Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 222. Bourke to Charleville

From road kill to Bilbies!

It was another early morning on the road. Well, almost! We made it out by 8:30am, which is an early start for us these days.

We were a little late leaving as Scarlett went off to play and say goodbye to some new friends she had made last night, and soon after Bec went to get her - and never came back! I ended up finishing off the packing up by myself, and then jumped in the Pajero and started driving up and down the rows of caravans looking for my wife and daughter; all with the caravan in tow! As luck would have it, I finally found the both of them in the very last row talking to a young couple with kids of their own that were from Dubbo. Bec was talking about ‘our’ trip around Australia, and how achievable it is for anyone to do. They were very intrigued; so much so that Bec passed on our details in the hope that our blog might inspire another Aussie couple to hit the road and see this great big land of ours…

We left Bourke with big hopes this morning, as we wanted to reach Charleville for a Bilby tour on this evening. The tour is run by the ‘Save the Bilby Foundation’, and it was the last evening tour until next week, so we definitely had to be there! Problem was that Charleville was over 450km away!

Crossing the QLD border

Let’s just say that it was a long day on the road. And without a word of a lie, there was road kill every couple of hundred metres along the entire length of the Mitchell (Matilda) Hwy all the way to Charleville. There were kangaroos, wallabies, emus, goats and pigs! The whole days drive was spent either dodging dead animals, or live ones! I have never seen so many emus (alive) – anywhere! On more than one occasion we had to brake and stop in the middle of the hwy, and honk the horn, until they got off the road.

The maion street of Cunnamulla

The Cunnamulla Fella
After crossing the NSW/QLD border (and getting more photos along the way), we ended up reaching Cunnamulla by late morning. Here we took some time out to stretch our legs and have a break. Bec set up a yummy picnic lunch in the local park, while Scarlett burnt off some built up energy on the playground with some local kids. After lunch, we walked down to the main street of town and took some photos of the bronze statue of the ‘Cunnamulla Fella’. The Cunnamulla Fella is a song written by Stan Coster and sung by Slim Dusty, who use wander the streets of this outback QLD town. He is an iconic Australian Bush character. The town of Cunnamulla has erected a statue of the Cunnamulla Fella as a tribute to Stan and Slim and to the 'ringers' of the bush.

We were soon on the road again heading further north into Matilda Country; passing through Wyandra and finally reaching Charleville by mid afternoon. It was straight into the information centre to grab some more travel pamphlets, and find out some more details about the Bilby Experience we had booked ourselves into for later this evening.

Once this was all sorted, we headed north out of town to the ‘Evening Star Tourist Park’. The park is located on Thurlby Station, a 33,000 acre working cattle station. Upon arrival, we were surprised to find huge grassed drive through sites; which are marriage friendly with no need to reverse or squeeze onto like in your usual caravan park. Nice! We also found great amenities, open camp fires, another ‘help yourself’ herb and veggie garden (to Bec’s delight), and a licensed bar (to my delight). The only down side I have found with this place is that there is very limited phone and wireless internet access. A small price to pay for great Australian hospitality though!

From start to finish, it was a seven hour drive, which really took it out of us. Scarlett was a champion, as considering what we put her through today she was very well behaved little girl. Thanks Princess!

Anyways, after setting up camp and getting to know our neighbours (where Scarlett found two more little kids to play with); we headed back into Charleville to the Bilby Experience. Charleville is home to the captive breeding programme of the endangered Bilby, and visiting this facility is one of the ‘to do’ items that we wanted to do on our trip around Australia.

We weren’t disappointed! We got to meet a very dedicated volunteer who ran the tour, and explained the plight of this delightful marsupial. During which, we had the chance to watch a documentary on the Bilby Brothers (the two men who started the ‘Save the Bilby’ crusade), that is now infamous as it’s reached all corners of Australia! At the end of the tour we then went out to the enclosure, and got to meet three very special Bilby’s. There was a male, a pregnant female, and a small 4 month old baby that was super cute! The night was then finished off with a visit to the Bilby Shop, where every dollar spent goes back into saving the Endangered Greater Bilby!

Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby
All three of us enjoyed the encounter thoroughly, and I would definitely recommend a visit to the ‘Bilby Experience’ for anyone thinking of visiting this part of Queensland.

Posted by Shane
No internet service where we are staying
Saved in word doc,
and updated later through Bec's access to the blog

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