Today we drove out to the Ross River “Resort”, it’s 70 kms east of Alice on bitumen but we did a side trip on rough dirt road to Arltunga which was a booming goldmining town until about 1918 though the Police Station only closed in 1944. The old gaol is intact and has an impressive inspection hatch. There is a camping area near the Arltunga Hotel but campers won’t get any beer there, it doesn’t look as though it’s operated for years.
The countryside wouldn’t make for an easy life, the hills are rocky, the creeks all dry and it’s hard to imagine people trying to create a life out there without modern machinery etc. The geographical forms are impressive though, there are long stretches of hills with bands of different coloured rock another section was like a series of humps and many sections of hills have a “pie crust” edge to them. Corroboree Rock stands out by itself.
Along the way we passed two lonely graves, one is from 1998, a motorcyclist was killed while out riding his bike. The other grave is old and holds the body of a stockman who died of injuries after falling from his horse.
The old Ross River Homestead is fascinating and is used as the Office for the Resort and also has dining facilities and a Bar. The bar stools were custom made but I don’t think the craftsperson tested them out because they look as though they were made for hours of comfortable sitting.
We enjoyed lunch sitting outside watching Zebra Finches come down to a dish of water but whenever any big wasps arrived the birds took off. There were also some slender birds, maybe White-naped Honeyeaters, in the trees nearby and at another water container.