Heading east and home :( :( :(

From Bedourie we headed east towards the coast. After the 500+ kms of dirt road of the Birdsville track there is another 500 ish before we are back on the paving. This is sad for us, as it means less wild places to see. We love the wild parts of the outback and soon this will end. We are heading home but it feels like home is wherever we are now. We pull up to some beautiful place for the night, put up the clock, the thermometer and the calendar, put out the chairs and table and we are home. We wake in the morning somewhere new and it’s exciting to wonder what we will see this new day and where we will be the next night. Can see why some Grey Nomads just keep going! M

East from Birdsville
1500km east from Birdsville and getting dangerously close to civilisation

 

 

windorah sign
Next stop was the nice little town of Windorah which means place of big fish. We stopped to spend a bit of money in this town refueling and buying an icecream. The temp was on the way to the mid 40’s today and there was a “hair dryer” wind a blowing!
experimental solar farm
Ergon Energy’s Windorah power station. The mirrors reflect and concentrate sunlight in to a high capacity solar cell in a central point at the front of the dish. Each dish generates approx 26kW of electricity. The solar farm of 5 dishes replaces 100,000 litres of diesel used by the towns diesel generators. Unfortunately it is not working at the moment as they “wait for parts”! Unfortunately we have found alternative energy is not that successful out off the grid. There is a lot of diesel being used instead.
solar keddie
The arty shot of us reflected in the mirrors!

cooper creek sign

crossing coopers creek
Crossing Cooper’s Creek. The river felt huge to us after travel in such dry country for so long. It was also running due to recent rain up the line. This is the same river (bed) we were camped in at the edge of the Simpson Desert on the Birdsville track. What a difference a few hundred kms makes and some rain!

 

 

coopers creek swim
The first thing we did in the 40+ deg temp was jump in or rather slip our way in on the muddy banks. It was then a foot bucket bath after we got out!
cooper creek at windorah
It was really exciting to see a river that was running. They had had some recent rain and there was quite a bit of green around too. There were Pelicans everywhere that were happy for us to swim near them. You can tell we are coming into civilisation when the Pelicans don’t mind people.
cooper creek camp
The free camping along Cooper’s Creek was lovely. It was now over 40 degrees and it was great to have water to get into. The creek was lovely but the closer these waterways get to a town the less wild they are beginning to feel. We were the only one camped out here. It is obviously a local’s swimming spot with a boat ramp of sorts but there is nobody around.

 

coopers creek panorama
Our view from the caravan of Cooper’s Creek
welford sign
Next we took a little detour to Welford NP. It looked like we had the place to ourselves and as it was 44 deg at 5pm when we arrived, we jumped straight in the water and kept doing so every time we were too hot. We ended up using the generator at night as it only cooled to 28 or 30 all night. This is only the 4th time this trip and we don’t really like it but sleep is good!
welford flowers
Flowers always follow rain out here.
willie wagtail on roo
The Willy Wagtail likes a soft perch and the kangaroo is too sleepy to notice him!
barcoo river
The Barcoo River at Welford was a big wide brown refreshing swim. You had to keep moving or the fish would nip you though.
barcoo roaming turtle
This turtle came crashed through the bush and jumped into the river.
masked woodswallow2
Masked woodswallows watching the sun go down
spotted bowerbird
A Spotted Bowerbird at the entrance to his bower. Neatly paved with black and white stone fragments with the odd bit of sooty aluminium foil to add an element of high-tech to his love nest.
Red winged Parrot 2
A youthful red-winged parrot.  A sure sign that we have left the desert region behind us.
orion rising over barcoo river
Orion mirrored over Barcoo River at our camp in Welford National Park

 

The next day we arrived late to the little town of Quilpie to stay the night at the caravan park. More very hot weather and storms were expected. First though, we headed to the very nice town swimming pool and did a lap or two to cool off. There was only one other person in the caravan park at this time of year and they were late grey nomads heading south. The next morning besides getting fuel we headed to the local cafe to spend some money. On the way to the car we stopped to chat to an artist on the town’s median strip who was sitting on her bottom laying a mosaic art installation in 39deg. Quilpie is trying hard to get people to stop here and part of it is all the lovely art around town. We even met the Mayor who came along to view the great works. M

houdrahans waterhole quilpie
The birding at Houdrahan’s Lake near Quilpie was quite impressive.  I counted 40 species of bird there in about 30 minutes.  S
olive backed oriole 2
Olive backed Oriole

This restless flycatcher is a new bird and number 346.   While I had probably seen one when we were in SE Queensland earlier on our trip, I ignored them because my older bird book described it as being the same species as the northern slightly smaller paperbark flycatcher.  However from my new field guide, I see that this is now considered a separate species, so I was keen to get another look and officially count it.    The right hand photo proves that it is indeed restless.   S

morven sign

roo ducks galahs and lapwings
We camped the night at the lovely town of Morven on their sports field. This was $10 a night for power and water and our views were of kangaroos and ducks or the bush. In the morning it was a short walk into town for a coffee, mud cake and the newspaper all for just $8. It was a peaceful and quiet town camp all to ourselves. Can you imagine trying to play sport on this field? Running around the ducks and kicking your ball over the kangagoos! This town must have a terrible time!
morven birds
Someone from town had left some buckets of water for the birds and they were sharing nicely.   Pale headed rosellas and a magpie together with the noisy miner on the right.
white throated gerygone
Here at our latest camp next to a dry waterhole just south of Yuleba I spotted bird number 347 – a white-throated gerygone.    From here we will be heading with anticipation to the forests just west of Brisbane where bird life is said to abound.   S

2 thoughts on “Heading east and home :( :( :(

    1. Yes Glenda, It is all a bit shocking that this life has to come to an end. We have enjoyed having you on the “back seat” with us. I think this will not be the last trip like this though, so if you can wait awhile……… M

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