We’re waltzing on to Winton

Saturday, Aug 29, 2009 at 00:00


We headed east from Boulia through Mitchell grass plains, with the only trees or scrub being along the creek lines. We were also in the channel country where the streams and rivers have multiple channels which interlink. These can form a river many kilometres wide in times of flood. Much of western Queensland receives life giving water from the north through these channels and floodplains producing lush grass for cattle grazing; the major industry through the Channel Country. Most of the Channel Country drains towards Lake Eyre, although the water may not always reach this destination.

A windmill pumping up artesian water, water taps and a picnic shelter makes a pleasant rest area and marks the site of the former Hamilton Hotel; old signs from which can be seen at the Stonehouse Museum in Boulia.

A little north of the road the site of the Min Min Hotel can be viewed. Here an extract from a book discussing the mystery of the Min Min Light is on display – see the Min Min Light story.

Ancient red mesas changed the landscape as we approached the Lilleyvale Hills and Cawnpore Lookout. A short drive or walk to a hilltop gives sweeping views across mesas of the type that are seen only here and in South America. The mesas are the remnants of a plateau formed from an inland sea 90 – 100 million years ago. We first saw these mesas when we were around sixty kilometres from them, where the appeared to be floating above the horizon from the effects of mirages. As we approached, the effect of the mirages stretched these floating hills.

After crossing the many channels of the now dry Diamentina River, grassy plains and sandstone mesas dominated the scenery until we reached Winton for the next part of our Dinosaur country experience.

Next feature of interest is the Middleton Hotel. Once a coach stop it is currently still operating as a hotel. Little else of the small town remains.Free camping is permitted across the road from the hotel. We stopped a little further towards Winton with a view to a red breakaway of the Carters Range.

Read more detail about this trip and see all the photos in our 2009 Travelogues

Red desert dreaming

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