Getting bogged, November 2010
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.

Suspension bridge at Mount Morgan, November 2010
We followed a sign (on a whim) to drive to a dam, and on the way we stopped to play on a suspension bridge.

Suspension bridge at Mount Morgan, November 2010
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!

Camping at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
Our campsite was in such a gorgeous setting!

Birds at Mount Morgan, November 2010
The birds were very friendly, even taking food from our hands.

Delaney, 11 months old, November 2010
Delaney is now 11 months old, and she gets this gleeful look on her face when her sisters play with her!

Kookaburras, November 2010
A pair of kookaburras. They were disappointed that we didn't have meat to offer them.

Swimming at Mount Morgan, November 2010
David took the girls for some canoeing and swimming in the dam's lake.

No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
But the real surprise was just over the lip of the dam wall.

No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
The water was barely flowing over the top of the dam, and it created a beautiful waterfall on the other side.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
As soon as we saw the other side, we were climbing down the hillside, ready to play!

Brioni in the grass, November 2010
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.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
The bottom pool was pretty deep, but it had a wide side ledge that we could walk on.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
We climbed up and up all the stair-steps of the pools.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
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!

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
Delaney loved playing at the top while her sisters started making their way back down the dam wall, but still in the water.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
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.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
We started venturing further and further down the dam wall, drenching ourselves as we had fun.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
I had to be careful when climbing down — it was a little bit slippery.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
Later we climbed across the rocks to find a place in the shade for a snack.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
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.

Playing at No. 7 dam, Mount Morgan, November 2010
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.)

Grassy hills outside Mount Morgan, November 2010
The area around Mount Morgan features this tufty grass that is lovely to walk through and quite pretty to look at.

Cycad trees, Mount Morgan, November 2010
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.