Today we have pottered around Boulia. The Stonehouse Museum had heaps of things to see, organised into different categories. The Stonehouse itself had things I’d never seen before and others which brought back memories, like the commode. That reminded me of staying with my Nana in the long, long ago, she had a commode in her bedroom. The first image is of a “bell” used to let everyone know it’s “Smoko” time.
A shed held old implements, tools and accessories many related to horses or camels.
Another area was related to technology ranging from pedal radios to a telephone exchange where the telephonist had to connect callers by plug in cables. Of particular interest was the radio setup used by children having School of the Air, the timetable included “Smoko” rather than “recess”.
The biggest eye opener for me were the fossils, instead of little pieces there were almost entire skeletons of weird creatures. The ancient dolphin with it’s scary teeth was especially impressive.
When we were in Boulia about 20 years ago I was fascinated by the “mushroom” rocks with their rounded tops and I hoped this time I’d be able to find some. Unfortunately today I discovered that the area where they’re found is about 2 ½ hours drive from here and the turnoff is back at Hamilton Hotel ruins where we were yesterday! Maybe we’ll be back again sometime and we can go and find some.
I revisited the “old blokes” sitting on the verandah in the Min Min Centre and we also checked out the Waddi Tree. There’s an Animal Rescue place in Boulia which has kangaroo Joeys and Alpacas.
The Caravan Park is beside the Burke River and we’re lucky to have a site overlooking it. Although there haven’t been as many creatures as I expected coming to drink from the river, I have seen a few birds.
Before we leave Winton I need to mention the “rainwater tanks” in people’s yards etc. Winton doesn’t get reliable rain so a tank for that water would be a waste of money instead Winton relies on artesian water which comes out of the ground very hot and smelling of sulphur. The town feed goes into the “rainwater tanks” where it cools down and the sulphur smell dissipates. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever needed to turn on the cold tap first in the shower and then very gradually add the hot.
Today we travelled across country dissected by multiple channels of the Diamentina River. That’s another name I’ve never thought about before but it seems Diamentina was the wife of the first governor of Queensland, the man who declared it a separate state. The environment is always changing and never bores us. Our first stop was at an un-named rest area in pristine condition.
The next stop wasn’t so impressive I presume back in the days when Cobb & Co. travelled the route more effort was made to provide comfort for the passengers.
We were very impressed with the views from a lookout.
Another stop was at the site of the Hamilton Hotel, now all that remains is a chimney but the stones used to build it are very interesting, some is actually petrified wood.
Along the road are references to the Min Min Lights and some impressive images created in metal.
When we stayed at this Caravan Park before it was overflowing with campers, this time it’s great. I did wonder before why there was a cattle grid at the entrance, today we discovered the reason. The poor beast has scars from the awful “Camel Burrs”.
Winton is the home of a the Crackup Sisters, entertainers who incorporate whip cracking and joke cracking in their performances. The girls are now establishing a place in Winton where they and others can perform, the house they are rebuilding was about to be demolished but with help from several people it’s coming to life again. Most of the materials have been donated and bring with them stories from another era. The house has great character.
We investigated the Musical Fence today and had a lot of fun along with another couple who are passing through Winton. You can play “music” on the fence wires but there are other “instruments” around too.
The old Corefield and Fitzmaurice General Merchants building now houses a souvenir and craft shop with profits going to community groups and also a museum. It was interesting walking around the exhibits. I was particularly interested in the displays of wool types and also the records of stations and their stock in the 1920s.
Another place we investigated today was the site of the original town at Pelican Waterhole, the town site was moved to it’s present position after it was flooded once too often.
We’ve enjoyed our stay in Winton, it’s been fun sitting with a schooner outside the Australian Hotel (No beer for me!) and people watching. Seeing people come out of Searles with their brand new big hats, Bluey with height and legs of a jockey and Clarrie who apparently gave everyone a scare when he was taken off to hospital in Townsville by the RFDS but is back home now feeling like a million dollars having survived “the learner pilot” who made a bumpy landing coming in to Winton.