A blowout, a milk shake, the outback.

The day started off slow. The Townsville Road Runners were hosting a race that started at the Uni. P and I met Cam for a morning run followed by tea and anzac biscuits. The race was about a 5k, and was a blowout. We took it slow and enjoyed the friendship, the tea and biscuits and the run was an excuse to get up.

(Side note: An Anzac biscuit is a sweet biscuit made using rolled oats, flour, desiccated coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and boiling water. Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I. It has been claimed the biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation.) Wikipedia

After the race P and I rented a car and decided to drive to Charters Towers, the closest town inland that would be considered outback, and it is a bit of a ghost town after a gold rush in the late 1800s. It sounded great, we were warned to watch out for kangaroos, and don’t forget to drive on the left hand side of the road and we were off, after a quick stop at the sweatshop for a latte and a game of star wars chess. (don’t ask P who won)

We arrived in Charters Towers at 1:45 and had an interesting talk with the worlds slowest visitor center attendant who told us that the town has half day trading on Saturday’s and everything except the “country target” (the department store) would be closing up at 2:00. She then told us how mediocre their target is and that we should’t waste out time even going in. We found a cafeteria style restaurant that was open for lunch so we grabbed a bite to eat. I had roast pumpkin, and a curry puff. And P. had a vegetarian sandwich. We were disappointed with the grey day, the lack of good coffee, and the food so we thought a chocolate malt milkshake would lift our spirits and turn our day around. We each ordered one, and we anxiously awaiting the mood lift we desperately needed. When they arrived at our table it was nothing more than a huge glass of milk that had been shaken up and put in a metal glass. We took one sip and laughed, no hint of chocolate, malt or ice cream, just a giant class of bubbly milk. We paid and left our milkshake on the table.

We heard there was a park with 1000’s of fruit bats, so we decided to drive and seek out the sight. We never found the park but we did stumble upon Towers Hill.

A fun place to explore! We’ve made it to the outback.

Local lore has it that an Aboriginal boy named Jupiter first discovered gold at the foot of Towers Hill in December 1871. Since the discovery of gold, the hills’ three peaks have been subject to much use, predominately as a mining site. The early telegraph route to Cardwell passed overhead, and the valley below was used for ordinance storage during World War II. It is the site of the first gold discovery. We discovered World War II bunkers dotting the landscape, and signs warning of munitions, and open mine shafts.

Abandoned bunkers from WW II on the side of towers hill.

There were radio towers, satellite dishes, and antenna atop towers hill.

The day started to really turn around as the sun started to sink closer to the horizon the fog burned off, and  there was  rainbow. Looking out over the Australian Outback a ghost town at the foot of the mountain, we climbed around on rocks and took it all in.

We drove back to Townsville and joined new friends for a fun evening. The second Saturday of each month for the North Queensland Irish Association (NQIA) holds a  “Friends of Guinness” live Irish music jam session.

4 Responses to “A blowout, a milk shake, the outback.”
  1. The sign got me at “and possible also unexploded munitions”. Although falling into an open mineshaft probably isn’t an enjoyable experience…

    • Mr. Chopp says:

      I was looking for munitions. I thought that would be a great picture. I was warned not to hike on a mountain near by because there may be land mines from military exercises. And I thought I only had to watch out for the snakes.

  2. emma says:

    Is that a snake in the clump of stuff (is it a hive)? Eeeeeep.

    Love the shot with the old truck. Sounds like a nice adventure, even if the chocolate milkshake didn’t pan out the way you’d pictured. That lengthy sign is pretty great!

    • Mr. Chopp says:

      Emma, I thought the small reptile in the tree was a lizard. I couldn’t get a good look at it though. That picture was with my arm all the way outstretched. The sign was great. There was a wedding party and they were all driving old land cruiser trucks. In Queensland they call them “Utes” The adventure was definitely better than the milkshake.

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