WGS84 24° 53′ 0″ S, 144° 5′ 0″ E
The town has a population of 12 with 117 people living in the surrounding area.
There is 99 kms to Jundah and we turned off towards the Retreat, which was situated in a dusty corner with an overhead arch saying ‘The Retreat’, and then another 75 kms of dusty road to Yaraka which we got to at 6.30pm. They parked the Road trains at the oval just out of town. I started walking to town to see what food there was, knowing there was nothing now in the kitchen. Alex picked me up in the Ute. The shop was closed but a lady in the opposite house said she runs the shop, and that she would call Tomo to open the hotel for us for dinner.
The Pub was delightful. It was a real old country hotel with the friendliest Barman in the outback. He was very welcoming, said they would cook anything we wished to have, and also offered me a room for $30 which I promptly took and paid for.
I went back and told the team that and they were ready to go to the pub. I opened my donga room door to find my room with a good inch of brown dust and everything on the ground. I opened up the dusty bag, collected a top and shorts and a toiletries bag and went with them back to the Hotel where I stayed the night.
The meal was first class cooked by the owner’s daughter. We had seafood, a generous helping of fresh salad with cheese, carrot and pineapple and beetroot, and a huge helping of chips. The guys really enjoyed their meals. It was a wonderful feed. I had a coffee and went to bed. The team stayed here drinking until almost midnight.
There is no internet or phone connection in the town. I would live here except for this fact. Rental is cheap and there is a house available. The council put an aerial on top of Mt Slocombe, 12 kms from the town to provide phone coverage. Here there is 4 band service for the phone but it does not reach the town.
The town has a shop, a hotel, a police station and a service station for petrol. Across the road from the hotel on a stretch of grass, are some old vehicles and machinery all painted black like an outdoor Museum. The entrance to the town boasts an attractive centre feature with flowers and a huge rock. It is a very pleasant and friendly place a long way from everywhere. They go shopping at Blackall which is 276 kms away along some very dusty roads.
The next day we drove 12 kms to the turnoff and another 20 kms along a newly graded road to Bono Vista, the next location for the next job.
The small township of Yaraka is situated 100 kilometres away from Isisford, the backdrop of the Grey Range to the open Mitchell grass plains which have long been regarded as some of the best grazing country in Australia.
Yaraka is a small but attractive town with most services available for travellers. Take a camera and capture the myriad of colours at sunset, the local wildlife or, if you’re especially lucky, the rising of a new moon from behind the ranges that seem to pop up from nowhere. Friendly locals will love to have a chat about the historical attributes of Yaraka.