Along the Dowling Track – to Toompine

Sunday, 19th May 2013
We woke to another glorious day at the Cardenyabba Lagoon. I couldn’t resist getting my camera to take a few last photos before leaving Kilcowera Station.

You can tell by the long shadows that this is early in the morning – it still was cold, around 5 degrees.

The birds flew by to say good bye.

We had a great time at Kilcowera Station. There aren’t really any tourist attractions. But the experience of the outback, the farming life, the remoteness and the peace and quiet of the lagoon are a special treat for city dwellers. I hope we could convey this magic with our photos. But to really experience it, you have to visit there.

We returned the folder that gives so much information about the station and drove on along the Dowling Track by 8am. Perhaps due to the early morning, but also because this area teams with wildlife, we encountered many kangaroos, even more stupid emus as well as cattle on the road and we had to be extra vigilant to avoid them.

The drive to Thargo, as the locals call it, was along a much better road than any section of the Dowling Track we had already covered. Indeed the last 40km or so were paved. As we approached Thargomindah, we noticed a sign to Thargomindah station, a station established by the person who gave the name to the Dowling Track: Theodore Vincent Dowling.

We had been a bit worried about our fuel situation, but when refuelling in Thargominda, the tank was full after 111 litres. That means we still had more than 25 litres in the tank, enough for about 125 kilometres. At the roadhouse we also pumped up the tyres as we knew the road would be sealed up to Quilpie. For brunch we had eggs on toast with a cappuccino at the roadhouse before heading north toward Toompine.

Toompine is a tiny town – four inhabitants at the moment. Perhaps that is not the right expression, as the pub is also known as ‘the pub without a town’. But according to the sign shown below, there is a ‘township’. The four inhabitants are: The owner of the pub, the female manager of the pub as well as a farmhand assisting the owner with the property. The fourth person is a young Italian woman from Aosta, who came to Australia as a backpacker tourist. She liked it so much, she wanted to stay. The pub sponsored her residence application and she has been working at the pub for some 3 years.

The pub allows caravanners to stay on their grounds for free and they offer hot showers as well as power if you need it. [CAW6 QLD #839]

Of course in the end we spent more at the pub than we would pay at a caravan park – as it was Sunday, the menu was limited to chicken roast. Together with the pre-dinner drinks and the bottle of wine they did alright out of our stay, considering we didn’t use either the showers, toilets or the power available. On the other hand we had a good time at the pub, talked to other caravanners and the manager of the pub entertained us with anecdotes of the area.

Signs tell you the story of Toompine.

I love to find out about the past of the places we go through and I really appreciate the efforts put into these type of boards.

As you approach the pub, signs warn you of pet animals – drive carefully. Indeed they have goats

and sheep

We also saw a horse, donkeys and several alpacas.

Our camp spot behind a display of farm machinery.

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2 Responses to Along the Dowling Track – to Toompine

  1. Anita Shackleford says:

    Beautiful spot – sounds like a great stay!

  2. Peter Wigant says:

    Hi Lesley and Erich,
    What wonderful places you visit. You would not get confused reading the road map of Toompine.
    Kindest regards Peter and Denise

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