Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

     

Our delay leaving Brisbane turned out to be a good idea as at our next destination, Narrabri, thay had 6 inches of rain. As it was we had rain all the way from Brisbane and it rained all that night as well. We made the wise move of renting a cabin for the night. The next day we were pushing on further west to try and leave the rain behind. It did gradually dry up but there was a lot of water across the road in places. By the time we got to our next stop at Cobar the rain had stopped.

Cobar camp site We found a nice free campsite alongside a lake.

You might have noticed that the tent is different! As our trip back to Perth will involve several one-nighters so we decided to get a small tent that was easy and quick to put up for these occasions. It is also smaller which would give us more choice for roadside bush camps. This was our first night in the new tent and it worked out OK. (It also matches the one in the map above!)

In the morning we had a nice sunrise to look out to across 'The Newey'. Sunrise across the 'Newey'
Cobar gold mine

Cobar is a mining town and we drove to the Fort Bourke lookout where we could see the mine workings. It is an open cut gold mine some 150mtrs deep. The rich mineral belt can be seen on the right hand side of the mine together with some old tunnels.

From Cobar we set out towards Broken Hill and we were into Outback Country. There were no more paddocks on either side of the road, just bush and red soil.

Road to Broken Hill
Wilcannia to Menindee track

We made a slight route change and turned off before Wilcannia to follow a 145km dirt track that ran alongside the Darling River to Menindee. It was a bit wet and slippery to start off with but dried out the further south we went.

You need to have the right gear for these outback tracks and Adrian had given me some goggles just for this occasion!

Mad Max goggles
Riverside There were several stations along the track and this was at the entrance to the Riverside Station.
A shady lunch stop. A shady lunch spot
Outback fence line Outback fence line.

The Menindee Lakes System holds about enough water to fill Sydney Harbour 3.5 times. The lakes, which are fed by the Darling River, are home to a large veriety of water birds.

Menindee Lakes
Broken Hill

Broken Hill is a big city with a lot of history. There are several mines close to the town centre and this is the view from one of the slag heaps.

The town centre has a bit of a wild west look about it. Broken Hill street
Silverton Hotel About 30km from Broken Hill is the old mining town of Silverton. It's pretty much a ghost town these days but the old pub is used a lot in movies. The black car outside was in Mad Max 2.
About 20 years ago a number of artists got together from all over the world to make sculptures which were mounted on top of a hill overlooking the desert. This one was by a South American Indian and looked spectacular against the arid backdrop. Desert Sculpture