"We Go Outback" Personal Page by wise23girl
It was quite a long drive. We began in Buderim Queensland, travelled south and then inland through New South Wales,across through Broken Hill into South Australia to begin our "tag along "in Quorn.
Under the guidance of our fearless leader Dave Burge we went by road, rail and track north to Alice Springs (Yes, we saw Lake Eyre South ).
Then on our own again west across Northern Territory along the Plenty Highway , then headed to to Boulia (home of the Min Min lights) across Queensland and finally back home.
Don't hold your breath but more to come......
One leg of our journey was from Dubbo,"The Crossroads" across to Broken Hill. So we passed through Wilcannia ..."no way in the world" would we stay there overnight! Grabbed some petrol and off. Shops closed and boarded up, iron bars over windows and doorways utter neglect of buildings, inhabitants lolling around the streets; such a desolate place.
But Broken Hill well..... We stayed in a pub aptly named "Theatre Royal" . How interesting ...hidden away was the old theatre complex complete with stage and a floor for dancing. And the floor was made of slate. What a waste, no one uses it. And the chandelier...so beautiful.
In Quorn we meet up to begin the official journey. Now we did not go the usual route up to Alice Springs. No Cooperpedy. Rather the plan was to use some sealed road , ride on touristy parts of "The Old Ghan" train still doing bits of its former run and then up the track where the Old Ghan used to go. We picked up quite a few "spikes" left behind when the original rail was pulled up and sold as souvenirs in Alice. Any buyers around?
Did you know the name of the train comes from "Afghan" ? Camels once made the trek up the centre of Australia and there are still wild camels out there to this day.
My notes say there were 75 vehicles and 150 people and that $5000 was raised for The National Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs and The Old Ghan Restoration Society. good Stuff.
So we visited places such as Curdimurka, Coward Springs,William Creek, Oodnadatta and Mt Dare right on the edge of the Simpson Desert. At Mt Dare our "tag along " muso Swampy played a waltz for us to dance.
Now sometimes The Mighty Finke can be a raging torrent but in winter it is a large expanse of bull dust and we have to cross this in our sturdy 4WD...just a little SWB Pajero.
We all met for instructions. Now David used to" truck' so I had a professional at the helm and we sailed through without any drama. David even went back to kick up some dust so we had a photo.
But not everybody..oh no. Its' let some air out of your tyres", low gear and keep going. So some of the "know alls" who thought they knew better ended up in heaps of trouble.
Well we had never heard of it, we did not get back to it , and now I read it is no more ... but it is something to know about.
Just a long abandoned railway siding, a sign "Curdimurka" , and desert. But for a number of years an Outback Ball was held here every 2 years and people dressed in evening gear danced under the stars. Money was raised for The Old Ghan Preservation Society.
From a small beginning of a few hundred people, in its hey day the numbers were in the thousands. Folk came from all over Australia and even overseas.
Can you imagine what it took to bring in a dance floor and all the trimmings.
Not sure if it was an insurance problem or what...but it is no more.
Well we were the leaders coming into Alice. Why because of the sign on our vehicle which was quite spectacular. The board was placed in front of the roof rack to cut the wind and then in Broken Hill a young artist, discovered by chance, did the artwork for us. How good is that.
In Alice Springs there was a big Trucking Show which we all visited and our musician, Swampy was on stage. So was Slim Dusty.
And arriving in Alice Springs soon after us were the Chamberlain Tractors half way in their journey from Deep Point, Western Australia to the New South Wales Coast at Byron Bay (and we went down to see them arrive) Imagine that all the way across Australia in a tractor!
Well he is fun but had not done much camping so I threw a saucepan at him. He is very handy usually but would throw things down from the roof rack into the dirt and things like that. He can light a fire though.
Once we got to Alice Springs though it was motels all the way home and the cutest room in the pub at Boulia.
We really loved this holiday and met so many great people. Saw unusual things such as the Cawnpore Hills outside Boulia...the only other ones of this configuration in the world are in South America.
Had our first taste of camel racing as a result of this trip as Boulia folk invited us back the following year.
And we found Winton. Love that place. Then it was home . Not one single puncture the whole way. Good management I reckon.
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