Eulo is now one of the places on the Natural Sciences trek through south-western Queensland. That takes in places that are somehow significant for their nature – geology, water, flora and fauna, etc. Eulo has mud springs. It also has mud baths.
Things have changed a bit in Eulo since Doc and I were here a couple of years ago. As much as things can in a town of 50 people (and 1500 lizards, as the Welcome to Eulo sign says).
The mud springs themselves are now much better signposted, with information about what they are, how they formed, and their cultural and geological significance. Yet, despite the signposting it seems that the people from the half dozen cars that pulled up after us were expecting to see something like Rotorua.
“Well, where are they?” they kept asking each other.
The dried mud and small pools of artesian water didn’t impress them at all.
Another change is that Nan and Ian have built a new room at their mud baths. This one is the Sunset Room, so called because you can lie in your bath and watch the sunset through the gum trees.
Because I’ve been following the building of the new room on facebook (I love social media) Nan recognized me when I arrived and showed us the new room. 4 individual baths with the old tree in the middle for hot bathwater. On one side is the open fire to keep you warm, and on the other is a curved shower in the corner. Just outside the window is a beautiful, green billabong and the view to the sunset.
It is beautiful. Amazingly, and fortuitously, nobody was booked in for that night, so I promptly booked myself in. Helen begged off, as she doesn’t like mud. No amount of explanations from Nan that the bath is more like milk than mud would persuade her, so I had the room all to myself.
I arrived back at 5.30 and Nan was just filling the bath with hot water for me. The water comes from the artesian basin, and the mud is also artesian from not far south. There was a glass of date wine and a plate of biscuits & cheese with dates from Nan & Ian’s own trees. Nan left me to it and said she be back in half an hour or so to check that everything was ok.
I spent the first 10 minutes hopping in and out of the bath as I took photos, but then I relaxed and watched the sunset as I sipped my wine. Even though it gets cold out here as soon as the sun goes down I was warm sitting in the hot bath, and the fire in the corner somehow kept the room warm even though there is no roof.
True to her word, Nan came back just after 6 to see if I was ok. “Would you like another glass of wine?” she offered. How could I refuse? After another 15 minutes or so I hopped out and covered myself with the exfoliating mud supplied, and stood by the fire as it dried. Then it was back into the bath to watch the last, dying flash of bright orange from the sun. Like the sun I was ready to go to sleep in the still warm, milky water.
Once the sun was down I turned around in the bath and watched the stars appear in the night sky. Just on my right, over the roof of the shower, was the southern cross growing brighter as I watched. Magic!
Finally, reluctantly, I dragged myself out of the bath to shower off and get dressed. Still Nan had a surprise for me. The light in the shower is installed above the shower head, and shines through the water as it rains down on you. It was like showering in a fairy grotto.
All followed by moisturizing with Nan’s date moisturiser. All up, it was the first time for weeks my skin didn’t feel dry.
And then I heard a kookaburra!
Disclaimer: Nan and Ian have not paid me to write this article, and I paid for my bath and all the products I bought from them. I am writing this purely and simply because I enjoyed the experience so much and can’t recommend it highly enough.