The road between the iconic bush towns of Winton and Alice Springs may be paved with potholes, but it promises a taste of genuine outback adventure.
Story & photos by John Denman
Winton, in western Queensland, is an unofficial outback crossroad. It is the end of the rail line in the west and the place where many of the cattle from further out are trucked in for shipment eastwards. Winton is also an iconic outback town with great civic pride, and a centre for the burgeoning outback tourism industry.
The road heading west across to Boulia is officially known as the Kennedy Developmental Road. It’s also tagged the Min-Min Byway. Boulia, 362 kilometres away, has always been the capital of Min-Min Country. A single strip of bitumen runs directly west, mostly through open downs country dotted from time to time with ochre jump-ups. Woodstock Station was once a Cobb & Co. staging point, and its 280,000 hectares is spread over a variety of country. From the road it looks forbidding, with mainly stony ground and low hills all about.
Shane Mills and his family run Woodstock and he doesn’t think the country is as forbidding as it looks. “We’ve done alright here,” he says, gesturing over a mob of fat cattle he’s moving. “What you see from the road isn’t always what you get here.”
This story excerpt is from Issue #45
Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2006