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History Queensland - Issue 7History Queensland - Issue 7

Fifteen Hundred Down the Murranji

Fifteen Hundred Down the Murranji

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By Bob Lunney

In 1956, Bob Lunney, then 17 years 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 Elliott - a store, a police station and a scattering of houses about 400 miles south of Darwin.
What followed was a grinding round trip of 920 miles; 290 miles from Elliott to "Willeroo" up the Murrunji, then 630 miles back down the track and across to "Rocklands", near Camooweal, Queensland.
At the age of 14, having passed his Intermediate Certificate, Bob Lunney drove a truck to Darwin. For the next 6 years he worked on cattle and sheep stations and in mines, drove road trains, shot crocodiles and buffaloes and caught wild pigs on the South Aligator River, now Kakadu.

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