OUT HERE, the simple action of opening a door and getting into a vehicle results in at least 50 (per person!) irritating, buzzy, pesky, small black bush flies buzzing against the windows.
Thankfully, we’d knocked off for the day and were able to leave the billions of flies behind double flyscreen doors and find peace at the bar of the Cameron Corner Store, where publican Fenn Miller agreed the flies on this mid-autumn day were the worst he’d ever seen.
With wife Cheryl, Fenn has been out here – where New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia meet – for most of the past decade. It’s an isolated but increasingly popular place. Up the road is Innamincka and down the road is Tibooburra, so it’s on a busy tourist circuit, especially during the time of the Birdsville Races in mid-winter.
As well as 4WDers, the Cameron Corner Store hosts club tours – everything from postie bikes to vintage Dodges and World War II military vehicles – and charity rallytype events. You can even play a game of golf. Things slow down a little in October due to the oppressive heat, but they pick up again in late March when many Victorians begin to escape the dreaded, long winter months.
Powered and unpowered campsites are located out the back of the store, as well as a simple camp kitchen, and there are rooms available for those who need a little more comfort for a night or two. There’s good grub available, too, if you need a break from cooking.
As Fenn told us, the growing popularity of 4WD touring means some people are ill-equipped and ill-prepared for travel. “We’ll get called out to a stranded vehicle and people will say, ‘oh, but it shouldn’t be stuck, I had it in 4WD,’ but they don’t know about the freewheeling hubs,” he said.
Unfortunately, there’s a growing number of other morons, too. “After rain, they come out here looking for mud,” Cheryl said. “They seem to think no-one else ever uses these roads, or that no-one has to maintain them. Often, Fenn goes out to check the fences (the Corner Country Store is adjacent to the dingo fence) to find piles of rubbish and campfires still burning.
“We’ve even had our tyre pressure gauge and some little solar garden lights stolen from just out the front. It’s pretty frustrating.”
Despite the minor setbacks and occasional hardships, Fenn and Cheryl love the place, the pace and the people. And for everyone who waltzes up to the bar to exclaim: ‘Wow, you’re a long way from anywhere out here, aren’t you?!’ Fenn delivers a quick response with a wink and a grin: “Not really… we’re just around The Corner!
PHONE: (08) 8091 3872
BEERS: More than 20 varieties of bottled beers – plus ciders.
FOOD: Breakfast (from 8am): Continental, bacon and eggs, etc. Lunch: Sandwiches and burgers. Dinner: Steaks, chicken and fish. (“We’re trying to get camel on the menu!” Fenn said). Large groups by arrangement.
GROCERIES: A few basics like milk, bread and meat.
FUEL: Petrol and diesel. No PULP or LPG.
ACCOMMODATION: Single, double and family cabins/dongas.
CAMPSITES: Powered: $35 per vehicle. Unpowered: $25 per vehicle. Bush camp: $10 per vehicle (inc. $5 donation to Royal Flying Doctor). Male and female toilets and showers.
CAMP KITCHEN: Fire pit with hotplate/billy post. Gas hotplates and sink with potable bore water.
WHAT WE RECKON: Great place! Thank goodness for those double flyscreen doors.