03rd July 2021

Bivouac Junction & Charters Towers

Meeting at the Stuart Hotel for the briefing at 8am,  our trip leader went over the itinerary for the long weekend along and the risk assessment with 7 vehicles in convoy.

As the location was less than 90min away, there was not a lot of chatter on the radio before we turned off the highway towards the campsite

Due to the time of year – being not only school holidays but also a long weekend, the campsite was packed with families, kids and dogs covering a majority of the campgrounds. After a bit of smooth talking with the caretakers, they agreed to open up the overflow area which offered us a huge area to space ourselves apart and well away from the rest of the holiday makers.

Snatch strap recovery training

After we all set up camp, it was time for our first adventure – off to the Burdekin River bed and sand driving whilst taking a few photos along the way.. Then onto the main event –  snatch strap recovery training.

This is a warning to everyone to check your gear on a regular basis, as over time you don’t know what could happen. It turns out that not only was it not a correct snatch strap, but it was showing slight signs of deterioration. Nothing major, but enough to warrant an investment in some new gear.

After covering all of the essential information and safety briefing about completing a snatch recovery, we put theory into practice and the vehicle was out after only 2 attempts.

Day 2 was an early start, with everyone to be ready to head out for the day at 9am. Driving into Charters Towers then heading north along the Gregory Highway, we went exploring a new campsite – Big Bend.

Whilst there we collected more firewood before heading back into Charters Towers and making our way out to Weir Park.

Next stop was up to the Towers Hill Lookout for a bite to eat and read about the history of Charters Towers in the gold rush days. If you haven’t been up there, it’s certainly worth the trip with spectacular 360 deg views of the surrounding area.

The afternoon was getting on, so our camp fire was roaring for those that wanted hot coals for a camp oven dinner. There were pizza and stews cooking, but by far the winner went to the couple who cooked their roast pork complete with crackling and jacket potatoes.

After the sun set, the chill in the night air was obvious, so it wasn’t a late night for everyone.

In the morning it was near freezing when at 6:30am the temperature was only 6.5deg.. Enough to want to make anyone sleep in, but we had a departure time of 10:30am

Again, another successful weekend away and a huge thank to our trip leader and for his experience, knowledge and making the weekend that nearly didn’t happen a great time for all.

Trip report: Rick M

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