Blog 12, 2019




From the Principal’s desk

Our trip continues to be amazing. The map shows where we were a few days ago.
Since leaving Streaky Bay Mr Mottershead and I have travelled over 8000 kms.
After my last post we visited the QANTAS Founders Museum. Oh my goodness it is incredible to see how far we have come with aviation in Australia and how brave our forefathers were. Imagine travelling to Brisbane in the plane below.

Below is Mr Mottershead in the engine of a QANTAS Boeing 747 called City of Bunbury. QANTAS donated the plane to the Longreach museum at the end of its working life. Each engine on the plane is worth $6,500 000 and the plane has four of them! The City of Bunbury travelled 82.54 million kms before it was retired to Longreach. Interestingly the Longreach airstrip is not long enough for the jet to take off from so it will be in Longreach forever.
I am standing in the cockpit of the plane. There are a lot of controls in there.

After Longreach we visited Winton in Queensland. 65 million years ago, give or take a year there was a dinosaur stampede in Winton. In the country around Winton there is a lot of fossil evidence of dinosaurs. I took a photo of one of the bins in Winton. I thought it was quite funny and original.

Near the Queensland and Northern Territory border Mr Mottershead and I visited an original drovers camp at Camooweal and met a man called Stumpy who was a drover as a young man. It was really interesting to hear his stories of riding his horse and pushing mobs of cattle in the 1000s for hundreds of kilometres. Stumpy and his team of men spent weeks in the outdoors moving cattle from one spot to another through wind and rain. They had to make sure the cattle stayed together and someone had to stay up all night to make sure they didn’t get away. They also had to take all their supplies with them including food. The horse and cart below would have had a lot of supplies, including a cook to make the food. It was a very big job. Stumpy said the horse he had wasn’t as flash as the one below.

After travelling through Queensland we entered the Northern Territory. The NT really is spectacular.
We camped in a rainforest in the NT. Even though it was beautiful it was also very humid. I found it a bit uncomfortable and wished I had a fan with me. We visited Daly Waters where the Australians and Americans had an important air base during the Second World War. It was also the place where the first international flights from Australia left for Singapore and Papua New Guinea.
We visited some thermal springs at Mataranka called Bitter Springs. We floated down a spectacular creek fed by the thermal springs in the rain forest. Once we got to the end we got out and did it all again. We saw turtles in the water and lots of birds. It was very peaceful.

Yesterday we saw a famous boab tree with one of the first explorers name carved on it. The tree is called Gregory’s Tree and is on a sacred Aboriginal site on the Victoria River in the NT. Gregory famously led an expedition across Australia in 1856.

We are now in Kununnura after travelling through quarantine on the Western Australian border. Quarantine check to make sure travellers are not bringing any pests into WA through fruit and vegetables. We had to put all our fruit and vegetables in the bin at the border.

The picture below is of Mr Mottershead and I swimming at sunset in Lake Argyle. We saw freshwater crocodiles which gave me a bit of a fright. Apparently they mostly eat insects! Lake Argyle is man-made and is 20 times bigger than Sydney Harbour. It provides fresh water for Kununurra and a big horticulture project on the Ord river. It also produces hydro power for the Argyle Diamond Mine, Kununurra and Wyndham.