27 Aug Butchers, Golf and Burke & Wills
With my trusty steed freshly serviced (car not mare), I headed first for Walgett and Brewarrina where I enjoyed the hospitality of various clients, including busting a few clays with the 12 gauge (we thought seeding the air might start a rainfall event).
I then tracked out to Tibooburra, where for the first time since 1989, the Bourke to Wanaaring road was as good as it’s ever been, mainly due to the fact that it is slowly but surely being sealed the whole way. Will I miss the 195 kilometres of bone jarring corrugations…I think not.
I had two choices on my arrival in the corner country on where I was going to stay the first night. The first was to drive into Tibooburra and catch up with friends at the pub (dangerous). The second was to find a quiet spot on a 300,000 acre cattle station I once worked on.
I picked the quiet spot on the edge of the Bulloo floodplain to light a fire and roll the swag. The spot overlooked a camp site where Burke & Wills stayed during their epic trans continental journey (Rat Point Camp). My night was infinitely more comfortable, and without the numerous rats that the said explorers had to put up with.
Saturday morning came and a good number of local graziers and I attended a butchering course at the Tibooburra Sports Club. Three butchers from Mildura helped us cut up two bullocks and two sheep. We then threw some of the beef on the BBQ for lunchtime steak sandwiches. The beef rolls we made went on the spit for the evening meal.
The Tibooburra golf course was resurrected during the previous week from a 12 year slumber, and was ready for an afternoon of mug players. It was essential that a screwdriver was on hand to help insert tees into the hardened soil, and many a club and iron was bent on the unforgiving ground.
A great night was then had by all, with around 200 people turning up to enjoy our roast beef masterpieces; the expertly prepared sides supplied by the young and active local CWA; and a great one man band that kept everyone singing and dancing to the end.
I rolled into my swag around 1am, which was strategically placed next to the back door of the hall where the evening festivities took place.
Sunday morning and the smell of fresh bacon and egg rolls (thanks CWA ladies) motivated me to rise. Once consumed and a few good byes made, I sat on the back of my stead wondering where to go next (south to Broken Hill; north to Thargomindah; east to my Nyngan farm?). The decision was made for me when a local grazing family invited me out to their station for the night.
What a beautiful property and homestead. Thanks Matt and Zanna for offering great hospitality at short notice.
The next day I stopped by a couple more stations in the White Cliffs area, and then headed home via Wilcannia and Cobar.
I have been involved in the corner country for 30 years now, and I look forward to the next 30.