Friday, December 14

Broken Hill to Burra

One of my vivid memories of leaving Broken Hill, heading towards Adelaide, many years ago, is a paddock full of kangaroos on the right hand side of the highway.  I can recall hundreds of kangaroos sitting up watching the car as it drove past - and I certainly looked out for them when I left Broken Hill.  I am sure that, because I do not drive very early in the morning, they had already gone to rest.  In any case, they were nowhere to be seen.

The highway was pretty quiet, though I was passed on more than one occasion.  I also stopped along the way, especially to take photos.





There was the occasional 'roo carcase, and a few wild goats on the side of the road, but mostly it was all clear.  One of the photos above shows a jetstream which held in the sky for nearly an hour on the left of me.

I drove marvelling at the landscape - dry, barren, a few mines, signs to various sheep properties and  ruins of old buildings.  One of the sad things to me is how the old buildings are detriorating rapidly. Surely we Australians can do something to preserve the amazing history that is on the highway and beyond. As usual I stopped along the way, even having a toasted sandwich at a roadhouse and an icecream, and of course taking photos.

I drove in the town of Tarcowie - which is almost deserted and derelict,  a shame really as it has a wonderful history.    It is acknowledged that General Douglas MacArthur, made his famous speech at Tarcowie, if I recall correctly at the railway station.
During the Second World War, there was again an exodus of young people, balanced partly by an influx of internees who were formed into the Civil Alien Corps to provide labour to the State forests and other projects. (Malone 1971) In the Wirrabara Forest, charcoal burners among the Italian prisoners of war put their traditional skills to work providing fuel for South Australian motorists' gas producers. The railway towns experienced three busy years during the war in the Pacific, as troop trains and military supplies travelled across Australia. A journalist's scoop gave Terowie, of all places, a small part in wartime legend as the town where General Macarthur publicly promised the Philippines, 'I shall return.'  from Heritage of the Upper North Region:  Background History by Peter Bell.




To me it is very sad that these buildings, so full of history, are left to decay.  The town of Tarcowie has only a handful of people living there now.

An eagles nest - the power poles are not there for power, but for birds nests as there are no trees.

Goods train headed to Broken Hill

Mannahill Railway Station - way out in the middle of nowhere.  Few passengers I'd guess. 

About halfway between Broken Hill and Burra the landscape changes - it becomes wheat country.
It was a good drive and soon I made it to the mining town of Burra, which I had been through on many occasions.  I found my cousin's home, and stayed the night and that afternoon and the following day he showed me around the town and we visited many of the historic sites.


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