In the tracks of Burke & Wills

SPOTS of rain start dropping from the leaden skies as our 4WD comes to a halt at Breakfast Creek. 

We are on the road to the legendary Dig Tree of Burke and Wills in southwest Queensland.

There is a mere 2 km to go and we are confronted with an obstacle that we cannot drive through. Swollen from the record flooding, this normally dry waterhole now covers 10 m of the track with deep muddy water. 

The drive from Melbourne has taken us through sticky quagmires, along treacherously slippery mud tracks and through deep, powdery sand. Our destination seems so close, yet so far. There is no question of turning back, so we strip off and prepare to wade through the river. If Burke and Wills could get there, so will we – through hell or, literally, high water.

We take tentative steps through the water and discover the bottom seems to be silt, with no risk of slippage. Suddenly, a third of the way across, I am chest deep and ready to