Overnight Stops

Schedule with all the places we stayed at

Friday, 30 March 2012 Coolmunda
Saturday, 31 March 2012 Coonabarabran
Sunday, 1 April 2012 Coonabarabran
Monday, 2 April 2012 Forbes
Tuesday, 3 April 2012 Wanganella Creek
Wednesday, 4 April 2012 Kerang
Thursday, 5 April 2012 Kerang
Friday, 6 April 2012 Kerang
Saturday, 7 April 2012 Kerang
Sunday, 8 April 2012 Kerang
Monday, 9 April 2012 Kerang
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 Nyah
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 Nyah
Thursday, 12 April 2012 Nyah
Friday, 13 April 2012 Nyah
Saturday, 14 April 2012 Loxton
Sunday, 15 April 2012 Bottle Bend
Monday, 16 April 2012 Burra
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 Burra
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 Crystal Brook
Thursday, 19 April 2012 Crystal Brook
Friday, 20 April 2012 Crystal Brook
Saturday, 21 April 2012 Crystal Brook
Sunday, 22 April 2012 Crystal Brook
Monday, 23 April 2012 Loxton
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 Loxton
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 Mildura
Thursday, 26 April 2012 Mildura
Friday, 27 April 2012 Broken Hill
Saturday, 28 April 2012 Broken Hill
Sunday, 29 April 2012 Broken Hill
Monday, 30 April 2012 Road House, Emmdale
Tuesday, 1 May 2012 Bourke
Wednesday, 2 May 2012 Lightning Ridge
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Lightning Ridge
Friday, 4 May 2012 Nindigully Pub
Saturday, 5 May 2012 Warwick, Darling Downs Hotel
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Back home

We woke up to 2.6 degrees outside. Diesel heater warmed the place up nicely until the heater ran out of diesel.

Drive home was an easy ride. After some 6300km we arrived safely home. Nice to be home – looking forward to use our new shower and not have a shower curtain cling to me… But also looking forward to the next trip.

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via Goondiwindi to Warwick

We had a fairly early start again and drove through to Goondiwindi. We checked out the old Customs House museum. The house dates back to the days when there were customs imposed when travelling from one state to an other. I guess back then they were not states – rather they were different colonies.
Beautiful gardens at the entrance to the museum

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In the backyard of the Customs’ House

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An other view of the Customs’ House

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As most of these small town museums, this one had a variety of machinery and other old wares on display. This particular one, a steam roller reminded me of my childhood. Is this really already museum material? We have seen other items reminding us of our years when we grew up. For example a Hoover single tub washing machine seemed to be exactly the same as the first washing machine my mum had. And I even remember the days before the washing machine when the laundry was done in the copper by lighting a fire to heat the water.

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The river Macintire

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Fishing in the river

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Some other old buildings in Goondiwindi – one of the pubs

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The art deco council building

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A free camping spot was recommended to us by people we met at the Nindigully Pub. This is next to the Darling Downs Hotel, Sandy Creek, near Warwick. What a lovely spot this is. I spent some time walking around the area and took photos of the scenery. Of course trees have to feature in my photos… (in the background a go-cart racing track)

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I also liked the farm buildings close by

with the livestock on the farm with the backdrop of the beautiful trees being illuminated by the setting sun.

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An outbuilding of the pub

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A fence line

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and of course the Pub building itself.

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We wondered how the Pub could make any money – it seemed so isolated. These doubts were dispelled when we went in for dinner. The place was packed – people watching the footy, playing pools, trying their luck at the pokies and drinking and eating. There were 3 people serving behind the bar (just drinks) and they could hardly keep up with the demand. I had to wait quite some time until I could place my order for 2 glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. This actually caused an other delay – they had to get the wine from somewhere else.

We both had the T-Bone steak and the meal arrived fairly quickly. Huge steak and chips and potato bake and some other vegetables. Quite filling.

Full moon again – as it was in Kerang.

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Kerang was obviously about four weeks ago. Tonight is our last night before returning home. It has been a great trip and I learned a lot. Not least that I like this kind of travel and I want to do more. Next big trip in September/October in South East Queensland, Northern NSW. Back to Victoria in April/May next year and then… retirement and the big trip around Australia starting perhaps November 2013. My doubts whether we can do this have been dispelled and I am very keen to do this. Let’s hope the health will allow us to do this all. It certainly was a bit of a fright to be hampered by my ankle injury. Hopefully the various trips away will get both of us to be fitter.

We have a long list of things we want to get for the van, things we want to improve. Our next shore trip will be 25th of May to 28th of May to the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival. Hopefully we can get a lot of the improvements done by that date.
[category Easter 2012]
[nogallery]

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Lightning Ridge to Nindigully Pub

Last night we had dinner at the local tavern. A good steak together with a nice bottle of Annie’s Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot.

This morning we woke to beautiful sunshine – but it certainly was cold. We managed to get going before 9am, having packed up inside, put away the awning, filled up with water and emptied the toilet cassette.

We stopped in Dirronbandi at the General Store for an expensive breakfast, that wasn’t all that nice.

On to St. George – what a pleasant surprise. It claims to be the inland fishing capital of Australia. The river banks along the Balonne River are beautifully maintained.

Hard to believe that only recently a flood has gone through here. I guess the levy banks are a reminder of the latest flood. It kept St George dry.

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On to the Nindigully Pub (established 1864), which offers free camping along the creek that runs through the property.

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Scene along the creek  although I don’t think you can go too far with the little dinghy.

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View over the creek

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A little island in the creek.

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View across the creek.

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A heron wading in the shallows

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Water lilies in the creek

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The leaves against the sun

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Scene as the sun is getting low

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River Grasses

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We joined happy hour at the pub – pots of swan gold for $2.50. Had a chat with a couple that is travelling the opposite way. They recommended a camp site this side of Warwick. We will check it out as our last overnight stay before arriving back home.

After happy hour we proceeded to the wine and eventually to dinner. Lamb chops after an entrée of cob bread with garlic butter. The portions were huge and we should not have had the entrée.

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To Lightning Ridge

We woke up to more rain – waited a while until it eased to hook up. The rain didn’t leave us all day. The drive was fairly unpleasant with the rain. On top of that some of the roads we were travelling on had been flooded and impassable just two weeks ago and the damage to the roads is extensive. The roads are being repaired quickly and there were a lot of road works along the way.

We arrived in Lighting Ridge safely straight to the caravan park where we stayed until bed time. Couldn’t go to bed without a photo – so here is sort of a sunset, although there is no sun in sight.

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This morning I went for a soak in the Artesian Baths with hopes of easing my back pain as well as the pain in my ankle. It was a very pleasant experience and perhaps it has had an effect on the pain. Here is what I found out about the baths:

Bore Baths, Sherman Way 
The water here derives from a bore sunk more than a thousand metres into the Great Artesian Basin in 1962. The water arrives at the surface
under its own pressure. Geothermal heat makes the water in the baths about 40 degrees Celsius. This Artesian Basin is the largest of its kind in the world, covering over one million square kilometres and containing over 64,900 million million litres of water, oil and gas. The sedimentary layers of sandstone, siltstone and mudstone were laid down in a shallow sea between 100 and 250 million years ago.

After the baths we went for a little drive following one of the car door tours. There is evidence of opal mining everywhere. We stopped at one open cut pit where reputedly opal was found which brought in excess of 100 million dollars. This photo was taken adjacent to the pit.

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We stopped for a coffee in the middle of town. Not much to take pictures of. I liked these signs – such a diverse choice of wares.

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Back of Bourke

We stayed in Bourke in a caravan park and according to the sign, we have been to the ‘back of Bourke’.
 

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From the caravan park we could walk down to the Darling River. We joined a paddle boat cruise on a replica Paddle Boat, driven by diesel electric propulsion. As the paddles are driven by two separate electric engines, they can run in opposite direction, giving the boat extreme manoeuvrability.

On the way down to the Darling, we came across this tree that is very popular with the birds. In this photo you can see three different types of birds. The white bird is a Spoonbill,  the one on the right is some kind of Heron and the top bird is a snake bird or darter. The snake bird gets it’s name from the fact that it’s body is submerged when it swims and only the long neck and head are visible, looking like a snake.

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Spoonbill

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Heron

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Whistling Kite soaring above

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The Boat

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The Darling river

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Corellas were perched in trees and we also saw them in great numbers on the ground.

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When disturbed, they take off in great numbers, here seen flying across the Darling.

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Tree on the bank of the Darling

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Heron

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Incredible green river bank. They had a very high flood here this year which accounts for the green vegetation.

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What is this wheel doing here?

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Fishing spot

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Darter

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The clouds in the background announce the rain that was going to come over night.

Incredible tree roots.

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The old draw bridge accross the Darling – with the new bridge in the background.

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A bit of sunshine…

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More roots.

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If you look carefully you can see two battens attached to the pole. The lower batten (I was told it is yellow) is the height of last year’s flood. The higher one (white) is the height of the flood earlier this year.

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On the way back, the same tree was even more popular with the birds. Even more birds were fighting for a spot.

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A few hundred meters from the river, we came across this little boat – I am sure it was at water’s edge when the river was in full flood earlier this year.

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Overall this was a very pleasant trip on the boat. The captain gave excellent commentary and we enjoyed the slow cruise on the Darling.

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Quick stop in Cobar

On the way to Bourke we stopped in Cobar for a brunch in the café ‘3 Twisted Sisters’. They had lovely quiches on display, that we enjoyed. Lesley thought, she might make some of these and freeze them for on the road meals.

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They love their angle parking in these little towns in NSW. Not very practical for caravans! We always find a back street and leave the vehicles parked there.

[category Easter 2012]
[nogallery]

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