Well we ended up having a right old adventure trying to get home from Moreton Island. We left early the next morning and caught the 8am barge back to Brisbane, stopped in Toowoomba to do some last bits of shopping and then carried on to Roma where we stayed the night. We visited a friend from Birdsville Races and stayed with a truckie friend from Quilpie so lots of good catch ups that night.
We set off at 5am the next day, hoping to get back to Quilpie before the rain started to effect the roads. I checked the reports and asked a couple of people in Quilpie what the road from Charleville to town was like and everything seemed to be telling us it was all fine, so off we went. Well we got 80km out of Charleville and had to go over a couple of creeks, they were .2 and .3 so not too bad but then we got to Cooladdi…
We met a .5 creek that had come right up over night, essentially leaving us stranded. I thought a knight in shining armour had arrived when a truckie carrying fuel for Quilpie pulled up, but he soon decided it was too high for him to cross… oh dear. There’s only a pub and fuel stop at Cooladdi and you don’t get mobile reception there, so we had to use their phone to call Quilpie and see what everyone thought we should do, I wish we didn’t need to as the people that run the pub there are so unfriendly! Had no concern for us being stuck which is so unlike people in the west.
Luckily my fairy godmother and father got through to us and provided us with a solution… Robin and Dogga at Toompine… what would I do without you! They called us up and told us to turn around as soon as possible and go the long way round to get to the pub, where we could stay until the rivers went down and we could get back to Quilpie.
So we turned back and followed the truck driver back through the other creeks which had risen a fair bit as well, luckily he pushed most of the water out of the way for us, thanks Allan from Puma, you’re a legend!
I did the driving from Charleville onwards, we went through Cunamulla which was the first place we ever stayed in the outback, then through Eulo and up to Toompine. We met a fair few creeks on our way, most of which were easily passable but the last couple were a bit high for poor little Suzie, .4 and rising we just managed to sneak through the last couple that stood between us and Toompine… finally we made it!
We went for a drive further up the road that night and only about 20km up got stuck at a .6 creek, there was water absolutely everywhere, I’ve never seen the land look like that before, there were some very happy Quilpie shire residents that day.
The next were days were incredibly quiet as no one could get to the pub, so we were able to kick back and watch films all day, just enjoying some chill out time whilst we literally had nothing to do, not a bad start to the year! The only exciting thing was that I got myself on Channel 7 news talking about the rain and being stranded, 15 seconds of fame right there!
On the third day Bob called me and told me to get to his property at Greenmulla in the next two hours and they’d get me over the river on the other side of town whilst it had dropped, needless to say I set off pretty much straight away! The .6 creek from a couple of days before had gone and I turned off onto a dirt road to make my way to town. The first part of the road was great but it quickly turned to water the closer to town I got, it’s unreal how different everything looks under so much rain. I left Suzie at Greenmulla and Bob’s son Steve brought me over the river at .6 in his Toyota, holy crap it was high! Very happy to finally have made it home and be able to get back to work… not a lot of people would have the same feelings about that as me, but I was looking forward to keeping busy again.