DAY 7: Now Boulia is not one of the places in the ‘I’ve been everywhere man’ song. It is however a place I could not resist detouring around to visit.

I left Winton for Boulia at 8.30AM a trip of just over 300KM. I usually travel at around 100-110KM per hour meaning the journey should take around 3 hours – getting to Boulia just in time for lunch. Whilst there is nothing strange about all this, I was puzzled as to why my GPS unit was predicting my arrival in Boulia at 3.45 PM. The right destination was showing, the correct distance but a much longer journey time was predicted.

Anyway, about half way between Winton and Boulia I stop at Middleton for a coffee where Val and her husband kindly give me directions to the old Min Min light hotel a that is located around 80KM outside Boulia. So off I trek to find the old hotel.

The locals are unsure if the Min Min Hotel gave its name to the lights or the lights gave its name to the hotel. The hotel itself burnt down in 1917 around the same time as when  the lights in the Boulia district first started appearing (sightings outside this area were recorded earlier). After a while I finally find the dirt track off to the right of the road to the sight of the former Min Min Hotel. I turn along the dirt road and travel for about 500 metres or so. In addition to a sign giving the historical significance of the site I note a lot of broken glass on the ground, the remains of bottles drunk and then chucked during happier times. Perhaps more unusual though is the cemetery.

Not the best photo, but hopefully you can see some of the broken glass from the old Min Min Hotel.

Not the best photo, but hopefully you can see some of the broken glass from the old Min Min Hotel.

Towards what would have been the rear of the hotel is located a single grave. However, local legend has it that the Min Min Hotel was not the most hospitable place with murder, theft and prostitution being common place. My point is, there could be more than one grave out the back.

A lone grave...or is it?

A lone grave…or is it?

Now, having watched movies such as Wolf Creek, the solitude and surrounds start to get the better of me and I decide to leave the site of the Min Min hotel for somewhere with at least a few living souls nearby. I was hoping Boulia would be this place.

After visiting the site of the old Min MIn pub and grave I started the 80KM trip to Boulia township. The temperature was in the low 40’s but the air conditioning was providing welcome relief and my nerves were starting to get back to normal. Until..


Splat! Splat! Ping!…

Splat! Thud! Ping! Spat!…

Oh – you get the idea – yes I was driving through a storm of locusts! Now I don’t think the storm was of biblical proportions so I will save myself from calling it a plague, but there was enough of the blighters to cover the radiator and coat the windscreen with various parts of their now dismembered bodies. My nerves were starting to fray again…

The windmill in Boulia

The windmill in Boulia

Now in outback terms 80km is like a stroll in the park, a trip to the corner shop, almost like going to the fridge – it is not far. Whilst the locusts start bombarding the car I also start noticing an increase in the frequency of other dead items along the roadside. Now kangaroos are ‘ten a penny’ as my gran always said and so there was no surprise as I see countless dead roos along the side of the road. However, I then start to notice the roo’s had four legs – all the same length! No, they are not roos – but dead dingos. A few lizards are then thrown in for good measure before a crescendo builds up to a finale of a half rotted dead cow! The nerves had gone again!

At last I see the welcome to Boulia sign and pull over for some much needed coffee for me and fuel for the car. I don’t want to be seen to be a wuss so keep my murderous antics of my journey to myself. I sip the last of my drink before heading over the road to the Tourist Information Office and the one, the only, Min Min Experience exhibition.

The entrance to the Min Min experience

The entrance to the Min Min experience

Now first up I panicked as I walked through the door and noticed the performance times for the Min Min Encounter Show. I had missed the last one. The girl behind the counter must have sensed my disappointment as she quickly offered to run the show just for me! We walked over to the front of a recreation of the Min Min pub circa 1917 and the girl talks through what I’m about to see. She offers me a flashlight, but I decline after being told its not really necessary. She then proceeds to press some buttons before a door opens and I’m ushered in to a dark room. The door then closes behind me, leaving me totally in the dark! After a pause a light comes on and focuses on a latex dummy which starts talking to me. And so the show goes on.

Now I’m not going to discuss this further as if you are in Boulia you will want to watch this 45 minute show for yourself and I am not going to be the one to offer any spoilers – only to add that my nerves did not calm down.

After all this, I decided to shoot some video of the Min Min experience location and also move up to the airport to shoot some more video there. A friend had requested some video on my blog so who am I to refuse. I also took some pictures of the town’s big windmill, the Red Stump that marks the outback and visited the towns “Stone House” museum along with its dinosaur collection.

The Boulia Red Stump

The Boulia Red Stump

Boulia Stone House

Boulia Red House

By the end of all this activity I head to the motel to check in for the night.