Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
29 May 2013

Soudan Bore to Wonarah Bore - Barkly Highway
location map
The night had not been interrupted by road noise but howling dogs had been obvious. We thought the dog making all the noise was not travelling in one of the few vehicles in the rest area but was a wild one.

The morning was clear and cool with a blue sky and bright sunshine as we drove out of the rest area onto the Barkly Highway. Today we would be travelling only a short distance to the next bore. The road remained reasonable and traffic very light, mainly a stream of caravans going the other way with a sprinkling of road trains among them. Motorhomes were conspicuously few in number. The wind which has blown on previous days was very light in the morning.

Vegetation along the road was scrub and woodland; roadkill was noticeably absent. The journey was so quiet that an increase in the size of termite nests from half a metre to two metres high and wide was the major event.

Arriving at Wonarah Bore we were among caravans which had stopped for lunch but most continued on their way leaving one motor home and ourselves settling in for the rest of the day and planning to stay for the night. Wonarah Bore is one of a series of bores sunk to provide water for cattle being driven along the stock routes in the days before cattle were moved by truck and needed water regularly as they walked to their destination. The bores began with an artesian well pumping water into a pondage from which water was available to cattle. Over time the watering facilities have deteriorated and decayed and the pondages are now dry; around the bores have become overnight stops for caravans and motorhomes (and the occasional camper).

I spent some time looking at plant around the parking area and, among other plants, photographed some bloodwoods in flower. I had parked the van so there was a large shaded area outside the door and we spent much of the afternoon sitting outside the van in the shade enjoying the cool breeze and watching travellers coming in to the rest area for the night. There was not a cloud in the sky and temperature was about 28°C. It was very pleasant sitting there.

By about 3 o'clock the rest area looked superficially to be full and we watched several caravans drive through looking for a site then leave without finding one. But we could see suitable parking spots from where we sat and more perceptive later arrivals managed to fit in without difficulty. The lesson was clear that an apparently full free-camping area may not really be full but care is needed finding vacant spots.

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