4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

OUT HERE, the sim­ple ac­tion of open­ing a door and get­ting into a ve­hi­cle re­sults in at least 50 (per per­son!) ir­ri­tat­ing, buzzy, pesky, small black bush flies buzzing against the win­dows.

Thank­fully, we’d knocked off for the day and were able to leave the bil­lions of flies be­hind dou­ble fly­screen doors and find peace at the bar of the Cameron Cor­ner Store, where publi­can Fenn Miller agreed the flies on this mid-au­tumn day were the worst he’d ever seen.

With wife Ch­eryl, Fenn has been out here – where New South Wales, Queens­land and South Aus­tralia meet – for most of the past decade. It’s an iso­lated but in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar place. Up the road is In­nam­incka and down the road is Ti­booburra, so it’s on a busy tourist cir­cuit, es­pe­cially dur­ing the time of the Birdsville Races in mid-win­ter.

As well as 4Wders, the Cameron Cor­ner Store hosts club tours – every­thing from postie bikes to vin­tage Dodges and World War II mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles – and char­ity ral­ly­type events. You can even play a game of golf. Things slow down a lit­tle in Oc­to­ber due to the op­pres­sive heat, but they pick up again in late

March when many Vic­to­ri­ans be­gin to es­cape the dreaded, long win­ter months.

Pow­ered and un­pow­ered camp­sites are lo­cated out the back of the store, as well as a sim­ple camp kitchen, and there are rooms avail­able for those who need a lit­tle more com­fort for a night or two. There’s good grub avail­able, too, if you need a break from cook­ing.

As Fenn told us, the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of 4WD tour­ing means some peo­ple are ill-equipped and ill-pre­pared for travel. “We’ll get called out to a stranded ve­hi­cle and peo­ple will say, ‘oh, but it shouldn’t be stuck, I had it in 4WD,’ but they don’t know about the free­wheel­ing hubs,” he said.

Un­for­tu­nately, there’s a grow­ing num­ber of other mo­rons, too. “Af­ter rain, they come out here look­ing for mud,” Ch­eryl said. “They seem to think no-one else ever uses these roads, or that no-one has to main­tain them. Of­ten, Fenn goes out to check the fences (the Cor­ner Coun­try Store is ad­ja­cent to the dingo fence) to find piles of rub­bish and camp­fires still burn­ing.

“We’ve even had our tyre pres­sure gauge and some lit­tle so­lar gar­den lights stolen from just out the front. It’s pretty frus­trat­ing.”

De­spite the mi­nor set­backs and oc­ca­sional hard­ships, Fenn and Ch­eryl love the place, the pace and the peo­ple. And for ev­ery­one who waltzes up to the bar to ex­claim: ‘Wow, you’re a long way from any­where out here, aren’t you?!’ Fenn de­liv­ers a quick re­sponse with a wink and a grin: “Not re­ally… we’re just around The Cor­ner!

It’s not the mid­dle of nowhere, it’s the cen­tre of every­where.

of You’ll find all sorts on show para­pher­na­lia out. here – check it

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.