Matilda Way

We arrived in Winton about morning tea time. After a cuppa we had a walk up the Main Street and checked out the new building being built to replace the Waltzing Matilda Centre that unfortunately burnt down a few years ago. So good to see they are replacing it, the old one was great.

After filling up with fuel we went and had a look at Arno’s wall. The wall is 2m high and is over 70m long. It is made from concrete and rock bought in from Arno’s opal mine at Opalton and has all sorts of bits and pieces like old lawn mower, microwave, oven, whole motorbikes, boat propellers, plates, cash registers, typewriters, even the back end of a cement mixer and even the kitchen sink. Why we don’t know, someone was a little eccentric we think.

Since we had looked at most attractions in Winton and Longreach it was mostly just a drive through this time.

We stopped at Ilfracombe and went to the Artesian Spa which we hadn’t done before even though we had passed by several times. It is only open certain hours and cost $2.60pp. It was pretty good, about 37 degrees and a very popular spot. We did find later our eyes stung, we smelt of bleach and were very thirsty. Bit to highly chlorinated we think, so something to keep in mind if you are senstive to these things.

We stopped for the night a few kms outside Ilfracombe at a big free rest area. Bit dusty, crunchy grass and prickles, you can get a fair way off the road.

Back to Blackall

4/8/14 – It’s nice to have options and the time to explore them. We have changed our minds about which was to head home several times. The Hot Pools at Blackall won out, we enjoyed them so much the first time we thought it would be nice to come back home this way and have another dip and checkout some of the things we missed first time round. So today was a pretty well a driving day. Just outside Ilfracombe there is a weed wash, mostly for trucks but they do say vans and trailers can use it too. So we did, to wash off some off the dust 🙂 it’s all automatic, you drive in slowly and it it starts automatically washing under the vehicles and up the sides, you just have to drive through very slowly.We drove into Blackall, straight to the Artisan Hot Springs to have a soak. Main pool was 31, the spa 34, which is where we spent most of our time.
Wonderful-Hot-poolsWe drove back out of town 5km to stop for the night hidden and protected from the wind behind some trees.
Blackall-Campspot5/8/14 – This morning we did a walk around the town before heading out to the Woolscour. Unfortunately the place had been broken into overnight, some mongrel taking the takings from the day before. The volunteers out there put in a big effort to get the place up and running by 10am.
J.-Howe Local LocalsWe did the tour this time $15 each, $14 with a pension card, $10 child, $45 family. Woolscour means wool washing which they did to get out all the oils and dirt so it presented better at sale. The Woolscour operated from 1908 to 1978. It is the only steam driven scour incorporating a shearing board left in Australia. In 2002 the Woolscour started up again as a tourist attraction. The tour starts with a film about the shearing industry and how the Woolscour came to be. Then you are taken over to the Woolscour and shown the different machinery and what it was used for. They are all started up for the tour. It was really interesting we encourage everyone passing through Blackall to stop at the Woolscour and give them your support to keep this vital piece of history alive for future generations.
Woolscour

Inside-Woolscour Sheep-Shed Wool Wool-Bale

We then headed back to the hot pools, had a swim and a chat with other travelers before buying lunch at the pool. $10 for fish (Barra), chips and salad. It was great, big piece of fish, decent salad and proper knife and forks. After that it was a other dip in the hot pool. The pools are great value and encourage people to stop in for a dip.

Wonderful-Hot-pools-1

We then headed off out of town stopping a few Kms south of Augathella for the night.

Longreach to Barcaldine

Mon 27th – The Qantas Founders Museum and Jet Tours are well and truly worth doing. First up was the Secrets of the 747 Tour, which starts with a run down of all the bits on the outside of the plane. Bits that tell the pilots when they are too close to the ground, others that tell the tower who and where the plane is going and who there are. Bits that let the pilots know of other planes and exciting info like where are the toilets are emptied. Did you know the engines are only held on by 5 bolts, scary.The-Rolls-Royce

Then we went inside and got a run down on the inside of the plane from the cockpit to the black box, even got to sit in business class.

747

The Boeing 707 Restoration Tour was really fascinating learning about the history of that particular plane, it was the very first 707 Qantas owned. Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 used to charter the plane. It had all the seats taken out and was set up as a luxury plane, complete with queen size bed and ensuite.

Boeing-707

The museum side of things was also really well set up, giving a good run down on the history of Qantas and how it started. Very inspirational place, we spent over 4 hrs there.

Qantas

The Machinery Mile at Ilfracombe is a row of old machinery, from trucks to tractors and tanks. There are also several old buildings filled with other memorabilia. Think we have had our fill of old memorabilia now, certainly makes us appreciated the time and place we live in.

Machinery-Mile Tank-on-the-Machinery-Mile

We stopped at Barcaldine and had arvo tea before stopping at the Tree of Knowledge. It was poisoned in 2006 so all that remains is what they were able to preserve, sort of half a tree. It’s been set up as a monument to the 1891 shearer’s strike which then played a part in the formation of the Labour Party.

Tree-of-Knowledge-Memorial Tree-of-Knowledge

We stopped 40kms outside Barcaldine on the old hwy, someone had even left a fire place and some firewood for us.

20120827LongreachBarcaldine