27/05/2015 116kms north of Augathella, we pulled into Tambo, a nice little outback town with a population of 500. It was a great little stopover. We spent some time looking through the Post and Telegraph Museum housed in the Post and Telegraph Office built in 1876. Next to this is a small building that was originally built onto the Post and Telegraph Office a one room addition. Both the old buildings now house a collection of post and telegraph artefacts as well as displays of the history of the Tambo area. We both thought the town looked very well presented and preserved. A lot of the building along the main street dated back to the 1800s and 1900s and appeared well maintained and pretty much unaltered from their original design. So it gave an impression of how the town may have looked back then.
An hour north, we pulled into Blackall, located on the banks of the Barcoo River. We now felt we were well and truly in the Outback as this was the site of the famous Black Stump. Standing on the eastern side of the stump, we were still “This Side Of The Black Stump”, and on the western side, we were “Beyond the Black Stump”. Surprising how one small step made you feel more remote and uncivilised. I was surprised to see that the Black Stump was actually an impressive petrified tree trunk, replacing the original blackened timber stump destroyed by fire.
A splash-‘n-dash fuel stop and we were on our way to Lara Station, 80kms north on the Landsborough Highway, then 13kms of dirt road into the Lara Wetlands, just beyond the station homestead. The wetlands is a real oasis in the dry outback, formed by the runoff from bores that drain to this central point forming a lake that has existed among the eucalypts for more than 100 years. It is very special spot.
Of the 52 known species of birds, we photographed 26 and quickly realised that we needed bigger lenses than the ones we had – straight onto the Present List. We set up camp in a large area right on the water’s edge and with plenty of privacy away from the nearest neighbours, and spent two relaxing days birdwatching, watching the colours of the bush and water change during the day, and stargazing at night sitting around the camp fire.