MT MOFFAT & BLACKALL 2017

The Blackall workshops are always a lot of fun. We get to meet people from surrounding sheep and cattle stations and local Blackall residents in the first workshop then folks fly in or drive from all over the place for the second workshop.

This year we left a couple of weeks early so we could visit Mt Moffat on the way west. Mt Moffat is part of the Carnarvon National Park. It connects to the head of Carnarvon Creek at the western end of Carnarvon Gorge and extends south.

Similar eroded, pale sandstone to Carnarvon Gorge is found throughout the Mt Moffat section. Access is by 4WD – there are some deeply rutted tracks, sandy sections and steep climbs up onto the plateau.

 

There are interesting sandstone formations and many escarpments and rock faces with aboriginal art work.

 

 

Confusing sign if you don’t read English!

 

We camped at Dargonelly Rock Hole. It was the only water source in the area, so animal and birdlife was pretty spectacular particularly early morning and late afternoon.

 

On top of the plateau the view stretched out in all directions. The plateau is over 1200 meters above sea level – the highest plateau in Queensland. We drove up to the head of Carnarvon Creek, where the track winds through a forest of giant Mahogany trees.

 

Small slab hut on the road into Mt. Moffat

 

We were lucky enough to arrive in Blackall the night six musicians, all from different countries, were performing at the Living Arts Center where we were staying. It was amazing how well such a diverse group of musicians could all blend perfectly into music from any of the six countries. It was great to meet these musicians and hear their stories.

 

 

Old River Gum late afternoon – Tambo

 

We had a couple of days between the two Blackall workshops, so drove out to Yaraka – the last town on the railway line before it closed down in the 1990’s. Below is the small settlement of Emmet along the same defunct railway line.

 

Lost Chev – Yaraka

 

Sunset on Mt Slowcombe near Yaraka

 

I love visiting the Blackall wool scour. It closed down years ago but has been kept in running condition as a tourist attraction. It looks like something from a horror movie. Everything is belt driven, powered by a steam engine. Over a kilometre of leather belts keep everything moving. With all this mechanical movement there is barely a sound – it is all so well built and maintained.

 

Heading home we passed the Roma sale yards where one of the weekly cattle sales were in progress. It’s an amazing event. Road trains arrive from near and far, cattle are unloaded, auctions take place then cattle are re loaded and delivered to the successful bidders. The auctioneers speak their own language at a speed only understandable by those in colored shirts and big hats. It really is a spectacle.

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QLD. WORKSHOPS

 

June, July and August have been busy months with workshops in Cairns, Gladstone and Blackall.DSC08475

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DSC08493Cairns Art Escape is held annually in “The Tanks” – an amazing venue inside enormous old WW2 oil storage tanks converted to studio and performance spaces.

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July we were in Gladstone at Gallery 67 for a 5 day workshop after which we reloaded the truck and headed out to Blackall for the annual artist retreat workshop.

xNT__0374  Blackall – Artists Retreat

xNT__0359Local Blackall drover, Stu Benson, kept us entertained with stories of the area and spoiled us with tea and damper.

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Old shearing shed at Dunera Station where we were made welcome and enjoyed smoko and an interesting walk around the property.

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Louise and Lexie, who drove out from Currumbin for the workshop, took Dianne and I out to Allendale, where Louise grew up. The old homestead is now abandoned and slowly decaying, it was great to look around at some of the relics remaining from when Louise was a little kid.

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NT__0160Old Allendale Homestead

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Blackall Sunset
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Blackall Wool Scour
Machinery – Blackall wool scour

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We were lucky to be in Blackall for the Camerata of St John’s, Queensland Chamber Orchestra’s performance. It was fantastic – all young, enthusiastic and incredibly well rehearsed players touring through outback regions of Queensland to help raise money for drought relief.