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.
Distance: 244km Fuel: 19ltr My camper was in Canberra so leaving home was really just a matter of packing the car with all the stuff the camper couldn’t hold.
There was 30 litres of water and 20 litres of fuel though I cheated with the water taking empty containers and filling them up when I arrived in Canberra. I spent the Friday night at Katie and Geoff’s House, in the morning I had to buy a few things like milk and ice (thank you Katie for taking me) but eventually I set off before noon.
22 April 2017 – Driving to Narrandera .
Distance: 281km Fuel: 34ltr A well travelled route but I let the TomTom take me its variation of the quickest route via Jugiong and the back roads to Cootamundra, Junee and Coolamon. Definitely saw a lot of sheep going this way and not much traffic. Arrived at Narrandera mid afternoon but having visited here only a month or go past did nothing but get fuel and eat. The weather was warm and mostly sunny.
23 April 2017 A change of plan.
Distance: 479km Fuel: 47ltr I had intended to stay the night at Balranald but after setting off at 9.30am was there just after 12pm. As I have said on other occasions the Hay Plain is not the world’s most exciting drive and apart from being buzzed by a crop duster (they are totally mad) this was no exception. Decided to press on to Mildura.
24th April 2017 Port Augusta
Distance: 550km Fuel: 60ltr The weather was fine until the SA border when it started to cloud over. Usual stop at Yamba just inside SA for the state quarantine Service to check for Fruit, veggies etc Stopped at Morgan for ice and I also bought a sausage roll (living the good life). From Bulla on the showers started and by Port Pirie it was a downpour, visibility was poor and when I bought fuel just outside Port Augusta the service station exit was under several inches of water. The caravan park was quite a big one with more vans and motor homes than I had seen in a park but this is the last place on my journey that I have visited before so from tomorrow all is new and progress will be much slower.
All is forgiven – woke to a beautiful sunny morning. Showered, had breakfast wiped the windows and headlights clean of bugs (an advantage of wet weather). Noticed A frame caravan owners are obsessed with sweeping before they dismantle their camper – a statistic based on an observation of two. No rush this morning might only be only travelling about 155km.