Day 3 – Outback art gallery, Marree and the ruins of Farina Township

Marree Travel Blog

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Coward Springs spa

On the morning of the third day Al, Marian and I treated our selves to a bit of bush luxury, a dip in the mineral waters of the natural spa.  This is one of two main attractions in Coward Springs, and visitors have being bathing here since 1888, yet the water is fairly clean :-)  It doesn’t look very inviting at first, but if you can overcome the fear that something might be living at the bottom of the tub, then it’s quite pleasant.  The second attraction was the pub, but sadly for us it was demolished in 1965.

 

Feeling rejuvenated and clean, we packed up and set off East on the Bopeechee to Marree track.

Packing up camp
  We were chatting away, when Al noticed a car hanging from the side of a water tank, ten or more metres up in the air.  ‘That’s odd’ he said, ‘yeah right, it looks like a dog from a distance’ I replied.  And in fact that’s exactly what it was meant to be, as this was the first of several wacky art exhibits in the bush.  I haven’t investigated the history of this gallery but it goes under the name of Mutonia Sculpure Park and it appears to have been put together by the Mutoid Waste Co, dedicated to Joe Rush.  There was a lot of interesting stuff; a hover bus; human figures made from welded up scrap metal; musical instruments from car bumpers and hubs; a huge pendulum; and two planes joined side by side, representing a ‘gateway to the realisation of humanities triumph over its own ignorance’ (so it reads at the bottom of one of the planes).  It’s amazing what you can do with a welder, a few beers and lot of spare time!!  It made me think of the time when me and the welsh boy paid a visit to the Tate, modern art gallery in London.
Art in the outback, it's a car hanging out from the side of a water tank!
  With all due respect, I can’t stand some of this crap and to prove a point that most of us don’t really understand it, Jonesy put his mobile phone next to one of the exhibits.  We pissed our self laughing when a group of Japanese started taking photos of it!  Jonesy walked up, picked up his phone and said ‘oh boyo, that’s where I left it, tidy!’ Hahaha.

 

We reached the small town of Marree by noonish and filled up with petrol.  There wasn’t anything interesting about this town, and it was Sunday so no one was about in the streets.  It felt deserted and cheerless.  I wondered why people still live in places like this, what do they do?  Weld together a few rusty pieces of metal in their back yard and flog ‘em off as modern art?

 

The final stop for today was Farina Township, or at least what was left of it.

Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculpure Park
  This, just like many others, was a town built around the railway station yard.  Afghan cameleers would bring wool from the stations in the outback to be loaded on the trains and transported to Port Augusta.  The town grew to 300 habitants and included a Post office, bank, telegraph station, police station, churches, bakery, hospital and the list goes on.  When the Ghan line closed in the 80 s, the town was also deserted.  It’s very sad to think about all those poor people who lost their job, their house and social community literarily overnight.  Not much was left of the buildings, just the chimney stacks made of stone, and a few timber boards from the walls.  It’s quite funny but at one point I suggested to collect some of the boards scattered around for our fire… they all had a laugh about it but in actual fact I was dead serious, how inconsiderate of me.
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculpure Park
  We got back to the camp just in time for another amazing sunset, this was one of the best I have seen in Australia.  We spent the rest of the night drinking beer, cooking on the fire and talking about the end of the world, well to be honest I can’t remember what we talking about but it probably wasn’t anything clever! :-)

hummingbird50 says:
I have not been to the Tate Gallery...but art...is art...and I love the diversity...lets me know what is going on in that persons mind! :):):)
Posted on: Nov 08, 2008
alicegourmet says:
I went to Tate Gallery several times when I was living in London. I like the J.M. William Turner's art a lot, especially his pencil and watercolour paintings. Anyway, some of the artwork you might consider it's great but other might think it's a piece junk/crap!
Posted on: Nov 05, 2008
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Coward Springs spa
Coward Springs spa
Packing up camp
Packing up camp
Art in the outback, its a car han…
Art in the outback, it's a car ha…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Music instrument made from car whe…
Music instrument made from car wh…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Music instrument made from Car bum…
Music instrument made from Car bu…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Sculp…
Art in the Outback - Mutonia Scul…
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township - note …
Remains of Farina Township - note…
Remains of Farina Township
Remains of Farina Township
Marians proper Aussie swag
Marian's proper Aussie swag
Fantastic sunset over our campsite
Fantastic sunset over our campsite
Marree
photo by: cvanzoen