June 2018, Western Queensland
After about 250kms (from Quilpie) we come to masses of greenery and a sign declaring 10kms of Cooper Creek channels. This is it. In water terms it’s the aorta of Australia’s central river systems. I’m excited, this is what I have wanted to see for so long.
Before making camp we drive into Windorah for fuel. There is a sign announcing “No shooting on town common.” Either the locals here are a colourful bunch or this sign is directed at us.
We return to Cooper Creek and find ourselves a perfect campsite only to discover that the fridge has gone on the blink again. Thank goodness we hadn’t unhitched. In this heat there’s only one option and that’s to continue another 100kms to Jundah which is on the way to Longreach. Where no doubt there’ll be a repairman.
We see only one car on the way to Jundah and he’s having lunch on the side of the road. We cross the Thomson River (where we had planned to camp tomorrow night) and pull into the Jundah Caravan Park. The deal here is to get settled then pay at the store which we do. We explain our predicament and the locals have a laugh about how fast they can drive the 200kms to Longreach which is a little hair raising considering that it is a single lane road regularly crossed by dashing emus and bounding kangaroos.
We pop into the Jundah pub for a drink and meet a delightful young French barman who is eight weeks into his working visa and hasn’t seen much more than red dirt. He can’t wait to get to Melbourne. I wonder if we should tell him that there’s a cute Italian girl in the Toompine Pub.
Now back to the caravan park. It’s pretty new, basic and excellent. The sites are gravel, to keep the red dust down. There is a well-equipped camp kitchen and spotless amenities all built from corrugated iron. At $16 per night for power and water … and no traffic noise I doubt that one could find better.
Sometimes we don’t end up where we expect to be but it often turns out to be a pleasant surprise like this one.