Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 5 - Noccundra to Bollen

We woke at Noccundra and were able to have a look around at the place where we camped -  it had been dark when we arrived and we had set up the tent using what looked like a big car park light.

The pub is Noccundra

We weren't in a real hurry to get away, but by the same token there wasn't going to be a lot for us to do.  And the flies were terrible.  For the first (and last) time during the trip I put a fly net thingy on my hat.  With that on I toddled around and took some photos, including some of a brolga in the distance.
Brolga on my camera's maximum zoom

Back at the mostly packed up campsite it was time for a shower, which meant showering in front of an audience!
Shower buddy in the female facilities

And in the males!
There are a couple of options for camping in Noccundra - you can set up at the pub as we did and for $10 a night you can have a hot shower and a flushing toilet.  Across the road from the pub there is a free unserviced camp spot.  You can camp there free and make a gold coin donation for the use of the pubs shower and toilet block.  

I had a couple of vehicle issues bothering me.  Neither all that problematic but while we were in civilization I thought we should seek some advice.  The corrugations and general roughness of the days driving to get to Noccundra had vibrated a 'leg' of my roof rack off the gutter mount point.  I had refitted new nut and spring washers but I wanted to do the entire set.  A thumb-wheel had also vibrated off one of the roof basket retainers and I needed to replace the complete nut and bolt set.  Finally, the drivers side door had stopped opening.  I had to climb from the passenger side and fiddle with the handle for a bit and it finally released.  I wasn't sure whether to pull the door apart or not but I did give it a good long squirt with WD-40, which washed the red dust out, and the door started working again!

So a couple of 4WD-ing tips about vehicle preparation:
  • Fit spring washers and consider thread locking glue on aftermarket parts;
  • Carry WD-40
  • Carry some spare nuts, bolts, spring washers, gaffa tape and cable ties.
With the 'damage' made good, for the time being we set forth, and planned to have a brekky stop at Thargomindah and try for some nuts and bolts there.  It's about 120km from Noccundra to Thargomindah and it's all sealed road.  We hit the town fairly early and settled for a coffee and breakfast at the roadhouse.  The roadhouse is a great place for all sorts of supplies for travelers in the area.  Thargomindah is one of the first countries in the world to use hydro power generation.  There is a museum in town which illustrates the way it is/was done. After breakfast I bought some nuts and bolts, and replaced the questionable ones on the roof rack and we set off for Cunnamulla.

Cunnamulla is about 200km further along so we planned to stop, have lunch and find somewhere to camp for the night.  With a population of over 1000 it is one of the bigger centres that we had been through during the week.  We traveled past the Lake Bindegolly National Park on the way in.  The rains had 'filled' the lake system and the signs were worth the stop!


Anyways - after about 2 hours we reached Cunnamulla, refuelled and had lunch in the park alongside the tourist information centre.

Ok - by now most of the regular readers will know that I am a country music fan.  Every country music artist and fan in Australia has been influenced in some way by the late Slim Dusty, and one of his close friends and fellow songwriter and performer Stan Coster.  One Coster's biggest hits as a songwriter was his tribute to the ringers on the stations in the outback - Cunnamulla Fella.  It was recorded by Slim Dusty, and later a variety of artists including Lee Kernaghan and even the Screaming Jets!!  The statue in town is a double size version of a ringer with his swag.

Now you know who he is!!

After seeking advice from the visitor information centre we set off for a campsite we had been told about at a town called Bollon.  After a couple of more hours on the road we located the little town and after a quick stop in the town we were directed to the campsite.

Kudos is due here - firstly to the folks at Cunnamulla for putting us on to it.  I was a bit surprised that they encouraged us to leave town.  Secondly kudos to the township or council or whoever is responsible for the campground.  Located on the river, it is free, pet friendly, there are fire places and plenty of shady sites.  In town, in a park opposite the local pub there are public flush toilets and free hot showers.

We found ourselves a site, set up for the night and then drove back into town for a very nice hot shower.

Back at the campsite we had some dinner and settled in to work out our next few days.  We decided to make a late start, clean our gear, and head a bit further across Queensland then head south into NSW.  All up I was happy enough to watch the fire burn down and the stars shine down from above.

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