Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Geraldton Greenough - Issue No.: 598 Issue Date: 19 Oct, 2020

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Probus Club Midwest Outback Adventure

PROBUS CLUB GERALDTON:               AUGUST,2020, Journey Through the MIDWEST OUTBACK

                           (our discovery of Sunburnt lands and Brilliant skies!!!)

 

Firmly embedded in our Clubs culture is to continue to be agile, creative and always connected to our communities in the Midwest.

Our Pathfinder scouts for this journey were Russ and Trish, and Colin was allocated the spot of final convoy emergency vehicle.

Our 4WD convoy left Geraldton at 8a.m. on Thursday, 27th, August. 2020

COOLCALALAYA SHEEP STATION:

Our first stop was at a deserted Sheep Station located on the banks of the Murchison river. The Shearing Shed, accommodation buildings were all in a poor state and had been abandoned some years ago.  But, after a long drive it was very relaxing to sit by the river and enjoy some refreshment.

YALLALONG CATTLE STATION:

Our second stop was at the Yallalong Cattle station set up by Pastoralist James Mitchell in 1867 and we were greeted by the Station Manager.  Feature of our tour was an explanation of the extensive solar system used to power the station including the state-of-the-art Zinc Bromide Battery Storage system.

WOOLEEN STATION:

Wooleen Station is a remote outback station previously operated as a sheep station, but it is now a cattle station. Now run by a young family whose focus is to regenerate Wooleen and find a sustainable way to run stock and look after the environment.  This family have also focused on attracting tourism by offering comfortable and attractive accommodation and they also offer camping facilities.

The station has an interesting museum and guided tours are offered so that visitors can obtain personally current information on the features of the station.

MURCHISON SETTLEMENT:

The Murchison Settlement museum has a great collection of historic memorabilia.  Particularly impressive is the early phones and switchboard used in the outback.   The Settlement is a destination for much of the Polo sport activity of the outback and several Polo fields are found in Murchison.

Much of the participants kit and trophies from days past are included in the Museum's collection.

The Murchison Roadhouse is only a short drive from Wooleen, and we arrived at the Roadhouse at 5.30pm. just in time to place our orders for a well-deserved Outback dinner!

CUE:

On our way to Cue we travelled past the Murchison Radio Astronomy Observatory which is the location for the SKA Radio Astronomy development.  Entry is not permitted as this is a designated “quiet area.”  Those of us who had the opportunity to visit the Observatory during its Open Day were mightily impressed and the CSIRO spared no expense in providing their scientists and astronomers to explain current and future developments.  This included the purpose of the many Radio Telescopes and antennas and the high-tech computer facility.

AFGHAN ROCK:

We had a long drive through Murchison / Cue Shires and enjoyed our picnic lunch at Afghan Rock. The natural pools and a well that has now ceased to operate, made this a popular spot for the Gold rush Cameleers to stop and refresh. We were carrying no gold. But we did refresh, and some members climbed the Rock!!

WALGA ROCK:

This rock is reputed to have Australia's largest gallery of Rock art and Walga is arguably our second largest monolith after Uluru.    Our group were somewhat dismayed at the lack of appropriate fencing security in place to protect the artwork from disrespectful visitors.

Arrived in down-town Cue, sometimes described as, “Queen of the Murchison”!     Cue has many heritage buildings dating back to the 1890’s.    Some business opportunities still exist as during our stay we met a group of businessmen who were visiting Cue to appraise a prospective mining opportunity.

At this point our Probus Club would like to thank our Pathfinders Russ and Trish for finding two comfortable places for our group to stay and enjoy outback hospitality: namely, the Murchison Roadhouse in Murchison Settlement and The Murchison Club Hotel in Cue.

MOUNT MAGNET:

We arrived early morning in Mount Magnet so that we could meet two of our Club members, Jackie and Sue, who had travelled up from Geraldton to join us for the remaining part of our journey.

During the morning we travelled part of the local tourist trail and experienced our only “we are lost” experience of the trip!  And that was at the Heritage Cemetery!    Needless, to say we found our way again. Before the gravediggers could arrive!!

MOUNT MAGNET VISITOR AND MINING AND PASTORAL MUSEUM.

This was the highlight of our visit to Mount Magnet and the Historical Society of the town can be very proud. The museum contains much of the Murchison regions history and provides a great insight into the previous way of outback life! The museum an unbelievable presentation in size, interest and detail and is a “must visit” to anyone visiting the area.

YALGOO:

After a refreshment break, we travelled to Yalgoo and made a local tour of points of interest. In some cases, the buildings were no longer standing and had been replaced by a sign detailing the story of times past.   The same comment could be made on some parts of our visit to Cue and Mount Magnet. Locals have departed these towns as jobs diminish. But it is all part of the Australian history in the outback.  A great history. And we should remember and respect that.

PINDAR:

Our journey back to Geraldton took us through Pindar.  Alas, the wreath was waiting for some warmer days...they might still be waiting!!     However, it was nice to see the roadsides ablaze with Spring color and the everlastings.   It was also great to see some green pasture and animals too as this had been missing for two and a half days during our travels through a very dry outback. 

MULLEWA:

Well, 5.30pm on a Saturday night and Mullewa was closed and already asleep!

We were now on the last leg of our journey, tired but happy to have made new friends and satisfied that we had completed our journey into the Midwest Outback.

A journey that had taken us 1200km through this sunburnt land with brilliant skies.     Our thanks to Pathfinders; Russ, Trish and Colin for leading us safely through this trip.  We are also indebted to our Clubs expert photographer, Richard Porter.

Our thanks to Russ, Trish and Colin come with a request for an “encore journey” in April/May of 2021.

This time to visit to visit Mount Augustus.

 

Carpe Diem.                                                                                                                Bill Frazer

Author: Bill Frazer

Published: 19 September, 2020

 


Meeting Rosters
Date
Setup & Door
Setup & Door
Guest Speaker Host
Invocation & Toast
Raffle & Rotary Cor
Guest Speaker Thanks
Fines Master
Student
21 Oct, 20
Jim Dillon
Peter Svensson
Peter Svensson
Ian Taylor
Steve Muir
Geoff Wood
Terry Stewart
 
28 Oct, 20
Raj Mavath
Peter Sukiennik
Jo Clarke
Terry Stewart
John Gooch
Grant Woodhams
Douglas Bruce
 
04 Nov, 20
Kerryn Horo
Geoff Wood
Tom Maina
Bruce Ralph
Viki Fennell
Steve Muir
Lew Hills
 
11 Nov, 20
Laurie Dines
Tony Emmott
Geoff Watson
Scott Bennett
Peter Svensson
Jim Dillon
Geoff Wood
 
18 Nov, 20
Terry Stewart
Grant Woodhams
Douglas Bruce
Bill Frazer
Ian Taylor
Raj Mavath
Peter Sukiennik
 
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