We left Brisbane on 8th of September for Cooktown. Having done the coast road on our first trip north we headed west to take the inland road north from Roma. A three year drought has made inland Queensland a dust bowl, but it is still a beautiful area.
Our first over night stop was at Bowenville Reserve, a free camp on the bank of the Oakey Creek. Local councils provide free camps for caravans near small towns (particularly those bypassed by highways) as a means of injecting revenue into the towns. Most grey nomads are retired and most take along their dog. Caravan parks can be expensive and not many are dog friendly so they head to free camps. The nearby town provides a place to get provisions; petrol, groceries, fresh food, fishing tackle, post office, newsagent etc. and a chat with the locals who are always happy to talk about the history of the area. We find the free camps much more relaxed and quiet than caravan parks, and more spacious so we can leave the van hitched to the car, which is convenient when staying overnight. The councils often provide a toilet, but no other amenities. No drinking water, power, or anything else so being self contained is important.
Bowenville Reserve, has a small boat ramp for tinnies and kayaks. Lots of people had kayaks with them.