After leaving Boulia we returned to Mackay as Greg’s Aunt Liz had sadly passed away after a long illness and attended her funeral. We stayed for a few days then had a nice ‘sea change’ camp about 50 kms north at Balls Bay(beautiful) near Cape Hillsborough for three nights before heading out west again.
We passed through Clermont, the Gemfields,Tambo and had three nights at Charleville out on the Warrego River. Moving on we stopped at Cunnamulla for lunch and nearly died when stepping out of the car with shorts and t-shirt on, cold!. We headed straight to the bakery for a nice hot pie and coffee instead of the usual salad sandwich! From here we drove onto Eulo and camped the night alongside the Paroo River.
Next day we arrived at Thargomindah to find out about 400 ‘Variety Bash’ members were arriving in the afternoon enroute from Sydney to Darwin. ‘Surly Shirley’ of the pub was putting a band on and the community a smorgasbord dinner to raise money for the RFDS. We walked into town to enjoy a night out with the locals and ‘Bashers’ and rubbed shoulders with John Paul Young and John Williamson whom are both members of the Bash.
We then headed out to Burke and Wills’ Dig Tree calling into Noccundra Pub (out in the middle of nowhere) on the Wilson River for a coldie! We camped on the Cooper Creek both at the Dig Tree and Innaminka where we went next. I was surprised there was water in the creek but there’s deep waterholes that never dry out. So water was never a problem for the expedition which Burke led from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentria in 1860 but his and Wills’ stupid decisions, arrogance, prejudice and refusal to except help and food from the aboriginals led to their starvation and death! John King then sought out the tribes and lived with them until he was rescued about five months later and was the sole survivor of the northern expedition. King apparently also sired an aboriginal girl by the name of Annie ‘Missy’ King, probably unbeknown to him, who lived and died in the Innamincka/Tibooburra area.
From Innaminka it was then onto Cameron’s Corner bordering QLD, SA and NSW and has a corner store/pub for the night. The countryside out here is absolutely mind blowing! Everyone we speak to travelling out here are equally amazed at how the landscape changes consistently but at the same time the scenery just goes on and on forever. There’s hundreds of creek crossings, hence the name ‘channel country’ and would be great to see in the wet but without a doubt from the air! Then you cross over big red sand dunes and lots of them, feels like riding on a roller coast! Just when you think the country would be worthless you come across mobs of big fat healthy looking cattle. And then there’s the many, many oil and gas wells scattered across hundreds of kilometres. Yes, it’s certainly amazing country but I still don’t think I could live out here!
We are now heading back to the coast having come through Tibooburra and Mutawintji NP and will be back next week for a couple of months work to top up the coffers before heading off again!