How do you pronounce Barcaldine?

By the next morning the rain had ceased which was a good thing as we had a pretty big day (about 400 kms) of towing ahead of us again. After breakfast we were soon packed up and on our way north. The first town we passed was Augathella. We’d heard nice things about their town and caravan park but the sign about meat ants didn’t inspire us.

The next town we came to was Tambo. On reading the sign we felt perhaps we should have made time for a stop here but kept going.

This is the expansive sign on the approach to Blackall.

As it was nearly lunchtime we stopped in Blackall and checked out a few things. Here’s the famous Black Stump located on the median strip in the centre of town.

As we made our way to the bakery to buy some lunch we passed some nice street art.

The Info Centre staff clearly have a quirky sense of humour along with a helpful nature.

After eating lunch in our caravan we headed off again and reached Barcaldine mid afternoon. (By the way you pronounce it Bar – cawl- din.) We had hoped to stay at a small caravan park, Roses’n’Things, but it was booked out. The helpful manager informed us all the caravan parks were pretty well booked out so suggested we head to the Tourist Information Centre. So we drove into town and parked. At the Tourist Information Centre we were told there was an overflow set up at the showgrounds. They told us to drive down, find a site and then come back to buy a coupon. So that’s what we did. We found a nice flat site with power and set up. Then we drove back into town and paid at the Tourist Information Centre just in time as they were closing at 4pm. Next we went to the Telstra shop. We had found out that we had poor or no mobile coverage out in the west of NSW and QLD. So we purchased a new sim card for Karen’s phone. Now, Barcaldine is renowned for it’s history. Back in 1891 there was a huge strike by shearers. A number of memorials to this event are worth a visit. Here are some photos. The first is an information board.

The second is a sculpture.

The third is another sign board. The Australian Labor Party is now one of the two main political parties throughout Australia now.

The fourth is the Tree of Knowledge memorial. Previously a Eucalyptus papuana (Ghost gum) stood on the site near the railway station where the strikers held protest meetings. Unfortunately it died in 2006. So the new artistic version was created on the same site. I found it hard to take photos with shadows but here are three to give you an idea of how it looks.

Next we headed to the IGA supermarket and purchased a few things for dinner before returning to our caravan. A few more caravans had started to fill up the sites but there was still plenty of room for more. We took Mel for a walk around the showgrounds area and to stretch our own legs after a reasonably long day’s driving. On our return to our caravan our next door neighbours called out to us to join them for a sundowners drink which we agreed to. They were from NSW and happy to have escaped the rapidly escalating lockdown in their state. After a drink and a good chat about our respective travel plans we headed back to cook our dinner as the light faded. Seeking an early night we were disturbed by a late arrival about 10pm, making sleep hard for a while. Then just as the noise subsided we were awoken again about midnight, this time by a rooster, who at regular intervals crowed all night! Here he is the next morning.

It wasn’t just us who noticed him. Out of the caravan shot our puppy Mel and chased the rooster and a few other resident hens around the area. In turn we tried catching Mel but she wouldn’t come back, which was a problem as a few caravans were being hitched up and driving off. As we tried catching her it became evident that our neighbours were being amused by our efforts. In the end a few kids tried helping us too. However the lure of the smell of bacon from the barbecue of our fellow drinkers the night before was the key to catching her. As she approached their barbecue our friend pounced on her. Thank goodness, as time was moving on and we had to move on to our next destination, Longreach. Fortunately the road was open, even after the recent heavy downpours in this part of Queensland.

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