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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 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.

 

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Back of Bourke and Beyond

Bourke Weir

Before heading out of town we headed out to the weir and old locks. The river is running but its clear its much lower than the ‘old’ days when the lock would have been in use. looking at the lock today i don’t think there would be anyone using it even if the water level did allow it, the banks, trees and grass have taken over at both ends of the lock.

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Bourke Weir

Back on the Road

From the lock we headed out of Bourke and once on the town limits the GPS says straight 250km. That’s when you know you’re getting pretty close to outback Australia. The roads are straighter, the dirt gets redder, the semi trailers become baby road trains and the wildlife likes to play chicken with you!

The scenery changes regularly from barren expanses of nothing to scrub to grassy tree lands.

We hit the QLD border and with no border control in sight we crossed over without incident 🙂

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Welcome to Queensland

Wildlife

It didn’t take long to realise we were in QLD when we saw camels! they were in a paddock so fair chance they were being farmed for either meat or milk but still camels ! there were also some grumpy cows that didn’t like their photos being taken and decided to upset the camels and scare them away – not happy !

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What’s a bunch of camels called ?

We passed quite a few more eeemoos (emus) and this time a few were very close to the side of the road without fences so i decided to pull up and try to get a few shots.

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We love seeking Emu’s

Cunnamulla

Around lunchtime we hit Cunnamulla and it was a very quite Sunday with not a soul stirring. We did catch up with the Cunnamulla Fella though.

We continued on along the straight road which the GPS helpfully advised as we left Cunnamulla turn left in 288Km – yep we can take it from here thanks !

As we got closer to St George the pasture turned greener and it was evident that some decent rains had fallen in the past few weeks across these plain, lush green grass almost unnatural in colour surrounded us.

We’ve seen 6 or 7 pairs of eagles, 3 times now they have been sitting atop the carcass of roadkill by the roadside. But you do think that they will stay there as we zip by and try to pull up and get a photo! as we left Bollon i cat and moused this little b#$tard up the road and managed to get this shot.

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Finally got a shot!

St George

Once we arrived in St George we checked in to the park and headed down to the river to check out the river and weir.

We did some bird watching on the downside of the weir as one of the gates was slightly up

Sunset was looking might it do something so we headed back out on the highway where we came in.

Sunset