After spending the night at The Dig Tree and waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the creek, it was time to pack up early and make our way to Birdsville …. yes we were finally making it to Birdsville!
From the Dig Tree we could have gone one of two ways to Birdsville, up Cordillo Downs Road (where you’ll find the historic Cordillo Downs Woolshed) or Arrabury Road. As much as we would have liked to visit the woolshed again (great photo opportunities here), we had done that years ago so decided to detour to Haddon Corner instead. For those that don’t know, Haddon Corner is the point at which the borders of Queensland and South Australia meet.
So, one of the things on our bucket list is to visit all the ‘corners’ of Australia. Yes they are invisible, imaginary lines on a map, but they also form a big part of history and we like that. We’ve visited Cameron Corner a few times now so when we realised we could make a slight detour and visit Haddon Corner, of course we decided to do that.
German-born South Australian surveyor Augustus Poeppel (who Poeppel Corner, SA/NT/QLD, is named after) and his assistant Lawrence Wells set off north in 1880 along the line from Cameron Corner to the northeast tip of South Australia. Augustus was responsible for surveying both Poeppel Corner and Haddon Corner.
Haddon Corner later took its name from a nearby pastoral lease, Haddon Downs.
It’s a fairly easy drive into Haddon Corner, but you do need to cross two sand dunes to get there, so if you were towing a caravan you may have issues and need to walk in. Luckily the Prado and Cub did it with no troubles!
After leaving Haddon Corner it wasn’t long before we turned onto the Birdsville Developmental Road …. and that meant traffic! After days of barely seeing another car on the roads, we were faced with all the traffic heading into Birdsville for the bash. I can comfortably say that in all the outback/dirt road travel we have done, I have never been so scared in my life!
You could clearly see that there were many drivers who had never driven on a dirt road before and had absolutely no idea what to do and this was causing a lot of confusion, frustration and safety issues. This was the one and only downside to the whole Big Red Bash experience.
Anyway, we did finally make it into Birdsville in one piece! After being met by a police block just before arriving in Birdsville, we were advised that one of the two petrol stations had run out of diesel, the wait for fuel at the other station was taking 1 1/2 hours, the town was packed with 4WDs and people and if we did want to head into town, we should unhook the camper trailer first before heading in!
Having visited Birdsville before, we knew that the town itself wasn’t too big, so we took the policeman’s advice, headed straight to the ‘town common’ (a huge area of land just outside of town where you can free camp), unhooked and set up the camper before driving into town.
We are George & Shelly, a married couple from Sydney, Australia, who love 4WDing, camping and travelling this great country of ours. We love sharing our adventures and hope to inspire others to travel as well. Join us on our journeys around Australia!
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