Bladensburg National Park

I continue on the Barkley highway, later turning onto the Landsborough highway towards Winton. The landscape changes from vast forested areas to a vast emptiness of grassy plains for grazing cattle. The engine watchdog comes in handy as the warning buzzer sounds several times when the engine starts getting too hot. I pull back on the throttle and let the cooling system cope with the 40 degree days and occasional hills or headwinds.

Bladensburg national park is just south of Winton and I felt like a cheap night for camping so took the turnoff. Bladensburg is a former sheep station, from memory at its peak in the 1930’s running 600000 sheep. The decade after with the end of the good years 20000-60000 sheep were the average until the station closed and the park was formed in 1994.

The old shearing shed was first to see, much the same design as all other sheds I’ve seen before. The slatted floor where the shearing took place allowed the sheep poo to fall below the building. The shears were diesel engine powered.

Further up the road is the original homestead and ranger base, all beautifully preserved. It included a meat house, shearers quarters, workshop and small store.

From the homestead is a 4wd track which passes by several interesting areas. This old windmill had rusted out at the base and fallen over.

Scrammy gorge, Scrammy waterhole and Scrammy lookout are the local attractions. The waterhole was especially beautiful with the setting sun light shining across the water. There was a cute Echidna looking around for ants. Came up close, had a good look at me then crawled down towards the water and under a ledge, burying itself in for a little protection.

The lookout was spectacular with the colours of the landscape. Unfortunately the sun was close to setting so had to leave. I drove down the range slowly avoiding the kangaroos as they crisscrossed the road, making it to the campgrounds well after dark. I ended up spending 3 days at the Bough Shed Hole camping area. The river had some water left in it which attracted the roos and birdlife. Managed to get some filming done as I wasn’t sweating heavily or had my face covered in flies.

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Brett is a film maker, hiker, adventurer and Defender owner. He loves the outdoors and feels most at home travelling remote outback places in Australia. The idea of waiting till retirement to begin exploring Australia is not the path Brett has chosen, instead choosing to live life now. Join him on his adventures.

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