Tibooburra to Camerons Corner

29th May 2021

Distance: 143km

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.

Tibooburra

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.

Tibooburra to Camerons Corner Tibooburra to Camerons Corner Tibooburra to Camerons Corner Tibooburra to Camerons Corner

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.

Tibooburra to Camerons Corner Tibooburra to Camerons Corner

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.

Camerons CornerCamerons CornerCamerons Corner the Dog FenceCamerons Corner the Dog FenceCamerons CornerCamerons Corner

It was therefore possible to stand so that one half your body was half an hour away from the other half.

Camerons Corner

That evening there was the most beautiful sunset which we watched from the plinth.

Sunset at Camerons CornerSunset at Camerons Corner

Sunset at Camerons Corner


Broken Hill to Tibooburra

28th May 2021

Distance:  334km
Fuel: 35L

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.

Foggy Morning leaving Broken Hill

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.

 Broken Hill to Tibooburra Broken Hill to Tibooburra Broken Hill to Tibooburra Broken Hill to Tibooburra

We stopped at Packsaddle for fuel and a meal before continuing north. The road to Tibooburra is now bitumen for its entire distance.

Packsaddle Roadhouse

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.

TibooburaTiboobura

After setting up our camp I filled up with fuel but the kids decided to wait for the morning.

The Road is Open

At least the road is open which bodes well for tomorrow.

Lazing in Broken Hill

26 to 27th May 2021

Distance: 19 km
Fuel: 55L

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.

 Broken HillBroken Hill

Andrew arrived about 3pm on an unpowered site right next to us which was convenient. We spent a very pleasant evening together.

Lake View Caravan Park Broken Hill

Balranald to Broken Hill

25th May 2021

Distance: 461km

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.

Balranald to Broken HillBalranald to Broken Hill

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”.

Coombah Roadhouse

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.

P1030163

After the 15’ warmth of last night tonight was predicted to be 6’.

Narrandera to Balranald

24th May 2021

Distance: 316 Km
Fuel: 35L

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.

Welcome to the Outback

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.

210524 Hay Plain4Hay Plain

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.

Murrumbidgee RiverBalranald Caravan Park

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.

Starting a Winter Trip

Distance: 610km
Fuel: 62L

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.

Lake George Lookout

As for my vehicle it looked much the same too.

Car at Lake George Lookout

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.

Lake Talbot Caravan Park

29th November 2020–Beat the Heat

Distance: 329km
Fuel: 32L

Finally decided to abort my trip with the heatwave in NSW continuing. The weather forecast was terrible for next week. I can cope with temperatures up to about 32/3’ but over that is starting to get too hot for comfort.

As I was only just over 300km from home decided to set off across the Blue Mountains and make for Wollongong, the traffic was not too bad on a Sunday. It was extremely hot and windy most of the way but fortunately I did not run into any fires.

In the end I was home about 1pm after a not too bad trip. A bit disappointed about shortening my get away but them’s the breaks it is nearly summer and very late in the season for the inland.

I have got a few ideas from this trip, I was very pleased with my awning, so much lighter than the gazebo and with the addition of a couple of simple ties it is so easy to put up. I the only problem I can see is getting the car facing the right way to use it on some sites.

The one thing that really needs solving is for the rare nights when it rains, I hate sleeping in the camper with both outer doors shut so that is something I need to work on. It is not urgent but I would like a solution.

Statistics for this short trip.

Total Distance: 1424Km
Total Fuel: 152L
Average Price/L: $1.17

I think the pandemic has raised the overnight price of caravan parks because there was nothing under $30 a night.

28th November 2020–Wandering Orange

Distance: 23Km
Fuel: 38L

The temperature was 35’C today but nothing like those temperatures at Lake Cargelligo, Broken Hill or even Sydney where it got into the mid 40s. As I write this in the evening there are three severe weather warnings for Orange. Thunderstorms and hail, high winds and extreme fire danger.

Anyway back to this morning…

Just after 9am I drove to the tourist information office to obtain some brochures, one was called Orange Heritage Walk so decided to try that as it started nearby. It was quite interesting, personally I thought it included far too many Federation style houses of the important citizens for my taste. Orange has a lot of federation style houses. Anyway here is some of what I saw.

OrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrange

Sat in the park for a while watching people walk by. Afterwards I drove a few km out of town to see the memorial to the birthplace of Banjo Patterson.

Banjo Paterson Birthplace MemorialBanjo Paterson Birthplace Memorial

It is not often that power poles get mentioned in a tourist guide but this one did:

Orange

That is not just any pole,  this is the first pole put up for the new fangled electricity when it came to Orange. This is not a reproduction nor a replica pole, this is it! How’s that for heritage?

Went back to the caravan park for lunch and a chance to sit in the shade as the day was getting very hot.

Mid/late afternoon drove to get fuel, the cheapest since leaving home at only $1.07 a litre! Looked for a coffee place but Saturday afternoon seems to fill up all the parking places. So returned to the caravan park again and made tea.

There was a Foodworks Supermarket just over half a km from the park so went for a walk to that. I bought mushrooms, tomato and soy sauce to add to my evening meal.

According to the ABC News many temperature records were broken and it is not even summer yet. Next week is looking hot too so it is a bit disappointing. I am good up to abut 32’ but once it gets over that I am not a happy bunny.

27th November 2020–A Bit of Colour

Distance: 299Km

Not much to report today. Up at 6am, showered and breakfasted by 7am, read my book for a while before packing every thing up and yet more reading before connecting up the camper. Didn’t leave until 9.30 am otherwise I would arrive at the next park too early too early.

Headed north to Condobolin where I stopped to admire the “Utes in a Paddock” exhibit. Boy was it hot!

Utes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock Condobolin

The rest of the journey was just driving east with no hold ups.

Between Condo and ParkesBetween Condo and Parkes

Even got into a traffic jam as I got nearer to Orange.

Between Parkes and Orrange

It was a bit of a shock when the gearbox changed down going up hill because the central west is so flat and I was approaching the Great Dividing Range. It was noticeably cooler in Orange though that is relative it was still 30’

I have been to this park before under very different conditions when I was returning from Queensland – it was cold and wet on that occasion.

Colour City Caravan Park Orange

26th November 2020–Taking the Waters

Distance: 154km
Fuel: 42L

It was going to be hot today, in the event it got to over 37’C and looking at the forecast it is not going to get any better next week – 42’ on the weekend.

The morning was fine, about 21’ while I was having breakfast, the trees in the park are alive with birds every morning and evening, Magpies, parrots, honey eaters and Pee Wees in abundance. A pair of these parrots watched me eat breakfast.

Lakeview Caravan Park Lake Cargelligo

First drive of the day was to the supermarket to buy milk but as the morning started to heat up decided to look for water so it was off to Lake Cargelligo Weir about 20km outside town.

Lake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo Weir

In typical Australian fashion the weir and the water control area was fenced and sign posted to warn of the perils. Unfortunately the ends of the fence were wrapped round a tree near the creek banks and you could just walk round it.

This weir is a regulator that controls the amount of water going to Lake Cargelligo or allows it to flow to the Lachlan River (as I understand it). There seems to be no water shortage here.

Lake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo Weir

Next stop was Curlew Waters, I must admit the water was very inviting so I had a paddle.

Curlew WatersCurlew Waters

The entry road to Curlew Waters was lined with a cluster of letter boxes, common in rural areas where the postman only visits the end of the track.

Deliverance Country

I decided to follow the dirt road to where these properties were.

vlcsnap-2020-11-27-07h12m26s742Curlew Waters

Real Deliverance country. Smile

Back to the caravan park for lunch after which I decided to visit Deadmans Point on the outskirts of town.

Deadmans PointDeadmans Point

This was the site of an Aboriginal Midden and a Sheep Wash – basically the sheep were driven into the water, submerged and made to swim ashore to clean their fleece.

Lake Cargelligo Deadmans PointLake Cargelligo Deadmans Point

The next trip was a complete washout. I had been told that Booberoi Weir was worth a visit so I drove to Euabalong but I just couldn’t find the weir at all.

In the late afternoon re-erected my awning which was done much more efficiently this time.

Lakeview Caravan Park Lake Cargelligo

I think I might start leaving the gazebo at home when I am travelling by myself, this is much lighter and, with practice, easier to put up and take down.

In the evening a branch decided to fall off the tree next to my camp site – a good reason not to have gum trees in your garden they have a habit of shedding branches.

Fallen Branch

I had originally few plans for this trip other than to get out of the house for a bit. I don’t think I have ever travelled this late in the spring. I had intended to go west but the heat coming in from northern and central Australia is likely to continue so tomorrow I am going to Orange where it is a little cooler from there I can decide if I will continue – it will all depend on the weather forecast but that is not looking good.