THE OUTBACK MAIL RUN: Mail Service No.77
Tour operates: Tuesday 24th May- Thursday 6th October 2016
Departs: 7.00am Tuesday and Thursday
Returns: Around mid to late afternoon
What to Bring: Comfortable clothing (leave your fancy pants at home), walking shoes, water bottle and camera.
Bookings: Click here to book online. On the booking page please select the tab Activities. Alternately, call 1300 858 867.
Please note: pick up from your accommodation is at 6.45am
- Kings in Grass Castle History
- Local flora and fauna, including kangaroos, emus, brolgas, mulga parrots, black cockatoos and wedge tailed eagles...
- Deliver mail to local properties
- Witness the different landscapes of the Channel Country
- Opal Country
- Drive on roads less travelled
- Smoko at Alaric Homestead Tour
- Lunch with Margaret Peglar at Trinidad Station
- Thylungra Station
- Max 13 passengers
- Lunch includes beer, wine, juice and soft drinks
Some of the things we do promise is that your senses will come alive with the wonderful feelings of the Outback openess, the scents from the unique vegetation and for some of us childhood country living or a connection with country cousins will once again be remembered.
You will also sense the hardship, the joy, the pioneering spirit of this area often referred to as "Heart Break Corner"
DETAILED ITINERARY - The Outback Mail Run
The day begins when we pick you up from your accommodation, from there we will call into the post office at Quilpie and collect our mail bags and any parcels for the day's run. We then head east out of town over the Bulloo River before turning left and onto the dirt. From here we travel through the original Thylungra Holdings, a property made famous by the Durack family and also the starting point of their courageous cattle drive to open up the vast Kimberley region in Western Australia.
We then travel north delivering mail to various stops before turning west and arriving at our first stop, Alaric Station. Alaric Station was originally owned by Chum Tully, nephew of Patsy Durack. Alaric is now owned by the Scott Family and the homestead is a Vietnam Veterans' retreat. We take the time to look around this homestead with one of the Vietnam Veterans. Here we have smoko with Allan and the boys.
Departing Alaric we pass through opal country on our way to Canaway Downs and the area where the mighty Hayricks Opal mine is located. Here the country opens up and the beautiful Mitchell Grass plains come into view. After leaving Canaway Downs we travel on a station road, linking up with the closed Adavale to Windorah road. In the late 1800's this was the major highway in the region. This is the road that Patsy Durack used when claiming his leases at Tambo and was also the mail road between the Cobb and Co stop "Jack in the Rocks" and Windorah. As this roads does not experience much traffic we might be lucky enough to witness large flocks of the black cockatoos, goannas, native birds and some pests like the wild pig.
Our destination for lunch is Trinidad Station, but before we get there we stop at Araluen and Budgerygar station (Budgerygar is only serviced direct on Thursday).
Araluen Station is owned by Collie and Annie Rae and this is where they produce Quilpie Quilts (as Annie is away driving road trains this year, she will not be home to show us around). Next we cross over the Barrier Dog fence. This dog proof fence stretches 5400kms, it starts near the Great Australian Bight in South Austarlia and ends near Jandowae on Queensland's Darling Downs.
We arrive at Trinidad where we drop the Mail and head for Budgerygar. On Monday's mail run we do not go to Budgerygar, but spend extra time at other sites.
On the way we to Budgerygar we travel through the Cheviot Range and remimisce about the time when the Durack lads drove their cattle through here in May 1883 on their way to the Kimberley, a journey that took well over 2 years, covered a distance of 3000 miles and cost a staggering £70,000. Tragically half of the 7500 head of livestock would perish and 2 stockman would die but remarkably it was enough to form the nucleus of stock and people to open up the Kimberley region.We also take the time to stop and witness the tragic site of an aviation crash, a sad reminder of dangers of air travel in the bush.From here we head out of the Quilpie Shire an area of approx 65 000 sq km's and enter the Barcoo Shire.
After a half an hour of driving we arrive at our most northern stop and the home of Bill and Julie Scott, Budgerygar. We'll drop off our mail and any freight, call into Trinadad for Lunch with Margaret and onto Araluen for any return mail. Heading South we enter the Northern boundry of the iconic pastoral holdings of Thylungra Station.
Thylungra now comprises of 700,000 acres, a fair cry from the 2500sq kms when it was held by the Durack family. But even today Thlyungra is classed as the jewel in the crown of the Quilpie Shire. The Scott Family have returned the property to cattle production just as Patsy did when Thlyungra was first established in the 1860's. But you still see the reminders of its sheep history, in one year 100,000 head of sheep where shorn. We take the time to deliver our supplies to Thylungra and then visit the shearing shed near the house.
Thylungra also has a proud history with the game of polocrosse and once a year they would hold the annual Thylungra Polocrosse carnival. It was in the shearing shed that they also held the ball on the Saturday night. If only the walls of that old shed could talk.
Next we head over to Kyabra Creek, the location where Patsy met the Buntamurra people for the first time. It was from this tribe that he would met his long time friend and companion, Pumpkin. Pumpkin would follow the Duracks to the Kimberley area and is buried at Arglye Station under the water of Lake Arglye. Here at Kyabra Creek we take time to read the history signage on the Kings in Grass Castles story. With our mailbags full of return mail we'll finally hit the bitumen of the Quilpie - Windorah road and head back to the Quilpie Post Office. This road follows the original stock route that was used by tired and dusty drovers as they moved fat Channel Country cattle to the rail head at Quilpie. The journey home is a one and half hour trip and is a time to reflect on the day's experiences and is also the perfect time to listen to some of the Kings in Grass Castle story as told by Mary Durack.