This morning we headed down to the bakery to grab some breakfast and then off to explore Bourke.
Firstly we went to the Bourke Wharf, the Port O' Bourke and the location of the old Bourke wharves. A three story replica wharf now stands just slightly down stream form the originals. We also saw the Old Crossley Engine which is just near the carpark to the wharf.
Next was the lock at the Bourke Weir. This was built in 1897 and was the first built on a river anywhere along the Murray or Darling River systems. This lock and weir is also apparently the only one of its kind built on the Darling River.
We then headed off to see the PV Jandra. The PV Jandra is a replica of the original 1894 steam paddleboat that pulled a barge behind as it went from station to station along the Darling River to collect wool bales. This replica was built locally by the Mansell family in 2000.
Our final visit was to the Bourke Cemetery. This is the resting-place for 1991 Australian of the Year Professor Fred Hollows. The cemetery also has several graves of Afghans associated with the camel trade that ceased in the 1920's.
We had visited Fred's grave on our last visit to Bourke and we wanted to take everyone else there to view it aswell as it is such a beautiful place. Fred Hollows was a world renowned eye doctor helping people in Australia and overseas, in particular in outback areas. Fred was 63 when he died at his home in Randwick on 10.02.1993. After an official state funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, he was buried, according to his wishes, in the red dirt of Bourke.
Fred's grave is surrounded by native trees and boulders from nearby Mt Oxley are laid out in the shape of an eye – part of a sculpture created by local Indigenous artists, international sculptors and Bourke residents that includes a carved standing stone transported from Wilcannia.
Fred was buried with his glasses, a bottle of whisky, letters from some of his children, sawdust from his workshop, his pipe and a tin of tobacco. His coffin was draped with a pall that was hand painted by the people of Enngonia.
The notice board at the grave states that "the sculpture captures Fred’s love of the outdoors and climbing, and its polished surface brings to mind the tiny intraocular lenses that Fred was so determined to bring to the developing world. The Hollows family is happy for visitors to touch and feel the rock, to climb on it or sit peacefully and contemplate life."
The plaque states "The key he used to undo locks was vision for the poor". Such an amazing place and such a beautiful tribute and setting for a loved man who did so much for so many people.