Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 8 - Farina to Cameron Corner via Strzelecki Track

Waking up at the Farina Station campground was an experience.  It was cold - about -4C overnight.  the priority was getting the campfire going again and getting warm, getting a hot drink and taking some pics.

Once we had all warmed up, had breakfast and packed up it was a quick transit to Lyndhurst to refuel and then take on the mighty Strzelecki Track.

To be honest I thought that Strzelecki Track would be a rough and tumble 4WD adventure/challenge.  In reality, it had been recently graded and it was more of a high speed dirt road than the track that I had imagined.

But it was open and with the vehicles full of fuel we we pretty excited to be on another of Australia's iconic 4WD tracks.



I guess it is worth a mention that the route of the track is attributed to a chap called Harry Readford.  Harry was a cattle thief.  Wroking on a remote part of a remote cattle station in Queensland Harry, without the station owners knowing, built a set of cattle yards and over a period of time assembled a mob of about 1000 head of cattle.  Realising that trying to sell the cattle in Queensland would be a bit of a problem (everyone would recognise the brand)  Harry decided to drove them to South Australia, but needed to cross through the Channel Country and then the Strzelecki Desert.

Which he did - he traded some of the cattle for rations and sold the rest at a station east of Marree.

A couple of years later the las caught up with Harry - arrested in Sydney and sent to Roma, Queensland for trial.  He was acquitted - the jury was impressed with him opening up the route.  Another great Aussie story of the outback.

Anyway we set off for what was to be an enjoyable and straight forward drive.  We passed the 'top' of the Flinders Ranges and Mount Hopeless.  This mountain was 'overnamed' by Eyre - it is 124m above sea level at its peak!  Burke tried to get to it when he, Wills and King were stranded at Innamincka.

These days most of this things are of historical interest.  The track isn't used for droving anymore - but it is used to transport goods and chattels to the oil and gas fiels in the region.

After a hand full of dry creek crossings we arrived at the turn off to Montecollina Bore where we decided to stop for lunch.  There are some picnic tables and shelters here and the Bore itself is an interesting find in what is now desert country.  What is cool is walking up onto the dunes and looking down at the location.


Afteer having lunch and watching the bird life we decided to head across to Cameron Corner rather than pushing on to Innamincka.  We would work out whether to go to Innamincka or Tibooburra once we had arrived at Cameron Corner.

We headed off and found the 'shortcut' track to Cameron Corner - thanks to the navigator.

I really enjoyed that part of the drive.  Firstly it is through desert country - up and over dunes.  The track itself is well formed so it is a nice easy drive.

On the track across one of the more unusual sights is the Yellow Bus Campsite (at least that is how it is marked on the map.)


There are a handful of stories about the bus - it seems to have been used as a shelter for stockmen at some point and a campground in the past.  I'm told the land owner chaged his/her mind about camping and now there are signs there saying no camping or fires...

A short while later we pulled in to Cameron Corner store.  We decided to camp and have a shower here and then head across to Tibooburra the next day.

I have written about Cameron Corner, the store and it's history elsewhere so I won't do that again.  I will say that it is a great place to camp with a bar, some food and hot showers.  The guys charge a bit extra per person having a shower, but the cash is donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Overall a great day on the road with some interesting locations and history.  Sitting in the red dirt camp ground was awsome.  The decision to head across into New South Wales, maybe not what I would have done if I was travelling on my own but it turned out to be a good call.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, I wish to inform everyone the road known as The Shortcut Track on Lindon Station (people think it is on Bollards lagoon or Merty Merty Station) is closed. It has been closed for sometime but not sign-posted. This will be rectified very shortly. Hema maps unfortunately placed this track on their maps without permission and are now required to remove them and add a disclaimer stating they were mistaken. It is not a public road but a private station road and not suitable for 2-way public access. We are responsible and have liability for a road we only maintain when we truck cattle. Please feel free to post this comment along with our email and phone number. raylene23@gmail.com 0427878899 Raylene & Ken Ogilvy Lindon Station

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