The woman’s words ran through my mind. All be damned who dare enter Yanga Homestead!
On second thought, she may have said, “That’s a lovely place to visit. Lots of history there,” but I can’t remember. It was a long dirt road that led me out of Balranald towards the house. The road winded through brush and rusted metal gates. This was supposed to be a glimpse into historical outback living, but all I could think of was how it would make the perfect setting for the next installment of “The Hills Have Eyes.”
When I arrived at the visitor center, it was closed, and no other cars were parked in the dirt lot. I had come this far, so I decided to continue on. Wooden buildings with metal roofs lined the property, and overgrown grass and brush were everywhere. It was just like stumbling on an abandoned desert ranch in the United States. You know, like they do in horror movies.
I walked through a vine-covered wooden overhang that led to the main yard and kept my eyes low to the ground in case there was a snake. I was a bit on edge about snakes since everyone and their second cousin had warned me about how deady Australian snakes were. I never saw one though, and it was probably just my imagin…
Oh, phhhew. Just a garden hose. Definitely not a snake. Let me just turn towards the house then and….
Yeah, that was definitely a real snake getting some sun on the roof of the house. Later, it decided to slither through the gutter, and I could hear the metal creaking under the snake’s weight. Well, that’s a bit unnerving, but no big deal. I walked under the covered porch and tried several of the doors to the main house. All of them were locked. I peered through the windows, and the house was decorated in period furniture, but it seemed to be abandoned, and I still hadn’t seen another living soul.
In the distance, I could hear a faint voice talking. Oh, that must be a tour group. I followed the sound to one of the buildings with open doors. The inside of the building had exhibits with historical information about the homestead, and the voice was coming from the next room. I quietly entered the room but was surprised to find it empty. The sound was coming from a projector showing a movie of an old man. He talked, with a thick Australian drawl (if you can imagine such a sound), about his time growing up in the area. I continued to walk around the grounds but couldn’t find a soul. Taking a closer look at some of the details of the ranch, I noticed that all of your classic horror movie props were there.
Wait, WTF is that doing up there? Around this time, I saw a sign for the lake. The woman in town had said the lake was beautiful, so I followed the path down. The lake was quite large and there was a flock of birds flying and swimming around in it. It was beautiful in its own way, but also eerie. A sign next to the lake warned of toxic algae, so I kept my distance and retreated back to the house.
Having seen enough, I headed towards the parking lot. I stopped in my tracks when I saw a rusted pick-up truck parked next to my car. An old, toothless man stood in the lot staring at me. “You shouldn’t be here, mate. They won’t like this. They won’t like this one bit.”
Actually, that last part might not have happened. When I returned to my car, there was another car in the lot, and a nice married couple greeted me. They said I shouldn’t worry about the snake, it was probably only a python. Ohhhhh, okay. Only a python. Good old Australia. Never change.