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ADV TEAR-OUT MAP #18

Posted On 28 May 2024
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This entry is part 19 of 25 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#33

HIT THE RED DUST SOUTH WEST CORNER

This month we hit the rich red dirt again, this time in the south west corner of Queensland, basing ourselves at Cameron Corner. This particular loop takes in some sights of the famous explorers Burke and Wills. Just make sure that you don’t do what they did on their fateful journey! You’ll encounter mainly well maintained dirt roads and the occasional stretch of sand.

CAMERON CORNER

Make this your base camp. Take your tent and sleeping bag or there is an option of family, double and single air-conditioned rooms. These are detached from the store and have share bathrooms. All bedding is supplied.

Meals are available at the store. There are also powered and un-powered campsites, and a camp kitchen for self-catering.

Cameron Corner is one of the most remote locations in the Outback and one of the busiest. Each year several thousand people pass this way. Today Cheryl and Fenn Miller (formerly of Port Douglas) call Cameron Corner home.

Ask Cheryl why she lives where she does and she’ll probably say that she “loves the remoteness, quietness and the desert, the people you meet, and the locals”. The Cameron Corner Store is open seven days a week for meals, fuel, and minor vehicle repairs. Contact the store on 08 8091 3872 or email camcorner@activ8.net.au

OMICRON

Basically a landmark only. Omicron is part of a cattle station.

EPSILON

Epsilon is a working organic cattle property set amongst the sand masses of the Simpson Strzelecki Sand Dunes and within reach of the country first explored by Charles Sturt. This family owned station provides accommodation at the homestead, in cabins or campsites.

The Station provides comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation with all modern facilities available. Features include family station activities, wildlife, and wildflowers in season. Contact Sharon Betts on Ph: 07 4655 4324 or via email: epsilon5@bigpond.com

DELLA SATELLITE GAS STATION

Another landmark, you won’t get any “gas” there, as this is part of the feed for the huge gas pipeline from Moomba. Have a look around, but keep on ridin’!

INNAMINCKA

Innamincka is a fascinating Outback destination with a permanent population of about twelve. The Innamincka Trading Post provides a comprehensive range of supplies and services for visitors to the area. It offers excellent meals, accommodation, auto services (including fuel!) and accessories, permits and general store services.

Ph: 08 8675 9900 or email: innamincka@innaminckatp.com.au

BURKE & WILLS DIG TREE

There are four sites with memorials commemorating the expedition: The Dig Tree is one of them. It is the site of Camp 65, also known as Fort Wills. This was the second depot camp established on the Cooper. Burke arrived here on 6 December 1860 and left for the Gulf on 16 December 1860. William Brahe was left in charge of the depot with instructions (variously recalled) to wait for three months, or four months, or as long as his provisions would last. Brahe waited for four months and one week before marking the date, camp number and dig message on a tree, and on Sunday, 21 April 1861, he left to return to Menindee. Burke, Wills and King returned to the Dig Tree that evening to find the camp deserted.

The blaze showing B-LXV (Burke, Camp 65) is still visible as it has been kept open by cutting back the overgrowing bark. The other blazes, the Dig blaze and the Date blaze have overgrown and are no longer visible. Just 30 metres from the Dig Tree, is the Face Tree. It has a carving of Burke’s face with the (overgrown) initials R O’H B.

NAPPA MERRIE

A handful of kilometres from the Dig Tree, Nappa Merrie is another outback working cattle station and is your landmark to turn south.

ORIENTOS

Yet another working cattle station and another landmark for your venture back to Cameron Corner.

SANTOS

Santos is 30km or so from Orientos and depending on how you’re travelling you can continue to Cameron Corner, or turn right and stay at Epsilon, which is only another 30 or so kilometres.

570KM TOTAL. PINK OPTION
ROUTE – 90KM. YELLOW
OPTION ROUTE – 30KM

ROAD CONDITIONS

A must do before any trip out this way. Ph 1300 361 033, 08 8082 6660 Bulloo Shire Council on 02 4621 8000 or Melissa and William Thomson at the Tibooburra Family Hotel 08 8091 3314 – the more information you have about the road conditions, the better.

Starting from Cameron Corner, you can decide which way to do this trip – clockwise or anti-clockwise, but as a reference, we went clockwise, heading north-east out of Cameron Corner and turning left towards Omicron, which is around 35km out from The Corner.

Head north around 110km and this is where you have the option to continue straight and do the optional route out past Della Satellite Gas Station, or turn right and head up to Burke & Wills Dig Tree – about 90km.

If you’re not carrying fuel to make the entire journey, I strongly advise doing the extra loop so that you can stop in at Innamincka to fill up. Either way you should be carrying some extra fuel anyway just in case of the worst – you don’t take luck out in places like this, otherwise you’ll be in a pine box.

Once you get up to Nappa Merrie head south through the landmark, Orientos, down to Santos where you have the option to turn right and head over to Epsilon to stay the night, or continue on to Cameron Corner.

From Santos, you’ve got 55km or so before you need to turn right and head back into Cameron Corner.

CONTACTS –

Cameron Corner – 08 8091 3872 or email camcorner@activ8.net.au Epsilon – 07 4655 4324 or via email: epsilon5@bigpond.com Innamincka – 08 8675 9900 or email:innamincka@innaminckatp.com.au And don’t forget the road condition contacts above!

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