Ross River Fire

On my second trip to Australia, I stayed at a wonderful “resort” in the Red Center, in the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges. (The quotes around “resort” are because this is far from what that word might conjure in other locales — this place is a bit rustic, though in my case, rustic was what I was hoping for.) Ross River Resort offered me a cabin not too far from the original, historic homestead, and I spent three remarkable days, hiking around the fabulous rock formations, enjoying the bird life, learning about the area’s history–simply perfect. At least one bird photo (Galahs) that I’ve posted previously is from Ross River, as is the “Cabin ‘roo” I wrote about some time ago–with a photo of the large kangaroo that was waiting on my cabin doorstep when I returned from a hike one day–in case you want to see anything from the resort that was. It was a memorable location, and I’d always hoped to get back.

However, in January of this year, brush fires in the region swept through the area, consuming the cabins, camp grounds, and other facilities at Ross River. The original homestead appears to have survived, but the property is ruined, from the standpoint of continuing as a resort. I am hoping they rebuild, as it was such a splendid place to experience the solitude of the Outback — without having it be too much solitude. (That is, spend the days wandering alone in the wilderness, but have a few folks around the fire in the evening with whom one can recount the day’s adventures.)

The thing that makes it a bit more dramatic is that firefighters thought they’d saved the resort. The fire had been stopped. It had rained. But then the wind picked up, and suddenly, the fire was roaring again.

For more details on the fire, here’s an article from the Australia Broadcasting Company: Outback Resort Devastated By Fire.

Really sorry to lose this place. Hope they stage a comeback.



Filed under Australia, Travel

2 responses to “Ross River Fire

  1. Helen

    Thanks for your nice comments but those concerning the bushfires are far from accurate. yes, we did have a bush fire in January 2013 however it only effected the campground area buildings which have now been rebuilt and all is open as usual with lots of visitors enjoying the shady surrounds. The Homestead and cabins were not effected at all and at no time has the Resort been closed. With the rebuilding we have a new conference centre and new stage. Wide Open Spaces was still held here as usual attracting around 3000 people over a long weekend. Please check us out on Trip Advisor to see that we are still open and that guests are still enjoying the warm hospitaily we offer.

    • Thanks for the update, Helen. Since I’m not in Australia, I had to rely on Australian newspaper reports. Glad to hear that they got it wrong — because I loved Ross River Homestead. Perfect place to enjoy the wonder of that region.

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