TO THE CORNER AND BACK... Currawinya National Park to The Dig Tree

Well after several days here at Currawinya National Park we decided to head further north west for the next part of our adventure. As the outback does, we awoke to another great day, a bit crisp but still great. Through the night we heard a few pigs squealing through the night, and saw evidence down beside the water. 

Our plan today was to head 150km towards the town of Thargamindah. No one in our crew had been there before so we weren’t too sure what too expect. The turn off was back down towards Hungerford which we found with ease, then we followed the Dingo Fence for several kilometres before the Dowling track veered northwards. 

We were pleasantly surprised just how great the road was out here again and with little traffic, in fact i think we only passed 1 other 4wd. From long sandy stretches to the usual lower rocky sections where flooding once was, it was def a great drive. We saw evidence of where there had been a recent fire through some scrub out here- but also saw the regrowth kicking in. 

I don’t know where it was but some where out there on a high plateau I received just enough phone service for several text messages to come through- must of come from a distant gas rig station, didn’t last long though. 

Approaching Thargamindah we came across some road workers realigning the road to a new bridge just out of town. Because it had been a week since we had got fuel and supplies- we all headed towards the local servo to fuel up- funnily enough the price of diesel was the same as the coast when we had left- very surprised and def happy. I was even more happy with my fuel consumption as I wasn’t towing a trailer, so i was near getting 1000km out of my two tanks. 

A visit to the local shop soon had us gasping at some of the prices for the fresh fruit and veges. I mean some pieces of fruit was near $2 each !!!!… price of the outback i suppose. 

Thargamindah was where we would leave the Dowling Track, as we now were heading along the Adventure Way. This 325km drive would lead us to the infamous Dig Tree on the Cooper Creek which would be our next camp. A mixture of both dirt and Tar ( mainly tar ) road we soon put some miles under our belt. Def bloody flat out here, although the most eye opening section I found was when we passed through Greys Range- giving some great views of weathering, tree lined plateaus and some great rock formations. 

27km north of the ‘town’ of Noccundra was our next turn due west, so with a roadside rest stop and shelter - we decided that lunch was calling. That was all good and well- but the f%&cking flies were f%$cking terrible !!!… so lunch was a quick 10 min before hitting the road for our 200km final stint today. 

This is bloody harsh country out here, yet we couldn’t get over the amount of gas fields that we saw. There were literally dozens of them. The country side was undulating and you could see were the water flows in flood times- like a snake weaving and cutting its way through the lower plains. Local traffic increased with plenty of 4wds and trucks that were from the gas stations- I suppose thats what you call them. We did notice that the drivers were all sitting at just 80 kph- maybe a safety or an OH and S thing - but all were friendly with a wave and they all moved over as other cars passed. Def wouldn’t get me working out here !!!!

Some of the roads in these sections were as rocky as shit- probably from all of the traffic, and no rain. I really couldn’t see much maintenance out here- maybe a grader every month on the dirt sections. 

The turn to the Dig Tree soon came into view and we headed onto Oontoo Station for our camp for the night. We were all looking forward to camping on the Cooper River ( another iconic and famous Australian river ). The road on the station was the roughest that we had encountered on or trip and it was hard finding the sweet spot on the road. Was just best to slow right down and take it all in. As we wound our way ( it was about 15km from the road to the camp ) the surrounds changed to dry dusty sections- probably where the river has flooded over the years and has dumped dirt on the floodplains. 

Closer to the camp we registered and paid our entry fees at the unmanned info shack- I say shack because it was a timber slabbed/ bark hut with corrugated iron on the roof. There was a host of fascinating history, articles, artefacts and more here- it was great reading about why, who and when the explores went through. 

Camp was calling, so it was a short drive to the river to setup the tents, kick the fire into gear, grab a beer and wash the dust of us after a long 475km uneventful day. Fishing rods were setup for any passing native fish ( perch, yellow belly or carp ) but the only thing we s]nagged was a couple of stray turtles !!!… def not on the menu. 

Tomorrow we explore the dig tree and the surrounding history. 

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