It’s a long way to the top, Day 64 – Waltzing with Matilda in our hearts

Day 64 Friday Aug 8th 2014 Kynuna to Winton

Our peaceful night was punctuated by the increasing then fading roar of road trains as they thundered through the night. By 6:30am the roadhouse is open for business again and trading nicely, but to our dismay the trucks leave their heaving engines running so we may as well get out of bed.

Back on the highway there’s just a flat yellow plain of Mitchell grass, not a cloud in the sky. We divert to pay homage to the Combo Waterhole. There is 8kms of good dirt road then a two and a half kilometre walk through paddocks of Mitchell grass and around billabongs. It’s getting hot and as we walk we pass a bunch of old blokes (our age) with towels, they’ve just been in for a swim. This is part of the Diamantina River and the billabongs have been cleverly dammed with large stones to maintain water during the dry. The dams are called overshots and the method obviously works as the Combo has water in it.

It’s hot and my excitement rises as we tromp through the paddock. I doubt that Woody feels the same. I reckon he’s wondering why I’ve dragged him down yet another dirt road.
An overshot, rows of large rocks help to hold the water

It is just a billabong like a million others but it’s the fact that this billabong inspired a song so powerful as to become the unofficial National anthem of Australia. That is what matters.

Combo Waterhole the inspiration for Banjo Paterson’s Waltzing Matilda

The drive to Winton is flat and dry and punctuated with large dead ‘roos. The termite mounds are now behind us and sheep are appearing in the paddocks. I guess sheep and termites don’t mix. Apart from a striking range of red mesas there is little else to see.

Towing Kms: 164Kms

2020 Note: On leaving Kynuna I read a post on WikiCamps that complained about the rude attitude of the staff at the roadhouse. Whereas the two warm hearted ladies had us in stitches. I guess some people just don’t understand the subtleties of Aussie humour.

Those mesas? They dot the countryside around here and in recent times have spawned a new industry. Movie making.

Combo Waterhole just south of Kynuna, Qld.
Map Source: WikiCamps

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