From Bowen to the Middle of Nowhere and Nothing

Having spent a couple of hours or so in Bowen admiring the beaches, I got back on the road to head further north as I continued my road trip. My next stop was to be in Townsville, a journey of 200 kilometres.

Bowen to TownsvilleMap courtesy of Google

200 kilometres of pretty much nothingness. I knew there was nothing because I found a very tall hill along the way from which I could view all the nothing around me. Luckily for me, I could drive, rather than walk, to the top of this hill…

up-inkerman-hill

up-inkerman-hillI then got out to look at all the nothing.

Well, that’s what it felt like to me as I stood at the top of Inkerman Hill, which marked the halfway point of my journey from Bowen to Townsville. Whether I looked north, south, east or west, all I could see was nothing…

Inkerman Hill

Inkerman Hill

Inkerman Hill

Inkerman HillHaving checked out all the nothingness I return back down the hill…

Inkerman Hill

Inkerman Hill

Inkerman HillGot back on the Bruce…

back-on-the-bruceAnd headed for Townsville…

to-townsvilleWhat I didn’t realise at the time though was I was right in the middle of the Shire of Burdekin which has a population of something like 18,000. 10 minutes drive further north is a small town called Home Hill with a population of around 3000.

Across the Burdekin River, yes, there is a bridge…

burdekin-river…is another small town called Ayr with a population of almost 9000. The Shire of Burdekin has another 17 small towns within it, with populations of between 150 and 800 people. It all adds up to that 18,000 total.

Oh, and that bridge, called the Burdekin River Bridge, is one of the longest multi-span bridges in Australia at 1097 metres. Incredibly, it’s only 46 metres shorter than Sydney’s Harbour Bridge…

burdekin-bridgeLooking into Burdekin further, it turns out is known as the sugar capital of Australia. It has a world top 10 dive site, is a birdwatching paradise, a fishing mecca and it also has a couple of beaches and a dam…

CSIRO ScienceImage 10816 Spillway at the Burdekin Falls DamSo I’m not really sure why could only see nothing from the top of that hill, because the area has quite a bit of something. And it’s just an hour from Townsville.

I did stop in Ayr, not as I headed to Townsville though, but on my return journey back to Brisbane. After leaving Port Douglas, Ayr was my first overnight stop…

ayr

ayr

ayr

ayrAs you can see, it was late, it was dark, the streets were quiet, but it was a Tuesday night. It certainly wasn’t nothing though.

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