The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere


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Sidetracked at Wantabadgery – on the way to Wagga Wagga

Day 3 & 4 – Sandy Beach at Wantabadgery

You know, sometimes you find a camp spot that you’d be happy to spend a bit of time at, and this is one of them. Right on the banks of the river it was a lovely clean, mowed area with picnic tables, a toilet (composting) and water – and plenty of room to camp without being on top of someone else.

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Marion and I were a bit cheeky and pulled up either side of a covered picnic table and claimed it as our own while we were there. It wasn’t a problem as it was mid-week and not a lot of people around.

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This photo MUST have been taken after 4pm – it looks like Happy Hour is in full swing by the level of my vodka and tonic!

We were camped near some lovely people from Yeoval and they were amazed when I said I had been there – quite by accident of course – when I was bringing Brutus home to the Gold Coast not long after buying him. You’ll have to read my first blog if you want to catch up on that story!

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I know, this photo has a fingerprint on it, but it’s one of the few I’ve got outside Marion’s van.

Sandy Beach is on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, which Jack made the most of by having several swims. He loves the water almost as much as he loves sticks to play with. And sticks and water together – dog heaven!

We had a couple of lovely days here, the weather was good, the facilities fine, Jack was a happy dog – and I think Marion is getting into the swing of this. A camp site like this certainly helps! If I hadn’t needed to fill up my gas bottle I could have easily stayed a few more days.

Day 5 – Arriving at Wagga Wagga

Wagga Wagga wasn’t far away so we checked out one of the other freedom camps at Oura Beach on the way there. It had a few more people staying there but once again looked like a good place to go. It was a little closer to Wagga Wagga than Sandy Beach, too. Love the sign going into town!

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As you come into Wagga Wagga there is another free camp right on the edge of town at Wilks Park, but I’m so glad we have a cousin here and we were able to stay at their home on acreage a little way out of town.  Wilks Park was right on the highway, and although it had good facilities and gave easy access into town, it was crowded and noisy.

Being here was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with Gretchen and Richard, and Marion was thrilled that Richard was able to fix a squeal in her air conditioning. A hot shower and shampoo was very welcome, too.

Jack met some cats for the first time in his life – and they soon let him know who was boss! His ball, another favourite toy, rolled into the horse paddock during one game and that was an interesting encounter to watch. The horse just wanted to be friends but Jack was very wary and couldn’t get out of there quick enough. That was the biggest dog he had ever seen!

We enjoyed a nice evening together before heading further south the next day. The Rutherglen wineries are not far away ……


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Wending our way to Wagga Wagga – Gooloogong to Bethungra Dam

Day 2 – Off to Bethungra Dam.

Today was going to be a little more straight-forward as we decided to camp at Bethungra Dam. We travelled through Young and Cootamundra to get there.

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When we left Gooloogong we travelled through Grenfell. I love the intro to their information site

What do notorious bushrangers, guinea pigs, great Australian poets and cricketers all have in common? Grenfell of course!

Click here to find out more!

Every year they have a Henry Lawson Festival to celebrate the fact he was born in Grenfell. It is quite an historic town, originally a gold mining town it was known as Emu Creek and renamed Grenfell in 1866.

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Young was our next stop so we parked the vans and visited the Information Centre to find out what we should see. The information centre is in the old Railway Station and the staff are really helpful.

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As Jack was ready for a run we decided to go out to the Chinese Tribute Gardens which were established to recognise the contribution of the Chinese gold miners during the gold rush – and probably to make amends for the terrible treatment they got at the Lambing Flat Riots. It was a beautiful and peaceful place – free to enter – and a lovely stopover for a picnic lunch.

Here’s Jack (and Marion) ready to enjoy a walk around the gardens.

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In November 1996 Rotary handed the project over to Young Shire Council. Encouraged by Mayor Tony Hewson the Council formally dedicated the Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Garden “in recognition of the contribution of the Chinese community to the settlement of Young in the 1860’s and the ongoing contribution of the Chinese community to Australia as a nation.”

You can read more about the development of the gardens here.

Young was originally called Lambing Flat and Aussies may remember learning about the Lambing Flat Riots when you were at school. This is a brief synopsis from the Young website, but you can find out more if you click here.

The site where Young now stands consisted of a well sheltered valley with good water and it was here that White built sheep yards and a shepherds’ hut. The area was reserved for lambing ewes, and therefore was in turn given the name of ‘Lambing Flat’.

The beautiful valley remained as such for 34 years until 1860 when White’s nephew Dennis Regan and Alexander ‘the Yankee’ found gold at the spot in the creek at the rear of the current Lambing Flat Folk Museum. Within 12 months some 20,000 miners were busy extracting the precious metal from the earth. Amongst them were some 2,000 Chinese miners.

The European miners deeply resented the Chinese and in 1861 riots began with the Chinese being forced from the fields time and time again. The Official Riot Act was read to the miners on the 14th July 1861, this being the only official reading in NSW history to rioting miners.

Today, Young is more famous for its cherries and they have a festival coming up in December that you can get more info about here. One of the locals told us that frosts and a dry winter have restricted the cherry crop this year, so if you thought they were expensive to buy before just wait until they hit the shops this year!

ImageWe didn’t stop in Cootamundra but drove through on our way to Bethungra Dam. I was looking forward to seeing the Cootamundra Wattle, which I thought would be flowering at this time of the year but it wasn’t noticeable.  When I started looking for info about this wattle it is described as a weed!

For more info about Cootamundra click here.

The camping area at Bethungra Dam was a good open space, lots of level ground – and not too many people. There were plenty of sticks so Jack was happy. We watched a storm rolling in as we ate dinner which didn’t arrive as bad as it looked, but before it came there were thick clouds of mosquitoes hovering, so it wasn’t the best night for sitting around for a drink and a yarn.

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The campsite is about 5 kms of dirt road in off the main road and you travel beside the railway line for a while.

When we got to Junee the next day they had some really interesting information about the 360degree spiral rail at Bethungra, the only one of its kind in Australia. All you rail enthusiasts can read about it here.

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Junee also has an amazing rail feature and they celebrate with a Rhythm ‘n’ Rail Festival each year. Here’s the link for the event in 2014.

The Junee Roundhouse is a massive rail turntable that was built during the war years.

Junee in southern New South Wales is home to one of few working Railway Roundhouses in the Southern Hemisphere. When built in 1942, it boasted the largest turntable at 100 foot. Since 1994, the Roundhouse has seen a new lease of life. Half is now used for the museum, whilst the other portion is used for its original purpose of re-conditioning and rebuilding locomotives and rolling stock.

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This is definitely an area that any train buff would love, what with the Bethungra Spiral and Junee’s Roundhouse you could see 2 amazing features so close together. There’s more information about the Roundhouse here, if you are interested, and also at this site of the Roundhouse Museum.


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Destination Orange – friends, fun and wine festival

From a rally in Bingara to a wine festival in Orange – how good is this life. A trip of about 550 kms took me to my next destination, which was broken with a stay at Coolah Home Base.

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After the Bingara Rally, fellow Solo June and I went back for a quiet couple of days on the Gwydir River before heading south to meet my sister Marion at a farm at Cudal, about 50kms from Orange. We stopped for a couple of nights at Coolah Home Base, a great place owned by a couple of ex Solos, so they have a great camp kitchen and Happy Hour room. It was good to catch up with the washing, too. Some of the other Solos had also gone to Coolah before heading off to the Narrabri Rally – or in whatever direction they were going. The morning we were leaving I was chatting to Pauline who decided to join June and I and spend some time in Orange too. So our 3 vans set off!

IMG_0691We travelled through some pretty country but I couldn’t resist stopping to take a photo of The Rock which we passed not long after leaving Coolah.

I was looking forward to seeing my sister Marion. The last time we were together was December 2012 and she had planned this trip for some time. She had bought a tent and was going to join me camping at her friend’s farm. Anyhow, my blogs got the better of her and 3 days before leaving Tasmania she bought herself a campervan and left the tent at home! This was going to be a lot more fun!

Marion’s friend Brian welcomed us to the farm at Cudal and it soon resembled a camping ground with Marion, Pauline, June and I setting up camp. We had arrived on the Saturday, spent the day settling in, and on the Sunday Brian did the tourist thing and took us to our first event for the Orange Wine Festival – a fabulous choral afternoon at one of the wineries. The Orange Male Choir performed with a female group called Canta, who also provided the most amazing afternoon tea of home cooked goodies – a perfect afternoon of good music, food and friends.

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After the concert Brian took us for a drive to Mt Conobolas.

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June, Pauline and I

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Marion and I

Another day he took us for a drive over the farm – beautiful countryside.

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Apart from Marion and I going to a few local wineries for tastings the other major event we went to was the Night Markets in Orange on Friday night. There were 40 sIMG_0710talls of lovely wine and food and the markets were held in a central park with beautiful old trees. The atmosphere was great – lots of families and everyone there to enjoy themselves, just like we were. We sampled some local food and wines before heading back to the farm at Cudal, where our stay was coming to an end. I have to show you this photo of an amazing rooster that we saw the day we went to an Iris farm near Molong.

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Monday morning we said our farewells and headed south…… but more about that later.


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Longreach to the Channel Country- so much to see and do!

I thought I’d spend a couple of days in Longreach, but I drove straight through and went to Ilfracombe and stayed in the Ilfracombe Caravan Park. What a great night! They have a fantastic Happy Hour Shed and the night I was there they did a Sausage Sizzle in aid of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It was a great way to meet even more wonderful people.

Their regular entertainers were away at the Yellowbelly Classic in Longreach so we entertained ourselves with  jokes and bush poetry from the crowd. I plucked up the courage to tell my Green Frog poem, which went over really well.

I started back to Longreach late the next morning, making the most of the power to charge my lantern, computer and phone – and to catch up on some blogging.

I arrived at the Longreach Stockman’s Hall of Fame and paid my money to see the museum.

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I have to say I was disappointed in the museum. Although filled with an amazing amount of information it was very sterile, I found the displays quite dark and hard to see the artifacts, and if you aren’t a reader you would miss so much – there is a lot of reading!

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I had missed the live stockman display in the arena out the back as I got there after 11am, so that was disappointing, too. Perhaps I just wasn’t ‘in the zone’ for Longreach  so I definitely have to go back and give it a fair go. I would like to visit the Qantas museum and also do the river cruise or wagon trip which I have been told by other travellers are both fantastic experiences. Next time.

After filling up with petrol and refilling my gas bottle I headed south to Stonehenge, 151kms away. I was entering the Channel Country in the Barcoo Shire.

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 If you want to get an idea of the size of this shire, think approximately the size of Tasmania – 61,974 square kms. It takes in the townships of Stonehenge, Jundah and Windorah.

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The little caravan park at Stonehenge offered showers, water and power for a $10 per night in the honesty box. The Community Centre opposite is also the Information Centre and a very friendly lady was more than happy to fill me in on what to see in the area.

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The same facilities can be found in Jundah and Windorah for the same price. Each of these little towns also has a dump point.

I stayed 2 nights at Stonehenge and whacked the lantern on charge again to make sure I had plenty of light for the free camps I would be staying at over the next few days. You can get too comfortable when you are ‘plugged in’!

Jundah had a lovely looking free camp on the banks of the Thompson River but I decided to keep going to Windorah, where I stayed at the free camp at Coopers Creek. Coopers Creek is formed by the joining of the Thomson and Barcoo Rivers and when in flood it fills multi channels and flood plains that stretch outwards from its banks for up to 100kms as the water commences its journey to Lake Eyre.

Windorah has a solar farm that provides most of its energy requirements and looks so out of place in this little country town.

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The free camp is just out of Windorah on Coopers Creek. The best spots were taken when I got there but I found some shade, set up camp and not long after was joined by another person, Derek, who it turned out was from Swansea in Tasmania, a town close to where my sister lives. By the time he left I had to get out my lantern to see what I was cooking. Bugger me dead – it didn’t work! All this time I’d been charging it for a night just like this and it was the globe that was gone, not the charge!

Out with the trusty head lamp, which I hadn’t used until now, and looking like an alien I cooked my dinner and then read by the same lamp until sleep time. I LOVE this little lamp. It’s hands free, throws a great light – and it cost next to nothing. I think Laurance convinced me to buy it at Crazy Clarks when he was in Mt Isa – thank you!

There are soooo many places I want to go to out here. You could spend months, if not years, travelling around Queensland visiting the most amazing little towns with incredible history. I have to keep telling myself ‘you can’t see everything’……but I’m hungry for it. I feel like a little kid stamping her foot saying ‘but I want to!’

Tomorrow I’m going to Quilpie – but I’m missing Toompine, Eromanga and Adavale. I have to come back!


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Wonderful Winton – Music on the Mesa

Well my van is packed and I’m ready to go……

I headed off from Mt Isa on Monday 19th August to wend my way slowly back to the Gold Coast. As Bev had taken me to McKinlay on Saturday I decided to go down through Boulia again. Although the road is only one lane it’s not a bad road and there was a tree I wanted to photograph that I saw when I went to the Camel Races.

Boulia Bike treeIsn’t it amazing? I wonder how they got all those bikes up there! Don’t you love the quirkiness of some people?

I’m so glad I decided to go this way because at my very first overnight stop I met this wonderful lady, Rosanna and her dog Layla. She drives a fifth-wheeler called Zingara, which means gypsy, and has been on the road about 3 years. We had a drink together for happy hour and the next day we headed off together towards Winton. Rosanna had stopped at the Cawnpore Lookout and advises you to park at the bottom and walk up to see the most amazing view. The road is steep and not accessible by motorhomes and caravans. Here are some of the pictures of the landscape on the way between Boulia and Middleton.

IMG_0462 IMG_0470 Red HillsOn the way we stopped at the Middleton pub, known as one of the most remote pubs in Queensland. There is a rest area opposite that you can camp at.

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Middleton PubThere doesn’t appear to be anything else in Middleton but the pub, but that was well worth stopping at to meet the publican and his wife and their pets, Kelly the dog and Pig, the pig. Pig has been raised there and thinks it is a dog so it goes out with Kelly to round up the cattle.

Publican at Middleton

IMG_0480IMG_0482There were some fabulous flat top hills called mesas, or locally known as jump-ups along the way.

Mesa near MiddletonMesa near BouliaWhen we arrived in Winton we made our way to the Long Waterhole, about 4 kms out of town. As we drove in I recognised Nev, another Solo I had met at Goomeri, so we pulled up close by and set up camp.

Long Waterhole Winton The Long Waterhole at WintonI’d only planned to stay a couple of days but Rosanna unhitched her ute and we set off to see the sights together so I ended up staying until Saturday morning.

Winton is known as the home of Waltzing Matilda and their Information Centre has a fantastic display that illustrates the poem written by Banjo Paterson so long ago. Did you know that he heard the music first, then wrote words to go with it? I didn’t!

There are some interesting attractions at Winton, so we saw as many as we could. Arno’s Wall is one of them. It was built from stuff from the rubbish tip cemented into a wall and there is everything there including the kitchen sink – and even a motor bike!

Arno's Wall, Winton IMG_0503Behind the historic Corfield and Fitzmaurice store there is also an old open air theatre with – you guessed it – the BIG deck chair. Here’s Rosanna relaxing!

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There is also a Musical Fence that you can play with sticks and pipes and they have set up a percussion area with assorted ‘stuff’. Had to have a go!

IMG_0497IMG_0495 IMG_0494 IMG_0493Rosanna and I took a couple of days to see all this – can’t rush these things – and enjoyed happy hour with Nev each night. On Thursday night Nev suggested we go into town to Tattersall’s hotel for tea, which we did and I enjoyed a massive rib fillet, cooked to perfection. Nev left on Friday after cooking us Eggs Benedict for breakfast – how spoilt are we – so Rosanna and I headed back into town to do some washing and get a haircut. Lucky we did as the hairdresser at Pinky’s mentioned that Deborah Conway and Willy Zigier were performing out at the Age of Dinosaurs Museum that night so we decided we should go along.

The museum is about 27kms from Winton, on a jump up (mesa), and is a stunning building in a stark and beautiful setting.

Age of Dinosaur MuseumWe arrived before sunset, tables were set up on the terrace so we took the last one available which was directly in front of the little stage area. Off to the bar for a beer and we settled down to wait for the music, which was due to start at 6pm.

Deborah Conway & Willy ZygierWinton ConcertDeborah ConwayThe sun set as the band was playing – absolutely magic!

IMG_0517This was just one of those out of the blue experiences – being in the right place at the right time – and we were treated to a very special night. There would have been less than 50 people there, it was free, the setting was spectacular and the performance brilliant. It will be locked away in my memory forever.

As we left you could see the lights of Winton in the distance. We headed back to our camp and enjoyed a farewell barbeque together as Rosanna was staying on and I was leaving the next morning.

I’ll remember Winton fondly for the wonderful friend I made in Rosanna and the experiences we shared, particularly the magic music at the museum!

Happy Campers:

There is a dump point in Winton and a large parking area for vans only one block back from the main street.

The Long Waterhole is about 2 kms out of town on the Jundah Road and camping is about 2kms in from the turnoff. There are no facilities at The Long Waterhole, but there was water in the creek and shady trees around. When I was there it was very windy, dry and dusty – couldn’t leave the windows open in the van or it just filled with dust. We were parked  on the southern side of the waterhole and it may have been more protected on the northern side which is accessed by the ‘high’ road from the southern entry. Take your binoculars as there is a mass of birdlife and emus wander through the camp. Don’t leave food lying around as there are also feral cats.

A bit more about Winton:

The only known dinosaur stampede in the world happened at Lark Quarry conservation park, about 110kms south west towards Jundah – 55 kms of made road and 55kms of dirt. You have to do a tour to see the stampede, where over 3300 footprints of dinosaurs of all sizes are preserved in stone. You can catch a bus out from town for $75 which includes the cost of the tour or you can drive yourself.

footprint-arrowsAustralian Age of Dinosaurs at the Jump Up. It houses the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils and the most productive fossil preparation laboratory in the Southern Hemisphere. The turn off is 13kms south of Winton on the Longreach Road and then 13kms of dirt road to get to the museum. It’s a steep road in places and there is a drop off point to unhitch a van before the road starts to climb.

Water is from Artesian Bores and really stinks of sulphur, but once you let it sit the smell goes. It is hot when it comes out of the tap and in one place near Winton, at Castle Hill Station, it is 99°C out of the ground. In Winton they cool it from 83°C to 44°C before it enters the town’s water supply.

There’s a lot to do in Winton and the people are friendly and welcoming, but it was time to move on so I packed up and headed towards Longreach, planning to stay about 25kms out of Longreach so I could go to The Stockman’s Hall of Fame the next day. The best laid plans……..


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Farewell Mt Isa – and Thank You

What a wonderful experience living in Mt Isa has been! I have seen and done so much in the nearly 8 weeks I have been here and met some great people who became firm friends in such a short time. They opened up their hearts to me and included me in their lives – and that’s what made the Isa so special.

I have told you already about a lot of things I have been involved in but there’s a couple that you don’t know about yet so let me fill you in – or in the words of the late Peter Allen “I’ve got so much to tell you!”

The Mt Isa Rodeo was on the week before I left and yep, I got roped in to some volunteer work for the Lions – this time serving hot chips from their chip van at The Mailman Express. This is a horse race where the horses race against the clock over 200 metres rather than against other horses. A young woman from Bundaberg, Katie Vaughan, won on her quarter horse, Black Magic.There was a great crowd there and we sold 700 cups of hot chips that night. I never want to see hot chips again! They held a Calcutta and auctioned off the horses, a couple of them selling for about $2,500, and one of those was the winner in 11 point something seconds. To qualify the horses can’t be thoroughbreds. The race is named in honour of a local racing identity Wally Mailman, who is also the father of actress Deborah Mailman. This photo was taken early in the evening before the crowd arrived.

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Looking towards the finishing post before the race.

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Dave setting up the chip van.

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That morning was an early start as the Zonta Club held a bush poet’s breakfast that I attended and I was asked to read a couple of my poems – the one about the green frog in the toilet and one I had written about Bev, the sheila from Mt Isa. (They have been included in previous blog posts).There were a few gasps when I started reading the one about Bev as people recognised who I was talking about but I was there with Bev and she loves the poem so that was ok. At the end of the recitals everyone who took part was presented with a little clock as a memento and thank you for participating.

The weekend the rodeo was on the Variety Club Bash hit town, and you guessed it, I was volunteered again! This time it was with Meals on Wheels who had won the tender to feed the Bash participants. During the week I helped make about 30kgs of savoury mince for them and then helped serving up dinner on the Friday night and then breakfast on Sunday morning. The Bash crews were all dressed up to match the way they had decorated their cars and trucks so we had the Beverley Hillbillies, pink fairies, clowns, policemen, firemen, lawn bowlers and even Dame Edna Everage!

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They were great fun and played their parts really well, keeping in character most of the time. A lot of them went to the rodeo on the Saturday night so there were a few sore heads at breakfast on Sunday morning after which they took off on their next leg to Normanton.

I’ve been to my first rodeo!

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On the Sunday afternoon I took myself off to the Mt Isa Rodeo – after all it is billed as the biggest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere. I stayed for a couple of hours and saw bareback bucking bronco riding, bull riding, cattle roping and the flag parade of all the sponsors. It was 34°C that day and after such a busy week I took myself home for a nanna nap before going around to Joy’s for dinner that night.

Paul and Shirley, owners of the house I have been looking after, arrived home the following week so my time in Mt Isa was coming to an end. I was farewelled in spectacular fashion with a sunset barra barbie at Lake Moondarra.Dave organised it, mainly as a thank you for his little team of volunteers that went to Avon Downs but it was my last night so it was a lovely way to leave. In the back row there’s Kerry, me and Dave’s wife, Toni. Joy and Dave are sitting in the front.

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Sunset at Lake Moondarra – magic memory to leave Mt Isa with.

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As a tribute to the friendship Joy offered me when I first arrived, and in recognition of all the amazing experiences that she roped me in to, I wrote the following poem. I still can’t read the last couple of lines without getting a little teary…..

When I was in Mt Isa I met this friend of Shirl’s.

Her name was Joy and she welcomed me so I felt like one of the girls.

Joy volunteers at Meals on Wheels and the Flying Doctor Service

But when it comes to driving she gets a little nervous.

She picked me up with Bev one day and we went down to the ‘Curry

We stopped at Driver Reviver – we weren’t in any hurry.

We sat down to enjoy the lunch that Joy had packed that day

And she’d planned the sights that we would see when we set off on our way.

But before we left we set a ‘bomb’ to get rid of any pest

That had made its home at Fountain Springs, a favourite roadside rest.

Another trip she took me on was out to Avon Downs.

It was the annual coppers cricket match and they turned out to be clowns.

They were dressed in crazy costumes, and Spiderman was there

It didn’t seem to matter what they chose to wear.

We went with Dave and Kerry to cook and sell the beer

And raise funds for the Flying Doctors and enjoy the outback cheer.

Then she roped me in to sell hot chips for the Lions Club, no less!

It was at a special horse race called the Mailman Express.

And when the Variety Club Bash hit town they needed to be fed,

So I stirred the pot and made a lot of savoury mince for them

And dished up dinner Friday night and breakfast Sunday morning.

If you’re going to Mt Isa I’m giving you this warning –

You’ll be volunteered for everything if you meet Joy and Dave

They’ll keep you so damn busy you won’t have time to misbehave.

But you’ll meet a lot of people and you’ll have a lot of fun

And, like me, you will be sorry when your time in Isa’s done.


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In the Nick at Avon Downs Police Station

No – I didn’t spend the night in jail, but I did spend the night at the Avon Downs Police Station. (More about being in the nick later). I went to Avon Downs with some volunteers who fund raise for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), and we were cooking and manning the bar for the crowd that had gathered for the annual cricket match between the Queensland and Northern Territory Police. Avon Downs is about 300kms from Mt Isa and about 75kms over the border in the Northern Territory – my first time in the NT!

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Entering the Northern Territory

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Northern Territory border

The border is not far from Camooweal and the drive is through the Barkly Tablelands – grasslands.

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Barkly Tablelands

Camooweal has the longest main street in the world – about 200kms – and it goes from Mt Isa to Camooweal. Apart from that the roadhouse there makes a decent coffee, which was very welcome after our 6am start.

The Avon Downs police host the annual cricket match between the Territory and Queensland and there were players from Cloncurry, Mt Isa, Camooweal, Tennant Creek and Avon Downs. A lot of the local ringers, girls and guys, from stations in the area also came along for the day – and night.

We opened the bar about midday and provided much needed refreshments for the cricket teams on this hot day. Part of the fun was the dress-ups – the NT cops really got into it while the Qld team had their maroon jerseys on.

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At the Trough

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The’male’ bag

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Spiderman?

It got pretty hot out on the pitch so a couple of the guys stripped down to these wonderful duct tape g-strings – well, they thought it was a good idea until they had to rip it off!

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Duct tape g-string – painful

It was thirsty work and the beer and bundy flowed until late into the night. We packed up at the ‘cricket ground’ and went over to the Police Station where we set up the bar again and started to cook a barbeque dinner. Everyone was having a great time. A charity auction was held and the bidders were really generous as so many of them had used the services of the RFDS. The crowd was fined throughout the day, too. Fined if they didn’t have an Avon Downs stubby cooler, fined if they hit the cricket ball, fined if they didn’t – they just kept throwing money into the kitty every time they walked past knowing they were going to be fined for something.

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The crowd at the cricket

Between midday on Saturday when we opened the bar and 10am Sunday after we’d served breakfast, and including the result of the auction, about $5000 was raised – a fantastic effort! And a lot of fun…

In the nick! Well, not me, but I didn’t close the bar until this game was over. It was a game of strip volleyball and it was over when all the players, guys and girls, were naked. By this time no-one was feeling any pain and certainly not the chilly night air. I was exhausted, as were the other 3 volunteers I was with and we knew we had to up to cook breakfast the next day. A few sore heads but a happy crowd and our time at Avon Downs Police Station was over.

Travellers – there is a free camp opposite the Avon Downs Police Station but if you are looking for a little luxury for the night you can stay at the Police Station accommodation – like a motel suite – for $15 a night for the room. There is a fully equipped kitchen, good hot showers and a washing machine.

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We’re going home!

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Kerry, Joy and Dave – fellow volunteers

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It must have been this cuddle that did it – Dave has asked me to help out at a car rally in a couple of weeks – catering for about 300 people. I should have recovered from Avon Downs by then!