet amenities. The weather was hot in the sun but lovely sitting in the shade so that was about as much as we did, lazed around and read book’s and watched the bird life flitting around us.

Bonshaw Weir

Texas ... even the name makes you want to visit, i know it did for me as it was always one of those towns i wanted to drive through. The name arose from when the McDougal Brothers originally settled on the land around 1840, the property was abandoned in the 50’s while they went in search of gold, when they returned they found another settler had taken over and it was sometime before they were able to establish it back, in 1936 Texas USA was at war with Mexico fighting for independence and the McDougalls called their property Texas as their dispute was similar.

Texas is situated on the Dumaresq River, Tobacco played a large part in the history of the area but these days it’s primarly a beef & sheep grazing area. We did some shopping, said hello to a stray dog which is always a worry because Vickie & stray’s dogs could mean ..... can we keep it, Gladly that didn’t happen as we convinced ourselves that it wasn’t stray as it had a collar. We left Texas and drove on to Inglewood, So here we were well and truly in Qld! We were only 3 weeks ahead of schedule so what did we do? Turned around and headed back into NSW but this time we went via Coolmunda Dam [no camping here despite what CAW5 say’s] and then swung south and headed to Pikedale and Stanthorpe.

Nice Shade of Green

Coolmunda Dam

We were heading to Bald Rock campground but an error on my part on not working out the distance as to what fuel we had left meant we had to start praying whether we would make it in and out and then down to Tenterfield, not wanting to risk running out we choose to drive to Tenterfield, it must have been close because when i filled up the 114lt fuel tank it took 118lt, too close for comfort because when the Big Effy's engine stops it means power steering and power brakes also stop, not a good feeling when in such hilly terrain. But we made it and headed to Tenterfield Showground’s for a stay, BUT we didn’t count on the Tenterfield Show being on and camping was full. Only ourselves to blame as we don't pre plan our trips, no worries neither of us are into the side show’s for amusement so we decided to head down the road to a place called Crooked Creek [CAW5-239] but once we left Tenterfield the rain came pouring down, the Bruxner Highway is windy & steep and it was relief when we came across the camp site, it is a steep road in and for security i choose low range 4WD, just as well as it was very slippery & muddy down the bottom. One other camper was there so we just parked up, i set up the water collecting bucket and we spent most of the day inside listening to music and reading. The tanks were all full in the morning with clean fresh rain water, too easy!

Crooked Creek

The drive out was fine, again in low range 4WD we just cruised on up and onto the highway, a few kilometres up we took a narrow windy dirt track to Benalbo, we had a few vehicles pass us either way on the very scenic drive. Benalbo looked to be a quaint town but we copped a few glares from some locals as we drove through the town, not the most welcoming of places we thought. 10klms further on we are at Old Benalbo ... lovely camp spot, green grass, shelter’s & tables and the loo. The rain is still showering down, there is a creek running by us so maybe some yabbie’s with our steaks again tonight, we have phone & internet signal so a good time to catch up with ‘everything’


Anonymous said...

just to let you know there is now plenty of camping at the coolmunda dam right near the water.

Mick said...

Thanks, as you can see it was very dry when we were there.