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Ann Britton Outback Photography

Flood Dust Ice

Flood 29th March, Dust 30th March, Ice 1st April, no April Fool joke

Just before 7pm Thursday 28th March the Burke Bridge at Boulia started to go under, by flood water.

We had known at Goodwood, for a few days, we were in for a good flood. We had received 87mm of rain over the 26th and 27th of March, but further north had received falls of over 100mm up to and above 200mm. This was the signs of a good flood, especially since there was or had been water in the system in February.
People in the channels get excited and happy, for a good flood. The word flood doesn’t always mean a negative thing, depends on where you live and the intensity of the flood.

I must state that a couple of properties (where the living area is: buildings, vehicles, homes, quarters ) were inundated with water, during this flood. One right at the top of our Burke system and another on the Georgina River system. I sincerely hope these places have received help and the benefits in the future shadow the negative. It definitely wouldn’t be the nicest of experiences.

We are able to talk to people up (north) the Burke River System to find out what the river is doing at their place. It peaked at one property, further north, at 11am that is usually 10-12 hours away re the time it will peak at ours. So we knew the water would peak at ours during the middle of the night. We also had to allow for there being feed (grass) in the creeks from the flood that happened at the beginning of February, which would slow the water down. Every flood is different, and #BossMan has his adult life and childhood memories full of experience. He predicted from news from the north, days before, the Burke Bridge at town would go under and it did.
The buzz in the town of Boulia when water is coming is just so glorious to read and watch via social media and text, emails. Even if surrounded by water, like a few are in town and at the racecourse reserve, no one complains and the positive vibe is strong. A flowing full river makes everyone happy in town and the excitement of watching it rise is a must watch for all the townsfolk.

You can see the lagoon in the background on the right of this photo I took in the afternoon of the 28 March. I said that the ground in front of me would be full of water, on #BossMan’s prediction. The fellows were busy cleaning out and preparing the shed to the left for maybe 50cm of water through it.

This photo was taken on the 28th too, showing the lagoon in the background amongst the tree, our house is behind me. I said that during the night the water would make its way out of the lagoon, as the northern flood water made its way to us. and the lagoon would swell through the cattle yard up to our front lawn.

3.14am I took this photo on the 29 March, there wasn’t much of a moon but the light from it made it seem like daylight and the mirror reflections had me grabbing #BadBoy (D810 Nikon) tripod and cable release for time exposure captures. So pleased with how the photos turned out.
4.30am it peaked at Goodwood.

The stars still shone even with the moonshine. I love reflections at the best of times. But to capture reflections at 3 in the morning, that may happen once every 10 years at my front door was truly a happy buzz of challenging to get it right.
Mirror image, even the items leaning on the long shed. There is an old broken metre marker on the long shed eastern frame, this flood reached to 0.3m.
Seems like daylight, not 3am in the morning, moonlit, stars, coolibah, cattle yards, Walshies old quarters and flood water.
#BossMan couldn’t sleep during the night, and checked the flood water every hour (most likely more often) it hadn’t moved from the pigsty, halfway between the lagoon and Walshie’s quarters up until midnight, then it started coming rather fast. So the earlier prediction from the property up north was nearly spot on.
It isn’t a very steep graduation of land from the lagoon to the front of our house, and it is at a guess, maybe 200m in length, but since the land is so flat, it spreads out so much. The current of the water running through the cattle yard would have been that strong you would find it hard to stand up. Where there was hardly any current at the front of the house until the water was receding.

If you didn’t realise by now, I have a bit of a “thing” for frogs. At Christmas time, which also is my birthday time, one of my old Governessing bosses and friend gave me this set of three frogs. I named them the Gumboot Family, siblings, William, Lady and Daisy.
I hadn’t used them for any antics for a while, so I thought it was about time that I did. I think they are amazed by the water. Daisy holding onto the back of the chair not to fall off. Lady holding onto Williams’ legs so he can get a better look over the edge of the chair.
You can see the line of the coolibahs, showing where the water got up to.

Junior thought #BossMan trying to fish was a great game. Please note, there is no hook at the end of the line, just a sinker which #BossMan made sure #Junior didn’t catch.

Junior knew there was something to find under the water, so he had a look, this cracked me up.

A great game was had by both of them.

When #BossMan felt he couldn’t be quick enough to stop #Junior from catching the sinker, he stopped the game.

The Boulia Shire Council works manager Harin Karra asked Rick to pretend he was fishing in the flood water. So Rick decided to wear his Aussie shorts and a loud Hawaiian shirt. #Junior thought this was going to be a great game. So the fun took place before the photo of Rick fishing could take place.
This photo made the front page of The Star paper on the 4th April 2019
I had a little trouble with the misty cloud drifting over that seemed to contain scotch mist. I put Dame Drone up once and couldn’t really see a thing. The Drone doesn’t like too much wind, so I put this collection together for a YouTube Goodwood Flood 29 March 2019 Iphone Drone

When the misty cloud cleared I was able to take Dame Drone up and show the amount of water from Goodwood to town. YouTube Water from Goodwood to Boulia 5km 29 March 2019 

Thanks to Min Min Encounter and Boulia Visitor Information Centre for taking these photos outside and around the Boulia Riverside Roadhouse on the 29th March.

There would have been water from the front of the roadhouse to the front of Goodwood house.
Amazing hey?
The Burke River out of its banks and in front of the Roadhouse in Boulia. That gap in the trees is the road out of town, to the caravan park across the other side of the bridge. Those trees in the background are the other side of the bridge. This is also the road you take to get to Goodwood.  The Kennedy Development Road, that takes you to Winton 360kms away. It goes over the Sandy Channel, Goodwood Swamp, 5 Mile and 9 Mile Channels, the Hamilton Channels, the Middleton Channels, the Diamantina River, the Wokingham all before it gets to Winton. All these water systems heading south and part of the Lake Eyre Basin.


Amazing to think that 24hours before this photo was taken the lagoon was full but not flooded enough to join up with the Sandy Channel that is basically part of the Burke River, but they were joined as well.


I took 19 photos with Dame Drone when I took her up after sunset and it was hard to pick which to keep. But again, it may be ten years till I get this opportunity again, if ever, so I just kept what I thought were the best at different levels.


The 5mile channel water can be seen to the east. The weaners that are in the house yard can be seen behind the windmill.


Water. Lots of things can go without a feed for a while, but when water is actually what you feed off of, in this marginal country, it still amazes me how these trees survive. People need to realise why there aren’t that many trees out on our naturally treeless plains or flats. Yes we may get a flood every few years and these trees will get a drink, but until then they have to survive without rain even, for long periods.


The beauty of Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me, and now I have Dame Drone I have a whole new perspective of how amazing her beauty and truly loving this new view.



This photo was taken at about 90m. There is water way out in the background, which would be the Burke River spread out below town.

On the 29 I took a video in the Horse Paddock to show the lagoon flooded into the Horse Paddock. There was a thick cloud that drifted over regularly that was hindering me putting Dame Drone up, it was like a scotch mist coming over randomly, keeping everything wet and not allowing the sun to come out.

The morning of the 30th #BossMan said to me there is a dust haze coming, I think part of me didn’t want to believe him and questioned: “it would be a fog wouldn’t it?”
Nikminit Ryan texts and says “dust haze coming”
The strong southerly that came with it just blew strong all day and the dust haze got thicker as the day progressed.
So the last two photos are the same spot, just a day apart. The second showing that the flood water has receded and the dust haze filling the air.
Mother Nature has a very warped sense of humour at times, but we can’t complain, as the dust haze could have hit when it was 45 in the shade, and it didn’t look like rain, let alone the rain and flood we had just received, believe me, I know that feeling. Heat, dust, no cloud but you never give up hope, you just have to be patient.
I think this dust and strong wind was Mother Nature’s way of having a no-fly day. We can’t really complain about the flies either cause it means we have feed ( grass and herbage for the cattle and native animals). But there are 1000s of them and hundreds can be on you at once, fair dinkum.

1 April 2019 10 degrees and the 50mm that Tojo measured at Horn Hill at Clearview on The Outback Way, was frozen in the gauge this morning. We hadn’t been able to get to this rain gauge due to flood water.
From Horn Hill you can see Boulia town, looking to the northeast.

My next blog, I hope to explain the Lake Eyre system, in a bit more detail, as it relates to us in its scheme.


  1. Marginal Country in Lake Eyre Basin – Ann Britton Photography 

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