Day 4 – non-ride day
After a lazy morning and a late breakfast in town we checked out what Charleville has to offer. And we were surprised that it had quite a lot and now than our one day can fit in.
Painted water tower
Painted by the same artist as the Cunnamulla water tower featuring local youth playing sport. The Charleville painting was completed in 2019.
The Bilby centre
The Bilbys are a small marsupial whose population has been decimated by introduced predators (such as cats and foxes) and the loss of habitat. There numbers were so low that they were endangered.
Through the efforts of breeding programs and fenced off areas to keep out feral cats and foxes their numbers are on the rise.
Charleville has one of the biggest breeding programs. It was hard to take photos of them as they are nocturnal so they were under red lighting, and they never stop moving.
WW2 secret base
In World War Two the US government set up a secret air force base in Charleville for their B17 bombers and up to 1,000 personnel at any one time, nearly doubling the population of Charleville at the time.
Charleville’s airstrip is still has an International sized runway.
Doing a tag along tour we discovered a number of other interesting facts like the Nordon bomb vault that housed Nordon bomb sights when not on aircraft for bombing raids. The security classification of this was only a bit lower than the Manhattan project at the time.
Royal Flying Doctors
Its easy to forget when living in the city the convenience of help being close by. But out here – help can be a long way away! That’s where the RFDS comes in supplying and connecting the outback communities with medical services.
When I was out here in 2015 this really impacted me – the vastness of this land and experiencing the vastness of where we sit in this solar system, in this galaxy, and beyond. I remember riding through the vastness of the Northern Territory in the next days feeling so small.
Tonight we didn’t see any planets as it was the wrong time of year and the wrong time off day. That was disappointing, but tonight we focused on different star clusters.
Sadly there was no vanilla slice today.
Tomorrow we are off to Longreach.
Today’s Distance: 42km
Total Distance: 1,332km