Between Cairns & Townsville

One of the great things about being a grey nomad on the road is that there is no major timetable most of the time. We had some 5 weeks to fill with sightseeing and relaxing before rolling into Bundaberg to spend more time with family, this time my sister and her family. So we moseyed our way south travelling in short bursts taking nearly a week just to get from Cairns to Townsville, a relatively short distance of just some 300 km.

Babinda (Camps 6: 14)
First stop was at the lovely green grounds of the free camp at Babinda where Bob had earlier promised me time to stop and see the craft shops in this little town which we could only view as we passed by on our earlier trip to the Boulders. We quite enjoyed our stay here, walking into town each day for coffee, ice cream and the inevitable visits to the local craft shops including a scrapbooking and papercrafts shop. We spent 3 nights there making friends with Bev and Col who taught us a new card game “Up & down the river”.

Frances Creek (Camps 6: 33)
It was time to move on, this time to Frances Creek. This smallish camp spot here is OK but nothing to rave about. There are picnic areas that are well lit at night. I did take a photo of the painted toilets. I am getting a collection of painted toilets together for a separate post one day. If you have some photos to share then send them to me by email along with details as to where the photo was taken.

Painted toilets at Frances Creek

Rollingstone (Camps 6: 36)
Just one of the many murals at Rollingstone

Next stop was at the Bushy Parker Park at Rollingstone. This huge park is off the main road and thus immediately you notice how quiet it is. It is a big area holding easily 40 or so vehicles even though we heard it used to be double this size once upon a time. There are picnic tables and BBQs there. You can easily walk down to the pebble lined creek there where Rollingstone gets its name. A short walk to the underside of the road bridge brings you to a surprising group of painted murals, definitely well worth a look. The camp ground is adjacent to the park housing the historic railway station building which was relocated from its original site a few miles away. There is a little corner shop just down the road for your fresh milk etc. There is a time limit of 72 hours stay here and a ranger comes around to check that people don’t overstay their welcome. We hear of peole rotating amongst the 3 free camps in the area. This appears to be accepted by the ranger.

The historic railway station at Rollingstone

Saunders Park (Camps 6: 40) 

Saunders Beach
Saunders Beach was just a short drive south. It is a very small park housing maybe 8 vehicles camped properly, though a few whiz bangers parked against the signs. (Whiz bangers are vehicles with sliding doors – eg Econovans, VW vans etc. They make quite a lot of noise especially in the quietness of the night if the doors are not handled gently.) It was terrific to see the sun and the moon rise over the waters once again. There is a large tidal difference and warnings of crocodile presence discourage swimming. Stingers are also present in these waters during the warmer seasons. Bob and I were content to enjoy the walks along the beach. There is also a cold shower available outside the toilets here. There is a time limit of 48 hours stay here. The nearby Balgal Beach (Camps 6: 37) is just 6km down the road had also been recommended to us.

Saunders Beach under moonlight


  1. We did much the same trip on 2008, just loved Boulders, Rollingstone and also Seaforth, must go again soon.

    1. Yes these are great places to visit. I hope we can get back there as soon as Rob recovers from his heart by pass operation.


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