Australia Chronicles: Day 8

7/28/01 - 7:24pm I've been at Woodleigh Station for the past two days doing things such as boomerang throwing, swimming in the same river as the "survivors" did.  We did some learning about the bush, the animals and normal activities of a farm such as milking cows, wrangling the cattle and dipping them for ticks.  We also learned a great deal about Australia and the Outback in general.

I'll give more info in a second.  We went for a bush walk yesterday and saw a beautiful marshland and enjoyed lunch among the numerous cow patties which covered the area.  The night before we were treated to a night walk in search of possums and the native ground dwellers such as scorpions, snakes, termites etc. as well as some star gazing from a basaltic ridge.  There was a lot of jokes exchanged in among the tents in which we stayed.

I found each morning at Woodleigh very cold as well as the nights in the unheated tents but to our rescue we were supplied with warm sleeping bags.  Each meal was prepared for us by the family.  Peter and Kate as well as Kate's brother, Bob, and their parents were incredibly hospitable and worked hard to make us feel at home at their farm.

The most memorable part of the stay was the nightime keepaway or "rugby" and the whip cracking.  I got well versed in that art with the expert guidance of Peter.  We met Kate's childred, Brigette who was an absolute expert at the whip and Sam who was a crack comedian.  All in all I had a blast during our farmstay at Woodleigh.  Whether it was talking to Kate or helping them set up meals or our aboriginal teachers and their tales of the dreamtime.  We also saw a wind farm which produced 12 megawatts of power from 21 generators.

Woodleigh Station is a working cattle station of approximately 60 square miles in size with 2,500 head of cattle and around 45 horses.  The original settlers came to Ravenshoe in 1877 and Kate's family came in 1913.  It's approx 20 miles up river from the Survivor set.

Today we had a very cold start and early breaki with a start of to Townsville about 330km from Woodleigh.  We first started off with lunch at the Townsville mall then we were off to Castle Hill which was 8 feet short of being a mountain and it gave us a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area.  From there we sped off to Reef HQ where we are now.  It's a very large aquadrium which gave us dinner showers and where we are going to be sleeping today.  Well, that's all for today.

James M. Connors