On The Outer Barcoo

Windorah's Solar Farm Windorah’s Solar Farm

On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross’d ‘cept by folk that are lost,
One Michael Magee had a shanty

Those of you who know your Banjo Patterson poetry, might like to know we’ve spend the past few days in the Barcoo Shire. Today when we drove through Jundah, we could have called in to the information centre and got directions to the actual shanty of Banjo’s poem. It’s 100ks south east of the township, so we didn’t go!

The Barcoo Shire is one of Australias larger ones at 64,000 sq ks, but has a population of only 480 people. Windorah where we spent two nights is the largest town in the shire with a population of 100. We both reckon this shire is the most “out back” we have ever visited. It took until 1995 for anywhere beyond Windorah to get a phone line! The local cop called into the park this morning to see where we were off to and explain the road etiquette for developmental roads ie the biggest vehicle has right of way, and the smaller gets off on the shoulder and stops. He also told us this is the driest year ever with 17mls of rain falling for the entire year.

It was a lovely stay in the caravan park. We drove in picked a site and eventually a woman working for the shire came by and collected our money-$10 per night. The showers were hot, the washing machines cheap and the park quiet.

DSCN8162We took a really well sign posted nature drive out 12 ks to Cooper’s Creek, did some washing, then went for a sunset drink at the red dunes last night. The local tourist info said it would be lovely-they omitted to tell us about the millions of flies we’d be sharing the experience with.

Drinks at sunset turned into a fly swatting frenzy!

Drinks at sunset turned into a fly swatting frenzy!

Cooper’s Creek is mostly signposted as Cooper Creek because map and sign makers don’t like punctuation marks. The locals though are determined to retain its original name! Good on them.

Today we drove 320ks to Longreach. Along the way, a vital bolt holding the boat to the roof racks fell out (tied some string around that), further one we heard a noise and discovered the actual roof rack had broken (out with a rope to secure the boat to the roo bar), got here and discovered the brake cable hanging on the ground. Another bolt or nut or whatever it was had fallen out. Russ can fix that, but it’s going to take 5 days (plus the weekend) to get a roof rack here and 2 hours to fit it, so our two nights in Longreach just became a week.

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