The morning didn’t start off too great when we managed to not put a stabiliser leg up correctly resulting in a very cracked stabiliser leg needing to be removed from the van before we’d even left the campsite *Sigh*.
After fixing our little ‘issue’ and getting on the road, we headed back to the fuel stop in town to fill up and grab another of those ice cold chocolate milks.
It was then onto the Menindee-Wilcannia Rd to start the homeward trek. The track across to Wilcannia was one of the more difficult we encountered, lots of different roads, sandy, loose gravel, corrugated, hard dirt with about 150km taking us nearly 3 hours.
Oh my goodness i love these little guys. We found them hanging out on one of the floodplains by the roadside. Of course they were hanging out where the water was still pooled, which also meant the road had suffered when the rains went through and the road crew had ‘fixed’ the road with a few inches of slippery, boggy sand – not so good for pulling over with a truck and trailer.
After pulling a few U-Turns we managed to find an edge hard enough to pull over on and attempted to get some shots, unfortunately all the little skittish birds scared them off before i get any decent photos.
We arrived into Wilcannia and conducted the always glamorous task of emptying and cleaning the porta-pottie. There are some totally stunning, and absolutely unexpected sandstone buildings. An unexpected spot to put on the “return to” list.
From Wilcannia we were headed for our stop for the night – Cobar. We arrived at Newey Reserve, a gorgeous free camp site right next to the reservoir.
After a very restless and sleepless night due to the temperature and total lack of breeze it was a bit of a slow start to the morning watching the boaties drive on by hoping for a good catch on the river. We managed to get our act together and head off to the other side of the park to check out the historic Kinchega woolshed.
There’s lots of old machinery, tools and equipment on the grounds and inside the woolshed giving a really good insight into how the old shed would have functioned.
Sometime before the 1920’s the western end of the Woolshed was demolished, and the shed would have been twice the size of the current Woolshed.
From the woolshed we took the river road back to camp
The old Homestead
From the homestead ruins we drove the remainder of “River Drive” heading out of the park and back out to the main road.
Menindee Lake System
After exiting the park, we headed off to see if there was any water in Lake Menindee. We managed to find a way to get somewhat close to the water.
From Lake Menindee we headed out to Copi Dam and across to Lake Pamamaroo and Main Weir.
After checking out the lakes we headed back to camp hoping for a breeze, which thankfully we found. We also got a lovely sunset over the river.
Well, the time to leave Mungo had finally arrived. We packed up and headed out of the park via top hat road, our destination Menindee.
We hadn’t had any service in the park and i wasn’t sure at what point we might get service, so before we left i punched in the we survived text to our folks and hit send so whenever we did hit a service spot it would zing its way to them. It felt a little strange exiting the park after nearly 4 days of no service, papers, news etc, a little like entering the unknown.
As we arrived into Pooncarie we also hit mobile service, and that’s when the notifications started. I decided to pull into the rest area and let the phone catch up, whilst we stretched our legs and checked out the Darling River. We really do need the equivalent of Ctrl Alt Delete on phones!
From Pooncarie it was back to the dirt roads and barren landscapes until we hit Menindee.
The return to black top signaled we weren’t too far away from Menindee. Once in Menindee we refueled the truck and jerry cans, and grabbed the coldest, yummiest chocolate milk from the servo – it was like heaven!
We stopped at the park info rotunda, grabbed our camping slip and map and headed off down river drive to find a campsite. We settled on campsite 9.
With the trailer all set up, we headed off for a short drive down to Weir 32.
From the Weir we made a last minute decision to duck across to the Shearer’s quarters for a quick shower – albeit minus towels and toiletries LOL .. thank goodness we had some old towels in the car. Clean water was better than nothing, after a very muggy hot day.
It was a bit of a wild night in Broken Hill, no we didn’t get arrested, just windy and wet!
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.
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.
As we approached the township we came across the first of many road closed signs:
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.
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.
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.