Outback Odyssey: Days 14-16 Home via Miles and Jondaryan

Our road trip wrapped up 7 weeks ago but as life would have it, I never finished blogging about the final chapter. So although the last few days on the trip covered hundreds of kilometres and a number of stops, to wrap this up, I’ve packaged it together in one post.

Emerald to Miles is by everyone’s account, a long day’s drive; plenty of opportunity, therefore, to work on all those car activities blogged about here! We left early and drew into Miles about 3pm, just in time to be the day’s last entry to the Miles Historic Village.

In the hour that we spent there that afternoon, we only managed to get around about half of the village. Helpfully, staff said we could return the next morning on the same ticket.

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All to ourselves

The village is a potpourri of displays from the early 1900s through to the 1930s. It features all those individual shops of yesteryear that have now been mostly absorbed by supermarkets, as well as a school, church, mechanic, hospital, bank, a train station (and steam train to climb aboard) and even an extensive shells-of-the-world display.  My favourite though was the impressive lapidary house which features tens of thousands of mineral, ore and gemstone specimens.

Chinchilla was our next stop – not only offering giant watermelon posing opportunities, but also a chance to get grubby again.

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Couldn’t resist

After paying $5 per adult to dig on private property (payable to the tourist information), we took our pick axe, acquired while fossil hunting in Richmond, and started exploring for petrified wood in a marked paddock on someone’s farm. This stuff is over 200 million years old, so it was quite exciting to find. We didn’t have to dig too much as there were plenty of examples on the surface, although apparently what lies beneath the earth is of even better quality.

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Connie sporting the newest fashion (and a great piece of petrified wood)

We found so much that culling was needed.  The best-of bag now sits at home along with the sapphires waiting for that visit to a lapidary club for cutting and polishing.

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Our goody bag

Although we could have easily driven in to Brisbane that night, we decided to spend one final, pensive night at the Jondaryan Woolshed. Brisbanites possibly remember going there on a school camp or excursion.

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Don’t rock the log

As you have read, we have been no stranger to a historic villages on this trip, but we found each one offers something different.  The bitterly westerly winds served a purpose at Jondaryan, showcasing the different attributes of windpumps.  Who would have thought there would be so much variation?  And as we were there for closing time, we had the cavernous shearing shed to ourselves and were treated to our own private end-of-the-day sheep muster.

In the golden hour, the kids collected firewood and in the twilight, the fire pit was the place to roast (or burn to charcoal) marshmallows.  It was also the place to investigate smoke-induced laser beams the next morning after breakfast.

A perfect end to a rustic, family road trip;  6 people, a 2 wheel-drive and over 4600 kilometres in 16 days.

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Our route

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