Day 6

Thursday 25th July 2002



  • Left Blackall

  • Lunch in Barcaldine - very inviting main street - shady trees

  • Supplies in Longreach

  • Terrible camping spot - very dusty - may improve though as they have built new facilities - probably good intentions ruined by the drought

  • Camped overnight beside the Thomson River - just north of Longreach


Barcaldine is a very tidy town. It appealed to my sense of neatness and naturalness as we drove in. Trees are a big feature of the town, something all western towns should think about planting. As the heat can be overpowering at times, the shade provided by well chosen trees can be a blessing as well as adding beauty to the environment.

As it was lunchtime, we pulled up across from a bakery. My taste buds were in for a treat. The baker made delicious pasties. Yummmmmmmmm....I bought 2 and loved every bite. :))

A bonus was, Judy DIDN'T like them and I just had to eat hers to save wasting food.  ( ha ha ha )

After recovering from that delight we drove further into town and parked under lovely shady trees near the railway station. We made use of the very clean toilets at the railway station and then took photos of the town before heading off to look for THE AUSTRALIAN WORKERS HERITAGE CENTRE. I wanted to visit it but it looked too commercial for us. Very different to what "workers" are used to. It looked like another way of parting with your dollars and getting the same multimedia experience of that type of tourism, so we decided to give it a miss this time and continue on. Maybe another time when and if I ever have enough of the dollars.

Longreach certainly made it very clear that if you weren't going to spend money in any of the various styles of accommodation available, that you would be given the dustiest, most unappealing area of Longreach to stay. We followed the notes for free camping areas and ended up in a dustbowl beside the Thomson River. No doubt in better times it may be more attractive but in drought time it was woeful.

Toilets were provided fed by water from the river and that was very much appreciated but someone had tried in vain to pretty the toilet area up by using sprinklers. I hope it works. As it was when we visited, the area where you parked after driving over from the campsite was extremely churned up soil. Then, to get to the toilets you had to walk over muddy clay. Of course that left the toilet floors in a mess and your feet or footwear caked in mud when you arrived back at the vehicle. Also, bad luck if you needed the toilets at night, they were over 300 metres away in the dark.

On the positive side, if you needed fresh drinking water it was available in town near the Information Centre. A long hose was provided for filling containers. That was a godsend.

During the night a group of hoons came through the camping area which would have had over 30 campers sleeping, screamed abuse at the campers, roared around in the dark until they were happy everyone was concerned, then left.  Since arriving home I was told of a similar experience by a friend when they stayed at the same place.

Other than a commercial camping ground in Tennant Creek, this was the only site that we had any sort of trouble over the course of the whole trip.

We were planning on staying 2 nights in Longreach but after enduring one afternoon and night, we left.

Longreach itself seemed to me like another country town but trying to be like cities on the coast by building Theme Parks. Having seen such parks and paid the huge fees for what I found was overrated, I / we decided against paying money to see more of the same style of plastic, sterile tourism. Maybe another time but I'm afraid I've had my fill of modern day multimedia displays and certainly wasn't in a mood to spend money in a town that treated people with little finances in the way it did.

To me, Barcaldine was more interesting and pleasant, even though I avoided their similar display, THE AUSTRALIAN WORKERS HERITAGE CENTRE.

Below are various views in Barcaldine. As it was so dry where we stayed in Longreach , I didn't take any still shots. I couldn't find anything of interest to take photos of in the town itself.

Click on the pictures for larger versions


Near the Barcaldine Railway Station
Looking towards the Barcaldine Railway Station
A row of the many pubs in Barcaldine
Judy parked under the great shady trees


Ray and Coral parked under the great shady trees

Last Updated : 28/01/2012 09:06 PM +1000