Just back from our winter travels, our plan was to spend most of our time in NSW. Covid has shelved that for a while, instead we drove further west and took on Queenland’s Natural Sciences Loop!
I like my hot baths – what a delight to stop into Charlotte Plains Station (906) 46 km east of Cunnamulla, and have a soak in their soothing artesian waters. I enjoyed a nag with plenty of travellers, including the owner’s family. School holidays meant camping was very popular, but you have a huge area to spread out. The waters extend a long way through the campsite – with baths positioned along. We’ll be back to this one and tag along on the station tour, highly recommended!
It was in Cunnamulla the next day, we learnt more about the importance of the Eromanga Basin in the Artesian Time Tunnel at the Visitor Information Centre. Not only a perfect spot for picnic, but also to say hello to the Cunnamulla Fella.
Next stop: Eulo. Home of megafauna, gourmet honey, leather and the Eulo Queen Hotel. We camped on the Paroo River. History at the Police Cells was intriguing – one officer turned up for work in nothing but his boots and hat! I’ll go back to visit the Eulo Store again, the air raid shelter and mud bath!
Lake Bindegolly looked like a wonderful camp, but we’d booked into Thargomindah Explorers and a pub lunch! Did you know this small outback town had the first hydro electricity in Australia? And the third in the world?
Thargomindah know how to ‘do’ tourism – with self led tours via a swipe card (even a ghost at the hospital), a scenic walk along the Bullo River and a friendly Visitor Centre with a tick sheet with local things to do and people to meet – like Dogga Dare at the Caravan Park and Surly Shirley at the pub. The camp kitchen kept us out of the rain and mud and back on track the next morning.
By this stage, the SA border was closed, so we saved The Dig Tree for another trip. It didn’t stop us enjoying some of the BEST burgers we’ve ever had, at the remote outpost, Noccundra Hotel. The publican told me he bakes them himself each morning – and I peeked inside the dining room to finally find a doorway even I could bump my head on!
The Channel Country is worth experiencing – I didn’t expect it to be so hilly and beautiful. We would have happily camped on the peaceful Wilson River, council toilets and showers are near the pub.
We ploughed on through more creek crossings into Eromanga. Another day, another pub – well two pubs today! We chatted to other travellers there, had a pic with the town dinosaur sign then more socialising with travellers on route to the Big Red Bash at the brilliant freedom camp at Eromanga Hall. Complete with excellent showers, toilets and playground.
I’ve dragged the family to plenty of museums over the years. But if you come all the way to Eromanga – you have to meet Cooper (or at least Cooper’s thighbone) – Australia’s largest dinosaur. Hands down, the best museum experience we’ve had.
Our last stop on the Natural Sciences Loop was Quilpie and a climb up Baldy Top with outback red dirt views!
Still on my bucket list are Cooladdi, Charleville and Yowah with more stations, National Parks and opals. Next time!
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