Near Western Happenings

The Savannahlander is slowly working its way towards Forsayth with services operating between Cairns and Almaden at the moment. Last week saw a special 2 night layover for the railmotors in Almaden with our passengers enjoying an extended stay in Chillagoe. On Thursday the group made a quick trip over to the Sandy Tate River for tea and damper before heading back to Chillagoe for a visit to Tommy Prior’s Ford collection and an extended town tour. The extra night in Chillagoe did give the locals an extra night to bend my ear about upcoming events in the town so I thought I’d give them a plug.

The Chillagoe Rodeo is on 9th and 10th of May this year. There’s a bull ride on Saturday and the team penning event. On Saturday night there’ll be live music at the rodeo grounds ’til late¬† in the evening. Sunday’s another big day of bruising and bone breaking with more bull riding and other rodeo sports.¬† Free camping is available at the rodeo grounds and you can always head out that way on the Savannahlander if you want an early start. If you’d like more information about the rodeo you can send them an email.

The Great Wheelbarrow Race
is being held from the 15th to 17th of May. In this event teams of 10 push a wheelbarrow from Mareeba to Chillagoe over three days. The first day sees competitors run the 50km from Mareeba to Dimbulah. The next day is a 65km run from Dimbulah to Almaden. This section is the toughest with some tough climbs up the Featherbed, Lappa and Bismark ranges. The last day is a short jog (34km) over to Chillagoe.

Savannahlander passengers often see the teams arriving in Almaden on Saturday afternoon and this year they may even see an unlucky Savannahlander driver who hasn’t managed to get out of racing for another year!