After 7 glorious weeks I finally dragged myself away from Karumba. Its easy to see why people go up there every year for several weeks if not months. It is so laid back. I highly recommend the Karumba Point Service Station Caravan Park. 500 metres from beach/river and the Sunset Tavern and Ash’s Cafe (best fish and chips).
I spent a couple of nights back in Normanton and had a meal at the Purple Pub to celebrate my 61st birthday and my second “on the road”. After here it was due south to Burke and Wills Roadhouse. This is one of those iconic roadhouse’s that everybody stops at. Heaps of parking area. Next was a stop at the old Quamby Tavern. The pub sadly has been abandoned and is looking the worse for wear with vandals leaving their marks but a good overnight stop. While here I heard of a house sitting opportunity near Winton so sent off an email enquiry. I stopped at Cloncurry to restock the cupboards and then headed south again to The Blue Healer Hotel at Kynuna. They have doubled their camp fees since I was there last year (now $20pn unpowered). It is still a great pub though. Whilst here I heard back about the housesit (see Bucket List #29 Volunteer on a Farm somewhere).
After finishing my 5 week stint on the Cattle Station I headed into Winton to complete my sightseeing of the town (See Bucket List #30 Visit Winton) and on to Longreach. This whole outback area has so much to offer the tourist. Apart from The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame (see Bucket List #31) and The Qantas Founders Museum (see Bucket List #32) there are a number of other things to see and do in the rea. I stayed at the Apex Campsite just out of town on the Thompson River. This was a very popular place to stay and at $5 a night no wonder. The town has an extensive amount of shopping precinct including a Target Store (although I believe this will close before the end of the year). There is The Powerhouse Museum which came recommended but it was closed the day I went to visit. There is also a Stage Coach ride which also sounded really good but it wasn’t operating due to Covid. The Tavern in the main street offered good meals, both lunch and dinner. There was also a River Cruise and Dinner on the Thompson River. This seemed a bit overpriced considering the river is very muddy and there were no gorges or anything like that to be seen so I chose not to do this one.
There are a number of smaller towns within the Longreach Regional Council area worth visiting (See Longreach-Isisford-Windorah Loop). Easy to spend a week or more in the area. I stayed 7 nights which gave me a discount at the campground.
Next stop was Barcaldine and its famous Tree of Knowledge. The Great Shearers strike of 1891 was headquartered in Barcaldine and ultimately this strike led to the formation of the Australian Labor Party on the political landscape of Australia. I became interested in politics at school and in 1975 actually joined the Australian Labor Party as a 16 year old. I never renewed my membership after that one year but have always had a leaning towards the workingman’s party on the principle of a fair days work for a fair days pay. I lost interest in Unions when I was working in the Bank and our Union “sold us out” when mergers (takeovers) happened in the early to mid 1980’s. Today both major political parties are so similar in many respects that it doesn’t matter who you vote for, you still end up with a politician!
Also at Barcaldine is The Australian Workers Heritage Centre. This is worth spending a few hours at. The 5 acre site is right in town and was once the site of the local school. There are numerous buildings to wander through and each tells the story of the various Unions and with historical data and displays. I thought it was very well set up and run. They are currently building a new Entry and Administration Centre where you will be able to walk into the museum from the main street/highway.