Is there something in an Aussie’s DNA that sends him in search of water? Is it the pull of the moon, the long days in a dry country, or just the need to celebrate a watery life with friends and family?
On the roads they are on the move. 4WDs towing tinnies all headed to the coast or the dams; tinnies with fishing lines wobbling in the draft. Muddy Landcruisers, trays packed with all things camping but all carrying the ubiquitous swags and eskies, and topped with a canoe or two.
At the bottleshop in Goondiwindi a troupe of flash Holden and Ford V8 utes line up, decorated with stickers proclaiming a love of R.M Williams, Winchester and Bundaberg Rum. Their owners, dressed down for the holidays in thongs, shorts, blue singlets and black hats, are pushing aside the swags and emptying the hotel of beer and bundy. They are enroute to a B&S and it is probable that the only water they will find will be the melted ice at the bottom of the eskies.
At Kwiambal the Macintyre Falls roar and the Severn River swirls and boils through granite rock, scouring spa baths. On the Lemon Tree campground squeals pierce the air as tiny commandos take to each other with water pistols. Larger commandos too.
In a grubby waterhole on Rocky Springs Bo tows children around, the kids clutching at his tail – a Bo Tow. Back at the house he leaps into a big plastic tub – his private pool.
It may be February but in Moree the tourists still brew in the hot pools as the cicadas scream incessantly; 40o air temperature; 38o in the baths.
Cricket dominates the air waves, hot water comes out of both taps, watermelon sales skyrocket, and the tennis players wonder why they have come here at this time of year.
This is summer in Australia.
This is when we head to water.