Bourke

Sunday, 12th, Monday 13th of May, 2013
From Walgett we travelled along the Kamilaroi Highway. By comparison a very good road and we made good progress. We had previously travelled here before. Last year it was straight after the floods and they certainly have done a lot of work to repair the road.
There is a kangaroo in the photo, just to the right of the road’s edge. (Lesley’s Photo)

In Brewarrina we stopped for a break and a brunch in the same cafe ‘Muddy Waters’ as we did last time. That is not a bad recommendation. But this time, being Mother’s Day the place was packed for a special morning tea for mothers. We were warned that it would take about 30 minutes to receive our meals. Not a problem, we are not that much in a hurry. Once again we enjoyed our cappuccinos and the breakfast wrap.

We whiled away the time catching up with the internet. Lesley’s iphone 4 serves as a hot spot allowing me to connect to the internet, using her connection. As promised our breakfast wrap arrived within 30 minutes – another enjoyable brunch.

From Brewarrina to Bourke was another easy run. We checked into the Mitchell Caravan Park, CAW6 NSW #1083. ($25/night unpowered)

We wanted to find out more about the Dowling track, especially road conditions along the way. The tourist information office ‘Back o’ Burke’ at least had a brochure relating to the track. However we could not get any up to date information about road conditions from the centre. Poor girl had only been in the centre for 2 weeks and was on her own to assist many visitors.

We had a bit of a walk around the centre of Bourke. Some interesting old houses. Here the Post Office.

Formerly a private residence – today a Guesthouse/B&B

The Post Office Hotel

The courthouse

It was Sunday and all the shops were closed. Not only closed, but all the windows were closed behind padlocked shutters. Perhaps an indication of the crime rate around here. When we visited the bottleshop on Monday, this was certainly reinforced. The general public is barred from any contact with the wares by a glass enclosure and the attendant serves through a hatch. ‘Security Reasons’ was given as the reason for the glass enclosure.
(Lesley’s iPhone Photo)

There are some severe restrictions on the alcohol being sold as well. For example they are not allowed to sell wine casks larger than two litres.

I had noticed that there is a geocache in Bourke ‘Fred Hollows Vision’. From the description I thought it must be in the Bourke Cemetery where Fred Hollows is buried. It was his wish to be buried in Bourke where he and his team did a lot of work for local Aboriginals. I am sure most Australians know the man – for those that have not heard of him – go and google Fred Hollows.
(Lesley’s Photo)

Although an Australian Icon, Fred Hollows was New Zealander by birth.
(Lesley’s Photo)

The grave is most impressive in a magnificent setting. The whole gravesite is in the shape of an eye, marked out by the little rocks, one of which you can see in the background to the right of the flat rock, the actual grave stone.
(Lesley’s Photo)

But the geocache was not here. We travelled back into town and left Bourke on the Mitchell road. In the middle of nowhere, flanking both sides of the road is this monument honouring Fred Hollows. This is just half of the monument – on the other side is the mirror of this spelling ‘Vision’. On top of the poles are two Eagles.
(Lesley’s Photo)

The cache itself was a relatively easy find. I do need a haircut!
(Lesley’s Photo)

Just as I was signing the logbook, 3 vans arrived. A group of travellers that were being introduced to geocaching by one of them. She must be fairly serious about geocaching as she utilises a specialised geocaching GPS to find caches. We had a bit of a chat with them before heading back into Bourke.
(Lesley’s Photo)

This post is getting rather lengthy. I will continue in Bourke with my next post.

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