2013.2 Western Qld Second Trip - Day 17

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 18:46

Member - Ossiejs (Qld)

Sunday 6 October 2013
Campsite: Explorers Caravan Park, Thargominda. Bulloo Shire Council-owned
Campsite Co-ordinates: 88 Dowling St, Thargominda
Cost of Camping Site: $25/night for powered site
Distance travelled: 430 km
Weather forecast: 12° - 37°; Sunny. Winds northwest to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h tending northwest to southwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the middle of the day then becoming south to southwesterly and light in the evening. Daytime maximum temperatures in the high 30s.
Activities: A very pleasant night at Cooper's Creek. Set up solar panel and sat in the cool for a while in the early morning, enjoying the cool and tranquility before I hit the road to Quilpie.

I would have liked to spend a couple of days at Cooper's Creek with a good zoom lens to record birds I haven't seen before, for later identification. One in particular took a fancy to a rear vision mirror - peck, peck, look at myself, peck, peck. Beautiful bird song calls to his mates in the distance, who replied. Couldn't get anywhere near it for a photo. Another excuse to head back out west.

Anyhow, with the temperature at 30° by the time I hit the road about 09:00, it was off to Quilpie on the Diamantina Developmental Road. On arrival the place was also dead, with even the Information Centre was closed. Bummer for a number of reasons. I had hoped to get some details about Wanko Station, and Lake Houdraman as a camping site. Without up to date information, 34° and climbing, I reluctantly decided to track down to Thargominda, after a feed and a coffee, if I could find something open.

There were a few disappointed travellers like me looking around at businesses like Opal Shops. At least, opposite the Quilpie Hotel, a cafe was open. They made a good coffee, and I had a hearty big breakfast for brunch/dinner. No cooking tonight!

En route, I paused briefly outside the Toompine Hotel. Tempting though it was to pop in for an ICB or two, especially as the Hotel advertised free power to caravanners, I very reluctantly declined. It was early afternoon, still hot, so I opted to head down the Quilpie Thargominda Road to Thargominda, reckoning I could refuel and set up camp well before dark, as well as have a proper shower.

Diesel at Fergies Roadhouse, Thargominda was $1.87/litre, so I topped up with enough fuel to drive part of the Dowling Track to Currawinya National Park, Hungerford, and then up to Cunnamulla where it should be a tad cheaper. The Thargominda Waterhole as a camping area is not known by locals, and with 'No Camping' on the edges of the Town, as well as needing a proper shower, I opted for the Council-owned Explorers Caravan Park. Little shade, but the Park has a pleasant and clean surrounds, and friendly caretakers.

The local water had a familiar 60,000 year old bore water smell from some 808 metres underground. All right for showering, but I so won't be drinking it without my secret outback treatment. Tell you about it one day! I have adequate supplies of Brisbane and Longreach water to keep me going.

I will be heading down part of the Dowling Track from Thargominda to the Currawinya National Park and Hungerford tomorrow. First, I want to have a look at the hydro-powered Pelton Wheel used to make Thargo the first town in Australia to have electric street lighting in the 1890's. But being a public holiday for someone, we'll see.

Commentary: you learn some interesting facts on your travels. There are some 4,700 artesian bores throughout inland Australia, at an average depth of 500 metres. That's a long way to dig if you run out of water in the outback. Best carry enough of your own! The bore water is cooled in cooling ponds before general use water - it comes out at a temperature of 84°C under pressure, sufficient to power a water turbine hooked up to generators to provide electricity well over a century ago. Now hooked up the electricity Grid.
To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root -- Chinese Proverb
John & Marie
BlogID: 5378
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