Cordillo Downs

Wed – 4/4/12

We had windows open all night, it was a still warm night. We woke to a mass of mossie on the other side of the screen near our head trying to get in to bite us. Chris had heard them during the night and said it sounded like a swarm of blow flies trying to get in.

We got up early to pack up before the heat and lots of flies hit. Haddon Corner here we come.

The road to Arrabury is a reasonably wide red dirt road with small rocks, dips, very few corrugations but a bit rocky with water course dips. Mostly flat, scenery with a row of jump ups the most interesting feature. Still quite pretty with the red dirt road and the green grass, the only tress are along water courses. About half way along the scenery changes to lots of low trees and the road has patches of bull dust. We have to slow down to keep our distance from a road train ahead which is leaving a load of dust in its trail with little wind to blow it away. About 3/4 of the way to Arrabury there is a turnoff to some mining place which is where our road train turned off. From here the road changed and became much narrower.

Mmm we must have had a few mossie in with us last night as I have some new mossie bites on the tender part of the upper arms. I have more bites on me than I can count now, will have to wear the insect repellant at night too it seems. I reckon they have become immune to the stuff out here.

We had a quick morning tea at the turnoff to Cordillo Downs. Once we crossed back into SA the road got decidedly worse, rough, bumpy, deep ruts in places, holes, lots of rocks. At times it’s like you are driving on a rocky creek bed, recent rains might of washed away the top layer of dirt.

Cordillo Downs is a working cattle station but also has an old stone and mud woodshed built in 1883. It is the largest shed in Australia. Shearing 100,000 sheep a year. Timber was hard to find on the flat gibber plains so a method of construction to minimize the use of timber was sought. The solution was a domed, corrugated iron roof structure supported by stone walls half a meter thick. It was surprisingly cool in the shed. There are several old items of memorabilia in and around the shed.

We have decided to continue along this rocky bumpy road to Birdsville as its the shortest route and go into Haddon Corner on the way back. It seems a popular route despite the road as several 4×4 have gone in front of us.

Ok we hadn’t seen flies yet this trip. We stopped for lunch in the middle of a flat rocky plain, with no water around and we were just about carried away. We ate our lunch in the ute.

It’s hot, it’s dry, there is loads of flies but stopping at the Cadelga Ruins it brings home how harsh life was and can be out here. At least we have our air condition cars to escape the heat and the flies.

Ok us Queenslanders can’t complain about our roads any more. We have experienced this several times. When we come off a SA road into Qld there is a marked difference in the road condition.

410 Km’s travelled on dirt roads.