a word of caution...

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Subject: a word of caution...
From: "Norm Canton" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 13:01:22 +1000
Just back from a trip across inland North Queensland (north west of Townsville, south west of Cairns, about one-third of the way to Mount Isa). We took the Herveys Range Developmental Road from Townsville (now sealed except for 41 kms) to the Gregory Developmental Road (sealed but narrow in places, look out for road trains!!!!), staying overnight at Greenvale (immortalised by Slim Dusty in the 'Pub with no Beer' song), then on to the Lynd Junction - the junction of the Gregory and Kennedy Developmental Roads). 
Our destination was the newly gazetted Blackbraes National Park, marked on the latest RACQ map 104km south of the Lynd on the Kennedy Developmental Road, approx. 200 kms north of Hughenden (the junction with the Flinders Highway) - all of it unsealed and mostly corrugated stretch and with only a few cattle properties along its length. The northern section of the NP is on the Oak Valley property, the southern section on Blackbraes, but we found no signage indicating a National Park at either. On the Blackbraes section we met a ute pouring out molasses for the cattle, who told us that the National Parks & Wildlife did not take over until October, and that they were concerned at the number of people turning up looking for the "National Park", where to camp, where the water points were etc. when there were no facilites of any kind available.
We were travelling in a 4WD, carrying an extra 40L of fuel, 50L of water, food, camping gear, a satellite phone (no mobile coverage out here m'dears), a GPS and an E-perp in case of emergencies. On our numerous trips we have encountered interstate and overseas visitors totally under-prepared for remote conditions.  On returning to Townsville we contacted the Qld Parks and Wildlife Service asking if signage could be provided at Hughenden and at the Lynd Junction and also information on the QPWS website. We are also contecting the RACQ. 
Alex Appleman & Norm Canton
Townsville, NQ  
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