Some places we've been and some places we're going.

Archive for the ‘Winter Migration 2015’ Category

Back to Back of Bourke – Wednesday

The Tourist Info Centre gave us a brochure full of Mud Maps for the area and today we decided to use them, they were great. The first one we used was to the Fort Bourke Stockade, although the original stockade has been destroyed, probably washed away by floods there is still an old smaller one there. On the way back we stopped at the cemetery which is divided into religious sections like Catholic, Presbyterian, unsectarian then ethnic sections – Chinese and Afghan.

Map 2 was to the Historical Lock & Weir, the only lock on the Darling River … the lock doesn’t function these days.

We went back into town after that for some refreshments and we saw people coming to the shed beside the cafe. They were waiting for an old Crossley 2 cylinder diesel engine to be started up. It was enormous and I expected great thumping to come from it but that wasn’t the case, it just made a gently whooof, whooof, whooof sound. It’s first job was power generation in Sydney 1923 -1938 and it’s last job pumping for irrigation until 1964.

After that we did the walking Mud Map to see the historic buildings of Bourke. There are lots of impressive old buildings in excellent condition but my favourite is the one designed by …… which incorporates very clever passive cooling, perfect for the Bourke climate.

We still hadn’t had enough of the Mud Maps so then we did the Wharf River Walk, which wasn’t a walk but a drive and as we came back towards “home” we took a track down to the old bridge just in time to see the sidewheeler, Jandara, heading away from the bridge back to its mooring near the Caravan Park. There was plenty of time for us to get back there to see it coming in to dock.

Tomorrow we are starting the “River Run” a series of dirt roads that follow the River Darling from Bourke to Wentworth. We intend stopping overnight at Tilpa, Menindie then Wentworth and are not sure about internet access at either of the first two.

Back to Back of Bourke – Tuesday

After a poor night’s sleep caused by the Air Conditioner in the van behind us kicking in and off all through the night I was ready to move on. We were on the road before 9:00 and it was a very uneventful drive. We saw a few feral goats, a couple of Eagles, maybe a Bustard, some Brolgas and lots of Emus. Our brunch stop was Cunnumulla but it was very disappointing after our Mitchell experience. There was however a very big statue of “The Cunnamulla Fellah” which I found far more impressive than the song which inspired his creation. His face really makes you think he’s someone you could run into around here.

The road from Cunnunmulla to Bourke had very long straight stretches, after a while we started to measure the distance between bends but the longest ones were behind us and we only measured a 7 km straight. There were quite big areas with purple, yellow and white wildflowers.

We booked into Kidman’s Camp again and have the same site as we had when we were on our journey up. This will be a two night stop.

Charleville – Monday

With our cable ties still firmly in place we left for Roma where BJ had recommended someone who could do a proper job on the brake. We were out of our cabin and at the place for 8:00, luckily for us they agreed to check it out. After Alex explained the problem they simply got on with the job and after about an hour the receptionist just printed out our invoice, the job was done and cheaply too.

Mitchell was our lunch stop and it was another nice little town with MASSIVE salad sandwiches at the Bakery. I hurt my arm trying to move one of the outside chairs they were so heavy. Just blocks of wood with small wrought iron backs. I’d love to know what the wood was. There were plenty of big hats and big dogs around the town.

We didn’t see many animals today, not living ones that is, only an echidna and a couple of feral goats but an awful lot of roadkill. In other places the roadside vegetation has been burnt and I wonder if that’s an attempt to keep native animals away from the road. I wish there was some way of protecting them.

I was very keen to see the “Vortex Guns” here in Charleville so as soon as we’d set up the camper we went to find them. I’d imagined giant muskets or something but of course they were nothing like that. Although it’s easy to laugh at the madness of thinking you could make rain fall by shooting into clouds the people were desperate for some drought relief at the time and would have thought anything was worth a try. Besides, Clement Wragge was a renowned meteorologist at the time so wouldn’t he know best?

We’d been warned that this wasn’t a good Caravan Park to stay in, far too crowded but we decided to check it out and I’m glad we did. We have a nice big site, the amenities are well maintained and the people very friendly so it seems fine to us. Alex has repositioned the car though so he doesn’t have to see the Dump Point!

There are some South Australians here who have extended their stay twice already just to avoid going further south and back to colder weather.



The Queensland section

The Queensland section