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Three Rivers Run – Day 8 & 9 – The final run home.

We woke up to perfect blue skies in Broken Hill – of course !! Unfortunately our trip was rapidly coming to an end and it was time to pack up and start the long drive home.

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Members Stand – Broken Hill Racecourse

It was a reasonably uneventful 10 hour day of driving. We were chasing a storm that had left a fair amount of water in it’stracks with water lapping at the road edges so i made the decision to drive all the way from Broken Hill to West Wyalong, as this would give us options to get home on Sunday if the storm behind us dropped too much water on already wet ground.

West Wyalong

We checked into the local campground, got some directions to the pub and headed off for a well needed feed. The West Wyalong Metropolitan Hotel lived up to expectations – awesome cutlets and a steak the size of my head LOL

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West Wyalong Metro Hotel

By the time we finished dinner the drizzle had started again and we were hopeful that the predicted storm didn’t eventuate as more roads closed were going to be problematic for the final leg home. Thankfully it did stop raining during the night, we had a nice dry pack up and were back on the road.

The long drive home

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Our final pack up complete

As with all good things they must to an end, and usually the end always involves a few down sides (besides the actual end itself). For us, as we are self contained it means emptying the porta-loo!

We stopped in at Grenfell where the local lions club have done a great job in providing facilities for the travel through and staying RV/camping community including the essential dump-point.

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Grenfell Dump-Point

As we neared home having cleared the Goulburn River NP and making our way through Bylong Valley, we were treated to a flowing Goulburn River (which the previous Saturday when we passed was but a trickle between the ponds in the sandy creek bed). We were a bit shocked to see it that full actually even though we knew there had been rain we weren’t expecting a flowing river. Tash was trying to to grab some shots out the window until we found a safe place to pull over.

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Oh My Goodness – Its flowing.
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A magical sight to see the Goulburn River flowing.

After another big day of driving, we arrived home safe and sound just before dark .

Thanks everyone for following along our little adventure, we had an amazing trip and cant wait for our next one.

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Three Rivers Run – Day 7 – Menindee & Broken Hill.

It was a bit of a wild night in Broken Hill, no we didn’t get arrested, just windy and wet!

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Broken Hill Racecourse

With the rain coming down we didn’t make too much effort to get up and going this morning. We are camped right on the end of the row and with underground irrigation for the track we aren’t able to put pegs down so the awning didn’t go up and the wind was coming straight onto the van and blew some water in at the door. Before we headed off we set up the portable car awning over the door area just in case the weather got any wilder whilst we were out.

Menindee

We headed out on the road to Menindee and the weather was pretty bleak. There was a little bit of water across some of the fords and dips and it didn’t look like stopping anytime soon. I couldn’t help but stop and get a picture of the flowers covering the fields on either side of the road.

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The fields are covered in flowers
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Flowers

As we approached the township we came across the first of many road closed signs:

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Road to the Main Weir – Closed
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Road into Kinchega NP – Closed
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Road to Wentworth – Closed
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Road to Wilcannia – Closed
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Road to Ivanhoe – Closed

It was becoming obvious pretty quickly that Menindee was pretty much the end of the road at the moment. We drove around where we could and got a few looks at the Darling flowing before heading to the pub for some grub.

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Maiden’s Hotel Menindee
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Delish country pub food

With full bellies we conceded defeat and set for ‘home’ stopping by Copi Hollow and Sunset Strip for a few shots of Pamamaroo Lake and a dry Lake Menindee.

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Lake Pamamaroo
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Sunset Strip

Coming back the fords and dips that had a little hit of water in them were starting to spread across the road and a few were actually starting to fill a little. The weather looked to be clearing as we neared Broken Hill and by the time we got back to camp the sun had broken through and thankfully the wind had died off.

Taking advantage of the break in the weather we hung out wet gear up to dry and sat back and relaxed until we decided that sunset might actually be a goer.

Living Desert and Sculptures Reserve

We headed to the Living Desert and Sculptures Reserve just out of town for a nice sunset.

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Rain on the horizon
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Sunset starting to colour the clouds
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Sun Star at Sunset
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Sculptures – The Bride
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Sculptures – A present for Fred Hollows

Dinner tonight was at the local Chinese as battling the wind and cold with the gas burners again just wasn’t very appealing.

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Three Rivers Run – Day 6 – Wentworth to Broken Hill

We had a lovely night around the fire, the temperature wasn’t as cool as the past few nights so we roasted a few marshmallows and enjoyed the peace and quiet of our surroundings and our few and far between neighbours.

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Thegoa Lagoon
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The rain has sprouted pretty flowers in the forests

Tash woke up for sunrise and wandered to the river edge and reported back grey clouds so I rolled over and went back to sleep as I haven’t been sleeping all that well. I think its safe to say that she isn’t going to last much longer as my weather/light reporter.

We were starting to get the hang of this holiday thing, so we had a lovely cooked birthday breakfast (cooked by myself!) before packing up and heading off.

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It’s pretty hard this camping thing!

As we headed out of town we couldn’t help but stop at the Lock again.

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Perry Sandhills

Just out of the town of Wentworth is Perry Sandhills. The sandhills cover an area of approximately 160 hectares, and have been formed over the past 40,000 years by wind erosion and are continually shifting due to the wind.

As turned off the main road to head to the dunes i noticed an Roads vehicle sitting on the edge of the road, I’m not sure why but i as we went past them i took a few looks in the mirror, thinking oh boy they probably haven’t seen our camper before and i wondered if they might try to do a ‘once over’ on us. We pulled into the carpark and as i got out of the car i saw the roads vehicle pull up beside us with their lights on and i all i could think was “i don’t have time for this!” … turns out the two guys were keen campers and hadn’t seen our camper before but weren’t quick enough to catch the name, so came after us figuring the dunes were a pretty good guess as to where we headed. It was quite funny in the end and we ended up chatting to them for about 20 minutes and showing them all over the camper.

We explored the dunes for a little while enjoying the beautiful sunshine but knowing it was time to move on.

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As the dunes have shifted and grown they have engulfed the trees.
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It’s quite a sight from the top looking out over the farms and back to the town.
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The weather watching being King of the Dunes
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The boys are also enjoying the trip.

We had a quick lunch stop down by the river.

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Being self-sufficient makes life on the road a little easier.
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Bunne Rungee Rest Area, Great Darling Anabranch Bridge

Broken Hill

We were headed for Broken Hill and by the looks of it straight into a decent storm. Thankfully we managed to skirt round the edge of it.

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The storm we skirted around the edges of.
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Silver City Highway heading into Broken Hill.

We headed out to the racecourse once we arrived in the Hill to set up camp. We headed back to town and up the hill to the The Line of Lode Miner’s Memorial. It is also a symbolic and spiritual representation of the human tragedy of more than 800 deaths since mining commenced in Broken Hill in 1883. The Line of Lode is the ore body that bisects the town.

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Memorial with the town behind.
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Line of Lode Memorial
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The memorial to the 800 or more miners who lost their lives working along the Line of Lode.

The views from the memorial are pretty spectacular.

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Broken Hill
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It’s a little strange seeing green and not a big red dust bowl.

Silverton

With sunset closing in on us, we decided to take a very quick trip out to Silverton. With only a week of holidays and lots of closed roads, we have had to take the long way around and we were now working out our priorities and unfortunately Silverton this trip drew a short straw.

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Silverton Municipal Chambers
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The famous Silverton pub
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An old church at Silverton
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One of the old Silverton relics

I was hoping for a sunset but it wasn’t to be.  The clouds off Mundi Mundi lookout looking out across the plains were pretty sweet.

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Mundi Mundi Plains.
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Three Rivers Run – Day 5 – Balranald to Wentworth

Well the rain eventually stopped late last night and we woke to blue cloudy skies. We hung and draped all out wet gear out whilst we had our first hot cooked breakfast which was a nice change to the ‘interesting’ tasting Gluten Free Coco Pops ripoffs. With breakfast done and the van all packed up, we left Leeroy in the safe hands of the park whilst we went exploring on nearby Yanga National Park.

Yanga National Park – Homestead

Unfortunately due to the wet weather the campgrounds were closed when we stopped yesterday, so we were hopeful the homestead and woolshed would still be open. We were in luck both were open and they are amazing.

The homestead is in such a beautiful location overlooking the Lakes on both sides of the house. The English garden would be so gorgeous when in flower and everything has been preserved brilliantly.

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The front of the Homestead. The section to the left is the original, the part straight ahead was added at a later time.
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The ‘newer’ section.
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The gardens.
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Different view of the Original Homestead from the gardens.
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Walk through the garden, under the arbor and out to this view!
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Looking back to the Homestead
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More views over the lake from the backyard

A few pictures from around the grounds of the Homestead:

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View out onto the other lake
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Lots of old equipment around the grounds

Yanga Woolshed

After we had finished exploring the homestead,  we headed down the road to the Woolshed.

The woolshed, what can I say other than I could go on for ages. Its huge, it’s beautiful, it’s nostalgic, it’s so well kept, it still smells like they were shearing there yesterday, I loved it.

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The Woolshed !
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Scales and Wool Press
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Wool Press
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Did someone say waffles!
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It’s as if the workers are at smoko not gone for good
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Sorting table and bays
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15 Shearing Bays on each side of the shed
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The scale of the shed is very hard to capture
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If those floors could talk…
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Come inside
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Sleeping Quarters – Two to a Room !
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Charlie’s tyres a little stuck with the mud

After our exploring was done it was back to the caravan park to pick up Leeroy and get on our way. We were headed towards Mildura and stopped along the way at Lake Benanee. I don’t know what makes it the colour it is but it reminded us of glacier fed lakes in Canada.

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I also hooked up the GoPro in the car for some road time-lapses (I still haven’t quite got the hang of retrieval and editing of them yet!)

We crossed the border into Victoria, and arrived in Mildura mid afternoon and even though we had been there before we couldn’t remember a thing about it!  Sorry about that Mildura!

We grabbed some fuel and took a few shots down by the river before making a decision to get to Wentworth for the night.

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Murray River at Mildura

Wentworth

As we headed out of Mildura towards Wentworth we checked to see if the roads had re-opened or not .. Apparently not.

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Once we arrived in Wentworth we headed for the junction of the two mighty rivers – the Murray and the Darling. Last time we were here was in 2009 and drought was crippling the outback. I’m so keen to do a comparison of the water levels, as the water level at the moment is pretty full.

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Junction of the Mighty Murray and Darling Rivers

From the junction we headed to Lock No. 10 and it was here that you could see the serious amount of water moving through the system.

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Lock No.10 was flowing
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Lock No.10 looking very full

Our stop for the night was just downstream and we arrived as sunset was starting. We found a spot,  went for a lovely wander before heading back to set up and light our fire for the night.

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Thegoa Lagoon
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More water views from our campsite – up the Murray to Lock No.10
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Another beautiful night for a campfire
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Three Rivers Run – Day 4 – Sandy Point to Balranald

We woke to a little rain and decided to pack up whilst it was only lightly sprinkling before heading into town to the visitor centre.

Shear Outback – the Shearers Hall Of Fame

Armed with a little more regional info we headed to the outskirts of Hay to Shear Outback – the Shearers Hall Of Fame.

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We wandered around the museum for quite awhile. It’s not a big museum but it had a lot interesting artifacts, recorded interviews and photos.

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An old stone wheel used to sharpen the shears and wool press
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Union Tickets
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It’s all in the crimples
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The evolution of Shears

They also do three live shearing demonstrations.  We had missed the first one, so we headed back to camp to hook Leeroy up and come back in time to catch the next one.

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The shearing shed where the demonstration is held is actually an old Murray Downs shearing shed that they dismantled, and transported to Hay for reassembly specifically for the museum – quite amazing really.

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holding pens
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Early style wheel geared shearing mechinisms
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Newer engine powered shearing gear
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Wool Press and Sorting Table
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Wool Press
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The exit pens

We had a quick bite to eat at the cafe attached to the museum, which was obviously also popular with the locals and oh boy did those gluten filled scones look amazing or what!!! Tash is being sympathetic and hasn’t yet indulged in any gluten yumminess, even though I’ve been pointing out the bakeries and cake shops – well someone else might call it scoffing rather than pointing out lol.

Balranald

After lunch we got hack on the road and headed towards Balranald. We weren’t sure how much of the rain they had received so had a few options as to where we might spend the night if the free camps were closed due to wet roads.

It rained reasonably steady all the way to Balranald so we opted for the warm showers and camp kitchen at the Balranald Caravan Park.

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We still had our water views
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Leeroy hiding in among the trees
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Murrumbidgee River

It rained very consistency for the night, so we were thankful to have the camp kitchen to cook in.