On the way to Tibooburra from Mutawintji I passed Koonenberry Mountain on the east side, Burke and Wills passed on the west side.  It is an unusually large mountain in a very flat landscape.  The second photo below is an expression of “The wide brown land for me”.  I have travelled through 100s of Ks of this type of country and on roads just like this, except rougher.  I am in awe of Burke and Wills and the other explorers who travelled this type of country that is so dry and did it without maps.

20170721-4090 Koonenberry Mountain Med









Tiboorburra have silhouette sculptures on the three main roads coming into the town, when I first saw the mustering one from a distance I wondered what they were doing by the sign!  The second sculpture is of miners.

20170721-4097 Tibooburra Sign with Silhouette Mustering Med

20170722-4100 Tibooburra Sign with Silhouette Miners Med







This sculpture is of explorers.

20170721-4091 Tibooburra Signs with Silhouette Explorers Med


The town has also made a replica of Charles Sturt’s whale boat that he carried on a wagon to Fort Grey in Sturt National Park in anticipation of finding an inland sea.  Instead he had to spend 12 months holed up at Fort Grey until the drought broke.  The boat is copper lined and I guess it is upside down in the rare chance that there is rain.

20170721-4095 Replica of Sturts Whaleboat Med


On Saturday I went on a 100 Km loop drive through the Mt Wood section of Sturt National Park.  Mt Wood was a sheep station of some 500,000 acres.  There is a display of some pastoral equipment, which I found interesting.  The photo on the left is a Walking Beam that was run by a steam engine and the beam went up and down like a seesaw with the business end pumping water from a well up to 300 feet down.  The second machine is a Whim also used for extracting water.  In this machine the log just below the circular cage was pulled around in a circle by a horse or camel.  This action wound a cable around the cage, which had a bucket on the end that dipped into the well.  As the horse or camel walked around in a circle the bucket was pulled up and out of the well.  Once above ground the water was tipped into troughs for stock to drink.  Interesting rustic structures.

20170722-4103 Walking Beam at Mt Wood Med 20170722-4106 Whim at Mt Wood Med


After viewing these and other machinery I drove through extensive gibber plains, no need to go far for rocks to make a road.  Along the drive there were many kangaroos and emus, kangaroos were in mobs of 30 to 40 and I clocked one big male at 60 Km/Hr, we had a bit of a race.

20170722-4107 Mt Wood Gibber Plains Med


The drive then took us to a small gorge and passed Mt Wood.  It was an enjoyable drive with the road crossed by a number of dry creeks with their complement of gums and other trees.

20170722-4111 Mt Wood Sturt NP Med









There were bloodwood trees (Grevillea Longifolia) scattered through the park and they are a very attractive tree with a dark trunk, like and ironbark, with a lovely green crown.

20170722-4109 Bloodwoods at Mt Wood Gorge Med


Toward  the end of the drive I crossed a vast plain and was amazed to pass a flood level sign from 1974 that had the water 3/4 of a metre above where I was standing to take the photo.  The ground slopes away from where I was standing so it was a massive amount of water in such a dry place.

20170722-4117 1974 Flood Level Mt Wood Med


Next day was another 100 Km drive through the jump-ups in Sturt National Park.  This part of the park is more barren than yesterdays drive, if that is possible, but again dry creeks criss-crossed the landscape, breaking the monotony.  Very few animals, I anly saw 3 emus on the whole journey,  When I came across South Meyers Tank I had to take a photo, it’s the first water I have seen around Tibooburra, apart from water coming from a tap.

20170723-4119 Sth Meyers Tank Sturt NP Med


The jump-ups are flat topped hills that arise abruptly from the flat plains.

20170723-4127 View of the Jump Up Sturt NP Med

20170723-4124 View from Below Jump up Sturt NP Med








From the top of the jump-ups you get a great view of the flat stony plains.


20170723-4128 Sturt NP from the Jump Up Med



The return trip was via the Silver City “Highway” in the photo below.


20170723-4130 Good Section of Silver City Highway Med


Today I walked to the top of the rise behind the caravan park with Rob and Judy, who were camped next to me and took some photos of the rugged country surrounding Tibooburra.

20170724-4136 Russ at Tibooburra Med

20170724-4131 West from Tibooburra Med







Tomorrow I am off the Fort Grey in Sturt National Park near Cameron Corner where SA, NSW and Qld meet.  I will camp there at least overnight before heading for Innamincka and the Dig Tree.

11 Comments on Tibooburra & Sturt National Park

  1. Barb Gifford says:

    We live in such a beautiful country. Thanks for bringing back such wonderful memories of when we sent through that way many years ago.

  2. Cam Incoll says:

    Your photos are awesome Dad. Such deep blue skies.

  3. Adam says:

    Magic Russ. Really enjoying the blog.

  4. David Incoll says:

    I’m enjoying your blog and learning a lot in the process. I like the term “jump-up” for the escarpments. I also now know what a “gibber plain” is. And seeing the beam engine made me read about the original Newcomen steam engine used in the Cornish tin mines.

    You are in some very bleak country. I can see why the sight of trees and water, after so many barren miles, would bring a kind of euphoria on the traveller.

  5. David Incoll says:

    Another thought: wouldn’t that copper-bottomed boat be very heavy!!

  6. Rhonda says:

    Sounds as though you were lucky not to collide with a kangaroo Russ. Amazing country and awesome photos. Keep them coming. With much appreciation. Love Rhon x

  7. Russ says:

    It is an amazing country, so vast. Love Russ x

  8. Russ says:

    The copper is a thin sheet over spars. The walking beam is like an early steam engine but in this case the beam is pumping and is driven by a steam engine. There are lots of lines of trees but most of them are on dry creeks unfortunately. If there are redgums you may be in luck but may have to dig for water.

  9. Russ says:

    That’s good you have such good memories, you’ll have to do it again. It is an amazing country. It is a year today that we gathered to celebrate Marg’s life, it has gone so quickly. Water comes to my eyes.

  10. Russ says:

    Thanks Cam and the photos are untouched.

  11. Russ says:

    Thanks Adam, glad you are enjoying the blog, I will be posting more today or tomorrow now I have 4G in Thargomindah.

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