The Dig Tree

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 00:38
ThreadID: 21841 Views:3105 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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Hi folks, I'm looking for a clarification about the Dig Tree near Innaminka. One person told me it was burnt to the ground and someone else said the tree that was burnt was another of the Burke & Wills' trees in the Gulf. Is the Dig Tree still standing and in tact?

Thanks
Jack
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 05:13

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 05:13
There are a number of Dig Trees throughout the country. I believe that the one that got burnt was somewhere in FNQ. The real "Dig Tree" near Innamincka is in good shape.
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Follow Up By: Well 55 - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 07:17

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 07:17
I heard it was the tree up at the top camp in the Gulf.
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Reply By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 07:16

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 07:16
We went to the the Dig Tree near Innamincka last year in September and it was in great shape. It was a fantastic place to go and have a look and imagine poor Burke and Wills stranded there after returning from the gulf and missing the party waiting for them by only a few hours.

I would suggest that before you go you get the book by Sara Murgatroyd called........."The Dig Tree". It is fantastically written and it builds the history and significance of the place when you go there.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 07:34

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 07:34
What is the best Bourke and Wills book?
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 08:55

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 08:55
I think the Mergatroyd book I mentioned was the best of the one book that I have read on Burke and Wills. I read that one on the recommendation of Member ' Kaos' (I think) - can't be bothered looking back!! He is one bright cookie and would know!

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 09:01

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 09:01
Thanks Andrew

iMusty
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Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 07:25

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 07:25
The one that got burnt was at Normanton/Burketown.
Another one for the useless mongrels with too much time on their hands.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Black Jack - Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:42

Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:42
Rosco,
A lot of folk, myself included believed there was only one Dig Tree and when we heard it was burnt we assumed it was THE Dig Tree. I am really pleased that it is still there. Not so happy that the other one is gone. We are headed that way in the June school hols and I have been priming the kids on the early explorers and it would have been a great loss if they did not see it and get a feel for the achievements B & W made.

Jack
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Reply By: signman - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 08:36

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 08:36
When you're there- spend some time talking with 'Bomber' - I think he's the caretaker of the place. He has got a lot of facts & has a wealth of information.
There is a small display just inside the gate with a lot of maps & stories of both the Bourke & Wills trip & of the area around.
Enjoy!!!
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Follow Up By: Black Jack - Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:43

Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:43
signman,
Bomber's anme is now in the diary and on the "must to do" list.
Thanks
Jack
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Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 08:41

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 08:41
I could be wrong but I suspect that we have done relatively little to protect and enhance much of our history. In part this may be due to the unsavoury and politically incorrect nature of their backgrounds eg Sumerset at the Cape.
Even the original (white) min min site is just a pile of broken glass in the dust.
It seems the only time we protect our heritage is if there's a $ to be made.
Crazy.
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Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 08:41

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 08:41
Agree with A & J above - get a good book on the subject - the SM version is good - you can get good info off the web too - read up about the saga and then when you get into the Innamincka region, the sites will mean a lot more. Far as I know, most explorers in that era (even earlier) were in the habit of "blazing" trees (cutting a section of bark off and whittling a message into the wood) as a means to say "was wuz here". The only method they had at the time to leave a trail for others who might follow (and in case they perished). I thought there was only a couple of actual digs, but many blaze trees - there is a blaze at Birdsville not far from the Caravan Park - might be genuine (Ruth ?) - could be like Tom Kruse's trucks but - every derelict truck in the outback might end up with "E.G. Kruse" painted on the door. Having been to Innamincka quite a bit, and read up on the B&W story, we don't rely on Nardoo spores for a feed any more ! :-)
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Reply By: Waynepd (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 11:04

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 11:04
I am heading up there in the July school holidays, i am looking forward to seeing the dig tree and the other sights around there. I have been told there is a cruise on the Cooper available too.

So is this Murgatroyd book available i libraries or only bookstores? I also think getting some background b4 touring is the best way to appreciate historical sites.

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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 18:59

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 18:59
Waynepd,

Rather than camp on the Town Common at Innamincka, I strongly recommend the Cullyamurra Waterhole, about 14 klicks to the east of Innamincka, about half way to the Dig Tree. Always water in Cullyamurra, unlike Coopers Creek at the Common.

The cruise boat is located at the Common, but its actual location depends on the amount of water in the Creek. When I was there last October, the Common was mainly sand bars, but of course this can and will change .

Being School Holidays, all camping areas will be somewhat at a premium, but Cullyamurra is much more picturesque IMHO.
Be warned though, the road can become quite corrugated at times.
Bill


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Follow Up By: Black Jack - Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:38

Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:38
waynepd,
We will be in the area in Qld school hols. I don't know if NSW is at the same time. The Dig Tree ia our first place of call and we will be there about 21st June. I have an older red Jackaroo. Might see ya on the way.

Jack.
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Follow Up By: Waynepd (NSW) - Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 19:18

Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 19:18
Gday Jack,
what a bummer....NSW Hols don't start till 2nd July. Maybe you can post something when you get back to let me know how things are up there.

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Follow Up By: Black Jack - Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 23:08

Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 23:08
Waynepd, we won't get home until 29th July. We are taking 6 weeks and a doing a good slab of the centre. I'll keep an eye out for you.
Jack
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Follow Up By: Waynepd (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 12:03

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 12:03
Ok we'll look out for you.

I'll be the guy with a white GU towing a green softop camper, wishing he had 6 weeks to wander around the centre.
I'll be leaving Sydney 2nd July and have to be back by 11th so i guess that means i will be there from 5th to 9th.

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Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 18:41

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 18:41
The Murgatroyd book should be well known by Libraries (there are others too, but look out for the very early ones - some of those are considered unreliable in their portrayal of what "really" went on....also try the ABC shop - the main Bookshop type chains should have it too. Bloke called Peter does to the river cruises up at Innamincka in a flat bottomed tinny - he lives at Mannum now I think - goes up for quite a few months per year and takes off each evening. You'll see him scooting about in a VW blitz wagon (or whatever they call them). If you know absolutely nothing about the region and might not be back, the $45 (from memory) odd PP may be worth it - we like it up there, have done some reading and visited most of the spots including Coongie - we have not been on Peter's cruise.
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Reply By: Glenno - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 22:16

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 22:16
If you want a reference book, ask any primary school teacher. It must be in the curiculum (for Qld anyway). My wife was a walking encyclopedia on Burke and Wills before the trip, now she is a professsor. the only bit we didnt see was Wills Grave out of Innamincka as the road was marked as closed. The local rangers have all quit so the current rangers are fly-in's from Pt Agusta. I asked if the road was open the ranger said yup check it this morning its all good to go. I said why does the sign say two parts closed. He gave me a confused look and said the road was open. Drove up and heaps of sand across the track so we didnt push on as the map showed a creek crossing which may or may not have been in good shape. The cooper creek sure was nice and full.

Anyway gods own country out there so enjoy. And dont mention at the Innamincka hotel if the half lobster is stuffed with seafood extender, you will get evicted (sly grin). Its not by the way.

Cheers,

Glenn.
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Reply By: Black Jack - Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:49

Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:49
Thanks one and all,
Lots of great tips here. I was 'disappointed' when I was told that the tree was burnt down. I have been priming the kids for almost a year about the centre and the explorers and The Dig Tree was our first place of call. I had started planning a new route but thought I'd ask the experts first (those who had been there).

I'm counting the weeks and can't wait to load up the old beast and get in amongst it - and stop reading about it.

Jack
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