Friday, April 25, 2014

Winton to Ilfracombe 17th - 25th April

Thursday 17th
     Drove back into Winton today, to the Tattersals Hotel Van park for a day or two to do a bit of touring around the town. Found some funny things, like this old Fordson Major sitting at a park at the western entrance to the town (no idea why they painted it these colours though)

      Then in a private residence this old tow truck which I found hilarious, all in the fun of the town, I guess!

I visited the Corfield and Fitzmaurice building, it is heritage listed,one of Australia's most perfectly preserved old style general stores and has quite a display inside, this one of all the old miners tools etc took my fancy, they also had a full size Dinosaur display depicting the dinosaur stampede at Lark Quarry, 95 million years ago, apparently this huge one caused a stampede of all the other dinosaurs and left all the footprints in the mud which is on display now. We didn't go out and have a look, quiet a long way on very rough gravel road.

Went walking around town, discovered this wall," Arno's wall" it is called, it reaches two metres high and is 70 metres long. Made of concrete and rock bought in from Arno's opal mine and is studded with old lawn mower parts, boat prop's and all sorts of machinery as well as the kitchen sink.

      Also visited the birth place of Qantas, situated in the Winton club, it was the first meeting place of the Qantas board. It is told that the second meeting was held in Longreach because it was too wet for them to get to Winton, now there is plenty of conjecture as to who has the right to spruik about being the Qantas beginning, I don't know, I'll leave it to them!!
    Saturday 19th
     Went to Longreach today.

    We were going to camp for one night at one of the rest area's on the way
to Longreach, but when we stopped at the first one the flies nearly picked us up and carried us away, same at the next one so we proceeded all the way to Longreach along these extremely long straight roads that are the norm' around these parts we have discovered, they're all the same, long-straight-no feature, but all is good. Arrived at the town of Longreach about 2pm, and ended up driving back about 4km to a rest area called the Longreach waterhole which is a straight stretch of the Thomson river, allowing a maximum of 4 days stay, set up camp by 3pm and had a cold one.

      Monday 21st
     Dawned a beautiful day again, this photo is the Thomson river at daybreak from an old bridge over the river next to the camping area. There is a huge area here, not all for camping but about 1000 acres of dirt tracks to discover the area and the locals kids use it a lot for trail bike riding.

     Went for a drive with the puppies about 5km up the Longreach-Muttaburra road, 2km of very corrugated gravel road, to have a look at Lilly Lagoon. A very nice area but no camping, would be delightful to camp here though. The lagoon has these trees all through it and a few lilies were in flower, very pretty they were too.
Tuesday 22nd
Had a neat 3 days at the waterhole. The long weekend is over so will replenish the larder in Longreach this morning and are heading for Ilfracombe, only about 20km down the road. Staying at the Ilfracombe Caravan park for a few days and checking out this little town which seems steeped in heritage and displays of old days gone by.
              Wednesday 23rd

This photo of early morning over the country side in Ilfracombe was my first morning sight in the area, very nice but the country is so devoid of much flora, the farming land is pretty dry still.

Walked the length of the town today, the buildings are well preserved, this is the Wellshot centre which is actually the information centre, housing a wealth of heritage stuff, out side is the town lock-up and this old boundary riders hut which was in use back then for  accommodation for the workers who looked after the outer area's of the station, very basic and tiny, but that was the way it was.

The whole of the main street, (which is the highway through) is a museum on it's own, there is a mile of machinery, vehicles and exhibits of all kinds. The general store has a coffee shop and some basic grocery items and lovely stuff all through. This picture gives an idea of how many items of machinery and vehicles there are in the one mile of museum on the road side all the way along the length of the main street.

    Also a cottage full of Bottles. This is the collection of Hilton and Ike Jackson, brothers. This is only a small part of the collection, as down the road a bit is a shed, chokers full of bottles, any kind that you could think of is here I reckon. I met Hilton Jackson while having a look at this huge mass of stuff, also there are rocks, hubcaps, petrified wood, chains etc, etc and he has been collecting all the goodies for over 43 years. An amazing collection.

          Thursday 24th
Another day of taking it easy. Ilfracombe is an amazing little town, the locals are friendly and I think I walked the whole town. Went and had spa this afternoon, it is an artesian bore, the water is very warm to hot, and is supposed to have medical properties, the only thing I can think that it did for me, was make me very tired, but it was a great way to spend a half hour or so, then cool off in the cold water swimming pool.

              Friday 25th
Our last day in Ilfracombe. will spend the day making sure I have seen it all and I suppose we will have to prepare to head off in the morning, we are going to another little outback town, Isisford. will get back to you on that experience later. Catch you soon.