This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2001 Travels September 28

FRIDAY 28 SEPTEMBER   CURRAWINYA TO YOWAH   190kms

Packing up camp did not take too long, though we didn’t particularly hurry.

The road north was good dirt, until we reached the sealed Bulloo Development road, a few kms west of Eulo. It was just over 100kms from last night’s camp. Basically, we paralleled the Paroo River north.

We detoured to have a look at the little township of Eulo, and were amused by the cows strolling up the main – one and only – street.

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Cows wandering the main road in Eulo

There was not much to Eulo. The most notable building was the Eulo Queen Hotel – another single storey affair.

The tourist information we had mentioned a date farm and wine making establishment, so we checked that out. Bought a couple of bottles of rather sweet date dessert wine – something different. One must patronize local industry!

Went west again for a few kms, then turned north to take the sealed road route to Yowah. This was a roundabout route that went north-ish –  on the Toompine and Quilpie road – for some 47kms, then turned off back to the south for another 25kms.

We found the Artesian Waters Caravan Park at Yowah, booked in and were allowed to choose our own spot to set up. An area partly surrounded by leafy trees appealed.

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After establishing the camp, we had time for a quick drive around and explore of the township, before settling down to the usual evening routines.

We had a powered site, so the Chescold was on 240v, and we had the electric camping light. Even better, there were hot showers! The water was a bit smelly though – artesian bore water.

Although we were now in a town, it was small enough for the night to be almost as quiet as it was back at our river bank camp.


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2001 Travels September 27

THURSDAY 27 SEPTEMBER     CURRAWINYA NATIONAL PARK

Today’s outing was to the NE, along the road to Eulo, that we would take tomorrow. It was a dirt road, of course, as were all the Park roads.

We wanted to look at the ruins of the old Caiwarro Homestead. This station was adjacent to Currawinya and is also now part of the National Park.

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Some of the ruins at Caiwarro

The Paroo forms the Corni Paroo Waterhole by the station ruins. There were more camping areas on the Paroo at this location, equally as pleasant as where we were.

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Corni Paroo Waterhole

Poking around the homestead ruins was interesting. The homestead was built in the 1880’s. There was some chimney still in place, and one could partly make out the former layout of the place.

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Caiwarro Homestead ruins

There were also old yards and fences, and the levee bank that was an attempt to protect the homestead area from floods.

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Caiwarro yards

The river at Caiwarro, though a little upstream from our camp, was wide an well-filled. Whatever country the Paroo passes through before it gets here makes the water a real clay colour.

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Clay coloured Paroo River

Sat by the river and had our packed lunch.

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Currawinya wild life – shingleback lizard

After that exploration, it was back to camp for our last night by the river.


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2001 Travels September 26

WEDNESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER     CURRAWINYA NATIONAL PARK

Although the nights are fairly cool, the days are very pleasant.

The tent is certainly adequate for this type of camping, although in wet weather it would not be big enough to “live in”, unless the bedding was packed up every day. But it is fine for sleeping and the big veranda provides shade for cooking and sitting. It is definitely going to meet the purposes we intended.

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Today we went driving, to the lakes area in the NW corner of the Park, some 30kms from camp. The track was good going, despite being tagged as 4WD only.

The country, of course, was fairly flat.

There were some trees in flower – we thought they were beefwoods. They were really spectacular, standing out from the predominant dull green mulga of the region.

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The two lakes – Numalla and Wyara – as well as a host of smaller lakes are central to what makes Currawinya so special. They fill from local rain and run-off, some from floods when the Paroo overflows and spreads out over its floodplain. The Paroo River originates from up to the NW of Charleville.

Unusually, Lake Numalla is a fresh water lake, Lake Wyara is saline. Only about 3kms of sandy country separates the two lakes, at one point.

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Lake Wyara

The lakes provide very different habitats and thus attract a wide variety of bird species. Over 200 species have been listed for the park.

We ate our packed lunch out at the lakes. looking first at Lake Numalla, then driving around to the access point for Lake Wyara.

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Lake Numalla

Despite their significance, I had to admit that we didn’t find the lake scenery particularly special. Nor did we see much in the way of bird life on the lakes. Presumably, it was the wrong time of year for the migratory ones to be passing through.

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Lake Numalla

Once we’d wandered about and enjoyed the lakes, drove back to the Woolshed area, where we sampled the showers. It was pleasant to feel clean again, though we did not linger – the water was cold, and I also felt quite exposed! If you were staying here with a group, you would get to know your fellow campers perhaps more intimately than expected!

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The showers at the Woolshed

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Inside the showers – communal style!

Back to camp and our nightly relax by the river and the camp fire.

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Afternoon reflections in the Paroo


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2001 Travels September 25

TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER     CURRAWINYA NATIONAL PARK

It was during today that I realized about John’s birthday.

After a lazy morning in camp and lunch of roti breads cooked over the open fire, we drove back up to the Woolshed complex, to have a look at that.

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Enjoying the morning by the river

Currawinya was a sheep grazing property in its previous life, and the rather grand old woolshed is one remnant of this, as are some bores that still remain, and some sections of fencing.

The current National Park status came about because of the wetlands of the river, swamp sections, and the lakes – together important enough for it to have Ramsar listing. It is an important site for migratory birds.

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Powdery, fine silt flood plain by the Paroo

The old woolshed was really impressive. Made mostly of corrugated iron, it was surprisingly large. We were able to wander around inside and inspect the holding pens, shearing bays with their ramps to eject the shorn sheep outside; there were even old wool presses left in there. The building still smelt strongly of sheep. There were piles of old manure under the building. We hoped that this shed – relic of past times – would be preserved as part of the Park.

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Currawinya shearing shed – corrugated iron construction

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Inside the shearing shed – 6 shearing stands here, sheep pens and hatches for shorn sheep to be despatched down

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Sheep yards – more corrugated iron

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Wool press

Apparently, this area is used for accommodation for groups of volunteer workers and the like. Showers had been constructed nearby, consisting of hessian “walls” on metal frames around the perimeter, with shower heads coming off a pipe in a row inside. As there were few interior dividing walls, I guessed it would be group showers! The water was cold, of course. I couldn’t tell if there was any water heating facility when they had a group staying.

After a good wander around the Woolshed area, we drove about 15kms out the old Thargomindah road, to the rock formations known as The Granites.

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The Granites

As the name suggests, these were substantial outcrops of rock. It seemed unusual to find such an outcropping in the midst of this sandy country.

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Then it was back to camp to watch the late afternoon reflections display on the water, while we drank beers and reflected on the day.

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Late afternoon at the Paroo


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2001 Travels September 24

MONDAY 24 SEPTEMBER     CURRAWINYA NATIONAL PARK

The first night’s sleep in the new tent was fine. It was really quiet at night out here – we had started to forget the quiet of the bush at night.

The height of this dome tent is what we needed. It was much easier getting dressed when one could stand up!

We spent the day relaxing around camp. The day was fine but not hot.

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John spending his birthday by the Paroo River

I wandered about, taking photos of the camp area. I was rather fascinated by the expanses of river gum tree roots exposed by erosion during floods. The root systems extended over such a large area.

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Such an extensive root system

It was very pleasant by the waterhole and without crowds of people around.

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Ourimperee Waterhole on the Paroo

It was John’s birthday – a fact I managed to totally forget!

The Ranger came by during the afternoon, to collect our camping fees, and even when discussing dates with him, the 24th didn’t register as significant. It turned out, later, that John was quite pleased I forgot, because it “evened” us up for when he forgot mine a couple of years ago!

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Camp oven meal

The riverbank tree reflections in the waterhole in the late afternoon, and at dusk, were worth trying to photograph.

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2001 Travels September 23

SUNDAY 23 SEPTEMBER  BOURKE TO CURRAWINYA NATIONAL PARK 249kms

After a good breakfast, and minimal pack up (cabins are good in that regard!), we headed out of town.

At North Bourke, after crossing the Darling River, where the Kidman Way turns to the north, we kept going to the north west, on the Hungerford road. This soon became a good unsealed road that was very pleasant driving. The country was flat, but there was variety in the vegetation types – from open grazing country to different sorts of scrub land.

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Good gravel road out of Bourke

At one stage we drove through thick stands of mulga on each side of the road – almost felt like some sort of avenue!

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Avenue of mulga

There were a couple of hamlets, entrances to pastoral properties, the occasional river or creek.

We came to the tall fence and gate that is the dog-proof fence that extends along the NSW/Qld border. This fence extends from the Darling Downs of Qld to the Great Australian Bight in SA, Built in the 1880’s and intended to keep wild dogs out of the sheep grazing lands of the southern part of the continent, it is over 5000 kms long – the world’s longest fence.

I had to get out and open the gate for us to pass through.

At the gate, a strip of bitumen road began. This went through the centre of Hungerford, the tiny hamlet right on the border. From what we could see, it was essentially a hotel and a few houses. We stopped for fuel at the hotel – diesel variety!

The Royal Mail Hotel also dates from the 1800’s and was a single storey, mostly corrugated iron clad building, rather showing its age.

We continued on, trending north east, soon crossing the several channels of the Paroo River. The sealed strip of road had soon ended.

We entered the Currawinya National Park, our destination for the next few days, we hoped. This was a relatively new National Park, it only being ten years since the former pastoral property became Park. I had not been able to find a great deal of information about it, except that there had not been much in the way of park development. It was kind-of on our way to John’s target of the Yowah area, and so I’d been able to persuade him to come this way – and to stay a while if what we found was to our liking.

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Currawinya National Park (from Qld NP brochure)

About 20kms from Hungerford, we turned off the “main” dirt road and took a side track to the old Currawinya Woolshed and, beyond that, a couple of kms to the bush camping area at the Ourimperee Waterhole on the Paroo River.

We liked what we saw. No facilities – there were showers, of sorts,  and toilets back at the woolshed complex. One could set up camp amongst the trees that lined the river. Even better, we saw no other campers there!

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Our camp by the Ourimperee Waterhole

We set up the new dome tent, for only the second time. All I could say was that we will get better at it, with time! Set up the assorted camp gear where we wanted it, used the air compressor in Truck to blow up the lilo. Had lunch, went wandering and gathered some firewood, then relaxed by the river, for the rest of the day, feeling ourselves very fortunate.

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The new tent, set up

After tea, we sat by our campfire for a while before bedtime. Back in the bush again – wonderful!

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First night in the new tent……

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2001 Travels September 22

SATURDAY 22 SEPTEMBER   HAY TO BOURKE   590kms

Another day of travel.

Fine weather. Good roads. Not much traffic, despite it being school holidays in Victoria.

From Hay, we travelled to Goolgowi, then north up the Kidman Way that we’d travelled before, through Hillston and Cobar to Bourke.

We reached Bourke in the late afternoon. Accommodation was another caravan park cabin. We had decided we’d not be setting up the tent for single nights, when there were other options available! Besides, the nights were cold!

Tea was meant to be cold meat and salad, but John decided he wanted a bacon and egg toasted sandwich. That was alright – we had all the ingredients to hand.

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Overnight cabin accommodation

When we travel like this, the Chescold fridge gets unloaded from Truck and put onto 240v power in our accommodation. We don’t have a 12v connection for it in Truck. It stays cold all day without being turned on. Just have to make sure that when it is being moved out again, we turn it off 10 or 15 minutes before moving it, to allow the electrical element to cool down. A fridge mechanic somewhere once explained this makes the element last longer.

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