Day 76 Wednesday Aug 20th 2014 Charleville
Whoa it was a cold night, it looks like we’re back to double doonas again. It’s a beautiful morning with a light cool breeze. We hitch up, buy some fresh fruit and vegies from a truck parked at the railway station and head off on the long haul to Evening Star Van Park, a tiring 9kms!
Evening Star is a working station and the van park is managed by Neil and Dot. It is so good we book a second night as soon as we’re set up. It’s as neat as a pin with a real bush feel. There are spacious gravel sites and ensuite amenities surrounded by red soil and mulga scrub. There is a licensed bar and camp kitchen that is run by Lenny the muso and his wife Annette who is the camp cook.
Woody and I spend the afternoon touring the Hotel Corones. Greek immigrant Harry Corones moved to Charleville in 1909. Through hard work and entrepreneurialism, he eventually owned ten hotels in the region. The Hotel Corones being the flagship and the hotel of choice for the rich and famous passing through the area. Aviatrix Amy Johnson stayed here on her way to London. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester also stayed. Our guide has a special link to the hotel as her grandfather built it after the previous building was destroyed by fire. Lightning strikes and subsequent fire are common in this area so it was rebuilt in brick with beautiful silky oak trimmings and a curving staircase. The foyer tiles are marble. Although the hotel has long since left the family and weathered many floods, some reaching as high as the mantelpieces, it is still remarkably intact. She is still a gracious old dame.
We arrive back at camp in time for a campfire dinner. Lenny is belting out a few numbers on the guitar and there is a huge fire pit. We meet our fellow campers and tuck into Annette’s hearty beef camp oven casserole. One of the campers is encouraged to recite some bush poetry and does a great job. Lenny belts out a few Slim Dusty songs and regales us of his shearing days as a young bloke. Lenny and Nett are from Victoria’s Western district and like so many on the road they spend each winter working here to cover the cost of their travels. It costs us $18 a head for dinner and a tip for the music.
Towing Kms: 9Kms
2021 Note: Doona – duvet