I haven’t posted for awhile as I just started a new job nursing, after having nearly a year’s break, so I have been very tired. But now I have a day off, and have been wanting to share this wonderful blog. I came across it purely by accident one day, because of this wonderful photograph.
“Windmill at Beltana”
(ozlap.com.au) see more information in the paragraph below.
Beltana being so dear to me, as this is where my great great grandfather and his family spent much of their time living, after emigrating from Kent, England. Of course his children spent more time in the area, as James and Mary Ann Heneker had spent many years moving around to different parts of South Australia, however, as a bullocky driver James operated out of Beltana delivering goods to many remote area’s and for the Overland Telegraph line being built.
This photograph just said so much to me about Beltana, a town which is basically now a ghost town, however some hardy souls have restored a few buildings, and started to try to put some of the town to pieces again. Beltana is 535 km from Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. This area of the state does not have any large towns, the largest being Port Augusta which is an easy 308 km drive from Adelaide. Once leaving the main highway sometime after Hawker/Parachilna, you need to drive a long dirt road to reach Beltana, which itself has no paved roads, or any amenities, such as shops, service station, toilets. It truly is a remote township in a very remote area of the State. Beltana was known historically for it’s relationship with the building of the Overland Telegraph from Adelaide to Darwin which was completed in 1872. It was also very well known for it’s camel population and the Afghans who settled there and trained and operated the camels. Also carried out in the area was mining, and the Transcontinental Railway line was part of the township. It would have been a place of hardship, heat and hard work for the first European settlers who lived there, and even today, once out of our air conditioned cars it is a place of hot winds, dust and flies. But truly it is an outback town, without anything to try to make it look more than it ever was. I am always in awe of my ancestors who lived here.
The young Smith family are travellers, taking their 4 children with them, on a road trip of discovery, and are recording their travels in a great blog call OZLAP – The Smith’s Big Road Trip. If you want to read about it, and see amazingly beautiful and interesting photographs from their trip so far, please take a look at their blog at ozlap.com.au.
I would like to thank Amy (from the Smith family) for your kind permission to allow me to post your wonderful photograph of “Windmill at Beltana”. I am in love with this photo. My aim in a few years is to also take a few years road trip to wherever in Australia, however how wonderful to do it with your whole family and what a great experience for them. I hope you are all enjoying your adventure and continuing travels.