03 Jan Destination Cunnamulla
The Road To Cunnamulla
For those of you following along at home, we’ve mapped out a little road map of our planned adventure out to Cunnamulla. During our excited conversations about where to visit, Kylie mentioned she’d lived in Cunnamulla briefly as a child. So I told her all about my visits to Cunnamulla with my family. My husband introduced me to Cunnamulla about 10 years ago. He’s a country man at heart at makes the trek out there whenever he can. It’s been a few years since we all visited together but our family trips out there were always an adventure.
The Holiday Shack
We’d stay on a cattle property that spanned 100,000 acres, in a run-down old shearing shack. Our first day was always spent sweeping out the inch of red dust that had settled since our previous visit. We’d dust away the cobwebs and carefully inspect the bathroom for redback spiders that liked to use our outside shower for their home. And apart from the odd brown snake we sometimes spied slithering away from our shack, we were mostly met by families of green frogs who’d set-up home in the toilet cistern.
The kids would collect firewood, catch yabbies from the dam and at night we’d lay down and watch for shooting stars and satellites. It was here that our kids would play, much like we did as kids. They’d climb trees, swim in the dam and cook over the campfire. There was no television, no internet and no phone service. It was bliss! And at sunrise and sunset, the outback always presented us with a spectacular display which far exceeded anything a television could offer us.
It’s been about 6 years since I’ve visited Cunnamulla and things will be significantly different this trip. For most of the past 7 years, Cunnamulla has been suffering in the drought. Its annual average rainfall is 375 mm; an average that has only been reached 11 years out of the last 20 years. The property we once stayed on is now empty; the stock long since sold-off before starvation set in. The property managers who we once shared beers with, have moved on, quite literally, to greener pastures.
Last night I spoke to Rod, a local farmer, who excitedly told me they’d just received 24mm of rain.
“Enough to settle the dust”, he said.
The weather forecast isn’t promising. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the weather for the next week will reach 43 degrees, with barely a chance of rain. The map below, courtesy of the Queensland Government shows just how far and wide this drought reaches.
Community Spirit in Cunnamulla
However, it’s not all doom and despair. I’ve spent the last few days talking to complete strangers who are all too willing to chat with Kylie and I. We’ve been told about the wonderful things happening in the community, particularly with the younger generation. And we’ve had offers of accommodation by people who’ve never heard of us!
The first night of our adventure will be spent at the Australian Hotel Motel in St George. A quick look at the website reveals a quaint Aussie pub and judging by the friendly “G’day” that answered the phone, I’m sure we’ll find a few of those famous Aussie outback characters to chat to over a beer or three.
Our second night we’re booked into Hotel Cunnamulla, right in the heart of town. Their website promises magical sunsets and nights under a fairyland of stars! Honestly, you had us at comfy beds, food and wine! However, we will have a stellar view of the ‘The Cunnamulla Fella’. For those of you who’ve been under a rock, ‘The Cunnamulla Fella’ is an iconic Aussie bush character, a song written by Stan Coster and sung by our famous bush man, Slim Dusty. The statue is a tribute to Stan, Slim and to all the ‘ringers’ of the bush. He’s a giant bronze statue so Kylie and I will obviously have to get a selfie with him. Stay tuned for that one 😉
And I did have grand plans of visiting Eulo and soaking in the Artesian mud baths, sipping on wine and eating the tasty cheese platter their website promises, but apparently the temperature out there right now is just perfect for cooking humans. So perhaps we’ll came back for that one.
So that is as much as we’ve planned so far! We’re sure to find some local attractions to visit and possibly the odd sunset and sunrise photography walk. And we’re bound to get into mischief, because that’s just how we roll! We’re looking forward to meeting the people we’ve spoken to and talking to many more we’ve not met yet!
Let the Cunnamulla adventure commence!
About Kylie and Alison
Who are we? Find out who the Redheads on the Road are here.