A Travellerspoint blog

Day 16

Winton to Jolly Swagman Billabong

sunny 25 °C

We fuelled up and departed Winton at about 9.00 am and reached some lovely looking hills and a rest area near Amelia Downs Station.2012_Aug_1..__Copy_.jpg
Not long up the road we saw a paddock full of sheep – there must have been well over a thousand of them but they ran away when we pulled up to take a photo. This was pretty close to Bendemeer Station.
We drove on till just 16 km short of Kynuna and turned down a dirt track for 8 km to Combo Waterhole Conservation Park. There were some cattle on the way which were quite happy to just stand on the track and not move for us.
When we reached the parking area we had lunch then did the 2.6 km walk through the scrub and Mitchell Grass to the Billabong where the Swagman of Waltzing Matilda fame drowned while trying to escape being caught by Police after being suspected of stealing sheep.
I found a freshwater mussel and Pommy Bob held it for a photo before returning it to the water so that it could breed up a new batch.
The English gentleman travelling with us came across some footprints in the track which he suggested were Dinosaur prints. We think we were able to convince him that they might have been kangaroo prints.1201320132012_Aug_1..__Copy_.jpg
Hiroe offered the ghost of the swagman food and drink while we were out there but he didn’t appear to take it. We were all disappointed.
We returned to the highway and back for 1.5 km to a rest area for the night.

We had a noisy night last night – many trucks coming and going and 2 even parked very close to us. When we got up and I went outside the van I noticed that one of Hiroes thongs was missing – Some animal must have carried it away during the night.
After a long discussion on where we would go and where we would stay for the next 5-6 days we drove into Kynuna to have a look at the Blue Heeler Pub. We couldn’t go in even though it was after 10.00 am and the sign at the door said that “Opening hours at the discretion of the Publican”.
We continued on towards McKinlay having lunch there. We parked in front of the Walkabout Hotel at McKinlay and we took a stroll right through the town. It has a population of 20 which includes 2 children who are the offspring of the Librarian. They attend Cloncurry School some 90 kms away.
There are some quite old buildings here, most of them uninhabited. There is even a small lockup at the back of the Police Station.
The town is named after the explorer, John McKinlay who was sent out to try to find the missing explorers, Burke and Wills who it was found had perished near the Cooper Creek.
There is a sign as leaving McKinlay which says “Uneven Surface, Reduce Speed Next 27 km” – What do they think we have been on since leaving Roma some 1021 km. This must be the worst road in Australia. Queensland road builders must go to a special school to learn how to make them so bumpy.
We have camped for the night just 60 km SE of Cloncurry in a huge rest area.

Posted by Hiroes 21:32 Archived in Australia Tagged river rest north to area winton fullarton Comments (1)

Photos and videos

sunny 25 °C

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Posted by Hiroes 23:46 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 15 at Winton in Queensland

sunny 25 °C

We spent the morning cleaning up the van and going to a dump point to empty the toilet cassette (I knew you wanted to know all about that).
We had morning tea then walked around town buying bread, groceries, eye drops, antenna adaptor, and meat. The weather has warmed up today so it was back to the vans for lunch.
After lunch we drove out to The Musical Fence, The QANTAS irfield of the 1920's and a Truck and Machinery Museum. Hiroe was VERY impressed with all the old truck etc (haHa).
There was a family of mother, father and 3 young boys all trying out the musical (?) instruments and Pommy Bob and Hiroe had to have a go as well. Hiroe received a lesson from one of the small boys.

Posted by Hiroes 23:07 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Longreach to Winton

sunny 20 °C

Left Longreach quite late; around 9.45, and drove for about 2 hours to a rest area just 45 km short of Winton at Crawford Creek. It is a nice clean area, bitumen parking well off the road with good clean toilets.
We collected some wood and we are going to have a fire tonight, the first for our trip.
We went for a walk along the railway track which is quite near to the rest area and collected a couple more pieces of wood. Hiroe did an inspection of the rail track.
Noticed an unusual yellow flower – don’t know what it is called, but took a photo anyway.2012_July_.._Flower.jpg
We had our first campfire tonight - it was wonderul sitting around and having a chat and a drink or 2.


This morning we drove a long way (45 km) to Winton and managed to get 2 free sites behind the North Gregory Hotel. This is a great campspot right in the centre of town with toilets and free showers.
After registering we walked around town where we had a look at the famous Arno's wall.
Then had a look at The Winton Club. This is where the very first Board Meeting of QANTAS took place.
We visited the Information Centre, Took a photo of the Banjo Patterson Statue.
Then did a little shopping, fruit and veg plus a new 7 pin plug for the van and then had lunch after which we went for a drive around the “Route of the Gum River” Self Drive Tour of about 50 km. It was an extremely interesting couple of hours. We visited all of the places of interest along the way;
Long Waterhole which is man made and was once used during the Outback Festival as the site for the biennial World Crayfish Derby. There were a lot of caravans and motorhomes out here.
Next stop was at a memorial built in remembrance of the Shearers Strikes of 1891 and 1894.
We visited the Bladensburgh National Park and the site of the old Homestead which is now the park headquarters.
We continued on to the Claypans and Engine Hole which was once the site of a brickworks.
On to the ‘Little Jump Up where we took a photo of where we had come from.
Next to Skull Hole which is where a massacre of Aboriginals in retaliation for the murder of a teamster took place. The tribe was massacred here.
We had afternoon tea at Bough Shed Crossing where there were a few campers set up. Then over the solid rock bottom crossing of Surprise Creek before returning to Winton. Showers were the order of the day and we had dinner tonight in the hotel.

Posted by Hiroes 03:28 Archived in Australia Tagged - days 14 12 Comments (0)

Day 12

At Longreach

sunny 22 °C

This morning we went to have a look at the Stockman's Hall of Fame. It was a wonderful experience. We paid for entry as well as a show and lunch.
We saw a couple of videos with absolutely great scenes of the outback.
When the time came to go and watch the show we lined up with all the other folk and were treated to a magnificent performance by a single man, his three wonderful horses and a camel and then 9 bullocks which eventually he harnessed up and draged a log into the arena with them. he told many stories, all of them very funny and his three dogs added to the entertainment.
The lunch consisted of a huge hamberger with chips and Hiroe only managed about 1/3 of it.
1.20132013201E 0122012_July_..ngreach.jpg2012_July_..of_Fame.jpg

Posted by Hiroes 23:08 Archived in Australia Tagged at longreach Comments (0)

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