Saturday, 7 May 2011

May 6 Longreach to Cloncurry via Winton

Departing Longreach by 9 am we tracked over more desolate flat country to Winton – the home of Waltzing Matilda. Arriving at the aerodrome we saw crosses on the main strip as workers were building a new taxi/parking area. Luckily the wind favoured the cross dirt strip 14 and we landed on that about 10 am.

In the little terminal we couldn’t find any info on a taxi so called the Waltzing Matilda Centre to be told that there wasn’t a taxi in town! So they sent a car and drive to collect us. He took us on a cooks tour of the town explaining many and varied buildings as h
e went.

Back at the WM centre we entered to find room upon room of interesting displays, a life like video show of the poem with life size diaorama. Another room held numerous versions of the WM song sung in opera style to country. Outside were railway carriages, historic artifacts from tools to dentistry, clothes to kitchenware. It was a vast array of well details items and well set out.

We wandered up and down the one main street of Winton, me staring longingly at the opal earrings and necklaces, Kevin enjoyed the historic pubs and wide streets.

We enjoyed an afternoon tea – I with scone, jam and cream and Kev enjoyed his meat pie and coffee. Back at the centre they arranged for us to return to the plane which we did by 1.30ish.

Back on board we departed about 2pm setting our track for Cloncurry. Our GPS was playing up in that it turned itself off every 2 minutes and did not seem to be charging. However the road is easy to follow and we tracked for Mckinlay a small town which holds the Walkabout Hotel pub that was used in the Crocodile Dundee movies. We over flew the town and conti
nued on down the road. The country turned from flat brown nothing (again) to hillocky stuff with flat topped mesas.

Finally arriving at Cloncurry at 3.30 we landed (still no GPS) and taxied around looking for a suitable place to camp. A friendly mob from the CAM (Cloncurry Aerial Muster) company invited us in for a beer and chat about the town. We decided it wasn’t necessary to go into town so set up our camp. Quite a few of the chopper pilots came to look at the plane and were very friendly and helpful.

We got everything set up by nightfall and even had an electric cable left out by the CAM guys so we could charge the GPS. (What lovely people). An easy dinner of cheese, gherk
in and salmon (yeeha no cooking) and we sat around in the dark enjoying quite a few scotches.

Tomorrow Mt Isa…..

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Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL
over Perth city (Photo: Greg Hill)

About Us

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Flying farming couple who live on 135 acres. Kev is obsessed by aeroplanes. Vicki is devoted to horses and White Swiss Shepherds.