Taroom June 20 - 21 2023
  It seems there are about 400 different types of bottle trees in Queensland. Big leaves, little leaves, more or less bulbous.

They all look strange to us.

We can only ponder what motivated someone who has removed all the other trees that once grew here while leaving this solitary bottle tree.

  While exploring around our camp in the forest I thought I saw emu prints on top of our wheel marks. Just a few. Also kangaroo prints, but we expect that. Strangely, across the road in the national park nothing had crossed our wheelmarks since we made them more than 24 hours previously.

Either way, it was nice as we passed Flagstaff to see a lone emu. I wasn't dreaming.

  A mix of farmland, rolling hills, and forest as we descend to the Dawson River valley.
  Just "because we can" we stop for a night at Chain Lagoons. A few km north of Taroom.

A portion of old highway. A couple of km drive in, but at an angle, so Leichhardt Highway road noise a feature.

A couple of muddy billabongs, and a few forest birds. A pleasant, but undistinguished, night.

  More fuel, empty the loo, a few groceries, a visit to the museum, and a pub meal.

I can't help noticing there is a growing number of things in museums that I remember from my youth.

  There was a mobile phone number to call to have the museum opened. $5 each.

Glenys provided a guided tour that I hadn't expected. A pleasant couple of hours. It seemed a story attached to every item, and willingly shared. Time passed all too quickly.

This is the "Star of Taroom". An indigenous signpost, which way to ???? at a territory boundary.

Unearthed and collected, then returned a couple of years ago.

  We knew about the star, but not about the turtle. Carefully laid on a solid bed of earth, and watered occasionally, to prevent cracks growing.

The temperature controlled fans in the building also help preservation.

There are probably many such fine examples. But perhaps few complete. For our part we didn't know such carvings existed. Part of circumcision ceremonies it seems.

  The long handled thing with a nobble on the end is a nulla nulla. Carved from dense hardwood, it feels heavy.

Nicely balanced for hitting things, or perhaps even throwing at things.

I wouldn't like to get in the way.

  Built in 1940 from three wrecked 1924 Chevrolet cars by Eric Rose.

A checkered history, in recent years the spokes have been replaced. It still runs.

Delivered to the museum this year.

New tyres available, but of course a bit expensive.

  An older, more leisurely, and perhaps, looking at the suspension, more comfortable, mode of transport.

I don't know when shock absorbers were developed, and forgot to look if the ute had any.

  This fine device invoked memories of helping a local farmer gather hay.

Probably not allowed these days, a horde of school aged kids around moving machinery and lifting hay bales onto trailers as they were disgorged by this machine.

  Buildings are part of the display.

Walking into the shop I felt like I should be in a museum.

  A bit of renovation and extension for the cottage, but some of the original slab construction visible.

And some of the newspaper that substituted for wallpaper and insulation.

  A repurposed Catholic Church holds a host of memorabilia. The stations of the cross still on the walls.

The building has been cut in half and moved a couple of times, and re-assembled.

Each exhibit has a story.

Newspapers that have been preserved available for people trying to find other people. Digitised also, but that's not quite the same as looking at the real thing.


  And outside on the deck a couple of old telephone exchanges.

But hard to take pictures of how enjoyable was simply listening to Glenys as she named the people associated with what we were looking at, and their stories.

Including a triumph in finding a name for "the husband of the hospital matron".

  There have been four bridges over the Dawson River at Taroom.

This is the third bridge, constructed in 1956. The bridge looks fine (to me), but the access road is broken. Piles of the second bridge, built in 1889, are visible downstream if I'd walked that far. Nothing remains of the first, 1863, bridge at Stony Crossing.

The current concrete bridge was built in 1990.


  Its a long time since we stopped in a town overnight. Taroom just seemed friendly.

We camped opposite the Lions Park, adjacent to the pub. More unusually we ate big steaks at the pub.

Next to a truck stop which was a little noisy during the day, but quieter overnight.

  We emptied the loo cassette before leaving next day, which meant we had to drive down the main street.

The Leichhardt Tree is the big eucalypt. Leichhardt's initials, blazed in 1844, have long been overgrown.

We are unsure of the advertising banners for the coffee shop next to it. A modern invention.

Our next stop is Expedition National Park - named after Leichhardt's expedition which passed through it.

  One last bit of interest. A different design for a windmill. A narrow base, and held vertical with guy wires.
Expedition National Park, Robinson Gorge June 22 - 24 2023

Sorry, comments closed.