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Long drive to Noccundra – which is literally a pub and that is all … a pub with great meals - but a scary cook!!!!.

Then off on another long drive to Burke and Wills famous Dig Tree.

The drive was across big, wide, treeless stony deserts (Gibber Plains), past a few oil wells


– and not much else.

Too desolate out here for even the toughest of animals -in daylight at least.

Camped at the Dig Tree next to Coopers Creek for a couple of nights – the ‘creek’ had lots of water – which brings lots of birds … and a lone howling Dingo. The Burke and Wills Story is captivating, so it was pretty exciting to be at the Dig Tree. As well as being a captivating story – it was basically one cock-up after another. The ‘Dig’ carving has actually been grown over across the years and can't be seen, and indeed there is conjecture as to exactly which tree is the Dig Tree … long story but we think they now believe it’s the tree next to the tree that was known as the 'Dig Tree'!!!

Stayed a couple of nights relaxing by the creek.


Short drive across the South Australian Border to Innamincka – where we visited Burkes ‘grave’ and Wills ‘grave’ (‘grave’ – because they were later exhumed and re-buried in Melbourne Cemetery) + the site where King – the only survivor – was found weeks later – he had hooked up with the Local aborigines and managed to live. Also did a short walk up to Ram Rock - which looks like a Ram!




A day of chilling out, followed by the 'meal of the trip' on the camp oven (Lamb Chick Pea and Harissa Casserole) followed the next morning by the highlight - Donna made her first ever edible Damper ... and it was actually very good.


Damper!!!




Joined the mass exodus from the Louth races, and headed to Hungerford – which is right on the NSW / Qld border – and has the dog fence running through it.


The highlight of the trip there was the dingo bodies hung up along the road – the farmers obviously don’t like the dingos!!



Hungerford pub just didn’t do it for us. Decided we should get the Ranger serviced before the trip to Birdsville – so gassed it to Charleville. Nice town …. Went to the Cosmos Centre with Telescopes looking at Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon etc. Also wandered through the Royal Flying Doctor Service museum which was quite fascinating. Outback life is so different!


Then we headed West towards Birdsville. First stop – Cooladdi – a one shop town. Camped by the creek with 10 billion flies and an equal number of 'bindiis' … but it was a nice spot for a campfire and a couple of beers.


Then Quilpie – another nice town with a super Caravan Park, which included Artesian Spas (because its on top of the Great Artesian Basin - most houses have water coolers rather than water heaters!!). Sunset at Baldys Rock ... wander around the Lake - and thats about all.

Weather has turned awesome - 28 today, blue skies ... and Donna very excited because she can get the clothes dry - she's a wild woman that one!!!!!





Headed to Gundabooka National Park – where we did a couple of walks, including a visit to the Aboriginal Rock Art … which we again found quite fascinating.


Then onto Bourke to get a couple of van issues fixed …. Bourke is said to be where the outback begins … although its pretty much a long way from anywhere itself! Couple of nights in town at the Caravan Park,

followed by a few nights chilling out by the Darling River at May's Bend


– the river actually had water in it – so we spent our days relaxing, reading, photographing the Pelicans … and the evenings sitting around the camp fire.




Restocked in town, checked out the Cemetery – as you do (Fred Hollows is famously buried there), had dinner at the Chinese Restaurant, and toured the burnt out houses.







Then we headed back to Louth for the annual Races. Louth is a town with a population of 30, which grows to 6000 for Race Weekend. Camped for 3 nights at the Racecourse, which was crammed with characters from near and far. Seems like an annual pilgrimage for many. Friday we went to the town pub – Shindys Inn – with hundreds of others. Live Music in the beer garden was great – followed by a big night back at the camp with a few fellow travelers we had met. Some of the biggest camp fires you could imagine – they don’t put logs on the fire – they put telegraph poles and pallets on the fire. Race Day was outstanding.

Dusty old race course – but clearly the highlight of the year for many – Fashions in the Field, beers, and some classic outback characters …lots of very very big hairy folk under massive cowboy hats and Drizabones – and a few men there as as well!!!!. The Races was followed by a live band deep into the night - probably the greatest band in Louth's history based on the audience reaction. The country folk were amazingly friendly – there was not an ounce of trouble – it really was an awesome day – and very uplifting.

Here is a link to the Louth Races news report - with us in the background...

https://www.msn.com/en-au/entertainment/other/increasing-number-of-government-services-are-online/vp-AAFGYQx