Surat 22/5 – 23/5/2015

Talk about being made welcome, everyone from the pub to the club and everywhere in-between we overwhelmed with hospitality.
We are told to ‘come on over’ to the bowling club for dinner by one of the travellers at the camp. His wife is singing and it seems like a good idea so off we go. The club is run by all volunteers from the cooking to the bar work. Barry tells us some fishing spots to try with a wry smile – certainly not giving away all his secrets. It’s a wonderful night with many of the locals sharing tales of living here.
The next morning I head to town and find the best information center/gallery/museum so far on this trip. The lady is enthusiastic about the town and the history plus there is a fantastic 25lt aquarium with a variety of native inland fish. I loved this museum wrapping around the towns history with the Cobb and Co coaches that stopped and changed over here. A great section on quirky tales starts you off from the first policeman assigned to the town to then being the first registered death, ghost stories, bullock teams that disappeared in the river never their load, cart or bullock seen again – fabulous stuff – loved it!
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Shane and I spend the afternoon fishing in the Balonne River– it is the inland fishing capital of outback Queensland after all. After getting organized, throwing in a line and starting my crossword I get a bite and to our surprise I have a Murray Cod twisting and turning on the end of the hook. Sadly it is not legal size so a quick photo and back it goes. Unfortunately, that was the only action we saw for the rest of the afternoon. Although a fellow fisherman comes by for a chat and tells us a great story about winning the carp catching competition last year by jumping into a lagoon that was drying up, catching them by hand and chucking them onto the bank. They had two bags chocka block full and won a thousand dollars. Apparently they have changed the rules for this year – the carp must be caught with a hook.
We end our time in Surat with a walk along the river, definitely well worth the visit.

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