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>> Discover the beauty & history of the Barmah-Millewa Forest and Murray River along the Timber Cutters Run.
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- Last Updated: 21 January 2020 21 January 2020
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In 1882, severe drought on the Albert Goldfields caused near-famine for the miners and settlers of the district. The Darling River ceased to flow, and the paddle steamers were prevented from carrying stores to Wilcannia. Horses and bullocks were unable to use the road to the goldfields because of the terrible conditions. Essential food supplies were in desperately short supply.
Just as the situation became critical, relief arrived from the west, with the first-ever camel teams arriving from Farina on the Transcontinental telegraph line. Following a previously un-marked track, the route took the teams around the northern end of the Flinders Ranges and across the lower reaches of the Simpson-Strzelecki Dunefields. Then, following the Yandama Creek eastwards, the Mount Browne Hills were visible in the distance. Almost 100 kilometres of the track was originally waterless.
Thereafter, for almost five decades, the camel became an integral part of the transport industry in the Corner Country. With up to 60 animals the camel teams were used on routes to Wilcannia, Bourke and Broken Hill.
The route to the west became known as the Mount Browne to Hawker Road. It was regularly used as teams loaded with goods from the rail network in South Australia for transport to New South Wales, or returned loaded with wool. The journey was more than five hundred kilometres and took over a month.
At times their arrival into towns was procession-like, with the Afghan drivers dressed in multi-coloured silk shawls and turbans.
Safe Outback Travel
Driving Outback Australia
Safe Outback Travel
The Outback is easily accessible and a safe place to travel. Like any journey, correct planning, preparation and common sense will ensure a memorable and wonderful experience.
Safe outback travel is about common sense and potential dangers come from the hot & dry summers and distances between towns & services.
The Outback experiences very hot and dry summers. Travel is safer and more enjoyable March – October.
The best advice for any traveller is.. “it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”