It’s a long way to the top, Day 69 – The movable towns of Qld

Day 69 Wednesday Aug 13th 2014 Ilfracombe

There are clouds gathering and rain is forecast but the locals are reluctant to talk about it. They’re in the midst of the worst drought in 100 years. The town has an artesian bore but the water that once supported the community and was considered excellent for wool scouring is today considered to be too high in minerals for drinking. I’ll bet the old timers would have scoffed at that. This whole area was once part of Wellshot Station. Australia’s largest sheep station it ran 400,000 head of sheep. The Wellshot station has long since been carved up but the land out here is so poor that to earn a fair living the minimum sized property is a whopping 40,000 acres.

The movable towns of Queensland

In Western Qld in the old days towns would spring up at the rail head. As the line was extended some buildings would be packed up and moved to the new town at the end of the line.

At Normanton both the Albion Hotel and the Purple Pub were moved from Croydon when the gold mining ceased. In Ilfracombe the Wellshot Hotel has been moved from further down the railway line.

There is a house in Ilfracombe that is a good example of this. It belonged to the Langenbaker family. Mr Langenbaker was a carrier so when work became available around Ilfracombe he packed his house and family onto the wagon and moved them to this new town.

Towing Kms: 0

The Langenbaker house, Ilfracombe, Qld
And out the back, the dunny. To this day corrugated iron is an invaluable building material. Note how dry the land is.

2020 Note: Ilfracombe is a tiny town and yet there is plenty to see and do. For grey nomad caravanners it is the perfect spot to rest up for a few days between hops. Although we love Longreach, upon reflection we wish we’d used Ilfracombe Caravan Park as a base to stay while we visited the tourist attractions of Longreach.

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