Team Lifestyle Comes Back to Queensland – Part 3
Day 15: Barkly Highway
With a little over 2600km and 6 days between us and the end of our trip, we were all keen to make the absolute most of the final week.
Up nice and early, we drove just 30 minutes north up the National Highway to the Devils Marbles. This crazy assortment of rocks and boulders don’t seem all that special until you realise that each one has been sculpted by the landscape – not by human hands. The unlikely shapes and formations are geographically very cool, and it’s quite a spiritual place to encounter too.
Crossing over the NT/QLD border, we drove through Camooweal, past some of the flattest terrain we’ve ever encountered, then past millions of red dirt ant mounds and into the sunset before finding a great campground just beside the highway that allowed for a campfire! We quickly set to gathering wood pieces, eating dinner, and settling down into our chairs beside our last fire for the trip. Let me tell you we made it a good one!
Day 16: Kynuna
Up with the sun, we headed to Mt Isa for a fuel stop and breaky run. Then, with only 300-400km on the agenda for each day, we had time to stop in at interesting places and take a while to appreciate them. Of course, one of those places had to be the Walkabout Creek Hotel – home of the Crocodile Dundee Bar! Getting a mandatory cheers photo with the Dundee wax figure, and all lined up at the bar, we all have great memories of the Walkabout.
In keeping with the theme of the day, the next attraction that tickled our fancy was the Blue Heeler Hotel in Kynuna. This pub is very old and filled to the brim with local stories and historical brick-a-brack; the more we looked, the more we saw, including a fireplace built by RM Williams himself to celebrate the Pub’s centenary. Of course being at a pub all day meant that none of us were in any condition to get behind the wheel so instead, we watched the road trains speed by until the sun set and then spent the night in the campers in the campground out the back. The Blue Heeler is a 130-year-old gem and is definitely worth the trip – plenty of history and great hospitality.
Day 17: Longreach
We had tracked down a motel with enough parking accommodation for all of our trailers, and looked forward to staying in one place for a couple of days. Getting a feel for the town, the girls splintered off preferring a stroll around the stores to a quiet afternoon at the pub; needless to say, we all left with either a new Akubra, RM Williams belt, or Ariat boots each – true signs of the country life! After lunch at the RSL, we headed to a country pub for dinner, then into the motel for a sleep with decidedly less fresh night air than we were accustomed to.
Day 18: Longreach
Our group spent the day exploring the QANTAS museum and the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Over with QANTAS we toured the aircraft on display and learnt more about the history of commercial flight in Australia, while at the Stockman’s we witnessed a whip being created from scratch, as well as the history of the outback, and the advancements in rural trade and life. Both attractions are incredible and so worthwhile; each could easily fill a full day.
Keen to keep our Queensland learning’s going, we signed up for the Thompson River cruise and enjoyed a beautiful cruise, short film, live show, and outback tucker feed.
Day 20: Roma
On the road out from Longreach, we were caught in what turned out to be our first of two musters across the Highway – have you ever see a more authentic outback display than stockmen on horseback? Just awesome.
Next on our list was the bakery at Barcaldine for breakfast, and a walk to see the Tree of Knowledge. Most of us hadn’t realised the tree itself actually died many years before so were very taken aback by the sculpture we found had been built up and over the remnants of it.
Together we drove to Roma and stayed at a motel for our final night on the road. Before bed, we said goodbye to our friends in anticipation of a staggered departure the next day.
Day 21: Home Day
Today was a sad day as we loaded up for the final time for the drive back home.
We arrived home deflated, with filthy cars and trailers, and a mountain of dirty laundry. Though, that’s not what any of us remember about the trip – too many memories from the track for that!