Julia Richmond Charts the Towers with a Tuba Luva

Sunrise at the back of the Julia Creek caravan park

Julia Creek was our next overnight stop and it was a classic Queensland outback town. It had a few pubs and a couple of overpriced grocery stores—and no bakery. But I thought it was cool.

Main street Julia Creek
the toilet cassette. Just so you don’t think we spend all our time posing for photos and being glamorous.

We drove from JC to Richmond because I was keen to find some fossils and the place is quite fossilful.  You pay $5 at Kronosaurus Korner and drive 10 km to a couple of sites where you can break some rocks and every child wins a prize. There’s fossilised stuff in all of the rocks you crack. Shells are the most numerous, but I was dying to find a fish. In fact I dropped the rest of the family back to the van so I could spend more time cracking those layers looking for the big one. No such luck, but I did get a heap of shells.

Kronosaurus Korner display Richmond
This is what I wanted to find
This is what I did find.
Moonrise from the free BBQ on the lake at Richmond

We got an early start the next day and did the 400 or more kms to Charters Towers. We stopped in Hughenden to look for Johnny Whaleboat. I mentioned him in the last post, but got all my facts mixed up, as he was a solid guy; it turns out the cane knife culprit was Brett B in Tully, which makes more sense, as Hughenden, as charming as it is, would not grow a stick of sugarcane. It did have a Holden themed café though and we stopped there for morning tea. The business is for sale if you’re interested.

We have seen so many magnificent wedge tailed eagles snacking on fresh kanga roadkill. They are a real treat to spot and this photo does it no justice, they are enormous and to see see them take off with their huge wingspans is awe inspiring. Almost as awesome as my ability to drive a vehicle towing a large caravan and take wildlife snapshots at the same time.
Look what other obstacles we came across on the way to Hughenden
Entering Hughenden in my safari suit
Hugenden local
Cafe for sale
She didn’t touch the jukebox but she did have feet….. oops
In the middle of the main street of Hughenden
water from the great artesian basin

The Big 4 was our home away from home at Charters and it was just around the corner from Tor’s Drive-in, so we decided to introduce the kids to the joys of sitting in a car to watch a movie (although Lou and Monja sat just outside). I am proud to say that I remembered to remove the speaker from the window before we drove away. Charters Towers is quite a large and busy town that had it’s hey day in the gold rush times. I was amazed to see so many wonderful old buildings that were so well preserved. The place was full of them. It made me wonder what Brisbane may have looked like if we had have had a far sighted, sensitive, intelligent leader guiding us through those boom years of the seventies and the eighties rather than a rat cunning, maniacal, jack booted dictator who was hell bent on lining the pockets of every slick, greedy shyster that could fill a brown paper bag with cash and write ‘To Joh with love’ on it.  Charters was another revelation. There has been countless places that we have visited on this trip that I had heard of and pictured as being about as interesting as a cold bowl of celery soup (without sour cream), but they have turned out to be little gems with their own unique offering waiting to be uncovered.

The community area at the van park in Charters
So many old buildings in Charters
the kids first night at a drive-in ever
I wonder if they’re restless?
Now why don’t they ever seem to have cream sherry ads anymore?
The Charters Stock Exchange from the gold days
The old school of mining Charters now an arts centre
Hanging round outside the CWA hall

Tim and I looked at the map and decided to take the Gregory Developmental Road up the inside to get from Charters to the Atherton Tablelands. The Undara lava tubes were on the way and who doesn’t luv a tube? We spent two nights at a homestead called Pinnarendi near the national park. This homestead stay included PUPPIES!! Lou says it was the best place ever. She thought she’d died and gone to heaven. We did the Undara Experience the next day. You have to go to the resort and see the tubes as a part of a tour, as you cannot enter the area without having a guide. The tubes can fill with CO2 and apparently a few people have gone down for a poke around and never returned.

Pinnarendi walking track
Lewis the dragonfly contemplates what it means to have so many other animals want to eat you
#1 Dam Pinnarendi
Famous family strolling down the main avenue of the homestead caravan park
Paparazzi aahhhhh
Only a puppy could give that look
Pinnarendi kitchen. They had fantastic food and good coffee
Undara Resort …. the guy who developed it was a train nut
Shooting the lava tube (only us cool surfers will get that reference)
Tree root hanging into the tube
This is what the surface looks like. You’d never guess what was underneath.

Next stop – the greener pastures of the Atherton Tablelands


  1. You’re funny Danny! Love this hilarious post…and also seeing the sights of your next few stops. Keep smiling you four x


  2. Great commentary Danny we’ve been enjoying catching up with where you guys are. Wonderful photos of the bush and the town.


    • Hey there you are making a great docco on how it is up north!!!!! I did see cows but only pairs not a whole herd!!! It is good to see them during the day but at night you don’t want to come across them. When I stopped at Cloncurry the locals warned me that someone had died the week before, hence I didn’t drive after dark. I was just watching an episode of Back Roads and Winton is now cashing in on the Dinosaur tourist campaign. I stopped at Richmond for my fix lol. I am looking forward to hearing what you think of the Atherton Tablelands as I spent a few weeks there and house sat at Lake Barrine.

      Happy travels on your journey home.
      Kazza xxxxx
      Oh and what a cute puppy fix too xxxx


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