FRIDAY 12 JULY COBAR
I was determined to do some sightseeing today. We were not going to leave Cobar, this time, without seeing its main attractions.
Went to the Information and Heritage Centre, housed in a superb old two-storey stone house that was built in 1910 to be the administrative centre for the Great Cobar Mine – a copper and gold mine. Copper mining started here in 1870 and the mine became one of the largest world copper mines. Since then, several other mines had operated, following a line of lode that stretches from the NW to the SE of Cobar. In recent times, with fluctuating demand and prices, local mining has been somewhat up and down, with local employment following suit. The town’s fortunes are very mining dependent.
I bought an attractive polo short at the Centre. I would have liked to do the Heritage Walk here, which was supposed to take about an hour, but John didn’t feel up to it.
We drove out to Fort Bourke, a hill just out of town, that was the site of Cobar’s first gold mine.
Today, there is a lookout at the top, with views across the surrounding flat plains, and down into a big open cut mine, where one can see entrances to underground workings too.
Cobar’s water supply comes from some 400kms away to the east and is piped/pumped up into storage tanks on top of Fort Bourke.
From the lookout, the line of lode was made obvious by the line of mine poppet heads we could see.
Whilst John and I walked up to the Lookout, which was all of about 50 metres away from the parked car, Couey must have had one of her anxiety attacks at seeing us walking away. When we got back, she had managed to wriggle right out of her car harness and was loose in the car. Houdini dog!
Back down the hill, at the entrance to town, there was an unusual “welcome” feature, made from part of the smelter remains of the early Great Cobar Copper Mine workings. It looks kind of “industrial” and could not be called pretty, but seemed an appropriate way to use this long existing dump area. But incongruous green boxes house the lights that illuminate the Cobar lettering at night.
I wanted to look at the Old Reservoir area, a free camping spot that I’d read some good things about. Now that we had the self-contained Bus, I was hoping to convince John to do more of this informal, often “bush” camping and lessen our use of caravan parks. But suspected I would have my work cut out…. The Old Reservoir area was nothing spectacular, so we didn’t linger.
John had faded fast and had enough of sightseeing, so it was back to Bus.
Mid-afternoon, friend V and her sister came round to the park and we had a pleasant get together for a couple of hours. She and husband F were hoping to leave for parts north in another week or so, aiming to get to Cooktown, So were we. They would keep in touch, so we might meet up again, further along.
V excelled herself and bought me four casks of port! That would keep us supplied for a good time to come.
There was no fish and chip shop in Cobar, so we got take away Chinese from the Bowls Club. V had said the RSL’s Chinese place was better, but she wasn’t sure if they did take away. The food cost us $40 and was really disappointing. John’s sweet and sour fish was like leather. I couldn’t find any traces of prawns in the oily pieces of sesame seeded bread that passed as prawn toasts. There was a lesson there for us, about take away meals in small country towns!
June 4, 2022 at 9:53 pm
I can recommend the Meals at the RSL.