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1500 Fifteen Hundred down the Murranji

Lunney, Bob

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ISBN 10: 1863331417 / ISBN 13: 9781863331418
Published by Crawford House, Bathurst, 1998
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Arete Books (Melbourne, VIC, Australia)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: 1500 Fifteen Hundred down the Murranji

Publisher: Crawford House, Bathurst

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Very Good

About this title


This is the true story of Bob Lunney, who, as a seventeen-year-old, joined a droving team on one of the last epic long-distance cattle drives in Australia, when road-trains were beginning to make such treks obsolete. The story is drawn from notes scribbled in an old exercise book during the trip. The tale begins at Elliot, a store, police station and scattering of houses about 400 miles south of Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia. Lunney was on his way to Tennant Creek from Darwin, having been lured by the prospect of big money in the goldmines. He had hoped to save enough money in a few months to pay for his training as a pilot. But when the bus on which he was travelling stopped for a meal break, he met Les and Sandy Little. The Little brothers were drovers on their way up the Murranji Track to 'Willeroo Station', 299 miles north-east of Elliot. There they would pick up cattle to be driven to Queensland. Convinced by the Littles that the wild lifestyle of the Tennant Creek miners would separate him from his money faster than he could earn it, and inspired by the epic film The Overlanders, starring Chips Rafferty, the starry-eyed Lunney impulsively agreed to join the brothers. He was to find that life as a drover was a lot less comfortable and romantic than watching a movie. What followed was a grinding round trip of 920 miles, 290 miles from Elliot to 'Willeroo' up the Murranji, then 630 miles back down the track and across to 'Rocklands', near Camooweal, Queensland. The cattle averaged only 8 miles a day for the journey, at only 6 miles a day during the first half. Lunney learnt within two days that he was neither the horseman nor the fighter that he thought he was, and the journey became a rite of passage, during which he grew up through bitter experience.

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