Our departure from Emerald was hampered by the small issue of our truck getting stuck in the mud. Thankfully, a local with a big, beaut ute was happy to help us out!
A bit of a detour around Rockhampton led us to the little town of Mount Morgan. We didn’t intend to visit it, although the town is rich in history as it was home to the largest goldmine in the world in its heyday. Now it’s a rambling ruin, not lacking charm and holding some very pleasant surprises for our family.
We followed a sign (on a whim) to drive to a dam, and on the way we stopped to play on a suspension bridge.
The swaying motion terrified the usually-brave Brioni, but her sisters thought it was nothing but fun!
Arriving at the No. 7 dam was a pleasant surprise. The grounds were beautiful, the lake was lovely and clean, and all facilities were there — ready for us to use!
Our campsite was in such a gorgeous setting!
The birds were very friendly, even taking food from our hands.
Delaney is now 11 months old, and she gets this gleeful look on her face when her sisters play with her!
A pair of kookaburras. They were disappointed that we didn't have meat to offer them.
David took the girls for some canoeing and swimming in the dam's lake.
But the real surprise was just over the lip of the dam wall.
The water was barely flowing over the top of the dam, and it created a beautiful waterfall on the other side.
As soon as we saw the other side, we were climbing down the hillside, ready to play!
Brioni has taken to wearing this life-jacket all the time. It looks pretty funny when she's bushwalking, but it gives her confidence in the water.
The bottom pool was pretty deep, but it had a wide side ledge that we could walk on.
We climbed up and up all the stair-steps of the pools.
At the top, we discovered that many of the cascading pools were only ankle deep. They were slippery from the algae on the bottom, but otherwise a very nice place to play!
Delaney loved playing at the top while her sisters started making their way back down the dam wall, but still in the water.
Soon David was playing a hilarious game of throwing the baby-dolls up into the dam and letting the water bring them back down to the girls. We experienced some breath-holding movements when the doll remained suspended at the top of the dam wall, but the water always brought it back down to us in the end.
We started venturing further and further down the dam wall, drenching ourselves as we had fun.
I had to be careful when climbing down — it was a little bit slippery.
Later we climbed across the rocks to find a place in the shade for a snack.
These two boys found this huge fish at the bottom of the dam. A local told us that fish get knocked over the dam wall and die from the fall. After heavy rains, dozens of fish are left stranded on the rocks, ready for the picking.
On this trip, Calista is learning how to climb over more challenging structures like these sharp rocks.
We enjoyed two very lovely nights at No. 7 dam. For a while, we used the power from a powerbox near the electric barbecues, but the council must have complained about it, and a policemen came out to instruct me to unplug. (It’s a bit of contradiction because the park ran 1000-watt floodlights all night and then begrudged me the power to run my little computer. It also highlighted the difference between this council’s policy and the one in Emerald that encouraged electricity use by travellers.)
The area around Mount Morgan features this tufty grass that is lovely to walk through and quite pretty to look at.
I have a couple of these cycads growing in my garden. It'll take about a thousand years before they get to this height!
And then it was time to pack up and move on. We’re heading back to the coast and will slowly make our way south to Grafton, stopping at home for a couple of days to mow the lawn and check that everything is okay. Our house still isn’t rented out, so we’ll have to keep coming back to it. When it is rented out, we’ll stay on the road or go to New Zealand for much longer periods of time.