Saturday, 14 May 2011

Winton, Waltzing Matilda & road to Boulia

We arrived in Winton on 12th May. 20 kms out of Longreach our Patrol served us with a rather loud noise & almost complete loss of power from the motor. The hose from the intercooler feeding into the motor came off. OMG. We know only the basics of motors, but after 30mins of fiddling around, we managed to get the hose reconnected back into where it should be. We drove the next 90mins/ 160kms quite nervously, parked our van at the glorious 'long waterhole' just out of town & hotfooted ourselves into town & a mechanic.
"Common prob" is the response & phew - we had done the job OK, no damage as all we would have experienced would have been polluting the environment with masses amount of black smoke & chewing through a lot of diesel.

Our campsite at Long waterhole was very similar to this 1 next to us - Adrian & Denise's campsite- alas we had 1 too many bushes for a great picture :)

We spent 2 nights here because it was so picturesque. Of course I had fun bird watching as well as talking to the neighbouring folks.

Waltzing Matilda Centre was the attraction in Winton.
This statue is of AB (Banjo) Patterson out the front of the centre named after his song. The 8mins show featuring his song was a test on the emotions & brought a small tear to the eyes. "Banjo" talked about how the song was written & became our National song in 1895- a replica of his face is screened from the floor / billabong. Then the song is sung, with lights spotting onto each of the characters in the song.
 That's the Coolibah tree beside the Billabong!!
The rest of Matilda Centre is just another museum - yes we thought we were nearly finished with museums, & they end up all being similar to each other - old artifacts from early to mid 20th C.
I won't bore you with any more stuff from the early 1900's, but have to show you this photo though - it's a 'gidgea tree' - You can see a partly carved boomerang in this commonly used tree by the aboriginals. This boomerang was abandoned because the wood had a faulty grain.

Winton is 1500kms from Brisbane in the north-west of the state, so the town isn't that big, but still managed to have at least 5 pubs in it.
This is the destination for dinosaur fans, but most attractions are miles out of town, & we weren't that enthused any way.
Around town, there are the usual tourist shops - crafts, opals, dinosaurs stuff.
The towns water supply comes from 1.2kms deep into the Artesian Basin. It comes out at a temp of 83*C & cooled to 44*c before being used. It smells & tastes like rotten egg gas (hydrogen sulphide gas). It's supposed to be pure once allowed to stand for a while or boiled.
Arno's Wall is an attraction with a difference - a german guy who loved opal mining nearby, decided to build a concrete wall down 1 side of his house. He embedded some unusual pieces of dumped items into the concrete wall- such as this section below-
Yep - you can see a couple of motor bikes there. Old engines, lawn mower parts, vintage typewriters, & a  porcelain toilet to name few items in the 2 mtr high wall.

The road to Boulia on the 14th May was a surprise. I had thoughts of desolation for 360kms.
A hilly ranges was to break the boredom.  The road winds its way through jump ups, Channel Country & Mitchell Grass. With the late summer rains, the grass is, for most of the drive still quite green.
The river systems for Lake Eyre start here in the Channel Country.

 We had these views for maybe 200kms. Hills covered in tree clumps or some with clumps of Mitchell Grass. The lack of trees is normal, as the ground is usually too dry or cracked for trees to grow every where.

 These 3 photos are from Cawnpore Lookout of the Lilleyvale Hills on the edge of Winton & Boulia shires. These were to be last of the beautiful hilly scenes for the last 120 kms to Boulia.

 These little mauve wild flowers also sprinkled the landscape for 50 kms past Winton.

Middleton, with a population of 3, is about the middle of the drive to Boulia!
Just a pub, but a very old pub. Cob & Co used to go through here in the early 1900's

No comments:

Post a Comment