All or Nothing

Western Queensland Road Trip #18 St George

After seeing seeing little more than puddles in several outback rivers, the broad expanse of the Balonne River at St George was an unexpected surprise. Tall river gums lined the river banks and the almost cloudless sky above was reflected in the water flowing slowly towards the weir.

With the sun nearing the horizon we set off along the Riverbank Walkway, a two kilometre track on the town side of the river. As the shadows lengthened and the tree trunks glowed in the light of early evening, a little cruise boat carrying tourists passed by.

There were plenty of locals enjoying the river too, with cyclists, walkers and even two horseback riders on the track. We mentioned our surprise at the volume of water in the river to a lady walking her dog and she explained. “The dam wall upstream needs repairs so all the water has been let out of Lake Kajarabie into the river. It’s being held back by the weir, but the situation is very worrying. This is all the water we have. If it runs out, there is no more.”

Even before the sun had set over the water the moon rose into the clear night sky. We stayed until it was almost dark, taking in the beauty of the river and the bush.

The next day we drove out to Beardmore Dam to see for ourselves. That lady was right. The dam wall, which usually holds back up to 81 000 mega-litres of water, could clearly be seen and the lake was as dry as those rivers we’d seen elsewhere.

Like the people of St George, we could only hope that rain would fall again to replenish the river and the lake.

Post Script: After recent heavy rain in the St George area, Beardmore Dam filled in less than two weeks and is now at 99.98% capacity. The Balonne River broke its banks, reaching a peak of more than 12 metres but no homes in St George were inundated.

Join Jo for more Monday Walks

59 thoughts on “All or Nothing

  1. She’s capricious is Mother Nature these days! Whose fault it is, I don’t know, but I do know I enjoyed our stroll. That 5th photo is absolutely gorgeous. I waved to the boat people. Not sure if they waved back? 🙂 🙂 Many thanks for being with me, Carol.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed coming along with me Jo. We did that cruise two days later and if it was anything like our day those people were too busy enjoying the views and the wildlife to notice people waving. 😀


  2. Lovely views. So did the dam get repaired then before the rains came? We do seem to be living in precarious times where rainfall is concerned: too much, too little, in the wrong places…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photos across calm waters. Just beautiful. It’s fortunate the dam was repaired before the rain, and even more fortunate that the rains came at all!

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. Such a beautiful river and trees. So pleased to read at the end about the rain and the river filling up. Yes, water shortages are becoming very real in so many parts of the world. Interestingly bamboo planted along the rivers edge is a great way of preserving what water there is in river systems as it stores it in it’s culms. One of your last pictures I think has eucalyptus trees in it if it I am not mistaken? I love those… their smell and beautifully textured and colored trunks.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great news that the rains eventually came, we’ve had nothing but rain for weeks and weeks here in England but hopefully that’s easing off now. Love all of your wonderful lake photos especially the sunset ones. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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