Monday, 21 December 2009

Taliasaurusrex visits Tonysaurusrex

A rare visit to the father by the daughter from halfway 'round the globe means much filial snarling, snorting and baring of teeth in the world of the 'Rex...perhaps even some affectionate swiping of tails...'tailswiping'!!!

Beware the drooling jaws of The 'Rex!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

The StrawBale House

The StrawBale House actually went up the previous weekend.
We were here to build Ingrid's StawBale Studio!

Which began with some earnest instruction from the apostle Richard.
And then...

An orange view.

A sculptural figure bathing in straw.

All the workers.

With stiff backs.

Laying the FIRST bale!

The Portraits

The Post Portrait.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Emmdale Roadhouse

Dawn on the Barrier Highway and the B-Doubles gather round the watering hole.


Nyngan Chopper

At first I thought it was a Vietnam War Memorial but no, it's one of the choppers used to evacuate almost the entire population of Nyngan during monster floods in 1990.
Floods? It seems so inconceivable that there could be that much water ever again.

Monday, 26 October 2009


Kinchega National Park encompasses Menindee Lakes and must be beautiful when they are full. The Darling wends its way through the redgums and is quite magical, even when bone dry.

All that's left of The Providence, part of the's the history.

"The Providence was one such steamer and became stranded in 1872 for several months. Once water levels rose again the Providence continued its journey along the river towards Kinchega station. Tragedy struck once again when the boiler exploded, throwing one crew member (Gunn, a Chinese cook) into a tree, and killing the crew John Davis (Captain), Edward Sparkes (engineer) and John Roach (fireman). Gunn was rescued, but later died of his injures. All the crew died and are buried by the old Kinchega homestead.

The only survivor was Henry Trevorah, a miner from Wilcannia travelling to visit family. One story says the crew fired up the boiler without checking the water levels after a drinking session in Menindee, while others claim the boiler was faulty and it was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. The boiler remains on the banks of the Darling, and can be seen if you take the Homestead Loop of the River Drive."

On the road to Menindee the sun settles into the dust.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

More on The Dying Darling

Finally developed this film which has been sitting in the Rollie waiting to be used up and developed.
Self explanatory's low, it's dry. The centre photo is Willaba Punt Crossing, on the way to Bindara, used to transport sheep and bales across the river...back in the days when there was water!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Lake Mungo

On the day we went to Lake Mungo the wind came up, filled the sky with sand. Great day to appreciate the erosion that has formed this place for the last 15,000 years or so. Our guide Graham, then took the opportunity to get even with us invaders and lectured us in the burning sun for about an hour on the origins of thin-skulled homo sapiens found at the lake and dating back 40-60,000 years. But by the time we had lunch in the haven of the National Park compound, all was cordial and we witnessed Graham's virtuosity on the didgeridoo.
That was awesome mate!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Dying Darling

We drove south from Broken Hill to Wentworth (the junction of the Darling and the Murray) crossed into Victoria to Mildura, which looked lush compared to NSW, then crossed back into NSW, never far from the Darling.
Every creek, every river, every dam...bone dry, except for the Darling, which is just a trickle. The Murray is still in reasonable shape.
On the way to Turlee Station where we would be staying, we saw dry land wheat, such a toxic green -- they plant it without water, then this chemical green wheat with desert all around!
After leaving Mungo we drove in a severe dust storm to Pooncarie, crossed the Darling to the west side and followed it all the way to Bindara, the homestead of Old Netley Station, a million acres in the 1850's. (A couple of photos on cam'era ƒ.)
Then on to Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park...all the lakes were dry of course. No people, a few lizards and lots of emus.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Turlee Station

Fortunately on our arrival Dione (the mum) was there. Otherwise we would have had to book in via UHF channel 8.
As it turned out we were the only guests and so we had the run of the place and also got to know the family. They go back four generations in the area, uncles and other relatives owning stations all around the lower Darling. Shearers' quarters become guest accommodation, the cookhouse the share kitchen and dining room, outdoor showers and toilets, all very civilised, nothing like a bit of fresh air.
We got to see station life unhindered, all 145,000 acres of it, albeit during a quiet time.

The Schoolhouse
Although you get used to the expanse of the place pretty quickly (Lake Mungo is half an hour away, any shopping is an hour and a dust), it is still astonishing that less than thirty years ago the brothers went to 'primary school' in this little building on the property and they had a governess. A lot of the instruction was by radio...the epitome of distance education. M~