We are now bedding down for a third night here in Quilpie at the Channel Country Caravan Park. Have had a BBQ rump steak for dinner and sat by the big camp fire with a glass of red. Feeling very smooth, particularly after having had a plunge in the artesian spar. There has been a lot of action over the last two days and we have seen much of what there is to see in Quilpie. The walk along the Bulloo River is a real highlight for anyone with a photography bent, the river twists and turns with all sorts of trees overhanging it. You could spend hours here waiting for the light to be right! We have trotted around town checking out the Information Centre displays and memorabilia, the murals, St Finbarr’s Church with the boulder opal inlaid font, lectern and communion table. Have also tried the local butcher’s beef sausages and they were not bad at all, quite meaty with a touch of fat to ease that cooking on the Caravan Park camp kitchen BBQ.
In the last blog I mentioned we had been through here twenty odd years ago and was wondering whether much had changed. Well there has been some change! In 2017 Quilpie celebrated 100 years since its establishment in 1917 as the rail head for the line west. It never went any further despite plans for a route north to Darwin. When the rail came out here Quilpie quickly grew because it sucked population from some of the already established nearby towns. Well the train has long stopped coming west from Charleville, although there is a sometime tourist steam run from Brisbane out here for rail enthusiasts. The 100 year celebrations saw some tourist type things constructed, a railway museum, the new info centre and park area. There is also a new housing sub division (not many houses on it yet) and the caravan park has had a recent renovation. Good place to stop!
Our stop over here has coincided with a polo tournament weekend. Quilpie has been playing off against Goondiwindi and others , including a team from the Hunter Valley in NSW, over 3 days. We lingered a while watching some of the action, along with a couple of hundred polo enthusiasts from far and wide. Never seen live polo before. Prince Charles on TV has been it. We sat on the sideline, luckily the wind was blowing down the field taking the dust with it. Not a blade of grass on this pitch. Interesting time watching the action as well as the assembled human beings, quite a social scene and may be a forerunner of the Birdsville Races.
Back from the polo and lunch beside Lake Houdraman, with its resident emu population, we headed off to Baldy Top for sunset from the lookout. Bit of a scramble to the top but the view was pretty good looking out over the plains stretching for ever into the distance. Not a spectacular sunset as we didn’t have much cloud. Homealone a bit anxious up here. Allthego is known for finding high spots to go to.
We are now moving on to Eromanga, about 100 km west and a little south to check out some old dinosaur remains.