13 to 16 February 2014: Townsville to Charters Towers via Fletchers Creek

Went for walk around Bluewater township & through a bush track.  The ranger dropped in on our second morning & was recording everyone’s rego numbers.  It’s one of the few places I’ve actually seen anyone checking on length of stays & a couple of motor homes were here when we stopped in heading north over a week ago.  The signs state 24 hours but I thought they’d be a bit more flexible off season.
After 48 hrs hear we moved down Saunders Beach 13 klms away.  It’s a nice beach spot but the camping is restricted to 2 sides of a small gravel parking lot.  You need a tap key here as for some reason they don’t want you to access the town water.  Obviously, there’s no swimming due to crocs & stingers.  There is a bistro but we didn’t get to try it out as we only stayed one night, but you are allowed to stay 2.
It was Friday the next day & we had arranged to take the van to Townsville Marine Electronics as the sat dish had locked in the up position & refused to budge.  We couldn’t drive with it up so I had to get up on our ladder and loosen the nuts on the main shaft & lower the dish manually.  The tech reset the dish and it seemed to be working at the time.
After doing some shopping we headed for Fletcher Creek 40 klms north of Charters Towers going via Ross River Road then down the Gregory Development Road.  Other than a fairly steep range to cross the Ross River Rd was in very good condition while the Gregory was mainly single ragged edged bitumen, fortunately with very little traffic.
Strangely there were several camps set up on the north bank near the toilets and a dozen or so on the south bank but all located on the western side of the road.  So we camped on the eastern side and virtually had the area to ourselves.  This is a beautiful free camp with a one month stay limit.  But by the look of a few of them already set up, they plan on staying much longer.
Our bad luck hadn’t finished with us yet and the sat system couldn’t get a strong enough’s signal to pick up any channels so we contacted Springers via our satellite phone and they talked us through several procedures which failed to produce any results.  They believed it was a faulty Vast box so they arranged to send us a temporary replacement via express post to Charters Towers which should be hears in 3 days or so.
We then noted our power was not holding as good as it usually does, so I tested all the solar panels and found at least one was dead & another not producing much.  We were only getting about 17 amps at midday and when they’re all working properly it’s usually double that.
We also found that the new fridge was icing up and running constantly also draining the batteries further.  The only benefit was I got to give the generator a good run.
We had no choice but to move on to Charters Towers and get on a powered site somewhere until we received our new vast box.  We would then likely make our way back to Brisbane & get things sorted once again.  Bah hum bug…..

Fletcher Creek
Fletcher Creek

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