Wednesday, 4 May 2011

May 3 Tuesday Townsville to Charters Towers

We have camped on the airport at Charters Towers.  The sun has gone down.  It is sooo peaceful except for the crickets chirruping loudly.  It’s about 20 degrees, 7.00pm and we’ve finished eating dinner by the light of the CT arrivals/departures room (ha ha).  I’ve watched an owl catching dinner by another light pole – his silent flying entrancing me.  Our only spectator is the green frog on the stairs and the geckos catching bugs.  How special is this?

Filling in today’s activities.

We enjoyed our simple breakfast in the CP unit before packing all the gear back into the rented Getz.  Such a zippy little car – and very economical too – only used $5.00 worth of fuel for all our running around.

Our first port of call was the Marine HQ – an indoor aquarium facility with numerous small displays and huge underwater tunnel.  They showed movies of marine life, talks and demonstrations with a scuba diver in the tank explaining all the inhabitants and their daily life.  They had volunteers at many places offering presentations on all marine life in northern Queensland.  We were able to touch 4 month old carpet sharks, shovel nose and starfish.  I also had my nails cleaned by ‘cleaner’ shrimps who tickled my fingers as they climbed around and over every crevise. 

 They rehabilitate injured and/or sick turtles and had 11 in their hospital at this time.

Due to time constraints, we moved onto the Museum which had their main display as the ship, Pandora which had struck rocks and sunk in 1771. (Before Captain Cook!)  The extent of the artifacts found as well as the history of it’s voyage was very in depth.  We thoroughly enjoyed the variety of displays as well as the replica Pandora itself.  The museum also had a floor of interactive activities for children and an extensive coral/ marine exhibit. 

The area surrounding Townsville has also revealed dinosaur and other pre-historic creatures which were on display at the Museum.  Very much worth the visit.

We enjoyed a quick lunch by the beach before returning the Getz to Meteor where one of their employees kindly ran us back to the airport. 

Airborne by 3.05pm we climbed over 3,500 foot ranges on our way to Charters Towers 65 miles to the south west.  Slipping into the CT circuit area only 35 minutes later we had a lovely approach onto runway 24 with the panorama of the town before us.

The fuel man, Denis Meaghan met us and after fuelling up, offered us “the pilots car” for a drive through town and on up to the local look out at sunset.

A beautiful town, with numerous early 19th century buildings lining the main street, was very impressive with its character and historic value from the gold rush days.  Overlooking the town from the lookout at sunset was extremely peaceful and we were able to closely observe a rock wallaby sitting comfortably close by on rocks.

So glad we took the time to check this place out – and a complete surprise from what we both expected of Charters Towers.  Most Impressed.

Back to the airport as darkness set in we established our camp with tea made up of noodles, beans, meat balls, scotch and pineapple juice.  Man, how life is fantastic!

The peace and tranquility of the airport is beautiful and we look forward to another wonderful day of our trip tomorrow - to Longreach 230 nautical miles to the south west!

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Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL
over Perth city (Photo: Greg Hill)

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Flying farming couple who live on 135 acres. Kev is obsessed by aeroplanes. Vicki is devoted to horses and White Swiss Shepherds.