After 9 weeks in Deniliquin, we managed to move about a bit, and finally North this time.
Had a farewell dinner in Deni kindly sponsored by Sunrice. Don't look to pleased about life as you can see:
Before we went North, we had a short trip back into Victoria again for the Echuca Steam Rally. This is a pretty big event with a lot of operating big machinery including traction engines and a suprising number of steam lorries which looked pretty scary to operate.
The Thomas train here orginally came from Qld cane fields and was used as the first train on the Abt Tourist Railway in Tasmania until they restored the original engines:
Also plenty of toy trains and pipe smoking bearded chaps waving thier arms and shouting at each other:
Draught horse team demo's loading logs:
Think weve started something here:
Camped beside the Murray River. Evan gaining confidence:
From Echuca, we headed back through Deni, then Hay, then out toward Ivanhoe.
In between Ivanhoe and Hillston is an old station called Willandra which was bought by National Parks in 1972 and the homestead and shearers buldings restored. Very interesting place.
This is the track around the "house paddock":
From there we headed East to Ivanhoe, then through to Menindee. This was 200km of dirt which started out OK but got rougher toward the end. Took about 4 hours and crossed about 50 grids. Was worth it in the end arriving at Lake Pamamaroo. This is the lake to the North of Lake Menindee and out of the National Park. Lake's are full for the first time in about 10 years:
Menindee as a town doesn't have much going for it, and so far has the most arrogant information centre attendant we have come across. Found out that most of the National Park was closed due to flooding on the river, and the main lake wasn't accesable as the indiginous brothers were scratching around for artefacts.
The woolshed was still open:
The last night at Menindee rain was forcast, but didn't eventuate, until a short shower in the morning so we packed up to get out on the main road before it got slippery.
Headed West from Menindee to Broken Hill. Arrived with a 3 wheeled caravan. Wheel studs all tore out of the hub, so spent a few dollars at the local trailer shop:
Cold weather up on the hill shrunk us a bit:
Met up with the Gallpens who were on their way back from Alice Springs, so while there were a few extra kids about we had a birthday party for Evan and Ella:
The Living Desert Sculptures. Not sure what the "Living Desert" is, but some arty types had dragged these rocks here and chiselled them into various shapes. Each one had a plaque to tell the uncultured what we were looking at:
Silverton was the next day out. About 25km out of Broken Hill. Another collection of broken mining boom buildings. Although these ones have made the most out of tourism. The town had some interesting bits but was very commercial. Lots of art galleries and movie memorabilia:
The filming of Mad Max 2 in the area seems to be the main claim to fame:
Obligatory photo of the Interceptor, although I thought it looked better from the back as most of the front had fallen off:
For Evan and Ellas birthday we went to the local cinema and watched Cars 2, which Evan liked expecially.
As we had a week and a bit before our next job commitment, we headed up to Camerons Corner. After the previous weeks incident we decided to leave the Van in Broken Hill and stay in cabins. This worked out pretty well as we did about 1100km of mostly dirt, and most of it pretty rough in 5 days.
First day was up to Tibooburra, then out to Camerons Corner:
On the way out we came across an old bloke with 2 camels pulling a Suzuki 4WD with the motor removed. Apprently he has been walkabout for years and upgraded from a pushbike towing a canoe.
Not much at the Corner except a Pub, and a breif appearance by a school while we were there:
The Pub is in Queensland, but we went through South Australia to get to it:
Took the jumper off North of the border:
And the locals perched at the bar:
There were signs everywhere not to throw anything for the dog. Didn't stop him trying:
The next morning we headed back to Tibooburra. We were going to do a lap around the "Jump Ups" (hilly country in amongst the flat bits) but could see rain heading towards us so didn't take the chance.
Some vintage transport at Tibooburra:
From Tibooburra we headed South East to White Cliffs. Stopped at a river for morning tea and dug some rocks out of the river bed:
Whit Cliffs is an Opal Mining town. We stayed in PJ's underground B&B which is part of an old mine. Place was like a rabbit warren and we lost our room a few times:
Inside was much more appealing than the roof:
The back part of the mine was still "original":
From White cliffs we went back to Broken Hill for a couple of nights, then headed out to our Station job on the Darling River. OUr last night in Broken Hill there was about 4mm of rain which flooded most of the table drains in the cenre of town, so we drove out in axle deep water in some places. The roads either side of the Darling river were still closed from flooding so we went due east through Wilcannia and onto Cobar.
These two towns were chalk and cheese. Wilcannia had bars on windows and no-one about while Cobar was all immaculate shops and people everywhere.
Camped about 80km North of Cobar. Met a local cocky who was chasing sheep rustlers. As we were camped on the road they were using he asked us to keep and eye out:
The map to date. Still going around in circles:
So as of last week (6th July) we are at Trilby Station for about 4 weeks helping run the tourist accomodation. Simone is cleaning the cottages and shearers quarters, while I empty bins and collect firewood. Has been enjoyable so far.
We had 12mm of rain on the last 2 days which meant the road in was impassable, so there are a few people staying an extra day or two.