BIDDING farewell to the ocean, regrettably, we set off inland to the vast spaces of the Queensland mining Outback – Emerald. There’s some great roads around there, in fact, Queensland has had awesome roads pretty well everywhere we’ve been so far. But one thing to watch are the road trains as these gigantic things are hauling enormous mining machinery. They take up the entire road, both sides, and their support car often only travels a couple of hundred metres in front, so when you see one – get off the road! And I mean off the road. The truck is usually still travelling at about 80-100kms an hour and if you aren’t off the road, there is no mercy. If there is no where to pull off, try anyway! It’s better to get stuck than get mutilated by one of these babies.
Upon arrival at Emerald we headed just past town to Fairburn Dam and Lake Maraboon. What a place. Whoever built this caravan park (Discovery Lake Maraboon) deserves a medal. A big one, too. This awesome spot is one of the best we have stayed in. And to top it all off, they have boats you can take out on the lake where you can catch Red Claw – tonnes of them!
The Emerald township itself isn’t much. But it is home to the world’s largest Vincent Van Gogh painting. Go figure! I bet you are saying ‘what the hell?’ right now, and, trust me, I am hearing you! But there it is in all its glory in the town park. We asked a stack of people why it was there, but no-one really knew. It’s a vibrant little community and you can see the local mining companies really look after the people and their town which is great to see.
It’s Red Claw for dinner tonight!
PETER “SPIDA” EVERITT
The Great Australian Doorstep screens on the How To Channel on Foxtel.
Visit www.thegreataustraliandoorstep.com.au for more information.