Travel with Mike & Lois travel blog

Haddon Corner Top Tourist Destination

The Actual Corner

Our Gang At Haddons Corner

Haddons Corner Lois

Haddons Corner Mike & Norm

Haddons Corner Lois & Mike

More at Haddons Corner

Arrbury Road & remains of rabbit proof fence

Deon Brook Lookout1

Deon Brook Lookout 2

Deon Brook Lookout 3

Deon Brook Lookout 4

Don't Step Back!

Dingo Caves On Far Rim

Road Train Coming

Room with View

A Disintergrating Messa

Slow Down I'm a ghost Town

Abandoned Betoota Pub 1

Abandoned Betoota Pub 2

Red Sandhill Country

Green Swales from Flooding 1

Green Swales from Flooding 2

Green Swales from Flooding 3

Birdsville Race Track, Very Dry

BIRDSVILLE: 8th and 9th May. We unhitched our caravans at our overnight camping spot as the track into Haddon Corner is unsuitable for vans. We travelled a few kilometres and then turned west onto the track. The approximately 15 km track was sandy and we even had a red sand dune that we needed to travel over. Haddon Corner is the northeastern corner of the state of South Australia where it meets the corner of the state of Queensland. What we found was a brass commentary plaque mounted on a concrete pillar noting this and a visitors' book which we all signed, nothing else other than a paddock fence. Interestingly enough we learned that this plaque has been moved because it was found that the original surveyors' chain stretched and was off in the measurement by 300 feet.

We returned to the campsite to retrieve our caravans and headed for Birdsville. As we continued north on the very stony, rough Arrabury Road we saw several kilometres of remains of a rabbit proof fence. These fences were built to protect Western Australian crops and pastures from the destructive scourge of the rabbit which had been introduced to Australia in Victoria in the 1850s. The pest spread rapidly across eastern Australia. The fence was begun in 1901 and stretched 1834 kilometres from the south coast to the northwest coast. Unfortunately by 1902 rabbits had already been found west of the fence line. A second fence of 1166 kilometres was build in 1905 in order to stem their advance. The fence represented a unique but unfortunately inadequate response to an overwhelming environmental problem.

At the end of the Planet Arrabury Road we turned west onto the Birdsville Developmental Road. This was a much wider, better dirt road, no big rocks as many previous roads we had travelled. Along the way we drove up a side road overlooking the road we had been travelling. At the top was the Deon Brook Lookout, a commerative site for a local man who died in a helicopter accident. Here we had spectacular 360 degree views of the multi-coloured mineral containing mountains, the desert for as far as the eye could see and the road trains travelling the road below. Some of the mountain sides contained large holes in the sides which we learned are dingo dens where they give birth and raise their young. It was at this site we could see how the actual Messa disintergrated into a desert after the hard capping had worn away. The softer under rock disintegrated into sand and slid down into the valleys.

As we continued on toward Birdsville we passed through the ghost town of Betoota which started as a border town collecting travellers' tolls and taxes. This source of revenue dried up on the establishment of the Federation. The old stone hotel is the only survivor in the town.

Further on we passed by the large Moonda Lake which was dry. We were still in a stony desert with its many different coloured stones and rocks according to the mineral contained. As we got closer to Birdsville we passed by a shallow lake which contained some water (encouraging) and much later between two red sand dunes we came across a flat area (swale) with very green vegetation resulting from the Diamantina River having been in flood. As we continued along the sand dune colours changed from all red to red with wavy tan areas but still the swales were very green (a beautiful sight to see in the desert and already the wildflowers were appearing). As we got closer to town we passed by the famous Birdsville Racetrack (all dirt). We pulled into the Birdsville Caravan Park (no green areas here) and upon getting set up on site saw that our van brake lines were severed and hanging down as they had been shredded by the stones and rocks on the roads. (Mike was not a very happy chappy!)

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