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Brisbane to Birdsville

Birdsville is about 1600km west of Brisbane close to corners of Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia. The road passes through wide open spaces, big skies, towns and roadhouses.

From Brisbane we travelled west in straightline (well, almost) until Birdsville, staying at Judd's Lagoon, Cooladdi Fox Trap, Quilpie & Diamantina River near Birdsville.

Leaving Brisbane on 22nd May, spent night at Judd's Lagoon campground near Yuleba.

And the Judds Lagoon with duck and water lillies.

At Morven (a small town 170km west of Roma) - Tin Hut signboard, a testament to outback ingenuity. Built as housing from flattened kerosene tins during the great depression of the 1930s

Tin Huts were common homes for pensioners. With only a few remaining today, Morven is fortunate to have one on display.

At Charleville Graham Andrews Parklands - Vortex Rain making Guns. In 1902 Queensland was in the grip of a terrible drought and the desperation to produce rain was about to take a unique turn. Six vertical Vortex Guns were built and placed strategically throughout Charelville. They were charged with gunpowder in the hope the blast would change the atmospheric pressure and produce rain.

Trialled in Charleville in September 1902, the six vortex guns were set up in two rows, spaced over a kilometre apart and fired at two minute intervals. Unfortunately the experiment met with no success, with no sign of the desperately needed rain.

Baldy Top Lookout is a red rocky formation located 8km west of Quilpie - considered as one of the most elevated points in South West Queensland. Climb to summit is only 10 min scramble.

From top it has breathtaking panoramic landscapes that stretch as far as your imagination.

Looking towards north. FoxRoo looks like a toy.

It will be good to visit this place either at sunrise or sunset.

There is a small walk to another summit from the top.

Some section of tar road to Windorah is single lane.

At Windorah we had blazing sunset. Presence of low level clouds made it beautiful.

It gets more colorful minutes by minute.

And just before it gets dark.

Signboard after leaving Windorah for road status. It is usually closed after heavy rains for days.

The first stop after Windorah, JC hotel ruins. The site is located in what was Main Street, Canterbury, now a ghost town of a 19th century settlement. 200m north of highway.

Driving west, you wouldn't notice a hole on the top of Mt Hendserson untill you see this signboard with an arrow pointing.

Our next stop, Deon's Lookout on the top of a hill.

On top of the hill is a great place to break your journey and admire the 360 panoramic view. There is with a public toilets (drop) and shaded picnic table. And after couple of minutes flies greets you out of nowhere.

A view from Deon's lookout.

Betoota - Population 0 - is a ghost town within the locality of Birdsville, 170km east of Birdsville. It was founded in 1887 and it has been designated as Australia's smallest.

The last permanent resident, Sigmund Remienko, died in 2004. A signboard tells it will be reopened in Aug 2018. We reached a bit early.

Few kilometers down from Bettota hotel, road passes next to a hill with huge serpent paining on the slope.

Indigenous artwork of a dreamtime serpent on the hill.

Sculpture of Dreamtime.

Here we come across one of few Emergency landing strips located on the gravel road between Windorah & Birdsville, for use by the planes of Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS)

Going west we are entering runway #26. These strips are also located in other remote areas throughout the continent.

After about couple of kilometers, we are exiting runway #08 on the eastern end.

Interestingly runway numbers have some coded meaning. There are 2 different numbers - one on each end of a runway. These shows the magnetic direction to represent 360 degree but with last digit removed (and rounded). So if on a handheld compass, east is 80 degrees then it will be 08 on the runway. Runway 26 points to West 260 degree.

25th May 2018

we stopped for the night just outside Birdsville on Diamantina River next to an old windmill.

A road sign outside Birdsville.

The iconic Birdsville Hotel.

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