Stopped at Barcaldine
– birth of the Labor party on the back of a massive shearers strike in 1891. Donna - the political beast - loved it of course!! Fascinating bit of Australian History.
Then a fantastic couple of days at Lara Wetlands – out in the middle of nowhere, we camped around a lake full of dead trees with birds fluttering all around the place. Wandered around the lake, camp oven over the fire, a relaxing kayak across the lake, and enjoyed the Hot Artesian Pool. Great great hidden spot.
Back to Illfracombe, where the host tells a few jokes and poems – very talented and funny lady!
Then onto Longreach and the famous Qantas Museum. Fascinating and very well done (although they could do even more with it … WIP). Lots of info in the Museum re the early days of Qantas – tough times back then and its amazing what they really had to do to get Qantas established … and to survive !!!! Then went out for a tour of the planes inc a Jumbo – however because of some works being done we only got half the tour – the outside – as the interiors of the planes are closed off for a few months while they build a roof (… although to be honest I could have probably run the tour of the interiors myself I have been in them so much!!) … amazing nonetheless. Also toured the original hangar, with a couple of the older planes inside, and a movie made years ago by the Founder – Hudson Fysh.
That night, we went on a river cruise along the Thompson River, followed by a camp oven dinner and show. Bit touristy of course, but really well done.
Stopped at the Walkabout Creek Hotel - a la Crocodile Dundee.
Then onto Winton – the scenery has changed now, from sparse empty rocky plains, to sparse empty grassy plains …. Mitchell Grass to be exact.
Never heard of it – but you can’t miss it out here – very good for the cattle apparently. Sent Donna off on a tour of the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry – the only one in the world – she loved it … footprints of a spot where one big dinosaur cornered thousands of little dinosaurs and had them scurrying – 90 million years ago. Meanwhile, I went to the Waltzing Matilda Museum …. Which was actually very good – Banjo wrote it about an incident a few Kilometres down the road, and first performed it in the North Gregory Pub in Winton – so of course I had a beer there also. Not a bad little town.
Then onto Julia Creek – past lots of cattle, a few Emus, a Wedgey, and a ‘flock’ (16) of Brolgas. Julia
Creek is a great little town – astoundingly neat – probably the nicest town we have come across. Had a bath in the beautiful Artesian Bath-house accompanied by a few wines and nibbles, wandered down the very neat main-street, lunch in the very neat café, and back to the very neat Caravan Park with its very neat facilities. Also joined the ‘famous’ camp over dinner and sat around with a few oldies … and youngies by the very neat camp fire. Great spot!!