Bourke may just be famous for being ‘Bourke’ but I suspect that the charm is lurking in the stories that are told around campfires or at bars about characters past and present. It is for this reason we are staying out at the Kidman Camp to experience ‘Poetry on a Plate’, set around a campfire, sitting with fellow travellers, good hot food to enjoy and all interspersed with poetry dramatized with a bit of guitar. Stories are told of living in the West, war, mateship and some comedy thrown in for good measure. Conversations naturally flow throughout the evening – well worth going to. (go to hullyjoe.com for a taste.)
Shane was particularly interested in going to see the Fort Bourke Stockade so we set off with instructions in hand, some of which were not well read so we just went the wrong way to go the long way. Unfortunately this was not exactly how it may have been described not what I’d call a replica of the fort and I’m being kind. I think ‘site’ of the Fort may be a more accurate description. It is roughly 13 kms from Bourke and is named after the Governor at the time after which came the settlement of Bourke itself, which really makes Bourke the ‘back of Fort Bourke’!
We do go to the Gundabooka National Park and enjoyed a walk over very red sandy soil, such a contrast to the blue of the sky. Also checked out some more Aboriginal Art – I would still make the effort to go to the ones near Cobar as a bit less impressive here but the countryside is beautifully colourful.
At the butchers we are asked in a slow drawl “How are you likin’ Bourke” and hear the story of how the best pub in town burnt down – known locally as the Northy, tourists know it as the Back of Bourke so I was very disappointed not to enjoy that part of local history. We did enjoy a beer and a chat in the only pub left the Port of Bourke. 8 pubs down to just the 1.