20th March–Home again

Distance: 301 km
Fuel: 31 L

Was home about 1pm after travelling mainly on the Hume Hwy as Boorowa is only about 45km north of the Hume.

Total distance travelled was just over 2000km – averaging about 290km each day. I find about 300km a comfortable maximum distance to travel each day taking about three and a half hours driving time which leaves plenty of time for stops and visits each day.

19th March–Boorowa

Distance: 247 km
Fuel: 29 L

The temperature dropped sharply during the night. That is not to say it was cold but by morning it was no longer a heatwave but still pleasant enough wearing a T shirt.

Today’s journey was through well travelled territory – Young, Cowra, Canowindra, Forbes etc are all interesting towns in their own right but it was not that long ago that I visited.

Click here to have a look at last years’ visit to the area.

Made a brief stop at the Parkes Radio Telescope just for old times sake.

180319 001 Parkes Radio Telescope180319 003 Parkes Radio Telescope180319 014 Parkes Radio Telescope180319 019 Parkes Radio Telescope

The scenery became more undulating as I neared Boorowa – probably why they describe themselves as “Hilltops”.

180319 101 Parkes to Boorowa180319 105 Parkes to Boorowa

Boorowa Caravan Park was well sign posted, I was instructed to find a site and someone would see me later. I chose one with a reasonable amount  of shade.

180319 099 Boorowa Caravan Park

With the much cooler weather it was easier to walk about the town and explore than on the previous few days.

180319 030 Boorowa180319 035 Boorowa180319 037 Boorowa Court House180319 040 Boorowa Court House180319 043 Boorowa Court House180319 045 Boorowa Court House180319 047 Boorowa St Patricks Church180319 052 Boorowa St Patricks Church180319 057 Boorowa St Patricks Church180319 062 Boorowa180319 063 Boorowa180319 064 Boorowa180319 066 Boorowa180319 067 Boorowa180319 069 Boorowa180319 073 Boorowa180319 084 Boorowa180319 085 Boorowa180319 087 Boorowa180319 090 Boorowa180319 091 Boorowa180319 094 Boorowa180319 097 Boorowa

Did you notice the clock hands are missing from the Town Clock on the War Memorial?

!8th March 2018–Peak Hill

Distance: 334 km
Fuel: 31 L

Change of mind

It had been my intention to stay at Narromine tonight but as I drove it was obvious that I was going to arrive far too early – ie before noon – so I decided to press on an extra 55km to Peak Hill.

Nevertire is somewhere I never tire of stopping just to stretch my legs (and photograph the sign).

180318 001 Nevertire180318 004 Nevertire180318 005 Nevertire

According to BOM the temperature in Peak Hill is going to be 40’C but as I drove not only did the temperature rise but also did the wind. It was a hot dry wind, I doubt the humidity was over 15% but the wind didn’t relent once. where ever there was a bare paddock there was a dust cloud visible for miles. I drove with my sidelights on the whole way. I am hoping that as the wind was behind me it resulted in better fuel consumption.

180318 006 Nevertire to Peak Hill Dust

Peak Hills was hot… After checking in – when I was given a handout of local attractions – my set up was very quick because the park even provided a TV connector. The site was shady but it was the wind that was hot so the shade didn’t provide much relief; anyway it was time to look around.

180318 054 Peak Hill Caravan Park180318 048 Peak Hill Caravan Park

Another day, another gold mine…

The first port of call had to be the Peak Hill Gold Experience only a couple of blocks from the caravan park.

180318 008 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 011 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 012 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 015 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 019 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience180318 020 Peak Hill Gold Mine Experience

Then I drove out to the Bogan River Weir a few kms out of town.

180318 024 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 026 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 027 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 029 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 031 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 034 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir180318 036 Peak Hill  Bogan River Weir

I had a look at the local attractions including St Josephs Church designed and built by its first priest.

180318 038 Peak Hill St Josephs Church180318 044 Peak Hill

By now the day had reached its predicted 40’C so it was time to seek air conditioned comfort and where better than the local Ex Services Club where I spent an enjoyable  couple of hours. I decided against waiting there until the dining room opened at 6pm as there was the danger that by then I would be incapable of ordering a meal so I returned to the caravan park to start writing this (and recharge my phone).

.180318 045 Peak Hill

The meal at the club was not bad I had a Char Kuey Teow, if I had a complaint it was that it wasn’t spicy enough.

17th March 2018–Cobar

Distance: 294 km
Fuel: 32 L

Left Hillston at just after 9am as is becoming a habit. The weather forecast was for a heat wave all over the state this weekend.

I had intended to stop at the old mining town of Mount Hope but it seemed very disappointing. There was the pub and a few modern metal sheds but no sign at all of the old township so I moved on.

The land was very dry and I saw lots of wild life at the side of the road as I drove; kangaroos resting in the shade of a tree, many goats scuttling across the road ahead  and the occasional emu.

180317 091 Dash Cam180317 093 Dash Cam

I stopped at a rest area about 50km outside Cobar which was once a gold mining area. The rest area had some mementos of that time.

180317 014 Gilgunnia Gold Fields180317 001 Gilgunnia Gold Fields180317 005 Gilgunnia Gold Fields180317 006 Gilgunnia Gold Fields

When I arrived in Cobar itself it was only midday so there was plenty of time to find the caravan park ($38 for a site – by far the most expensive place I have stayed at) and then find the tourist office.

180317 033 Cobar180317 038 Cobar Heritage Centre180317 041 Cobar Heritage Centre180317 045 Cobar Heritage Centre180317 047 Cobar Heritage Centre180317 048 Cobar Heritage Centre

Visited a couple of mine lookouts in the area. Everywhere there was old workings and deeps shafts.

180317 021 Cobar Fort Burke Lookout and New Cobar Open Cut Mine180317 026 Cobar Fort Burke Lookout and New Cobar Open Cut Mine180317 072 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 051 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 052 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 055 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 060 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 065 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 069 Cobar Peak Gold Mine180317 083 Cobar Slag Dump and  Great Cobar  Copper Mine180317 085 Cobar Slag Dump and  Great Cobar  Copper Mine180317 088 Cobar Slag Dump and  Great Cobar  Copper Mine

I also visited a local reservoir; a Mecca for bird watchers – nothing better illustrates the town’s desperate need for water. The islands in the map are high and dry.

180317 079 Cobar Newey Reservoir180317 078 Cobar Newey Reservoir180317 074 Cobar Newey Reservoir180317 080 Cobar Newey Reservoir

It was a very hot day fortunately humidity was only about 15% but even after the sun went down the temperature didn’t drop much.

16th March 2018–Hillston

Distance: 254 km
Fuel: 29 L

Another leisurely start… I was awake at 7am ready for a shower but from then on it was slow progress having a breakfast of my usual cereal and coffee before taking down the TV aerial and packing up  the camper.

Just after 9am I was on the road heading up the Kidman Hwy toward Hillston. Soon I was in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area  (MIA) where the first stop was  Coleambally to have a look at the massive old dragline that was imported from America in the 1930s to dig the irrigation channels in the Riverina. Had a brief drive round town but nothing too exciting about it, just a typical small Australian town. (pop 600)

180316 003 Coleambally Dragline180316 004 Coleambally Dragline

Onward and northward; by-passing Griffith where Tom Tom knew a shortcut and soon back on the highway toward Hillston.

A short detour to visit Merriwagga – I have been going to visit this town for 50 years. A school mate worked here for a few years as part of the ‘Big Brother’ scheme straight from school. The town has slowly declined over the years to the point where it is now a pub a few houses, massive grain storage and not much else. I had to have a beer at the tallest bar in the southern hemisphere didn’t I?

180316 015 Merriwagga180316 010 Merriwagga180316 012 Merriwagga180316 016 Merriwagga180316 018 Merriwagga180316 021 Merriwagga The Black Stump Hotel180316 023 Merriwagga The Black Stump Hotel180316 029 Merriwagga

Naturally there is the obligatory placard making something out of nothing. Smile

180316 032 Hillston

Arrived in Hillston at about 1pm and easily found the caravan park. I saw the owner as I arrived, she told me to help myself to a site and she would see me later as she had cleaning to do!

180316 065 Hillston Caravan Park

Once I was set up I drove back into town (half a km away) for fuel and a bite to eat. The tourist bureau didn’t have much info about walks or tours other than to warn me about snakes because there is no doctor in town so I just wandered about looking at the Lachlan River and Lake Woorabinda (created by pumping water from the river).

180316 036 Hillston180316 038 Hillston180316 044 Hillston180316 046 Hillston180316 047 Hillston180316 049 Hillston180316 053 Hillston180316 051 Hillston180316 062 Hillston180316 077 Lake Woorabinda & Lachlan River180316 067 Lake Woorabinda & Lachlan River180316 066 Lake Woorabinda & Lachlan River180316 073 Lake Woorabinda & Lachlan River180316 076 Lake Woorabinda & Lachlan River

During my walk I noticed the Hillston Ex Serviceman and Citizens Club almost next door to the caravan park so I called in for a couple of beers and the air conditioning.

180316 080 Hillston Ex Sericeman  and Citizen Club

When I finally returned to the caravan park the owner was in her office and I was immediately offered a 10% discount for being a pensioner. Can’t complain about that!

15 March 2018–Jerilderie

Distance: 267 km
Fuel: 65L


Cold Night

After a fairly hot day the temperature got down to the mid teens during the night I woke up cold and had to get under my summer doona.

Woke at about 7am just as the the sun was rising, Put on a cardigan  which was adequate while I had a breakfast of cereal and coffee followed by a hot shower.

180315 035 Cootamundra Captains Walk

No rush to leave so I went for a walk along the banks of a very dry creek, then into town again followed by a look at “Captains Walk” – Don Bradman was born in Cootamundra.

180315 003 Cootamundra180315 008 Cootamundra180315 024 Cootamundra180315 014 Cootamundra180315 018 Cootamundra180315 026 Cootamundra180315 030 Cootamundra Captains Walk180315 032 Cootamundra Captains Walk

On the road again

Set off after 9am for a fairly leisurely drive to Jerilderie. The land is very dry and desperately needs rain.

180315 096 Dash Cam Pics180315 098 Dash Cam Pics

Didn’t stop in Junee as it was not that long ago that I last visited the town nor did I stop at Lockhart for the same reason however I did go into Unara where I had intended to have a coffee but it seemed to be a struggling town with only a grocery store, a pub, a garage and a land agent open. That might not be true, just my observation.

180315 040 Urana180315 044 Urana

Arrived in Jerilderie about 1pm where I immediately booked into the Caravan Park and set up.

180315 095 Jerilderie Caravan Park180315 046 Jerilderie Caravan Park

It was still not 2pm when I found the local Tourist Information Office and obtained self guided walks around local beauty spots and following the adventures of Ned Kelly when he raided the town in 1879. After a coffee and a snack at the local bakery I set off to see the sights of Jerilderie.

180315 047 Jerilderie Ned Kelly Walk180315 048 Jerilderie Ned Kelly Walk180315 051 Jerilderie Ned Kelly Walk180315 055 Jerilderie Ned Kelly Walk180315 059 Jerilderie Ned Kelly Walk180315 062 Jerilderie Steel Wings Windmill180315 064 Jerilderie Steel Wings Windmill180315 066 Lake Jerilderie180315 067 Lake Jerilderie180315 069 Lake Jerilderie180315 071 Jerilderie War Memorial180315 073 Jerilderie War Memorial180315 076 Jerilderie180315 078 Jerilderie180315 084 Jerilderie180315 087 Jerilderie180315 090 Jerilderie180315 092 Jerilderie

I had originally intended to spend a couple of nights here but I think that by 5pm I had exhausted the tourist delights of the town. A very nice little Australian country town which has made the most of Ned Kelly’s raid and sign posted it well.

14th March 2018 – Cootamundra

Distance: 355km

Have decided to take a few days away from the dreary coast with its grey skies and humidity.

180314 001 Cootamundra

Driving along the Hume Hwy it was cloudy until I passed the Federal Hwy  turn off then the sun came out and from then on it just got  brighter and warmer until I arrived in Coota when it was about 30’C.

Along the way my satnav took me via Jugiong rather than the more normal route via Harden but I don’t mind these variations. Certainly there is little traffic and you get to see a lot of farmland or bush but, despite the satnavs ideas, they are not quicker routes  because they are usually narrower and winding so you rarely can stay on the speed limit. However I enjoy the variety.

180314 019 Cootamundra

Set up the camper and went for a walk down the main street which was only a short walk from the caravan park. The Ex Services Club looked inviting so I called in for a beer.

180314 005 Cootamundra180314 006 Cootamundra180314 010 Cootamundra180314 013 Cootamundra180314 017 Cootamundra180314 021 Cootamundra