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Tesla adventure in Outback Queensland and North-QLD

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by Dylanpete, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 11b: Normanton – Croydon – Georgetown:

    To complete our job in Normanton we quickly passed by the NSF to keep them informed.
    Suddenly realizing we were running late on schedule to timely reach Croydon before noon time and to top-up batteries at the Croydon Council Workshop....
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    Only the colors were distinctly different once in a while....just outback...
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    And now and then some cattle were showing up...
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    Due to late departure at NSF we had to hurry to Croydon at max speed and made it at 11:50 AM to timely meet the person at the Council workshop. Plugging in using their 3ph 20A 5pin socket....nothing happened....the neutral pinhole wasn’t wired! They contacted another person at their welding and metal fabrication workshop, we headed there...same trouble...

    Murphy was overactive....and there wasn’t a sparky around to overcome the trouble!
    Of course...if we hadn’t driven at such high speeds we had more than enough battery to reach Georgetown...LOL
    Keeping our heads cool we went to the Croydon Caravan Park to top-up enough energy to increase our range to “easily” reach Georgetown.
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    Crisis delivers opportunities so we had the time to take some good food at the Croydon Cafe and meanwhile figured out they also had some 3ph equipment at the Croydon Centre Supermarket but it was hard wired.
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    After a nice brainstorming the interim manager was convinced it would only cost them a little to install a AEVA/TOCA donated 3ph socket....and accepted the challenge but on condition the owners would agree.

    Hummm, Teslas navigator gave a distance to Georgetown of about 140km and reaching close to Georgetown we felt confident we would be OK and decided to have a quick stop at the Cumberland Chimney Historic site and dam...
    L1000932cropped small.jpg Some Jacanas to be spotted there! L1000911cropped small.jpg
    However, back on the road we found out Georgetown centre was 10 km further than expected so we arrived with only 11km range left!
    Murphy strikes again...all goodies come in 3!
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    Warren & Lydia from the Ampol petrol station and roadhouse had kindly prepared a 3ph 32A 5-pin socket for us to charge but also this one didn’t work due to issues with earthing.
    Both were travelling but Warren took the time to find a miraculous solution for us which I prefer not to reveal to respect the person’s wishes.

    Just in short, I quickly drove to Latara Motel where we had a reservation and dropped all luggages. While my spouse checked-in I went to our miraculous 3ph 10A 5p charging spot with 8km range left changed the connector tail for our Maxicharger EVSE to happily use this 10A outlet. With the night falling Electra had just enough time left to get a full charge the next morning for us to pursue our program.
    A big thanks to the provider of this 10A spot!!!
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    We were aware that Latara Motel had 3ph power coming into their switchboard and explained them what happened to us and how beneficial it would be for future EV cars to be able to find a 3 ph socket at Latara with a potential of overnight tourism and extra restaurant usage. Katrina was very understanding and willing to get the sparky to come over and install a 3ph socket so we gave her a 3ph socket donated by AEVA/TOCA.
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    Latara Motel Restaurant serves some very nice meals and if you like some top quality beef as for their superb Wagyu beef! It comes supersized and I had enough for 2 meals!
     
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  2. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 12a Georgetown – Forsayth – Cobbold Gorge - Forsayth

    Not too far from Georgetown there are a few famous tourist attractions that you have to visit while in the area:
    Cobbold Gorge: Georgetown to Forsayth 42km (14km unsealed) + 43km of unsealed road to the entrance of Cobbold Gorge Village.
    Agate Creek Gemfields: 95 km south of Georgetown (passing the exit to Cobbold Gorge) including 67 km unsealed road. We didn’t visit here due to lack of time.

    Early morning we left Georgetown driving to Forsayth, checking in at the Goldfields Hotel .
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    We took a very nice breakfast before continuing to Cobbold Gorge for a day trip which was an unforgettable experience. They have great guides with masterful knowledge about the area’s geology, cultural heritage and outback history, bush tucker and poisons....
    This place is now getting >10,000 tourists per year.
    While in Cobbold Gorge we were allowed to use a 15A camping socket to charge.
    I let the pictures speak for themselves:
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    We were very lucky to see 2 freshwater crocodiles and picture them in one shot.
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    Back at the hotel we had the whole evening and night for a good battery top-up using the Tesla UMC at 10A from a socket in our room.
    Goldfield Hotel has some splendid collection of gemstones, mostly originating from the Agate Creek Gemfield.
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  3. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 12b: Forsayth – Einasleigh

    Must see in Einasleigh:
    Copperfield Gorge and the iconic 1909 Einasleigh Hotel: Forsayth to Einasleigh Hotel 67km +/-20km unsealed

    The day after visiting Cobbold Gorge we continued early morning (and avoid the heat) from Forsayth to the Einasleigh. Closer to Einasleigh the landscape became quite different with taller trees, quite contrasting to the outback. There were also a few big red kangaroos to spot. Arriving at Einasleigh Hotel, we found it still closed but 2 friendly ladies running the pub guided us to the Copperfield Gorge parking area nearby.
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    Copperfield Gorge is totally different than Cobbold Gorge and part of the gorge formation consists of old lava stone. Further down where the gorge becomes wider there are very attractive quiet sand beaches and swimming spots. Crocodiles are part of the habitat but luckily these are freshwater crocodiles that don’t tend to attack and eat people. As per info from the elder lady no one was ever bitten in the last 50 years while swimming there, so we decided to have a cool dip and swim in the gorge.
    There were no other people around which left us alone in this vast beautiful oasis!
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    After a good swim we took some very simple lunch and drinks at the Einasleigh Hotel before continuing to Mount Surprise.
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  4. wilsilly

    wilsilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Calliope, Qld
    That solar farm deserves a very big thumbs up. Brilliant hope Oct 9th connects them up properly.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 12c: Einasleigh – Mount Surprise

    Einasleigh to Mount Surprise: 78km of which +/- 40km unsealed
    In Mount Surprise we met Russel at “Planet Earth Adventures” to organize another battery top-up.
    When charging the car at his workshop, ask if he will do a snake show while you’re there and enjoy his incredible knowledge about snakes!
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    L1010288small.jpg L1010292small.jpg During the last 2 days Electra had to digest about 150kms of unsealed road but with the adjustable air suspension she adjusted flawlessly! And if you wonder how she coped with the dust, have a look to the pics below. Only a tiny bit of dust did enter the car when opening or closing the doors, during driving the dust didn’t “trespass” the seals as you can note from the photo. It was easy to rinse it away.
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  6. wilsilly

    wilsilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
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    Location:
    Calliope, Qld
    Love the agates!!
    You have done so much exploring, and the driving your car off the sealed roads will give other Tesla owners confidence. I do it all the time because I live in the bush, but many probably don't. Top marks and great photos too.
     
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  7. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 13a Mount Surprise - Undarra National Park

    Leaving Mount Surprise towards Atherton we made a side trip to the Undara Volcanic National Park about 30 kms off the highway, all sealed road, to join a tour visiting the Undara Lava Tubes. It’s another touristic target that you shouldn’t miss when driving in the area!

    Also here the guides were very knowledgeable and if you like to overnight there, the restaurant and lodging is consisting of first class renovated QueenslandRail carriages.
    Around the collapsed parts of the lava tube and inside the lava tubes there is a particular ecosystem, distincly different from the area. The lava tubes are also inhabited by micro bats and a special blue butterfly.
    We absolutely loved the place!!! Let the photos speak...
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  8. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 13c: Undarra National Park - Inot Hot Springs - Ravenshoe - Herberton - Atherton

    Our next stop on the way to Atherton was Inot Hot Springs. And yes, they were extremely hot! Good that the water mixes with the cooler creek water...
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    Our third short stop was at Ravenshoe. We do have some nice memories about our previous trip there when we charged Electra’s batteries using 100% wind power energy from the Ravenshoe Wind Farm and we had the chance to evangelize about EVs and renewable energy for 2 classes of the local college.
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    Next we side tracked a little to revisit the Herberton Historical Village, a unique experience that was attracting 35,000 visitors in the past year. On average, a person stays about 4h for a visit and I would really suggest Tesla to install 2 destination chargers there now that Teslas are being sold in Cairns!
    Herberton 4.jpg Herberton 1.jpg Herberton 3.jpg Herberton 2.jpg
     
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  9. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 14: Atherton - Yungaburra - Cairns - Townsville

    In Atherton, we established another 3phase charging spot at the Atherton Hinterland Motel where we also stayed for the night.
    From there, we traveled to Yungaburra, one of the jewel villages of the Atherton Tablelands. We wanted to check with the Officers of the Tourist Information Centre if they could accept us to put the 3 phase socket in the neighbouring Maude Park on Plugshare and yes, they accepted on the basis that in the future it will bring more EV traffic to Yungabarra and that the charging spot was in the midst of the village, close to food and accomodation facilities.
    In fact during our 10 days of holidaying at the Atherton tablelands we regularly used this charging spot while staying in Yungaburra.
    When going to Yungaburra, please make a walk at the Peterson Creek early morning or late afternoon and you'll have a 90% chance to spot the Platypus. This time around we also spotted a tree Kangaroo and a family of Stone Cerlews with baby chicks. We were overwhelmed to see how the parents mended their chicks to train hiding behavior. The birds didn't move a mm for about 20 min while we watched them.

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    Finally we went to Cairns and Townsville. Electra was enjoying her first fast electrons gulp using the QLD Electrical Highway charger while we chatted we a local business man who now owns 4 Teslas active in his limousine Co.
    20170929_145408 small.jpg
     
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  10. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
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    533
    Location:
    Sydney, AU
    So much to see & do out there! Swimming with the freshies must be quite an experience even if they don’t bite or devour people. Cobbald Gorge looks amazing...it was featured in Ivan Sen’s outback noir film Goldstone - apparently they built an entire town as the film set around Middleton.
     
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  11. Chuq

    Chuq Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
    Brilliant work. A few months ago I read someone on a forum who was explaining how useless EVs were in the outback, as we've probably all seen morons do. He used Camooweal as an example. Brilliant that you can now get from Camooweal to the coast in FOUR directions via 3-phase now :)
     
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  12. RBR

    RBR Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD
    Sensational!
     
  13. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    That's interesting to know WhiteStar! Just looked it up and found this article...
     
  14. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Also thanks chuq and RBR. It would be nice to see more EVs using the 3-phase socket at Camooweal!
     
  15. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 15a) Townsville - Mackay + Finch Hatton

    On the way to Townsville we made a short stop at Frosty Mango using their Tesla Destination Charger for a short top-up while we stretched our legs and took some food.
    In Townsville we had a room booked at Mercure Hotel with the Tesla Destination Charger available for our usage.
    The next day we used a 3 phase socket at Bowen Showgrounds and continued to Mackay, staying over for 2 nights at Potters' Ocean Side Motel which we absolutely recommend. They also have 2 TDC for customers use.
    From Mackay we did a day trip to the Eungella National Park located about 75km to the east in the high up hinterland. This park has a lot to offer for nature lovers!
    Broken River is re-known to be another Platypus viewing spot but we didn't have any luck there. We used the jungle trail along the river and made some nice shots:
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    In Finch Hatton we also made contact with the caretaker of the local showground and could confirm that they have several 3 phase 32 A 5p sockets which are OK to be used by Tesla and other EV drivers against a small fee. I have added the spot to Plugshare.
     
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  16. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    Section 15b) Townsville - Mackay + Eungella Dam

    After our long morning walk at Broken River we went to Eungella as it was their market day and a good time to buy some local specialties. We also took a nice breakfast there and than continued to Eungella Dam, about 35km past Broken River using unsealed road.
    Arriving at the dam's camping ground there were plenty of big 4W ICE's with tents as it was the last day of the QLD school holidays.
    We drove past them slowly and silently....you had to see the faces! It will certainly have given them an understanding what your able to do with Tesla EV!
    Here are our last shots for this trip, including water plant eating horses and a collage of the Black Fronted Dottler Bird pictures.
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  17. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

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    Location:
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    #57 Dylanpete, Oct 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
    To conclude the report of this trip I can say that we enjoyed being a trailblazer and we hope other EV drivers will follow suit.
    We drove approximately 6400 km on this trip in 21 days and only used 1 QLD Government sponsored DC fast charger...
    Along the way we were able to establish many new charging points and we added 20 new charging spots to the Plugshare app, see below:
    20 Added Plugshare charging points.jpg
    I also wanted to take the chance to officially thank my spouse for her support and patience during this interesting but tiring trip.
    Luckily for other EV drivers to do this routes now it will be a lot easier without wasting time for searching where to charge.

    Here are some other destinations in N-QLD that are attractive and waiting to be visited by other EV drivers!
     
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  18. raynewman

    raynewman Active Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Twenty years ago we did the trip from Northern NSW to Dajarra (South of Mt Isa). Looks like it's time to re-visit and this time in a proper car.
     
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  19. *KT*

    *KT* Member

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    Aug 2, 2016
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    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Thanks for your time and energy on this project. I do hope this helps EV take up beyond the SE corner of QLD. Hope to hear good news about NSF soon.
    Love the platypus and had forgotten how cute emu chicks really are.
     
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  20. Dylanpete

    Dylanpete Member

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    Location:
    Moreton Bay, QLD, Australia
    KT, it may take a while before we see regular EV trips to the Outback but look, raynewman may travel to Dajarra and Sylvia is preparing her big trip, that's a good start!
    How did you feel about the photo of the upside down platypus? Ever seen one like this? I must say that my spouse had a unique shot there!
    We also have some platypus video but I didn't post it as TMC wants us to put it on youtube first etc...
     
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