Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
25 July 2009 - Blackall to Tambo
Leaving the Blackall showgrounds after a calm, very cold night we made our way to the shopping centre where we refuelled and called into the information centre. Blackall makes a bit of fuss about the bottle trees in the main street but has defaced them with unpleasant advertising making a nonsense of the trees as an attraction. Several have lost branches which doesn't help their appearance.

Leaving Blackall on the Landsborough Highway with Tambo as our destination for the day we quickly got used to being bounced about on the uneven bitumen surface. I eventually slowed to 72 kph but even that was bumpy at times. Other traffic was bouncing about and on some road trains going the other way the last trailer was weaving alarmingly as the whole rig bounced along.

We stopped at a rest area on the banks of the Barcoo River for a drink. The river was dry except for a waterhole near the bridge. We are travelling generally along the Barcoo River as Isisford, Blackall and Tambo are all on the Barcoo which is the southern most river of the Lake Eyre Basin in Queensland near the edge of the Mitchell Grass Plains.

Approaching Tambo, at the southern boundary of the Mitchell Grass and the edge of the Lake Eyre Catchment, vegetation changed fundamentally. Previously we passed through Mitchell Grass with extensive gidyea trees, some mimosa bush, and a few trees and shrubs of other species. South of the rest area on the Barcoo, some gidyea remained but eucalyptus and a variety of tree and shrub species now dominated. Instead of uniform gidyea we were looking at a mixture of species with gum trees often towering above.

Between Blackall and Tambo we crossed the Dingo Fence which we had last seen near Coober Pedy. This fence runs for thousands of kilometres from the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia to the Great Dividing Range in Queensland. The dog fence crossed the Landsborough Highway via a massive cattle grid with the fence itself disappearing into the distance on both sides.
Dog fence The Dog Fence near the Landsborough Highway.

cattle grid where the dog fence crosses the road Wider and longer than usual cattle grid where the dog fence crosses the road.

The weather was good for travelling, blue sky and sunny with hardly any wind. Traffic was light going in our direction and moderate going the other way; caravans were common heading north. The end of July is fairly late in the season for tourism in tropical Australia; so it was unexpected to see so many still heading north.

Our next stop was at Tambo where we turned into the caravan park on the edge of town. Daphne, the owner-manager, directed me into a drive-through site and we set up the van. We had heard that Tambo water was as sulphurous as Blackall's but tasting the water from the tap showed this not to be the case, so I connected the van to the site tap; our drinking water filter removed the slight bore-water taste.

After lunch we went for a look around the small town. A neat main street with concrete-edged plantations being erected along the main street (which is also the Landsborough Highway). Bottle trees used as street trees in Tambo are in better condition than at Blackall.
daily map