Birdsville Trip 2005
Our Trip set off at ten past seven on Saturday morning to meet up with Bev and Trevor out the front of Capalaba Central. St George was our destination for Saturday which was completed stopping in Dalby for lunch and a toilet stop in Moonie. Between Toowoomba and Dalby we stopped in at Jondaryan to visit the cemetery when we took a wrong turn and ended up having around 8 cars following us thinking we were going to the Woolshed but soon realised it was a dead end and turned around for the right way! At St George we stayed at Pelican Rest Tourist Park and Bev, Mum, Louise and I went for a walk to the cemetery to look for my great, great Grandfathers grave. On day 2 we left St George at 8 o’clock for Yowah where we were to meet up with Matty McKenna. We stopped in at Cunnamulla for Lunch and had a snack at Eulo on our way to Yowah. We stayed at Artesian Waters Caravan Park at Yowah where Matty, Nina, Lucy and Matty’s friend Anna arrived after us to set up camp. The bath tubs at Yowah were different, as there was no roof and it was all artesian water that came out, so you could look up at the stars in your bath time! Quilpie was our destination for day 3 and Toompine and Baldy Top were 2 stops along the way. Toompine was what they call ‘The Pub without a town’ as all that’s there is a Pub! Whereas Baldy Top is a lookout a few km’s from Quilpie. We stopped and climbed Baldy Top and from the peak you could see Quilpie and there were some great photo opportunities. Channel Country Caravan Park was where we were to be staying for 2 nights. Day 4
was a wash day for some (not us kids) and a day for checking out some of the local attractions such as the Opal Altar at St Finbarr’s church, Lake Houdraman where we had lunch and a 1 km river walk.
The KangarangaDo street party was on Tuesday night where Matt, Louise, Lucy and I entered the wool bale rolling competition where we all got beaten by the country kids apart from Matt who was the only kid in his age group so he won the $15 easy. We spotted Tanya Kernigan on the night with Taryn Onafaro (Or at least I think that’s how it’s spelt?), and got a picture and an autograph. The GET YOUR ROCKS OFF competition was the highlight of the night. It is a competition with a team of 4 and a tonne of boulders, 2 men get into the pit full of boulders and have to throw all the boulders out of the pit as fast as they can, when they are done the other too men stand on the outside of the pit and throw all the boulders back in the pit first team finished wins! The prize was $10 000! The men weren’t to well after the competition! Day 5 was a slow start from a big night leaving Quilpie at 8 o’clock, but it felt a lot earlier. Windorah was our destination and we were to attend the ‘International’ Yabbie races that night. We stopped in at Eromanga for a toilet stop and Kyabra Creek for lunch which was very scenic. We were supposed to be staying at the Windorah Caravan Park but it was full so we got put
on a football field. We went to the Yabbie races where the cheapest Yabbie went for $200 and the most expensive going for just over $400! We set off for the most important destination of the trip on day 6, which was Birdsville! The road to Birdsville was one to be remembered as it was 300km’s of rocks, bulldust and dirt. Seeing all the other drivers on the side of the road with punctured tyres and smashed back windscreens made you aware of the dangers you could encounter. We arrived and signed in at the Birdsville Caravan Park where we were welcomed by David and Herma who had been travelling over NT, QLD and SA. That afternoon we went for a walk through town and bought some souvenirs. Day 7 and I got to sleep in; that morning we went for a look at the Birdsville Working Museum that morning and had a tour by a very enthusiastic tour guide who was quite a character. That afternoon we decided to go check out the races. So many people attended the races and there were so many funny people and things to laugh at. That afternoon we went for a drive to Big Red, a 37 metre-high sand dune. We went to witness the sunset
and conquer the sand-dune; we met up with some people from 4x4 monthly. Day 8 and this time we awoke to an horrendous dust storm. And in that dust storm along came a lady asking Dad if she could use our camper to be on T.V! Then over came Andrew Daddo from The Great Outdoors on channel 7. He used our camper trailer as the
background of the scene and pretended to drink out of our cup! We got autographs and photos of our 3rd celebrity. We were told the episode will be shown in September on the ‘camping special’. We set off to the races before lunch in a bus that was going to the races from the caravan park for a $2 coin. It was cup day and it was bigger than the day before. Everyone put on a few bets but the only winners were Matt and Herma. The dust storm continued for the whole day and because of the dust storm you would get free sprinkles on your ice-cream if you weren’t careful! That night I wanted to head down to Fred Brophy’s Boxing Tent but Mum and Dad were too tired so unfortunately we had to give it a miss. Day 9 and it’s our big day to Poeppel Corner. Leaving between 5 and 6 in the morning Matty stayed at camp, we were all quite tired but could not sleep on the track to Poeppel Corner with all the ups and downs on the way. Plenty of photo opportunities were seized getting the sunrise, animals and desert flowers. After a good 5 ½ hours we arrived at Poeppel Corner where QLD, NT and SA meet. The flies were just crazy! We passed through salt pans that sunk
and crunched under your feet and the tyres of the car! The trip back was just as exciting on the way there! Matt, Louise and I were dying to burn off some energy so we got let out to muck around on the sand dunes, which was fun! We made it back to Birdsville safe and sound but still very tired! We left Birdsville getting some photos of the car in front of the Birdsville Pub! Our trip was to be to Windorah via Betoota and Haddon Corner. We arrived at Haddon Corner which is where QLD and SA meet. Haddon Corner was 56 km’s off the main road and vans and trailer’s needed to be
unhitched. We arrived in Windorah and this time camped closer to the park but still not in it! The Pub was where we dined out for tea and the meals were much better than expected! I had Lasagne. Wednesday day 12 and we were on our way to Longreach via Jundah. From the road to Longreach we could see the Qantas Boing 747-200 plane over the houses and trees. We arrived and set up camp in the Longreach Caravan Park, and the adults went to do some washing followed by grocery shopping. Day 13 and we were on our way to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Matty’s friend Anna had had enough of camping and took a plane trip home!
The Hall of Fame was quite interesting but on all of our opinions it could have been so much better. Mum found some information on our great grandad in the hall of fame; he is the longest serving sheep shearer in Australia. We had lunch at the Hall of Fame Café where Trevor got a Hall of Fame pie with the words printed on it. After the Stockman’s Hall of Fame we went to the Qantas Founders museum where we watched a movie, looked at displays, entered the original Qantas hanger and got a tour of the Qantas Boing 747-200 Aeroplane. The tour of the plane could have been better with a more experienced tour guide!
Charleville was our destination for Day 14 passing through Blackall, Tambo and Augathella. We stayed at Bailey Barr Caravan Park where the Amenities block was excellent on my opinion. Day 15 we scheduled in to see the school of the air. Bev and Trevor stayed back as they had already seen the school of the air before. Mum, Dad, Matt and I were put in to listen to Prep year and Matty, Nina, Lucy and Louise were in for grade 1. The Prep year was so funny; the computer system that they use is fantastic. After the School of the Air we went to the Royal Flying Doctors base. There was plenty to see in the base but unfortunately the base was still quite small. That late afternoon we were off to the Bilby tours where we learnt
all about the bilbies and got to see them run around. No photography could be taken. Once the Bilby tour was over the Go Batty tour was on where we got to learn about Bats. No bats were caught so they brought out a snake instead! Day 16 and we were on the road again to Miles. We stopped in at Roma on the way there to visit Athol and Robyn and their 5 cats! We continued on to Miles where the fuel prices there were more expensive than Birdsville! We booked in at Miles Caravan Park and enjoyed our last day holiday with happy hour. Last day, typical, it rains! We get packed up quickly to keep our stuff dry and in all the rush Matty’s foot got sprained in a deep hole in the ground! We drove on home, Bev and Trevor and my family stopped in at Toowoomba to visit relatives and Matty went on to Brisbane! We left Toowoomba and arrived home and started to unpack. We all thought to ourselves, disappointed our holiday was over … BACK TO REALITY!
By Geoff Fryters