31 Aug The Dig Tree
Flying the Outback – day 2
We woke fairly early and decided to take a drive around White Cliffs. The mounds of white dirt was like ant hills scattered throughout the town, I got out of the car a couple of times to take pics and was really careful as I jumped around. The old mine shafts are literally everywhere and some would be 30 feet deep. The last thing I needed was to fall down one of those!
At 9am breakfast was served at the pub and then it was time to say goodbye to White Cliffs. We wanted to go and check out the Dig Tree, this is the tree that is attached to the historical explorers, Burke & Wills.
The Burke and Wills ‘Dig Tree’ is one of Australia’s national icons and an enduring reminder of our pioneering spirit. Located on the Northern bank of Coopers Creek the ‘Dig Tree’ is a Coolibah (Eucalyptus microtha). It is believed that the tree is 200-250 years old. Before the base camp party deserted the depot (stockade Depot Camp 65), only hours before Burke and Wills did return from the Gulf, they had buried some provisions in the remote chance of Burke and Wills return and instructions to dig were carved into the trunk of the tree. The three blazes on the dig tree were:
B LXV Trunk, creek side
Dig 3FT NW Trunk, land side
Dec 6 60 April 21 61 Limb upstream
These Blazes have now been covered to help preserve the tree. Burke’s face was carved into another tree (the ‘Face Tree’) about 30m downstream of the ‘Dig Tree’ by John Dick in 1898 and is still clearly visible. Apart from the boardwalk structure built around the tree to help protect it, the site as you view it now is as Burke and Wills and companions would have viewed it nearly 140 years ago.
The Daily Pic – Towers Outback
It is hard to convey the vastness of the outback… there is a lot of flat ground out there!