A Travellerspoint blog

Onwards to Bourke


Day 9 July 4. We departed the main Weir Campground near Menindee and returned to thr Menindee/Broken Hill road for 10 km then turned north onto the Darling River Run Western track for 138 km of dirt track towards Wilcannia.
It was a slow but relatively comfortable trip and on the way John and Jan Macklin caught up with us. They had been in a caravan park near Menindee for 3 days.
Just 13km south of Wilcannia a kangaroo leapt out of the scrub in front of Pommy Bob and hit the front right hand headlight breaking it and then hit his right hand driving mirror and smashing it as well.
We drove into Wilcannia and refuelled. Bob phoned his insurance company to obtain instructions and as a result we headed for Cobar so that an auto electrician may be able to make some repairs. We travelled along the Barrier Highway and have camped for the night just 63 km west of Cobar (196km east of Wilcannia).

Day 10 July 5. Pommy Bob left the campsite quite early this morning to race to Cobar to see if he could get some repairs done. We all followed some 1.5 hours later and when we arrived in Cobar we found Bob and saw his temporary repair job. He is hoping that this will be good enough till we get home.
We had morning tea after doing some shopping then headed north towards Bourke. On the way we stopped for lunch near a sign for the Bourke Shire about 86 km south of Bourke.
We finally arrived at Bourke and booked into the Kidman Camp Caravan park for 2 nights. Everyone did a mountain of washing and drying and tonight we are going to have dinner supplied (at a cost) by a bush poet in the park.
The evening meal and the poetry were just great even though the weather was very cold we had campfires going to sit around.

Day 11 July 6. This morning we all decided to do our own thing so first up WE drove to the Back of Bourke Exhibition Centre then into the town of Bourke where we had a look at the replica wharf and the old Crossley Engine on the banks of the darling River.
Next stop was at the Bourke cemetery where we visited the grave of the eye surgeon Fred Hollows; a well known Australian.
We then drove back to the old North Bourke opening bridge. It has been bypassed by a new structure however the old one looks much better.
We drove back through town and out some 8 km to the site of the old lock and weir.
At the weir site there were 3 diesel engine pumping water up from the Darling River into an irrigation channel to supply water for cotton farming.
We came back into town to have lunch and to look at the Crossley Engine running
By this time we had just about had enough for the day so did a little shopping and returned to the van for afternoon tea and a relax before "Happy Hour".
We have booked in for a further night here at Bourke.
PS. Forgot to mention before that somehow or other George's hot water system has started to work OK.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 8

At Menindee for the day


We decided to spend the day here at The Burke & Wills campsite just relaxing.
We visited the Menindee Main Weir for a look - There were some fishermen in boats on the water.
Took a photo of the travelling group under the sign indicating where Burke and Wills camped in 1860.
That's all you get today
Bob and Hiroe

Posted by Bobnhiroe 21:37 Comments (0)

Days 3 - 7

It's still cold

overcast 15 °C

We left Narrandera at the usual departure time and travelled to Hay where we had lunch before calling into the old railway station to view the World War 2 POW museum. It was very interesting to see the photos etc of where thousands of German and Italian folk who were living in Australia at the time were held because of the fear that they would help the other side. As well, many Jews were transported from the UK for the same reason then later Japanese folk were also held here from all over Australia including Broome in WA. After the war they were all sent to Japan even those who were born here and never been to Japan.

They seem to have stopped farming rice along here and have changed over to Cotton. Whilst both take large quantities of water out of the Murrumbigee River, Cotton probably gives a greater return. These bales are very large - 2.4 Metres across

From Hay we travelled Balranald where we will stay for the night in a free camp behind the Information Centre where there are free hot showers etc.

Along the way there were many emus and after last years confrontation with emus hitting the side of our van I was quite cautious.

Day 4. After departing from Balranald we continues on to Mildura in the State of Victoria where we all did some essential shopping the drove on to Merbein Common Campground on the banks of the Mighty Murray River. The sites here are not very level but with a bit of back and forward we managed to get setup.
The Murray River
Pommy Bob, Peter and George having lunch
Pommy Bob at Merbein Campground

Poor George is having trouble with his 240v + gas water heater in his new van and we don't know how to fix it so he is going to have to boil the water for washing in a billy and pour it over himself.

Day 5. June 30. We left Merbein Common and drove the short distance to Wentworth, Called into the Info Centre then had morning tea on the banks of the Darling River where it meets the Mighty Murray.
We continued on northwrad towards Pooncarree and 30 Km before Pooncarree we turned off the bitumen to Mungo National Park on a dirt raod for 65 km.
We set up in the main camp and had a quiet night.

Day 6. July 1. The next day we drove around the 70 km loop road to have a look at what is left of Lake Mungo and the first stop was at the China Wall Lookout.
Continuing on we drove to Red Top Lookout where severe erosion is taking place.
On then to Vigars Well where in the old days Cobb and Co coaches called into to water the horses. The sand dunes at the back of here are very large.
Back to the camp and a big campfire for the night.
Some lovely ringtail parrots near the campsite as well as kangaroos

Day 7 July 2. After returning the 65km back to the bitumen road we drove into Pooncarree where we filled all the water tanks and had morning tea. Hiroe found a childrens playground and had to test out some of the apparatus.
On then to Menindee where we had to drive another 95 km on dirt roads. They had had a considerable amount of rain here recently and we were lucky that vehicles had been though here before us and compacted the road.
We refuelled in menindee and have drived to the weir cmpsite here where Burke and Wills camped on the treck north.
There was a lovely mural on the side of the Info Centre in town

Well folks, Thats it for now. Stay well
Bob and Hiroe

Posted by Bobnhiroe 23:55 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Days 1 - 2 Bomaderry to Narrandera

Finally underway

overcast 7 °C

Day 1. We left home just before 9.00 am and travelled to Albatross Road where we met up with George Pommy Bob and Peter Broome then continued on to Oallen Ford where we had morning tea. It's quite cool here.
Onwards then through Tarago to Bungendore for lunch.
On again through Murrunbateman to Yass for a fuel stop before driving on to our overnight stop at Jugiong where it is freezing cold.

Day 2. After a VERY cold night we left Jugiong just before 9.00 and drove on the Hume Motorway to Gundagai then inland further to Junee where we visited the licorice and chocolate factory so that those with sweet teeth could indulge. From here we went and had a look at a Historic Homestead (Monte Christo) which was very interesting. We didn't meet any of the ghosts who are supposed to occupy it.
There were quite a few interesting bedrooms in the house as well as some good beds.
Another interesting small building was the original toilet with side by side seating.
We continues on to have a look at the railway Round House Museum. This is the largest round house in Australia with over 40 bays for servicing rail engines and carriages.
The Junee Roundhouse is one of few surviving, working railway Roundhouses in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also home to the only working steam driven accident crane. Of a number built in America in the early 1940's, five were brought to Australia by the US Army Corps. With the end of the war, the NSW Government Railways (NSWGR) purchased two for railway use. Because the others were then classed as surplus to Army requirements, they decided to have the remaining three shipped back to USA by aircraft carrier.

These, however, were lost at sea just outside Sydney Heads. The remaining crane is being stored at Dorrigo, on the NSW central coast. Water Tank Wagon 1171 is also housed at the Roundhouse. It comprised part of the breakdown train, along with the breakdown van which is a wooden sleeping car that was converted to accommodate the breakdown crew whilst on the job. One end was used for sleeping while the other was for meals and a living area.

Another important part of our rail history can be found in the Mail Car.

This was used to sort the mail whilst in transit. The van has separate racks for each town through which the train passed and shelving for parcels, and the end of the van was used for larger items.

On permanent display at the Roundhouse are several electric trains, along with a number of trikes and a quadricycle.

We had lunch here then drove on to Narrandera where we will stay for the night WITH ELECTRICITY for heating and Electric blanket on the bed - it wont be quite as cold tonight.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 23:39 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Preparation in progress

Almost Underway - 3 days till we leave

18 °C

This entry is just a short note to let everyone know what we have planned. Like every other trip, things could change daily (but you all know that already from past trips).
Anyway, here's the plan so far;
Leave her on June 26th and head west as far as Mildura (this should take about 4-5 days then on the Wentworth which is the junction of the Murray and the Darling Rivers. From here follow the Darling up to Bourke - Most of this track is unsealed and in some cases no more than a dirt track.
From Bourke up into Queensland as far as Atherton then returning home via the coast most of the way. The GREEN tracks on the map are unsealed roads and the BLUE are side trips.
I took some video of Hiroe loading the caravan with some food for the trip. Obviously we are going to have to do some shopping along the way.

(click on the play button to watch)
George, Pommy Bob and Glen all packed their vans last wekk with both food and clothes - they must have been desperate to get away.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 21:39 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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