When you plan to show a younger person Outback Queensland, the obvious destination for us is Wynberg. This pastoral property lies about 30 kms south of Cloncurry on the highway heading to McKinlay. The entrance is a classic! Many years ago, a cement load was lost near the entrance gate and couldn’t be retrieved because of its weight. It has had a few artistic designs, but the contemporary one smacks of Etamoogah Pub flavour. It is certainly a helpful and happy entrance marker.
Why Wynberg? Well childhood cousin connections continue as lifelong Woodgate family threads. The Chaplains continue to provide the most hospitable welcome and varied experiences for city slickers like us, and we love getting back to the bush with them. Thanks C&D.
So we arrived at the gate after the Age of Dinosaurs adventure about 11 kms west of Winton. It was a quality time in the fossil laboratory, then a short shuttle ride to the Canyon where the 5 displays overlooking the vast plain were very intiguing, then a lunch practising our Aussie Fly Salute, and finally the Collection Room where the real fossils of Banjo, Matilda and Wade showed the dimensions and possible characteristics of our Australian Sauropods.
E is now looking at a career in palaentology! She had heaps of fun……..and armed with the classic icecream, we continued on the Matilda Highway towards that cement marker.
How wonderful to hug my dear cousin and see the homestead and property regenerating after the horrendously damaging floods earlier in the year. 2019, though not the unprecedented event touted by the media, has been a tough one for the northern graziers and farmers. However, the resilience is real!
Wynberg, under the skills of D and family, and under the always welcoming smile and classic home-making talents of C, has a well-deserved reputation for the consistently high quality of its beef, and the friendly support for transient workers from around the world.
So E soon swung in to routines of feeding the pigs, chooks and dogs – shown with enthusiasm by young grand children who visited from Cloncurry. E tucked in to a yummy Shepherd’s Pie with gusto after the long day’s drive, then was chuffed to find herself like a princess, ensconced in a comfy bed in the same room her mother had occupied with her cousins on a childhood visit back in the day. During that long ago visit, the 4 girls were convinced they saw the Min Min lights…and the evidence could be right!!!!!
A bush holiday highlight is making billy tea and damper twisties, so off we went to meet D who was doing fencing repair. Always tastes better in the open air. Such fun for E. Flies were noticeably absent….thankfully!
More visitors arrived and the afternoon adventure was to go gold panning. There is currently an active mining exploration not far from the homestead – not something C&D are ecstatic about, but don’t have any say about under the laws of the land. With a bit of dirt gathered from the dry flow area brought back to the homestead, all the eager visitors, including E, were anxious to strike it rich. LSM preferred a beer! E ended up with two tiny, tiny specks which now are in the jar to take back to share at home.
Dinner is always a feast at Wynberg, as C is a deadly cook. Pork chops marinated in yoghurt and spices, and a medley of roasted vegies capped off the day. E has the run of the movie collection, so while the men watched the footie, we girls watched Smiley – the movie of the Augathella fame. What a good look back at a simpler time. We all loved it!
Yesterday the adventure continued with C coaching E in the making of banana cake, which was downed warm with melting butter as our lunch treat. The afternoon was a relaxed one with board games and more movies as a reward for the gardening work repotting, and planting around the house tank. A wander down with E to feed the pigs meant running the gauntlet through the curious and close herd of young bulls….E was stoic and we managed it ok. Delicious bacon and egg and salad rolls for dinner had E back in the kitchen learning the ropes. She is eating and sleeping so well!
Picnics and the return of two sons and family today will bring more adventures. Wynberg is so relaxing!