Category Archives: Darling RIver Run
Contains posts of our road trip in June 2011
Travelled home today from Moree. As promised we, no I mean me (Leanne declined) attended the Moree Hot Springs a bit after 7am this morning for an early dip. It was pretty cold in the morning but the water was 37d with a pleasant minerally nose. There were a few hardy characters there before me enjoying the ambience of the pool and the environs. The pool is a bit like a half-size olympic pool, the pool deck surrounded by change booths and partially covered by a roof. So the steam rises through the early morning mist towards the heavens and the blue sky slowly emerges dimming the effect of the spotlights.After about 45m I withdrew my body from the pool feeling a bit like a slow cooked prawn. It is a great opportunity for bathers to chat about life whilst ‘taking the waters’. The pool complex is undrgoing a revamp, last done in the mid 70s, and will be great place to revisit in the future. I returned to the Burke &Wills for breakfast. There are apparantly other things to do in Moree. Attached is a pic of the original bore still flowing a hundred years on.
This is the last post from the Darling River Run. see you later!
Here we are in the heart of cotton country and also the romantic coal seam gas drilling industry. Cobar was/is a vibrant community no doubt benefiting from the various mining projects under way in the region, likewise it seems Moree is allthego. Its been a big year for cotton and the paddocks are planted out for the next crop. Little bit of rain out here tonight but nothing like what the coastal regions have got it seems. An error in yesterday’s blog entry has been brought to my attention by the lady of the van. It seems the pink cockatoos I mentioned are actually galahs, the cockatoos are apparently rare and an endangered species. You can’t believe everything you read in a blog.
Today we completed a loop of the Darling River Run passing through Bourke on the way to Moree. Nothing much seemed to have changed in Bourke since our stop there two weeks ago. Bourke & Wills though have set up a new motel in Moree, these guys get around, where we are staying tonight.
Tomorrow morning at about 6.30 we are off to the thermal springs here in Moree for an early morning dip, water temperature will be about 37d unfortunately on the edge of the pool it will be about 3d. The things you have to do whilst on tour. We will report on the ambience of the pool and water quality in tomorrow’s entry.
Left Hay this morning for Cobar. It is a long drive across the Hay plain, dead flat and pretty straight. Country is looking in good shape, it is a very red soil all the way to Cobar. An overcast sky for much of the way today with occasional bursts of sun and pink cockatoos amongst the newly planted paddocks. Finally arrived in Cobar and a pepperoni pizza with a little glass of red.
Left Wentworth this morning and have driven through to Hay on the way home. Still cold down this way but we turn north tomorrow heading for our next stop at Cobar.
Last night for us here in Wentworth and starting to get known at the Wentworth Services Club, off there tonight for the Sunday roast dinner special. The last couple of days we have spent charging around town seeing all things that you have to see. Leanne likes ticking places off the ‘Historical tour mud maps’ as we see them, it’s a bit like a shopping list I suppose. Some of the places are very interesting others leave you wondering why it’s on the list eg the old rubbish tip at Wentworth is a highlight on a run around a lagoon/wet land drive, successful rehab I suppose.
The Darling River Run ends here in Wentworth at the junction of the Darling and Murray rivers. The Darling is a muddy river, not brown like the Brisbane River but a milky clay like colour. The Murray is less muddy and has a clearer bluer like colour. Where they meet there is a clear line between the river flows before they commingle at the weir and lock below the junction.Flood waters are still gushing over the rim of the weir on their way to the sea.
We have spent 13 nights on the Run, starting in Bourke and ending at Wentworth, 8 of which were enjoyed in the van at chilly camping grounds, Station stays and also at Mungo NP; the other 5 in motels. The trip home will be a motel run up the Kidman
Way to Burke and then through to Brisbane.
Well it was chilly at Mungo. No internet there so we were off air for a couple of days. Lucky I found some port on the way at Pooncarie to help fill in the evening under the stars awaiting the eclipse at 5am. Bit of a fizzer for an eclipse but there has been a reasonable sunrise and moonrise/ sunset to compensate. Mungo is an amazing place. We set the van up in the camping ground in a great little location a respectful distance from the hot showers, these being about 2k up the road. It’s not a bad walk except when you get back to the camp you need a hot shower, the trouble is they are 2k up the road. So I gave the showers a miss for a couple of days preferring to soldier on like the old explorers in bygone days. Leanne wasn’t too impressed with this, giving the showers a miss, not the 2 k walk. We have changed arrangements in the van; she has moved to the top bunk because there is a better view from there and I have gone to the bottom bunk because you can get out quicker.
Mungo is a place one could come for a longer stay there is a lot to see, we stopped in at the Mungo Lodge and this is the place to stay if you like creature comforts. May come back here one day. It is hard to imagine that the lake was covered to a depth of about 8 metres 20,000 years ago and is now dry and been so for 10,000 years or so, who’s counting. Global warming is an interesting concept indeed!
Left Mungo this morning and arrived at Wentworth, treated ourselves to a warm bed at a motel right on the banks of the Darling not far from where it joins the Murray River, we will have a look tomorrow.
Arrived here at Bindara Station yesterday.It is on the western side of the Darling down the river from Menindee about half the way to Wentworth. A great spot and we are now looking at our second night camping out here right beside the river on a nice grassy patch with the sun slowing submerging into the landscape. The fire is going nicely and keeps the toes warm before we crawl into the van for another blissful night. We are out of port! Went for a stroll along the river today, various wildflowers in bloom along the river bank, never seems the same it twists and turns; the banks are quite steep here 7 or 8 metres or so down to the water. A lot of red river gum seedlings have emerged from the levee banks around the camp site, in forty or fifty years they will rival the grand old trees along the banks.
We head off tomorrow for Mungo National Park, via Pooncarie. It is about 250k and we will be up early.
Today we rambled over the tracks in Kinchega National Park which sits just outside Menindee along the Darling River and beside the Menindee Lakes system. The lakes are very high after the flood and many of the tracks are closed as they are still covered with water. Birds everywhere and the bush is very green, with some flowers making early appearances. Inspected the old woolshed here for a while before having some bbq snags for lunch beside the lakes. Pretty chilly day and another cold night coming up, skies are a clear deep blue which really contrasts with the red soils and green plants. We head off tomorrow for a couple of nights on a farm stay a little further downstream. Have attached a photo showing our sleeping accommodation which is very cosy, Russell has the top bunk and Leanne the more enticing lower level accommodation. There is supposedly room for a third person in here, but I’m not quite sure where she would fit in, at a squeeze she would probably fit into the top bunk ok.
We have left Wilcannia and arrived at Menindee, it is still cold so we are in a friendly motel for the night. This super cold weather is really playing havoc with the plans, tonight we would have been out in the scrub in Kinchega National Park under the stars again and just loving it. In leaving Wilcannia we farewelled Wayne and the boys on the road as we left town. What a great time of remembering the old days out west!
The drive down the river was uneventful, plenty of sheep and cattle, a few kangaroos but no goats! Lots of water and some great views of the Menindee lakes brimful of water after the recent floods.
Had dinner in one of the local hotels and guess what… Wills was there at the bar, Burke was at the other end looking for a drink. Couldn’t see Kate anywhere though. It was a busy town, because they were both back at the motel……….The Burke & Wills , Menindee. There you are………. a conundrum…….and no Kate!
Allthego tomorrow in Menindee.
Left Trilby in a frozen state with the temperature at 0.4C in the caravan next door, in our little van it was more like 4 below. Leanne hasn’t been so cold for a long time, I just took it on the chin. All the Station dogs were frozen to the trees. We were late getting away thawing out in the morning sun. Leanne decreed that it was to be a night in a motel, I didn’t disagree. Had a steak sandwich at the Tilpa hotel and signed our names on the pub wall along with every other person who had passed by over the last however many years. The road from Tilpa to Wilcannia was closed due to flood impacts so we had to go the long way round out towards Cobar and then cut back to Wilcannia, where we arrived around 5pm and booked into the local. Met up with Wayne our long-lost friend who works with RTA out of Broken Hill. The three of us enjoyed a chinese dinner at the Bowling Club and reminisced about the past and all the old times in Wilcannia and other parts of NSW.