AT THE POINT
Point pictures and GPS reading
Point information: Tony O'Brien and additional information (local knowledge) Ces Russell, a councillor on the Murweh Shire.
Photographs also by J and M Nowill and additional information by Audrey Johnston.
IN THE DEGREE SQUARE
A few kilometres east of Charleville and on the Warrego Highway is a tiny township named after a town and mountain in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was originally called Sadlier's Waterhole after the owner of nearby Eurella Station (1862), but the earliest official name was Victoria Downs Reserve.
The town's history goes back for more than a hundred years, when it was a stopping place for bullock teams travelling between Charleville and Mitchell for Cobb and Co Coaches.
The town developed near a waterhole, when James Corbett established a hotel and the town's first store in 1878.
Tregole National Park
Tregole National Park lies 11 KM south of Morven. 7500 hctr of the park was set aside to preserve an almost pure stand of Ooline trees listed as valuable because of land clearing for cattle grazing and agriculture. Scrub Myrtles are common with their rough bark and bright green leaves. Although these trees are usually located in rainforests, they are growing happily in the hot dry conditions.
Climate: The closest representative weather station is at Charleville, which is located 87 km south-west of the confluence, and has an elevation of 302 m. The station has been recording data since 1942.
The highest temperature recorded was 46.4°C in January 1973, and the lowest was -5.2°C in June 1951. The greatest rainfall recorded in a year was 1 025.2 mm in 1950, and the lowest was 206.4 mm in 1946. These and other climate statistics for Charleville can be found on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website at, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_044021_All.shtml.
Extremes of Nature: Despite its inland location, since 1906 there have been two cyclones to pass within 50 km of the degree confluence (TC Althea in 1971, and TC Cliff in 1981), and a further 4 have passed within 200 km. Cyclone information for this area and all of Australia can be found at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website, http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/cyclones.cgi.
Cyclone tracks within 200 km of the confluence, 1906 to 2006 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)
Extreme heat is also a serious issue. Records show that Charleville experiences 63 days annually with temperatures over 35°C, although rarely does it reach 40°C or warmer. Such extreme temperatures can cause heat stroke and death if appropriate measures are not taken such as avoiding strenuous physical effort, keeping as cool as possible and drinking lots of water. Heat waves kill more people in Australia than all other natural hazards combined.
The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national Census was 744. The steady decline in this total since the 2001 census is probably due to the downturn in the grazing industry due largely to drought.
At the 2011 census Morven had a population of 144 and Augathella had a population of 329. Both serve their local grazing properties and travellers on the Warrego and Landsborough Highways respectively.
More information to come.
Compilers: Tony O'Brien, Ken Granger, Jo Grant, John and Mary Nowill and Hayley Freemantle
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle