Poddy Dodgers Rodeo - Croydon (Thats QLD not VIC)
Trip Start Apr 22, 2011
62Trip End Apr 01, 2016
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Where I stayed
Croydon Rodeo Grounds
What I did
Watch the Rodeo
Historic township in the heart of the Gulf country.
One of Australia's special railway experiences is to take the small 'rattler' known as the Gulflander. It leaves Normanton every Wednesday and makes its way 150 km east to the tiny and historic town of Croydon. The railway was built to transport gold and people from Croydon to the port at Normanton. At its peak it moved over 10 000 people each year. Today it is nothing more than a pleasant journey into the past.
Located 562 km west of Cairns and 125 m above sea-level, Croydon was the scene of Australia's last major goldrush. The area had been settled in the early 1880s by pastoralists and it was W. C. Brown, the manager of Croydon Downs Station, who, in November 1885, discovered gold. The other North Queensland goldmines had been exhausted by this time and so the miners, ever eager to find a new field, moved across to Croydon in vast numbers. By late 1886 the new town's population had passed 6500 and there were, according to legend, something like 90 hotels on the diggings. Admittedly most of these were nothing more than tents with a keg and a bottle of whisky providing refreshment for the thirsty miners.
At the height of the boom it was decided to build a railway from Normanton to Croydon
Croydon's glory days lasted for twenty years. By 1906 the field, which once had rivalled the diggings at Charters Towers, was all but exhausted. Mining continued on a small scale until about 1923 and then there was nothing until the early 1980s when a processing plant was established at Tabletop at a cost of about $14 million.
People travelling on the train should note that it returns to Normanton on a Thursday thus making an overnight stay at the historic Croydon Hotel a necessity. The Gulflander also makes a two-hour 'tea and damper' trip on Saturday mornings between mid-September and mid-June.
The Rodeo started on Friday,we had a courtesy bus pick us up and took us in to town (even gave us a tour and history of the town - we found out later this was in fact the Mayor of the town !!!) for the International Themed Parade,we were dropped off at the pub what a spot to start and finish.
Saturday we attended the rodeo it was a lot of fun,they had a lot of different events,one was called the stock mans challenge they had too, 1: Roll a bale of hay,2:Set up portable panels to form a box around the bale,3:Saddle up and ridea horse to the other end of the yard,4:eat a cold pie and drink a warm beer,it was funny to watch.They also had team roping,Steer wrestling,Mutton Busting,World title Wild Cow Milking and heaps more.With the wild Cow milking they had to catch a cow with a rope(3 people),drag it over a certain line and than milk it getting a certain amount into a cup and then running the jug of milk to the finishing line. Saturday night they had music until 2am,we were actually tired and went to bed early(its a hard life being out in the country).
Sunday 26/06/11 We had a great breakfast with Ivan supplying the bacon(thanks Ivan),bacon,eggs,mushroom and toast great start to the day.Rodeo began again with a few sore heads and a broken arm,(one boy fell off a sheep broke his arm and he told us he bought the sheep at the auction and was taking it home to have it on his dinner plate).They had the Poddy Dodging Challenge,they had a team of three people to catch a Poddy calf,get the poddy down to the ground onto its side, and brand the poddy with a paint brand, was fun to watch as the poddys where not co-operating.To top the day they had a Greasy Pig Chase for the kids,they let a pig go and what ever child caught it, got to keep it.They really put a lot into all their events and we found out it was all arranged with only 2 months notice !!!!
We had a choc dipped ice cream today from Mr Whippy it was so good,can't remember the last time we had an ice cream like that.So as you can see we have had a good time at the Rodeo,eaten well,Al and Ivan are off fishing,(they tell me to have a back up plan for tea).I have confidence tonight they will return with fish so I have only prepared veggies,we are heading for Georgetown tomorrow and will stay there a couple of nights.