Cairns to Lawn Hill – A Rough Start

We were desperate for a camping trip and the winter was quickly passing us by, would we make it? We don’t do the outback in summer, I don’t fancy sleeping in a hot tent and sweating all day. It was August 2015 and we finally got the break in Adrian’s work that we’d been waiting for! It was also our newly made camper trailer’s maiden voyage. We bought a run down little camper from Innisfail for about $1500 and Adrian had been diligently restoring it over the past few months. I really wanted to go on a massive trip into the Northern Territory again as we’d done the previous year but Mr Sensible said no… He has also said no to it this year (2016), so I settled on Lawn Hill, just over 1000kms west of Cairns. See, small trip 😉

The day I was adamant we were going to leave, Adrian was still adding to the trailer, I mean I guess the water line for the water tank is kind of important? I was running into town buying connectors and pipe things for him. When we were finally ready to leave it was 3pm in the afternoon. Oh well, better to get some start then no start. I also looked at the weather, as usual rain all along the coast, typical tropics, always trying to stuff up your camping plans. So I said, we are not stopping tonight till we travel inland enough to escape the rain.We drove through the Atherton tablelands, rain, rain. My foot started throbbing and I saw I had a tiny little hole/sore on the bottom of my foot, why is this hurting so much? We stopped at Ravenshoe and had dinner at one of those awkward asian restaurants that also make pasta, Ive never understood how that works. I also grabbed some salt sachets and without much medical knowledge thought that I’d just directly put salt onto my sore and cover with a band aid. I felt immediate relief as the salt stung and I envisioned it eating up any bacteria that was causing this little infection.


The sky still held signs of rain so we kept driving into the early night. At about 8pm we eventually stopped at a free, overnight, roadside stop somewhere between Mount Garnet and Mount Surprise. It was actually quite cool, we quickly set up the trailer, put the kids to bed, and had a wine under the stars… and then it rained. It was only light but it was constant, so I gave up and went to bed.

I was awoken by my foot! Oh, and the crying child who somehow had a dreadful flu all of a sudden and couldn’t sleep cause of the snot and mucous his head was producing. Fun night, looking for the last of my salt sachets to put on my sore and dosing myself with panadeine to relieve the throbbing pain from it. Oh, and the poor crying child who continually woke.

I was not the brightest camper the next morning, so far we’d been rained on, camped next to a road and been kept up most of the night. Nevertheless we hoped today would be better. The scenery was pretty around Georgetown and Croydon, cute tiny towns, rocky hills and colourful bush-land, it definitely wasn’t cold anymore though as we came slightly north and closer to the Gulf. Cumberland Mine is a good little stop on this stretch of road, you cant camp here but great for a break. There’s a dam/waterhole and lots of lovely bird life, plenty of people stopped here. My foot though… Oh my gosh, I actually started having a meltdown over it, I’m not normally like this, but I couldn’t understand why such a small seemingly clean, tiny hole, could create so much pain. I started thinking thoughts like, what if its some strange infection and my foot needs to be amputated and I’m in the middle of of no where and go into some feverish state! I cried and begged Adrian to get a needle out of the first aid and investigate it. Bad move, I sat on a picnic table with him using a safety pin cause we couldn’t find a needle, what kind of first aid kit does not have a sterile sharp utensil!!! The other problem was that by me directly applying salt (which Adrian said was a bad idea anyway) to the sore it had created some crazy thick barrier over the sore that couldn’t be broken through. I gave up and Adrian re assured me I would not die and that we’d soak it in warm salty water that night.


We arrived at Normanton, on the way in we looked for somewhere nice to pull over and camp, there was NOWHERE. In fact there is no where you could of camped along the entire stretch of road we drove on that day except for roadside stops and ugly caravan parks. We were forced to camp at a caravan park next to a shipping container. Great, another scenic night of camping. I didn’t leave home for this. Also to top it off it was hot, so I said that tomorrow we were heading south into the interior of QLD more and not stopping at anymore horrible campsites! We made love, I felt slightly better and slept. The worst of the camping trip was over…

To be continued…





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