May 2018, heading north
We rock along the Kidman Way north of Bourke listening to ‘Macca on a Sunday’ on ABC radio and singing along to ‘The monkey sings soprano round Stanthorpe in July’. Now there’s a meaningful song title if ever I heard one. In the main street of Stanthorpe (Queensland’s coldest town) they have a little brass statue of a monkey which refers to the old saying “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”. To put it simply it gets bloody cold in Stanthorpe in Winter.
Not July but Aug 2018…heading south and climbing the range to Stanthorpe, Qld and over 900 metres above sea level.
We arrive at Stanthorpe, it’s mid-afternoon 14 degrees and as clear and crisp as their apples. The Showgrounds are spacious and we’re way down the back with gums around us and a horse paddock with four hay burners wanting treats at our door. The accommodation costs us $25 + 1 carrot.
At 8:30pm we hear thump, thump, thump as horses are being loaded onto floats. It’s 4 degrees outside.
Thank goodness for electric blankets. We wake at 5:00am to minus 2 degrees, yep -2. We quickly flick on the electric blankets again plus the air con and the $20 electric fan heater. The water hose is frozen solid. We turn on the internal pump and use our own tank water for showering. Both the car and van are thick with frost. Yes, that little monkey down on main street will be singing soprano this morning.