Travelling Australia - Journal 2011
1 June 2011 - Jundah to Stonehenge
We drove out of Jundah caravan park at 8:47. The weather was bright and sunny and a little cool. The road was good bitumen, two lanes wide with generous verges running over nearly flat countryside. Vehicle wheels had formed a few longitudinal ruts in the bitumen and the bitumen was breaking up in some of these ruts so we could see the red soil underneath; this broken bitumen was easily avoided today because the area was so small. Traffic was very light, two light trucks heading also towards Stonehenge.

Vegetation varied from open grassland, to gidgee woodland, to mixed species woodland with prominent mulga. As we moved further north the road moved out of nearly flat red sand into a region with more prominent rock outcrops. We stopped at the native well, a hole dug in the rock by natives to hold water; this was a substantial feat given the tools available to them. The track to the native well, about 50 metres off the bitumen was on bare, exposed rock and nearby, among the trees was a rocky gully about three metres deep.

North from Swanvale Lookout Looking north from Swanvale Jump-Up Lookout. The Thomson Developmental Road in the photograph runs through mulga/gidgee woodland and spinifex grassland.

We continued along the Thomson Developmental Road to the turnoff to Stonehenge and found the caravan park opposite the Information Centre. The caravan park has no office; there are two electrical outlet stations, each with four outlets but extension cords would be needed for eight vans to use the points. There was no water reticulated to sites; there was a toilet/shower block with an excellent solar hot water system.

Stonehenge is very small comprising the Information Centre/Community Centre in a new building with thoughtful ornaments outside; the hotel just up the road sells fuel and limited food items such as milk; the Info centre has a very small range of food items. The hotel is associated with an RACQ service outlet so there is some capability for vehicle repairs. Near the hotel and information centre is a handful of houses, several of them quite new. Television reception is reasonable with ABC, SBS, Imparja and Southern Cross. There is Telstra mobile phone coverage over a limited area covering the immediate vicinity of the township; coverage into the caravan park faded with distance and an external aerial was needed to access the Internet.
Information Centre Information Centre and Community Centre in Stonehenge.

Travelling Australia - Stonehenge - page 2
Dog and three sheep statues Statues of a dog herding three sheep mounted outside the Community Centre.

Stonehenge is a very small settlement, population of the entire area was 106 in the 2006 census and that includes a number of surrounding pastoral properties. Early drovers found they could ford the Thomson River with their stock near the present township and built a stone hut to stay in overnight; hence the name. The hut fell down but the name remains. Present-day Stonehenge regards its industries as beef and wool, opal mining, developing tourism and one of the aerial arrays for the defence over-the-horizon system. But the defence installation is entirely supported by air and no business comes to the township.

RFDS Aircraft Flying Doctor (RFDS) aircraft taking off from Stonehenge after a routine clinic in the Community Centre. The RFDS provides important routine medical services to small, isolated communities as well as the more spectacular rescues of injured and sick people.

daily map