Saturday, 9 June 2012

Day Six of a Camper Holiday! - Heading Down to Border Ranges National Park

After a day at Warner Brothers Movie World A was a little frayed around the edges, so we decided to head for a National Park to camp for the night. I chose Sheepstation Creek campground in the Border Ranges National Park.

View Larger Map

The drive to the Border Ranges become hair-raising when between Oxenford and Canungra the fuel warning light lit up. The vehicle manual indicated that once the warning light was lit I had only 7 litres of fuel left. I knew there were two petrol stations in Canungra, which was only 20 kilometres away. But I was worried when I considered that the vehicle was averaging 14 litres per hundred kilometres and we had a very big mountain to climb and then descend on the other side.

As it was, we made it to Canungra and fuelled up. We calculated that we had less than one and a half litres remaining in the fuel tank. I was very relieved, not just because of the inconvenience we would have faced in getting fuel, but as this vehicle has a Diesel engine, we would have had a bugger of a time bleeding the fuel lines and priming the fuel pump.

Once we passed through Mount Chinghee National Park we drove in some amazingly hilly country - going up some hills the vehicle would downshift to second gear and we would crawl along, and when we crested the hills I couldn't see the road until we were descending proper.

Photo from The Land.
This naughty bloke took
his horse interstate without
organising tick treatment.
I imagine that there are
similar photos on a DPI
computer somewhere of
me driving a motor-home.
We crossed the New South Wales - Queensland border at Richmond Gap where I was intrigued to find a pair of speed cameras very near each other and facing in opposite directions. Despite travelling very slowly, we had both the front and back of the vehicle photographed. Signs advised that these were surveillance cameras installed by New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. It seems that these cameras are a very big deal on the Eastern end of the NSW-QLD border. Late 2011 some bloke had towed a horse across the border after obscuring his number plates and triggered a major search effort. All of this effort is to quarantine New South Wales against cattle ticks which infest the coastal areas of Queensland.

My studies in law immediately bring to mind constitutional issues here. I immediately ask myself 'Is the New South Wales response reasonable and proportionate to the threat against which they are protecting?' If so, then we are not dealing with a protectionist matter, and the actions of New South Wales in running this system are reasonable and are not in breach of The Constitution which prohibits restrictions on interstate trade.

Also of interest at the border is a sign advising motorists that the road was built and is maintained by the Kyogle branch of the Lions Club, and a money box is attached, inviting donations. We stopped and A emptied her pockets of coins into the box. This is the first time I have driven on a toll road which operates on an honesty system - not only in terms of whether you pay, but how much you contribute too.

The Campsite was a few kilometres further and we arrived in the dark. After encountering my second honesty box for the day into which I paid my camping fees, we found a suitable site and set up camp.

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