29th May 2021
The best day of the trip without a doubt and the reason for taking the whole trip, certainly something I had wanted to do for a very long time.
Set off from Tibooburra at about 8.30am after the kids refuelled their cars.
The dirt road started almost as soon as we turned off the highway to the track to Camerons Corner.
The sign told us that the road was open I would guess that for the first 80km we were able to travel at 80 to 100kph the road condition was pretty good there were some corrugations and gullies that required a much slower speed but generally we made very good progress. The road was a mixture of dust, gravel and rocks., with a few washouts.
We travelled several hundred metres apart because the cars kicked up a tremendous cloud of dust but used the UHF radios to warn of hazards including the occasional on coming vehicle.
The last quarter of the journey was a different matter the road was in much poorer conditions with many corrugated sections and a lot of sections with a moderate depth of dust. This required much slower speeds in fact the last 20km of road had a 60kph speed limit, though that was about as fast as you could go anyway.
We entered Camerons Corner through a gate in the dog fence and a sign which told us we were entering South Australia, Just before the entrance to the Camerons Corner Store/Pub is an area where the plinth marking the exact location where the Queensland, NSW and South Australia borders meet. The pub itself is in Queensland.
It was therefore possible to stand so that one half your body was half an hour away from the other half.
That evening there was the most beautiful sunset which we watched from the plinth.
28th May 2021
Woke up this morning to a heavy fog. We all started packing away fairly early and were on the road by 9am. The fog and clouds slowly burned off as we went north.
After the flat country further south the first part of the road to Tibooburra was relatively hilly and the road surprisingly twisty. The further north we drove the more arid the scenery.
We stopped at Packsaddle for fuel and a meal before continuing north. The road to Tibooburra is now bitumen for its entire distance.
Tibooburra is a very small town with a population of about 134, everything seems to be run from the General Store/Post Office/Service station. We arrived at the service station to check in to the caravan park and tried to book two powered sites for us but were told that three cars is three sites so rather than book powered sites booked three unpowered sites for $20 each.
After setting up our camp I filled up with fuel but the kids decided to wait for the morning.
At least the road is open which bodes well for tomorrow.
26 to 27th May 2021
Distance: 19 km
Discovering that my son was able to join us on this trip meant a hasty rearrangement of our plans. He would arrive on the afternoon of the 27th May (Thursday) after driving the 1300km from Sydney in two days (rather him that me).
Apart from some shopping for the next few days until we return to Broken Hill and some very nice food at a local cafe my daughter and I did nothing, saving the sightseeing for our return from Tibooburra. I don’t think I have ever done this while travelling and it was a pleasant change just to sit around and read or drink tea and beer while watching the activities of fellow campers.
Andrew arrived about 3pm on an unpowered site right next to us which was convenient. We spent a very pleasant evening together.
25th May 2021
Had some news this morning that my son will join us in Broken Hill on Thursday so there is going to be some rescheduling.
Today was always going to be a long one, it is a fair distance to Broken Hill, if we had not already booked a site there we would probably stayed somewhere nearer and made it a two day journey. On the plus side Broken Hill is on Central Australian Time so half an hour behind the rest of NSW.
We set off about 8.45am under very grey skies heading west toward Mildura and Wentworth.
This soon turned to steady rain.
Stopped at Buronga for petrol for Katie’s car which turned out to be very fortunately later. Her car does less than 400km on a tankful especially in windy weather and well loaded.
The highway bypassed Mildura and kept us in NSW before we turned on to the Silver City Highway toward Broken Hill. On previous trips up this road I have seen thousands of feral goats and many emus but today saw none, not an animal in sight except the odd crow eating carrion!
We had planned to get petrol and have lunch at Coombah roadhouse as it is the only fuel on this 265 km stretch of road but when we arrived it was completely shut up with locks on the fuel pumps despite the sign saying “Open 7 Days”.
After a quick calculation we thought that Katie had just enough fuel to get to Broken Hill but it would be close (there was 10 litres in the back of my car for such emergencies). In the event the fuel warning light came on just outside Broken Hill so she stopped at the first service station to fill up.
Once at the caravan park we checked in and booked an extra couple of nights to wait for my son, unfortunately we cannot stay on our current site but will have to move in the morning but such is life.
After the 15’ warmth of last night tonight was predicted to be 6’.
24th May 2021
Distance: 316 Km
Not that far to go this morning so it was a leisurely packing up, Katie needed petrol so after leaving the camp site I waited while she went into town to fill up.
No chance of getting lost today once we were on the road to Hay, there is only one road west. The landscape soon flattened out until there was no hill in sight in any direction as we drove across the Hay Plain.
Hay itself is actually a little way off the highway and somewhere I have never visited but today we stopped there for lunch, just a cup of coffee and a sandwich at the local cafe.
Finally westward across unrelenting flatness toward Balranald where we arrived at about 2pm, checked in to the caravan Park before getting fuel ready for a long drive tomorrow.
Our campsite was on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River and plenty large enough for the two of us, we could have fitted another vehicle in the space we had available.
Katie cooked a lovely meal which I enjoyed with a beer. It was surprisingly warm today and will only get down to 15’C tonight, a big change from the single figure night time temps we have been having lately (they return again tomorrow).
Had a bit of a worry booking a site for tomorrow in Broken Hill, two parks had no vacancies for o couple of nights but luckily we were able to get a site at the third. It seems important to book ahead even in winter, something I have never had to do before.
The first few days of this trip were spent in Canberra visiting my kids. On the way I stopped at Lake George to see if it had any water left as from the road it seems to mainly contain sheep. From the lookout there was a little water in the distance.
As for my vehicle it looked much the same too.
What about this trip?
My daughter and I hope to visit Camerons Corner, the place where the borders of NSW, Queensland and South Australia join. The success of this trip relies on the weather. Particularly the lack of rain.
Her car is a Suzuki Jimny a very small four wheel drive, she and her husband do a lot of camping so she is well equipped with swag, sleeping bag etc. The car is equipped with a very sophisticated awning that covers nearly three sides of the car.
The first day of our trip was from Canberra to Narrandera, slightly over 350 kms. We only stopped briefly in Junee just for a snack and to stretch our legs so we arrived at the camp site just after 3pm.
Rather than cooking we went to the local RSL for a very nice meal, refueled the car and, after a chat, to bed.