Hay to be unloaded at the cattleyards.

Hay to be unloaded at the cattleyards.

Well, it’s mustering time again and that means buying some hay to feed them as we move them through the yards and into new paddocks.  The newly weaned weaners stay in the yard for a week or so and get taken through the yards 3 or 4 times to educate them and get to eat some yummy hay every evening.  The cattle that we will be selling also get fed in the yards for a few days until we have enough of them to fill the truck.  We usually buy our hay from St George which is 600 km away so the freight is super expensive as is the hay.

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We had a bit of a quandary this time – the trailer was bigger than usual and so there was a third layer of hay stacked up.  How to unload it????  The poor old Fordson was not up to the challenge – the hay was just too high and too heavy at 600 kg per bale.  Soo, it was all shoulders to the hay ( except little old me ) J  Apparently I’m a bit of a light weight……..

Feeding the hay out for the weaners at Kilcowera Station.

Feeding the hay out for the weaners at Kilcowera Station.

……..  Anyway the job took most of the day, rolling the hay off and the using the old tractor to stack it up, then an electric fence around it to keep the passing trade out.

 

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The new VIC, Library, coference centre and Coffee Shop in Thargomindah

The new VIC, Library, conference center and Coffee Shop in Thargomindah

Thargo just never seems to look back, its workforce works mainly for the local council or one other entrepreneurial business in town and it’s a little town that just keeps growing and growing in both size and population.

The streets get bigger, the footpaths get wider, more and more lovely little houses get built, there are 2 caravan parks, a pub, a motel and restaurant, the community centre, a Toyota dealership, a roadhouse and lots of other businesses.

The new Administation building is taking shape in Thargomindah

The new Administation building is taking shape in Thargomindah

 

And now the Bulloo Shire is building a new Administration building and has just recently completed the new visitor information centre, library and coffee shop.  Another 25 blocks of land are also to be developed and put up for public tender in the near future.

Coffee shop for Thargo

Coffee shop for Thargo

It is an interesting town where visitors can see lots of dogs, horses, some nice old buildings, a demonstration at the older town bore, have a great coffee at the new shop OR one of the best burgers you’ll ever eat at Fergies Roadhouse!  The locals are generally friendly and helpful, showing typical outback hospitality to nice visitors.

A great feature of the town is also the colourful display of flowers in the middle of the streets and around some of the buildings.

The visitor info centre has plenty of comfy chairs!

The visitor info centre has plenty of comfy chairs!

The VIC is a bit light on for info still but I was told they are waiting for some more shelving to arrive so as to put more stuff out.  A little observation from me, the girls at this new center were lovely and obliging but they all would look soo much better in some sort of uniform! NOT cut off jeans, T shirts and thongs.  Just a bit smarter to reflect their surroundings.

 

The most important bit of water infrastructure a station can have.

The most important bit of water infrastructure a station can have.

As you would be aware water is vitally important to us who live in the more arid parts of Australia.  I know it’s important everywhere, but city people do tend to take water for granted except when water levels in dams start making the nightly news.

Not only do we need to take particular care of our stock watering points but our bore water needs special consideration if it is going to do the job domestically too.

The capped  artesian bore situated at our Shearers Quarters was put down in 1962 , the depth is 368 meters , it comes out of the ground at 47 degrees at a rate of 79,200 gallons per day with a pressure of 51.5 PSI.  I know the mixture of imperial and metrics is quaint, but that’s the way it is!

Now in summer that’s way too hot to comfortably have a shower under, so there is a big roll of poly pipe, full of water, underneath the Shearers Quarters that is then attached to two cold taps in one bathroom.  So the first ones to have a shower do get a nice cool one, subsequent bathers will find that the water gets hotter as the pipe refills constantly.  During winter, guests at the Quarters are asked to water the lawn before having their showers!  It gets the water moving through the pipes so they can then enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the 47 degree hot artesian water.

It’s a different story at the homestead which is a mere 1.5 kilometers from the bore.  Water to the house is piped up from the bore in more poly pipe which is buried in the ground about 2 feet down.  During summer the water is far too hot to shower in despite  the pipe being buried, so we have a 500 L cold water tank with a pressure pump attached to it so we can have a cool shower.  In winter we have a solar hot water system because as the pipe is buried the water is cold!  In winter only.  Also in summer when I need lots of water for my garden I find that I have very little pressure or water as the cattle in the next 2 paddocks are slurping away at the water in the troughs.

The outback would be a ghost place if anything were to happen to spoil or contaminate the water of the Great Artesian Basin.  Not only would there be considerably less water for the kangaroos and wallabies, the sheep and cattle industries would be decimated and places like Kilcowera would be unviable and not worth living on.  Hundreds of thousands of people wouldn’t  have jobs as many outback towns depend on the water from the GAB as well.

Camping at Kilcowera on Cardenyabba Lagoon

Camping at Kilcowera on Cardenyabba Lagoon

This is Cardenyabba Lagoon, just east of the Shearers Quarters ,the creek that fills it is running very big after a wonderful 104 mls of rain over 2 days.  We are very happy people.  The lagoon has gone from bone dry to chocka block full!  Fantastic for visitors who want to bush camp.  The 2 little dogs and I walked down there this morning to check it out.   Sooo happy!!!!!  I was kinda glum about no water in it after having it full for 3 years, our visitors love camping there!  And who wouldn’t when you get sunsets like this one?

Sunset at Cardenyabba Lagoon.

Outback Beds

Outback Beds

 

I thought you might like to know a little about Outback Beds an organization that we are members of!

Outback Beds consists of a network of owner-operated farm stays and accommodation throughout Outback NSW and southwest QLD. It was formed in 2002, the Year of the Outback, which was also a time of drought. The general aim is to bring together people who have a vision for diversified use of the land and to offer travelers an authentic Outback experience.

OBB is a peak body representing Outback NSW and SW QLD, including the famous Darling River Run and the Dowling Track.  All positions within the organisation are served on a voluntary basis. The yearly AGM, held in the quiet month of February, is a great time for catching up, meeting with old friends and the opportunity to meet new members/friends that come to the meeting. Often there will be industry representatives at the meeting to give members insights, tools and tips about the hospitality business.

The website http://www.outbackbeds.com.au contains much useful information for people contemplating a visit to the outback region. The logo and brand, which features a black cockatoo on a bed-head, and the slogan “Stay in the outback with friends” is becoming well known. OBB are a high profile group and still growing in this, their 11th year in business.

The free Outback Beds Map is very popular and well used by most of the travelling public it is widely available in most visitor info centers, roadhouses, cafes and shops.  OBB also have promotional material such as stickers, pens and pads and polo-style tops, all with the OBB logo.

A recent and most exciting development is that OBB are now partnering with National Parks (NPWS) to promote accommodation in Far West and Western NSW. This will take place in the form of an Outback and Rivers Map. The NPWS 2013 campaign includes this map, which will locate National Parks, accommodation and camping facilities (both within the parks and Outback Beds), Visitor Information Centres and touring routes to link visitor travel in the region.

Outback Beds have won many awards which led to TV commercials and print media advertising.

  • 2005 Department State and Regional Development Business Enterprise Award
  • 2006 Inland NSW Tourism Award winner- Destination and Product Development
  • 2007 Inland NSW tourism Award, Distinction –Destination Marketing
  • 2007 Tourism NSW Distinction –Destination Marketing
  • 2012-Outback Tourism Symposium – Outstanding contribution to Tourism in Outback NSW and in recognition for 10 years in Foundation

OBB have a Freecall number 1800 005 298 where prospective visitors can make enquiries and request brochures and maps.  We love being a part of this network, all members work together to help each other out as well as helping our visitors find another great place to stay while they are in our area.

Members establishments range from fine hotels, a pottery place with accommodation and horse riding, cattle and sheep stations, caravan parks, B&B’s and cottages and cabins.  Truly something for everyone!  Check them out at www.outbackbeds.com.au  and facebook http://www.facebook.com/OutbackBeds?ref=hl#!/OutbackBeds