Mitchell to Longreach in Queensland
24.07.2012 - 27.07.2012 20 °C
We slept in this morning – the alarm clock failed. We left Mitchell a little late, 9.00 am. Before leaving though, took a photo of the water at Neil Turned Weir.
We continued on to Morven where we had morning tea. Not very much at Morven except a ‘Kerosene Tin hut’ from the depression years. It would have been hard living through this time.
Onwards again to Augathella for lunch and a look around the town. We took some photos of a sculpture of a meat eating ant together with a sign explain about these ants.
There was quite a bit of work being done on the road up to Tambo and they need it as well as much more to be done. The road is VERY bumpy and the surface in places is far from good.
When we reached Tambo we drove up the main street and then did a circuit of the back blocks before pulling into the Tambo Teddy shop where Hiroe made a purchase.
We have camped on the banks of the Barcoo River for the night. We had a very pleasant happy hour tonight.
Before leaving Tambo we walked along the main street. Not very much of interest apart from the Post Office which has a large unusual roof vent on it. It’s quite decorative.
We drove on towards Blackall and on the way Pommy Bobs computer management system indicated a fault. We stopped and Bob read up on the problem in his vehicle handbook and came to the conclusion that we could continue our journey and that he should have the system checked as soon as possible. On reaching Blackall he have a Service Centre do a diagnostic check of his system and they could find nothing wrong, even though the warning light was still on.
We had morning tea in the town’s park and noticed a statue of a man there and upon inspection found it to be of a man who during the First World War won both the Military Cross and the Victoria Cross. His name was E.T. Towner, a Lieutenant in the Australian Army.
We walked up and down the quite long main street of Blackall. We came across a stuffed doll of an old man and Hiroe tried to ‘chat him up’ without getting much response.
We continued our journey towards Barcaldine and a Road Train in passing Pommy Bob threw up a rock which hit his windscreen. Cracks started to appear and grow and by the time we reached Barcaldine it was obvious that the windscreen would have to be replaced. It has taken a few phone calls to his insurance company to arrange a replacement.
We have booked into a caravan park for 2 nights to give time to fix Bobs vehicle and to enable us to have a look around this town tomorrow.
Late afternoon we went up to near the office of the van park for some entertainment with Billie Tea and Damper. Well, the Billie Tea and the damper were good but not too keen on the entertainment. Still, it was all free so no use complaining.
Bob has finally got somewhere with his windscreen problem – we have to go to Longreach to have it attended to – it’s only 106 km away.
A little sleep in this morning since our van is parked under a tree and it was quite dark. After breakfast we went for a walk through the town of Barcaldine visiting the Anglican Church which is heritage listed and has lovely stained glass window and wonderful fretwork in the roofing timbers. We continued on our walk and had a look at the Masonic Lodge which is constructed with both timber and metal cladding. The front of the building although timber, has been painted to look like brickwork.
Walking further we came across a lot of swallows nests constructed in the veranda ceilings of one of the stores in the main street
From here we walked to the Tree of Knowledge which is where the shearers who were on strike in 1891 met. As a result of the conflict with graziers and the police which resulted in a great number of the strikers being jailed for up to 3 years, the Australian Labour Party evolved.
In 2006 someone poised the tree and it subsequently died. A rather impressive structure has been built over what remains of the tree.
Bob and Hiroe had a go on a musical instrument found in a park in town.
We returned to our vans for lunch before returning to town for a visit of a few hours to the Australian Workers Heritage Centre. There is quite a lot to see here and possibly to see and appreciate it all would need more than the one day visit.
We were up early this morning and left Barcaldine at 8.15, heading for Longreach where Pommy Bob is going to have his windscreen fitted.
We stopped briefly at Illfracombe to have a look at the Wellshot Hotel and some of the old machinery alongside the road. There was a rather heavy tractor which was petrol, kerosene or alcohol powered and used 4 gallons per mile of fuel. Very expensive.
Another interesting machine was a Waugh Dam Excavator built in Sydney.
We continued on into Longreach and booked into a caravan park then we followed Bob to where his windscreen was being replaced; picked him up and went into town for a walk around including a visit to the Information centre. We did a little necessary food shopping and returned to the van park for lunch.
There were a huge number of corellas sitting in a tree very close to town.
After lunch it was decided that since Bob’s vehicle would be out of action for most of the afternoon, we would visit the QANTAS Founders Museum. We spent a few hours here looking around at some of the old aircraft and watching a couple of historical videos.