We arrive in Townsville on May 30, surprised at how quiet the city centre is... and although there are ATMs about, there seems to be a lack of actual banks. We are told the banks have moved out to the suburbs, but we wonder if the city will follow the new Australian norm these days, with an increase in apartments breathing life back to city CBDs.
Anyway, that's another stage of the journey done and dusted - Byron Bay to Townsville. And it's a bit of a fluke that the completion of this second leg coincides with the truck's trip meter ticking over the 20,000km mark.
So now... our chance to reminisce on some journey discoveries, previously unknown and in order of appearance...
The Stanthorpe Granite Belt Queensland Wineries are a pleasant surprise, us previously not knowing much about them - cool climate at 900m elevation, and some unusual grape types to boot... and a STONE PYRAMID FOLLY AT NEARBY BALLANDEAN.
BINNA BURRA sunsets and fairytale forests at the top of the world.
MORETON ISLAND - long sweeping beaches, white sand, wild inland tracks and Castaways Cafe... with chocolate brownies second to none.
TOOWOOMBA perched on a high escarpment, the second biggest inland city after Canberra - great food and positive vibe, a privately-funded international airport... and some of the best street art we've seen.
Spectacular World Heritage CARNARVON GORGE, with ancient chasms, rockface galleries, ridges and river crossings. And our Sandstone Ridge campsite with a spectacular view.
World Heritage LADY ELLIOT ISLAND sunsets, turtles and giant manta rays.
The small TOWN OF 1770 with beautiful beaches, rocky outcrops and the site of Captain James Cook's first landing in Queensland... and arriving in time for the annual re-enactment festival.
The 'TURKEY CREEK MASSACRE' (or 'How we survived the big bog') - where we take the 4WD 'scenic route' from Agnes Water to Turkey Creek, helping out a fellow traveller along the way.
THE CAPRICORN CAVES - a dry limestone labyrinth, privately owned but a National treasure.
Our lucky first sighting of platypus in the wild, at EUNGELLA.
CAPE HILLSBOROUGH wallabies on the beach. Quite a sight, with the added bonus of a serene sunrise.
Beautiful BOWEN, with scenic stacks of boulders, a twist of history, quaint coves and sweeping bays.