We did it! We made it to Birdsville. After 2 long years in the planning we were finally here AND so were thousands of others.
We had the best nights sleep at our campsite on the banks of the Eyre Creek but we were both excited to be only 130km from our destination and woke early. There was no argument….it was up and get going.
Our camp at Eyre Creek was only a few kilometres from where the great tar road became a great gravel road. We expected there may be a bit of water across the road at Cuttaburra Crossing but it had all dried up and was no problem. Quite a few campers were set up there.
The road became a good tar road again and it was another 20-30km of this before we came to roadworks. There were many big earthmoving machines working away at the new road. It won’t be long and this road will be a tar one all the way to Birdsville.
We stopped to check out Carcory Bore and Homestead Ruins. It was amazing to see the boiling water coming out of the bore and running into a channel before entering a dam to cool. Apparently that water comes out of the ground at 85 degrees. No wonder it was steaming!
Carcory Homestead was built in 1877 out of local limestone. Only the walls remain today. The roof is long gone. The story goes that the roofing iron was commandeered by the Federal Government in WWII. This was once one of Sir Sidney Kidman’s properties however after losing 4,000 bullocks during the drought in 1906 the property was abandoned. Carcory is now part of Rosebeth Station.
At the end of the roadworks we arrived at the section that had already been finished and tarred. Wow, what a great road. We really ate up the kilometres on that stretch.
It’s funny what you see on the side of the road sometimes. We came across a pile of junk that people have left behind and it included a stove, a satellite dish, a lawn mower, an air conditioner, a washing machine and a dishwasher. Now why would anyone want to leave those things in the middle of nowhere?
The next odd thing we saw was a garden table and chairs sitting in the middle of a large paddock of red stones. Now that was just odd!
A bit further on was a ‘shoe’ tree covered in shoes, boots and thongs of all descriptions. I really don’t know why people do this.
About 30km from Birdsville the road became a shocker. It was rough gravel and I thought we’d been too lucky with the roads so far. Our speed had to drop right off over the 23km of corrugations. We were passed by so many on this section including one idiot in a Landcruiser towing a Crusader caravan who went past us so fast he threw rocks up all over the front of our motorhome. All the others passed us slowly but not that one. Serves him right if he gets a flat tyre!
We stopped for a cuppa at the Waddi Tree Grove. There was a large parking area and about 5 vans were already pulled up including the idiot in the Crusader. I wasn’t going to talk to him!
The Waddi Trees are a rare and ancient species of tree. They are so hard that they can cause damage to axes and saws and, when dry, is almost impossible to drill. Waddi fence posts nearly a century old have shown little sign of decay. Waddi Trees are now a protected species and are now only found in three sites, one of which is Birdsville. When Australia had a much wetter climate 400,000 years ago Waddi’s would have been widespread across Central Australia. They are very slow growing and can live for hundreds of years.
About 10km out of Birdsville the road became a tar one again and we gained some mobile service on our Telstra phone. We got to send and receive messages from our family and to hear that Kevin and Sally are back in Winton however they cannot get a tyre until next Wednesday. It was now Friday. The Big Red Bash is to be held Tues/Wed/Thurs so they will miss it. What a shame for them.
When we arrived in Birdsville we went directly to the Roadhouse to fill up with fuel. Then around to the famous Birdsville Bakery where we met up with some of our group. Next stop was the dump point before making our way out to the Birdsville Common where our group was camped. It was great to see everyone.
Water is available at taps around the common so before setting up camp we filled up with water. I got two loads of washing done while filling up. We quickly set up camp and got our washing hung out. It was a gorgeous sunny day so our solar panels are charging the batteries nicely.
Most of the group left to go for a drive out to the Simpson Desert and across some sand hills but Robert and Richard stayed behind and went shopping while I took the opportunity for some quiet time to update this blog.
I’m sure there will be a great night of socialising around the fire pit tonight. I’m just so excited that we’ve finally got here and the Big Red Bash is going ahead. Can’t wait.
PS: not enough service to load photos (and I’ve taken hundreds) so they will have to come later!