V HOT We treated ourselves to a sleep in this morning and didn’t get up till 8:00. After breakfast we fed the chooks and talked to the horses then spent the rest of the morning reading & I cleaned the cameras. After and early lunch, Tom, Linda and I went into Blackall¹. Storm clouds were hanging in the Eastern sky and there was a possibility of drought-breaking rain. Linda and I wandered up & down the hot Main Street being stared at by the locals then we came home again. Linda and I went out in the late afternoon and took some photos. Good light effects.
¹Blackall is a town in Central Queensland which supports the surrounding sheep and cattle country. It is situated on the Barcoo River (an iconic Outback river often mentioned in bush songs and poems. A “Barcoo Poley” is a type of Australian stock saddle without a saddle horn. Blackall was the site of the original Black Stump from which the phrase “beyond the black stump” meaning a place far away, originates. Surveyors in the early 1800s named a black stump on the then Astro Station as the farthest limit of their survey work to date. Beyond the black stump, the land was un-surveyed and unexplored.
Got up at about 7:30 and showered then had brekkie. Everyone flapped around getting stuff ready then we headed off to the Yalleroi¹ Tennis Club. It was something that has to be seen to be believed. It is out in the middle of nowhere, 50 miles from the nearest town. The courts are made from crushed ant-hills & the Pavillion is just a roof over a concrete floor. Linda & I played 3 games in appalling heat and both agreed it is the craziest thing we have come across yet!!
Tennis anyone? Forty-two degrees in the shade, playing tennis on crushed anthills!
Christine took us to see some Aboriginal cave paintings which, while interesting, weren’t spectacular. Got back to Evora at 9:00 & showered off the layer of red dust we had accumulated.
Aboriginal rock art near Yalleroi. The snake depicted is a Rainbow Serpent, whom the Aboriginals believe created the world.
¹Yalleroi is just a locality. There’s nothing there. The name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning “stoney.” A town was surveyed in the area but was never settled. A cattle station called Yalleroi existed in the late 1800s but it was subsumed by a neighbouring property. Members of the Yalleroi Tennis Club wear whites as if they are playing at Wimbledon.
V.V. Hot. We got up at 5:30 and showered and packed up. Drove out of Emerald and headed for Blackall. The trip to Alpha was pretty boring & we stopped for petrol and a bit of brekkie there. Carried on to Jericho with a stop to photograph anthills and turned off at Jericho onto the road (TRACK!) to Blackall.
Back to the Track. Outback road between Jericho and Blackall, Quensland.
It was a long, very dusty road and we turned off at Yalleroi & headed across country to Darraquart, where we asked directions on to Evora. Unloaded our stuff and crashed out for the rest of the afternoon as it was about 40°- 42°.
Kiwi kids on a red dirt road, Outback Queensland.
V.V. HOT We had the alarm set for 4:30 but it was still too dark so we didn’t get up till about 5:00. Packed up the stuff & dropped the tent & got everything into the car & headed away. Stopped & took a photo of the sun rising through the bush-fire haze.
Bushfire haze at dawn, Carnarvon Gorge National Park, Queensland.
It took about an hour and a half to get out to the tar-seal. Got some petrol at Rolleston and some brekkie at the cafe in Springsure. Drove on to Emerald and got there about 11:00. Booked into 707 Motel & had a shower. Went and did some washing at the laundrette then relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. Had Big Rooster¹ for tea.
¹ Big Rooster (now called Red Rooster) is an Australian fast food chicken chain.
V HOT We got up at about 7:30 and lit the fire. We cooked bacon and eggs for brekkie and fought off the flies and bugs and birds that wanted to eat it before we could. We ended up eating in the tent to escape their wicked clutches. Wrote a few postcards and slacked around then went up to the resort¹. Sat on the porch and drink shandies for about an hour. Bought some cans of drink and ice and drove back. In the afternoon we sat in the pools in the creek to cool off and tried unsuccessfully to escape the heat. Packed up some of our gear and gave our remaining firewood & milk to a couple of German guys.
V HOT Got up at about 7:30 again and John & Naomi packed up their gear. After exchanging addresses and goodbyes they left, bound for Emerald and Mackay then on to Cairns. Linda and I spent the rest of the morning sitting around, she writing postcards and me reading. We went for a drive up to the shop at 12:00 and sat in the bar drinking a can of beer each and playing darts – Linda won – Lucky! We bought some cans of drink, milk and ice then went back to camp. After a quick snack, we wandered round the nature trail and I went for a dip in a pool we found. Two kookaburras, “Gargle” and Mr T”, came to help us eat our dinner of Irish stew spuds and cauli.
A bushfire was burning throughout our time at Carnarvon Gorge. This smudge is from a piece of ash which fell on my diary the previous day.
V HOT We got up about 7:30 and had cereal and toast for breakfast. It appears that the bushfire is still burning!¹ 4 of us went for a walk 1.5 km up the gorge to the Moss Gardens (cool and damp) Then another 1.5 km to the Amphitheatre which you have to climb a ladder and chain then walk through a 3-4 foot wide chasm to get into. An amazing place.
Entrance to The Amphitheatre, Carnarvon National Park, QLD,
We trudged home in the heat and spent the afternoon relaxing. Went for a swim in the (stagnant!) pool. We pooled out food at night and had a feast of rice, corned beef, kidney
beans, snags and cauli. We showed them our photos of home.
¹A bush fire was burning in several parts of the National Park.
No safety barriers here, The Amphitheatre, Carnarvon Gorge NP, QLD.