September 8th, 2008 – by: skippyed
Like my car! (Caldega Ruins)
We awoke to the sound of lovely parrots, being near a waterhole there was plenty of birdlife. After packing up and taking more pictures of the ruins we moved on south. Today we were heading for Innamincka
a small settlement around 350K's further south. On route we would visit Cordillo downs Station and Burke and Wills Dig Tree. We continued on down the Cordillo downs track passing through the vast gibber plain expanse of Sturt Stony Desert. Glen was lucky enough to spot a dingo and we spotted a camel! We reached Cordillo Downs mid morning and stopped to have a look around. At Cordillo Downs is the worlds largest shearing shed which is no longer in use. It once headed 80,000 sheep but is now a cattle property, the shed had plenty of relics from the past.
Dingo off the Cordillo downs track
As we moved further south the scenery started to change and become more green with some hills in the distance, it was very pretty. Our next stop was the Dig Tree and Coopers Creek which forms part of the Burke and Wills expedition. In 1860-61 Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 18 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne
in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria
in the north, a distance of around 2,800 kilometres. At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-indigenous people and was completely unknown to the European settlers. Australia's harsh interior claimed many lives and only one man John King completed the expedition and made it back to Melbourne.
Our first siting of a camel, Cordillo downs track
The Dig tree was one of the depot camps and the tree marked the burial of supplies. It was also here that Burke and Wills died and King survived by living with the local Aboriginal people. The site entrance to the Dig Tree has a little mini museum which explains the whole story of the expedition complete with a photo display. I found it fascinating and would endeavour to buy the book when I got home. We looked around for a while before having lunch and then moving on to Innamincka. Innamincka is a tiny settlement, with a pub, general store, motel and bush nursing home. The first thing we took advantage of was the public showers! Then we ventured into the pub which was very nice and had a great modern restaurant attached, we booked ourselves a table for the evening as tonight we were going to enjoy the pub meal we missed out on at Birsdville!.
We camped about 15k's out of Innaminka at Cullyamurra Waterhole a great little spot to enjoy fishing and swimming. I went for a wonder down to the waters edge only to meet a chappy fishing, he had been there all afternoon and hadn't caught anything! After setting up camp we headed back into town for dinner, we had a few drinks outside to start with and enjoyed a wonderful sunset. We run into a couple of our Victorian friends! there was only 4 of them left now, the others had gone home. They were staying in the motel as the women had said they were over camping and wanted comfort! Dinner was excellent, it was like city dining not the sort of food you would find in the bush normally. Our Victorian friends were on the next table so we spent most of the evening chatting with them. I think this would be the last time we would see them, they were heading home themselves after tonight.