MIDGE POINT – where everyone owns a tractor

midge point

Big wet sky – Midge Point. We stayed with my cousin Brad and his wife Kimm for a few days. We caught fish in the creek, explored the beaches and headlands and met some of Brad and Kimm’s friends.

Midge Point is still a sleepy little holiday/fishing village. Everyone has a boat and tractor and the local tavern is the hub of social activity. The village is pretty well unspoiled. Most of the houses have no fences and less than half of them are permanently occupied.

midge point tractor

Everyone in Midge Point has a tractor to cart their boat across the sand to the water. Most of them are fairly ancient. Occasionally they break down and, after a few days, sink beneath the sand – never to be seen again.

midge point bike

I found this old motorbike under the mangroves up the northern end of the beach. It looked like someone parked it there, went fishing and never came back.

brad and dianne

Brad and Dianne on the beach near the crocodile hole

blue wing

Great birdlife at Midge Point. These Blue Winged Kookaburras are the first bird you hear in the morning and the last in the evening. They have a weird broken laugh – like a normal Kookaburra that never quiet learned to do it properly.

In the middle of the night Curlews stalk the town. They have a mournful, whaling cry, stopping just before daylight. The locals call them murder birds


Brad’s mate Lee restored this fantastic old pearling lugger – “Centurion”. Built in Broome in 1955. 30 ton of solid, double planked Jarrah.

on board

Lee, Dianne and Brad onboard Centurion. What a boat to be floating around the Whitsunday’s on!

from mt midge

Climbing Mt. Midge on the southern end of the beach was a bit of a task – no track and very steep. The view from the top was fantastic. I found out later there was a track leading up from the gentler sloping western side.


After saying goodbye to Brad and Kimm, we headed north, setting up camp on the Elliot River. I had an article to finish writing for International Artist Magazine and this was the perfect place to do it – quiet and isolated, with  few distractions (although a strange place to be finishing a painting of an Italian waterfront!)


After finishing the article we continued north towards Townsville. We managed to find a swamp to camp in. It was infested with mosquitoes and sandflies and was a popular spot for the local midnight pig shooters – not a place we would rush back to.


Dianne enjoyed the challenging corrugations of the swamp roads to hone her cycling skills.


Not so good were the sandfly bites

1 thought on “MIDGE POINT – where everyone owns a tractor

  1. John, I just got your e-mail letting me know about your new blog and I can’t tell you how excited I am about reading every word and looking at every picture on this blog! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished you (and other famous/professional artists I follow) would do a blog because they are so personal and you get to see sketches and daily paintings. I am beyond pumped about this! Thanks for sending the e-mail. AND by the way, I treasure your painting videos – they are GREAT! I watch them over and over and over. I recommend them to anyone I know that paints in watercolor. I’m teaching a beginners watercolor class right now and at the end of the 6 weeks I’m going to give them a list of videos they should buy and yours will be at the top of the list. Have I mentioned how excited I am about your blog :)???

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