Winton to Mt Isa

Wednesday 22 July 2020: Winton to Middleton 175 km

Breakfast spot, Mistake Creek – about 2 km south of Winton
It’s eerie heading west from Winton – the straight narrow road runs to the horizon in front and behind
There’s no hills, no trees, no cars, no people
The gentle gradient means floodwaters spread out into of small channels
Now we are in the Channel Country
Spinifex grass is really pretty but up close it’s a mass of prickles
Suddenly, red hills appear – remaining from 95 million years ago when this area was a lake
This isolated hut featured in the 2016 movie Goldstone
Middleton (pop 2) is the last remaining Cobb & Co horse changing station
9 passengers withstood a jolting and jarring journey in this coach up until the 1920s
Luckily there was a vacancy at the Middleton Hilton
Jeff having a beer with Lester, proprietor of the 144 year old Middleton Hotel

Thursday 23 July 2020: Middleton to Boulia 193 km

A flock of galahs take fright as we approach the Middleton windmill
No mobile coverage out here but there is a phone booth
Black Kite looking for prey
Mesas, outcrops left behind by an ancient inland sea, stand out above the horizon
Driving along the countryside looks dull but stop and you’ll find patches of unusual flowers
Always thought Brolgas were water birds but these no water anywhere near here

At the Australian Hotel in Boulia – we tried the Crazy Camel Larger and Camel Bangers

Friday 24 July 2020: Boulia to Dajarra Dam 168 km

Normally there are camel races at Boulia now but this year they are cancelled due COVID-19
Burke River water birds
Boulia Stone House – constructed in the 1880s using local stone and timber
The last remaining Corroboree Tree for the local Pita Pita people
The Waddi Wattle lives for 200 years and only grows in 3 small areas in Australia
Single lane roads and you must get off for Road Trains, they cannot
Don’t be on the road when a 150 tonne Road Train is coming at 100 kph
Wildflowers between Boulia and Dajarra
Brown Falcon – there isn’t much road kill for them on this road
Queensland western white gum is endemic to a small area of Queensland
Old Dajarra lockup
Dajarra was once the largest cattle trucking depot in the world but there is no sign of prosperity now
This looks like a good spot for the night – Dajarra Dam

Saturday 25 July 2020: Dajarra Dam to Corella Dam 205 km

Stirring the breakfast baked beans on an open fire beside Dajarra Dam
Ant hills everywhere
Cows at one of the few waterholes
This Wedge-Tailed Eagle wasn’t going far from his meal on the road
In the middle of nowhere, 80 km south of Mt Isa – bikes in trees
We are leaving the flat plains of the Channel Country as we approach Mt Isa
A good camping site at Corella Dam about 60 km east of Mt Isa