Thursday, September 10, 2015

Birdsville to Cunnamulla, Qld. - Part 2

As we drove into Quilpie, a town with a population of about 650, we had a plan to free camp on the banks of the Bulloo River. However, as our plans are always flexible and because the area was very dusty and highly populated with large red kangaroos, we opted to book into the Caravan Park. The weather forecast was for several very cool mornings so we chose the '3 nights on a powered site for $75' deal. Also in the deal was free use of the Natural Artesian Spas. We took advantage of those spas each day of our stay except for one night when the park was packed to capacity with travellers stopping over on their way to Birdsville. Taking full advantage of this annual influx of people Quilpie conducts their annual Street Party, "The Kangarangadoo". This consists of Food Stalls, Bath Tub Races, Wool Bale Rolling and another event titled "Get Your Rocks Off", this event consists of teams of four persons with two of them moving 250 rocks from one bin to another and then the other two moving the rocks back again in the shortest time. The winning team completed this task in around 2 minutes. We had dinner of junk food and watched these events and we were back in the 'van soon after 10:30 PM.

Quilpie appealed to us, so we booked in for a further three nights, we really wanted to continue with those artesian spas each day. The Foodworks Supermarket and the local Butcher provided very friendly service and great products at competitive prices.

Finally, we moved onto the Toompine Hotel. There is no town at Toompine, only the Hotel. We had heard that the Pub was going to be invaded by several hundred 'Bikers'. Undaunted, we stayed the night with about ten other caravanners. We had a meal, many drinks while listening to Bill Davey, a Country and Western Performer. By 9 PM the caravanners out numbered the Bikers. What a bunch of 'pussies' they turned out to be. We were very tempted to stay for a repeat session the next night, but, instead we moved onto Yowah.

What a let down Yowah was. No action there whatsoever. Yowah is totally orientated to Opals and Opal Mining, believe us, nothing else matters there.

From Windorah on, the road has been fairly good, it is only single lane most of the way and the surface is fairly smooth too. We could comfortably drive at 75 to 80 kmh for much of the distance. What we did notice though, was the dry and arid conditions as we passed through each Shire. They have not had any appreciable rain for three seasons now. We also noticed the number of 'roo carcasses along the road. Big Reds and Big Greys, we were passing about 10 to the km.

We camped for a night on the banks of The Pardoo River at Eulo. We then drove onto Cunnamulla to refuel before meeting up with The Matilda Way and heading South to NSW where this Highway becomes The Kidman Way. You can read about Eulo and Cunnamulla on an earlier Blog Posts from May 2014. We will be following The Kidman Way through NSW until we arrive at Tocumwal on The Murray River.

As we will be mostly driving and doing over-nighters en route to Tocumwal we will only compile a Blog of significant events once we reach a camp along 'The Murray'.

It is not difficult to find rocks around Quilpie.

Metal cutouts depicting Industry in the Shire line the Main Street.

There once was a Wool Industry here in Quilpie until the arrival of packs of wild dogs decimated flocks. They even managed to breed square sheep so that the fleece fitted into a wool bale better!

Quilpie generated its own power until 1987. This is one of the earlier generators used in the town.

At one time Quilpie was the end of the rail line.

Bulloo River at Quilpie with the rail bridge in the background.

About 6 km out of town is the large permanent Lake Houdraman.

A 'rustic' picnic table at Lake Houdraman.

The Servicemens Memorial at Toompine. Some of the 'Biker' camps can be seen in the background.

The Toompine Hotel.

Luxury cabin accommodation at Toompine Hotel.

Simon in the Toompine Hotel Bar restocking the 'fridge with my beer ready for night two!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Noel and Judy

    Sound like a great shin dig in Quilpie and Spas to boot we must keep that one in mind when we get up there again.

    We are back in Melbourne looking after Bob's place for a week, we have not decided where we go from here.

    Tasmania was great and what a great place to like nor to far from any where in Tasmania, we really enjoyed it.

    Cheers for now Jim and Lee keep well