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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It rained very consistency for the night, so we were thankful to have the camp kitchen to cook in.
We woke to a very nice morning in Weddin Mountains NP and after some breaky we had planned on heading up the mountain to the cave, however things didn’t quite go to plan.
We had a quick breaky whilst being checked out by these cheeky little birds.
As it’s been chilly we’ve been filling the hot water bottle for the bed. Yesterday I had remarked that we really hadn’t checked the truck before heading off – which we normally would do – and I wasn’t sure how much water was in the wipers, so we thought rather than wasting the water in the hot water bottle we would fill the wiper bottle with it. At the same time we did this I noticed the radiator fluid was on the low line, so we filled it as well. All going okay at this point.
We then went to get some water out of the fridge and everything was slimy! One of the meats had leaked, so out came everything until we found the culprit re-bagged it and cleaned the fridge. As Tash was putting the fridge racks back in a soft drink fell through the gaps to the ground and exploded. Luckily it didn’t go over everything but it was something else to clean up.
Still trying to head off for our morning walk, we were closing the camper when Tash decided to fill one of the water bottles, thinking she had turned the main pump off earlier she turned the sink tap on to clear it of water to pack away but had forgotten she had actually turned it on and yep water everywhere. So we cleaned that up too!
Thankfully whilst all of this was happening we had this to listen too.
Ben Hall Cave
With all of the hiccups sorted, we were finally on our way to the cave. As we started the climb we realised in all the commotion I still had my steel cap boots on not my hikers – I wasn’t going back so up the hill we went!
The walk was about 800m up and moderate as the sign had described so not too bad at all. The cave wasn’t exactly what we expected – for one you can’t go in which was a bummer and it was actually quite high up.
According to the info signs it was one of a few hideouts that Ben Halls and his Merrimen of bushrangers used to evade capture and store their stolen wares.
The views from the cave were pretty special. Even from up here you cant escape the canola!
After walking back down we hitched up and headed out of the park. Too busy talking I missed the turn and we ended up on another track out which was a bit of fun and I remembered almost at the end to pop the GoPro on and do a little time-lapse.
We were now heading towards West Wyalong, and there was quite a lot of water laying along the road and on the fields. We crossed a creek and you could see the water running on both sides of the road and i had to pull up and get a couple of photos.
It was quite unbelievable the amount of water and just how green the countryside looked.
We stopped in West Wyalong at the Library/Information Centre to pick up a few maps and get some local information, particularly the weather as there was a storm front coming and all the locals were warning us of the rain to come – the information centre was no different. We spent a bit of time here looking at the weather forecasts, and maps trying to work out what was going to be possible and what was probably not going to be possible. We then decided to head to Hay which would give us a few options depending on how the weather turned (or not).
We headed out of West Wyalong, and had a quick roadside lunch in the very quiet country town of Weethalle.
From Weethalle we went through Rankin Springs, and i could not drive past the round grain silo. The scalloped concrete silo was built in 1964 and holds 19100 tonnes. I’ve not seen too many of these and i just love them.
Given that we were a little under prepared for this trip, we really hadn’t researched “things to do”, so as we are driving out of Rankin Springs Tash is checking out the Lonely Planet for things to do in Hay. The LP advised that Hay stood out because of its flat treeless plains at the junction of the Sturt and Cobb Hwy. We had a pretty good chuckle at that and possibly for the first time in our travels we wondered if LP was, well wrong, because we were driving through pretty thick scrub bushland. After all this time we really should have known better! Not long after we emerged from the scrub/bushland to wide open treeless plains that looked like went on until they dropped off the edge of the earth.
After driving for about 45 mins watching some of the best “G_d” ray displays I’ve seen, we finally found a safe spot to pull over and take a photo. Unfortunately we had missed the best part of the light. A fellow explorer (our mate Gav) best described the dirt out here – slippery as all f$%k and sticks likes sh*t, add to that nearly 1.5tonne behind us, i wasn’t risking pulling off or over on the dodgy edges for anything!
Once we pulled over you almost couldn’t tell looking in either direction which way was which.
Murrumbidgee River at Sandy Point Reserve
Once we arrived in Hay we headed to our next free camp, this time along the first of our three rivers – the mighty Murrumbidgee River at Sandy Point Reserve. We arrived just in time for sunset.
It was another cool night so being able to sit next to the fire was just lovely. We love our Snow Peak fire pit. Its portable can be used with wood or coals, and keeps the fire nicely contained and up off the ground so it doesn’t leave any scars on the ground when we leave.