Exploring Maranoa 01 – 17/11/2012

The other weekend I had to go to Brisbane for some overnight medical tests on the Sunday night. Since we had Friday off, Stacey and I decided that we’d head to Roma and stay with my parents for a couple of nights and leave heading to Brisbane for the Sunday. As a result we had Saturday free to do some exploring. After calling in at the Roma Visitors’ Information Centre and having a look at what there was to do, we decided we’d head North to Injune (which has an old C17 locomotive on stationary display that I’d been wanting to photograph for a while), and then head west the back way down to Mitchell, and then back to Roma. We made it to Injune no problem, but after visiting the Injune Visitors’ Information Centre decided we’d head to Arcadia Valley and Lonesome National Park instead of heading to Mitchell. This was also because of the weather – there were large and rather ominous looking thunderstorms building on the western horizon.

Unfortunately due to the overcast skies and generally unfavourable light, none of my pictures of the C17 at Injune turned out, but we pass it every time we go to Roma and back, so I’m sure there’ll be plenty more chances to photograph it in the future. To be honest, it’s kind of a sad sight, and it is in desperate need of a restoration job. Even if not to working condition, they could at least paint the thing so it doesn’t rot away.

The photos tell most of the story, we turned off the Carnarvon Highway onto Arcadia Valley Access Road, stopped for some pics (and picked up some rubbish), then made our way to the Lonesome National Park Lookout. There’s a nice little picnic area, and some absolutely stunning views of the southern end of Arcadia Valley from the lookout area, which is located on one of the fingers of cliff topped sandstone protruding into the valley. We spent what seemed like forever at the lookout and then proceeded down a winding narrow road onto the valley floor. Just after crossing the Dawson River, there’s a turn off signed to the camping area, and we figured we’d have a bit of a look.

The camp ground is on a high bank of the Dawson River, and appears to be mowed somewhat regularly, with cement rings for having camp fires and a single wood fired BBQ. In addition, there’s a self check-in area where you can pay your camping fees by filling out a form and depositing it in a locked box. You can either pay by cash or by putting your credit card details, although I’m not sure how safe I’d feel leaving private details like that there. It’s only a timber box. Depends on how often someone checks it I guess.

After leaving the camping area we decided to follow two wheel tracks deeper into the park, and that’s where most of the pics above were taken. Not having maps, and not knowing where the National Park ended and private property began, we ended up turning back after about 10km we decided to head for home.

Next time I’ll make sure I’ve actually got proper maps installed on the GPS, and that we have an idea where we’re going, so we don’t have to turn back.

All in all it was a great drive, and I really can’t wait to get out and see more of this beautiful area.

And here’s a one way GPS track of our trip (it’s one way because I forgot to charge the Garmin Rhino the night before, so it’s battery went flat just after we turned for home):

View Exploring Maranoa 01 in a larger map

Shannon Walters

An amateur photographer who also spends time making chainmaille and doing too many other things to mention.

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