Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
7-8 September 2006 - Longreach

Location map By now the weather has definitely cooled at night (6 degrees minimum one night) but the days are still bright and sunny and fairly warm (high 20s). Longreach has a number of tourist attractions which we "did" on our first visit here some years ago. I did go back to the Stockman's Hall of Fame for a few hours. We also called in to stock the freezer at a particular butcher shop which we know from experience sells excellent meat.

A new attraction in Longreach was a nature reserve on the edge of town; this used to be the town common where the locals grazed their goats and the goats stripped the common bare of vegetation. In the fifty years since the goats were removed the grass and trees have recovered as a good representation of the local plant species. A Federal Government conservation grant has been used to establish pathway and signage (and a water trough for the kangaroos and birds to drink from). The caretaker has done a lot of work turning the reserve into an example of the vegetation of the Longreach area.

The nature reserve abounds in grey kangaroos. At this time of the day grey kangaroos usually rest in the shade but are still wary. Most saw me coming and hopped away; but twice I saw ears of resting kangaroos sticking up above the grass and was able to get quite close before they became uneasy and stood up; but by then I was far closer than a wild kangaroo allows a person to get and they seemed to be confused. So they just stood and looked at me while I took photographs. Eventually I moved and that prompted them to bound off; one was a female with joey in her pouch.
Eastern Grey Kangaroos warily watching the intruder at Longreach.
Female Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey.
In the evening we went to dinner at the caravan park outdoor kitchen and listened to the bush poet afterward. A bush poet is a common feature in outback Queensland caravan parks during the tourist season; he (or she) performs in return for a "gold coin" donation. Some sing, some tell jokes, some recite poems, some are excellent, some are ordinary, they all provide a change.