The next part of our outback Queensland adventure was travelling from Blackall to Longreach. We just loved Blackall. It is a really lovely country town with a rich history. We were able to camp behind the Barcoo Hotel. Built in about 1927 it still has all of it’s original country charm. They served a really great pub meal for a reasonable price to. Because they don’t charge much for camping it meant we could spend a little bit of money in the pub.
Packing up was a quick and easy job as we had not put the annex on the front of the tent. It was a mild night and no chance of rain so we figured we didn’t need it.
We then headed off for a quick tour of the main points of interest in Blackall – the Jacky Howe Memorial and The Black Stump Memorial. Jacky Howe was a famous Blade Shearer of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and set the blade shearing record of 321 sheep in 7 hours and 40 minutes in 1892. The Black Stump was originally used for Surveying purposes in the late 1800’s.
After our sight-seeing we hit the road again with our aim being to travel from Blackall to Longreach with our first stop being Barcaldine. Another small but pretty outback town Barcaldine is home to the Tree of Knowledge Memorial. The Tree of Knowledge is the historical site of the 1891 Shearers Strike. The original tree was poisoned in 2006 and a unique memorial was built in it’s place using some of the original tree branches. It is like a giant wind chime made of wood and was fascinating to stand underneath it.
One thing I have learnt in the last few days of travelling is that if you are on a time schedule you simply cannot stop and look at everything along the way. Therefore there were things that we just didn’t get the opportunity to see. I found this quite disappointing but it just means we will have to come back again.
We arrived in Longreach just after lunch to a very hot, dry and dusty 35`. After setting up we headed into town to have a browse around. We also need more ice for our esky. I might just give the Waeco Cool-Ice Esky a plug here. It is the best thing I have ever come across. It will keep blocks of ice frozen for days at a time. Whereas in a normal esky the ice melts quite quickly.
We stayed at the Longreach Tourist Park which has a restaurant located in the park itself so we decided to treat ourselves to dinner again. After all we were on holidays! We had a good pub style meal which again was very reasonably priced. This restaurant is seasonal and operates from April to September.
We then sat back and planned our activities for the next couple of days exploring all that Longreach has to offer.