Monthly Archives: June 2021

French Line – Simpson Desert Track – Day 2

Wednesday 30th June 2021
After the most amazing nights sleep we woke for a beautiful sunrise but I watched it from the tent today. We didn’t hear any animal life during the night, even the dingoes were quiet last night. The overnight low temperature was minus 0.6°C. The cold keeps the flies and mosquitoes away but the flies were back by 8.30am.

We took off just after 9am for another long day of driving. It  was very slow and bumpy and the dunes got sandier and softer as the day progressed. Our fuel consumption was 10.5 litres per 100km and 1066km range when we started out and by the end of the day it was 11.2 and we were under 1000km range. The fuel efficiency has dropped significantly today with the difficulty of the terrain. There were forks in the tracks on the steeper dunes, allowing you to choose whether you went around the peak of the dune or straight over the top. It was another day of varied vegetation but we only saw minimal wildlife again. We  are really lucky our bodies have good suspensions we were bounced along continuously today. I drove for about 80mins today and only drove 24km. When Shona and I started the drive the track immediately got more difficult with much softer sand and steeper hills with very steep declines. The most interesting time as you drive is when you go up the sand dune and perch on the top with no idea what awaits you over the other side, which direction you go or how steep the decline will be. It is quite fun driving but takes a lot of concentration. In one instance I had to keep my revs up enough to get up the hill only to have to do more than a U turn at the top and I couldn’t complete the turn in the space available and ended up just running straight over a bush. Ooppsss! Well David said at least I didn’t put more scratches on the car. We are having a competition who did the least scratches or most severe bumps. Today I think DB was the bumpiest and scratchiest driver. Mind you he did drive for about 5.5hrs to my 1.5hours. It takes a lot of concentration driving, but it is quite fun.

We are still enjoying the drive even though we still only managed about 100km in 7 hours today. We are now half way across the desert. We enjoyed another night by the fire and can’t believe it is only 3° as we go to bed. We have been so warm in front of the fire.

Distance travelled on the Simpson Desert Track today – 109km

French Line – Simpson Desert Track – Day 1

Tuesday 29th June 2021
Well the day started with the howling dingoes at 5.30am. Then we enjoyed a sunrise bath in the hot springs. This was a beautiful start to the morning. Then it was time too get ready for the long-awaited Simpson Desert trek. Woohoo! Off we go.

It was a great day of ever-changing scenery, track colour, ruts, dunes, sand, vegetation, rocks, washouts, hills and track difficulty. We are so lucky to be doing this drive after some rainfall. The vegetation is varied in colour and there is so much more life than had there not been the rains of late.

We had lunch by Purni Bore – the accidental lake. The creation of Purni Bore was the result of drilling by the French Petroleum Company in 1963. They came to explore the rocks strata beneath the Great Artesian Basin. The bore was drilled to a depth of 1880m, then capped and sealed. Eventually the well head corroded and water flowed at 128 litres per second and an artificial lake was soon created. The water flowing out of the bore is 85°C.

I was the only girl to have a drive today. I was pretty average but with some tuition Iimproved as time went on. Had a bit of excitement on two dunes, after the crest the down hill was a bit fast for me. It was a great day. Followed by a lovely night  under the stars, by the fire with great company.

We travelled about 100km today in about 6 hours, it was pretty slow going. Our only repair was the flag today which came off whilst I was driving down one of the ones. Lucky it didn’t damage the car nor go under it and break. It had just bumped itself loose until it just fell off.

Distance travelled on the Simpson Desert Track today – 105km

Oodnadatta to Dalhousie Springs SA

Monday 28th June 2021
Last night we met our new neighbours at the Pink Roadhouse Caravan Park at Oodnadatta. You wouldn’t believe where they come from. Picketts Valley.  It is such a small world.

Today we have a big drive ahead from Oodnadatta to Dalhousie Springs via Mt Dare. Overnight David researched the roads to Dalhousie Springs and found that there were a number of roads closed due to the recent heavy rainfall. The road directly  from Oodnadatta  to  Dalhousie Springs has a section closed, an alternate  route also has a section closed, so that solved our dilemma about whether or not to go to Mt Dare for petrol or not. We had no choice we had to go the only way possible and that was 10km short of Mt Dare, so we will get the extra petrol. This will ensure  we have sufficient to get us to  Birdsville.

As it was a long way 250km to Mt Dare  then 70km to Dalhousie Springs, we set off early – just before 8am. It is always difficult to get going early as it is dark until 7am and it is so cold. The temperature  got down to 2.6°C last night. There seems to be more green vegetation today along the roadside. Once we turn on to the road to Mt Dare the road narrowed significantly, really only one lane, it got rockier with many  large boulders and there were many more ruts and corrugations. Sometimes it looks like you are driving on a bed of nails. Fingers crossed our tyres survive. A much slower and trickier drive. It was like you were driving in a trench as each time they grade the road out gets deeper.

Some of today’s highlights:

1 We saw some vibrant desert peas along the side of the track.

2 Fogarty’s Claypan was a unique landform we hadn’t seen before. Unfortunately the road to it was closed so we had to view it from afar.

3 Hamilton Station looked like quite  a new homestead with a lovely creek crossing.

4 Tent hole creek crossing was a substantial size creek and was therefore surrounded by beautiful green vegetation.

5 The stations are so vast here I wondered how they  roundup their cattle – apparently with helicopters

6 Animals have been quite scarce this trip – we have hardly seen any kangaroos at all. We saw one today. David has been disappointed there have been no snakes, lizards or even any geckos. We have really only seen one angry emu.

7 Eringa Creek Stockyard

8 Lindsay Creek was a large mass of water with beautiful trees

9 Eringa Ruins – was just a small building but in the time we stopped here any the creek another four cars joined us.

10 At Mt Dare we filled up the petrol – only $2.27 per litre. And luckily we topped up our provisions at Oodnadatta as they didn’t have much stock there.

We thad some lunch here and then headed to Dalhousie Springs – a 70km drive on a much rougher, more rutted, rocky track with many more boulders, lots of washouts. It then got sandy the further we went along. It was a much slower track than this morning. We arrived at the campground at about 3.30pm. A first for us this trip. We met up with our friends here and the first stop was to enjoy a dip in the thermal springs. A very large spring and very comfortable 39°C. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Then we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon chatting and catching up  on everyone’s travels. It was a lovely end to the day.

Well tomorrow we start our Simpson Desert Adventure. We are  very much looking forward to it.

Coward Springs to Oodnadatta SA

Sunday 27th June 2021
We had a lovely night at Coward Springs. I had a lovely sunset walk followed dinner and yoga. Yay!

We had a  lovely bath in the hot springs this morning. The  temperature  was about 29°C with an extremely  strong jet. Unfortunately  this meant my  costume filled with sand. Lucky  there was no-one around so I had a quick nudey swim and got dressed. We then had a quick visit to the museum, via the wetlands from the natural springs where we saw 3 brolga in flight. We so wish we had brought the good camera as my  phone video was pretty ordinary.

We then were on our way aiming for Oodnadatta  or further today. Cross your fingers for us. We are not sure how many stops we will have  today along the dirt Oodnadatta Track.

Todays Stops.

  1. Beresford Siding Dam. This was a surprise, we were just expecting the Ghan Railway Siding but instead we went over a mound with  the dam either side and it was like a green oasis, there was grass, trees and lots of vegetation.
  2. Strangways Springs ruins.
    Discovered in 1858 by Major Peter Warburton, this was the site of a homestead, a yard, a woolshed, a cemetery and a water tank. In the 1870’s Strangways was used as a repeater station on the overland telegraph line and used until 1896. The ruins of many buildings still remain at the site.
    We went for a walk around the ruins, it was like a little a little town built around mound springs which were now dry  but there  must still be water under them as each one had vegetation at the top.
  3. William Creek . We finally arrived at 12.30pm and had a lunch stop followed by an ice cream  – Only$13 for 2. Woohoo!! I talked to an old codger in the bar who said we should be staying for country music festival here and camel cup in Marree next weekend. Not this year.
  4. About 66km out from William creek we came  across new grading of the  track. Yay!
  5. The Ghan Railway sidings all had water softening tanks as the water was too hard to use in the locomotives.  There  were many rail bridges over dry creek bed. Near the Peake homestead turnoff there was a bridge which still had some railway sleepers on it. It was such an amazing feat or its era to build a train line from Port Augusta all the  way  to Alice Springs.  It is such  a desolate landscape.
  6. Algebuckina Bridge over the Neale River was a really long high bridge and was in quite good condition.
  7. Dutton siding cemetery – had one unnamed grave.
  8. Oodnadatta Pink Roadhouse – petrol only $1.98 per litre
    A little last minute shopping before the desert trip. Ouch these prices hurt. Basically double the cost at home  but David is happy  to pay than the price rather than dig  around them all in the car for 5 days. He is a changed man sometimes.
    $69 for Packet of wraps $9.35 x 2, Lettuce $3.50, Chicken thighs $11.50 for 1/2 kilo, Isobutane Gas x 4 $25 and Yoghurt 1 lt $9.99

The drive along  the Oodnadatta  Track form Marree to Oodnadatta has been very beautiful. I love the vast countryside with changing colours of dirt, vegetation and hills. The highest hill being only about 180m high. There have been many areas of salt pans and mound springs as well as hot  springs.  There have been many Railway Sidings in all different levels of ruin and a lot of history along the way. It has been an interesting couple of days.

We decided to enjoy dinner out at the Pink Roadhouse to save buying more supplies. We both enjoyed a Burger with the lot plus hot chips.

Well tomorrow we head to Dalhousie Springs to meet our friends to then cross the desert. I will be unable to blog  for at least 4 days due to no phone service. So take care and  stay safe.

Copley to Coward Springs SA

Saturday 26th June 2021
Well we had our first freebie stay in the carpark of the Leigh Hotel at Copley. Unlucky for us we didn’t realise it was Friday night and the hotel was very busy. Not only that there was some big time party players who didn’t stop playing until 3.15am this morning. Lucky us!

Oh well, lesson learned, check what day of the week it is before you stay in a pub carpark. Hehehe!

It was very cold again this morning but we still managed to get away nice and early (9am-ish). Our first stop was at Lyndhurst about 37mins away to fill up the petrol only 169.9 cents per litre. OUCH!! The on to the Ochre cliffs – The Lyndhurst Ochre Quarry is a site of significance to the Aboriginal People. They used the ochre for Trade, Ceremony, Ornament, Medicine, Art and Burial. It had many shades of Ochre in the pit.

From Lyndhurst I had a drive as it was still bitumen all the way to Marree, so this was my contribution for the day, about 80km. Along the way I saw 2 wedge-tail eagles feasting on a carcass on the side of the road. As I was approaching from a distance I thought “Wow, those ravens are fat” but as I got closer they took off and to my surprise they were the most magnificent wedge-tail eagles. They are so large and amazing. I was very excited to have seen them up close again.

At Marree (formerly known as Hergott Springs) we topped up on our groceries. A small bag of not many groceries (1 capsicum, 1/2 head of broccoli, 4 rolls toilet paper, bag of chips, 4 apples, spaghetti, tin of bolognese sauce, 4 pack peaches, 4 butane gas bottles, 10 litres of water – cost $74). Imagine what things are going to cost at Oodnadatta or Mt Dare. Better blindfold David.

After having a look around Marree at the Ghan railway historical equipment we went to Hergott Springs which was a very small body of water. As I was on my way back to the car a group of brumbies came towards David sitting in the car. They were just having a peek to see who was there, then they headed off into the distance. As we drove away from the springs we noticed a green hose went all the way from springs to town. Maybe it services the town wil water.

As we left Marree we were now on the Oodnadatta track. As we travelled along you could see remains of the old Ghan railway tracks where the bridges went over creeks. The scenery was varied in colour and sparseness of foliage changed continuously, the road was mostly flat and straight but there were some undulating sections with a few hills here and there. We also saw salt pans in some sections.

We visited the Alberrie Creek Mutonia Sculpture Park. The entrance has two 1940’s Beechcraft Barron aircraft standing on their tails wing to wing like a modern day totem pole. There are many other clever works to see as well. It is the project of Robin Cook who was formerly a mechanic now an artist creating works from recycled rubbish.

We then passed Little Hill on left and Hermit Hill on the right. Then Lake Eyre came in to view, it was difficult to decide if there was water in it or whether this was a mirage. In the end we worked out that it was a mirage it was just a big salt pan. Wee headed to the Eyre Lake South viewing platform and walked 1km to reach the salt. There was no water to be seen.

We passed several old railway stations from The Ghan and still don’t really know the reason for all these stations as there is nothing out here. A little research is required here.

It was getting quite late and we were trying to get to William Creek tonight but I think that is in our dreams yet again. I didn’t want to rush and miss out on some of the sights along the way so we were thinking we may have to stop the night at Coward Springs instead. That decided we drove 4km off the track to see Hamilton Hill, The Bubbler and Blanche Cup – a hill and two springs.

Then quickly on to Coward Springs campground and spa for our home tonight. We got the second last campsite available. Phew!! We had a nice little spot surrounded by trees. I went for a walk to watch the sunset which was beautiful tonight with the little clouds in  the west.  he night was quite balmy and I managed a yoga session after dinner. Yeehah!!

Well we have two more days of travel to meet up with our friends at Dalhousie Springs and a bit of lost ground to make up tomorrow. Our timetable is to reach Oodnadatta tomorrow night and then Dalhousie Springs the following night ready to start the Simpson Desert trip on the 29th. Hopefully we can manage to get there in time. Wish us luck!!

Anyway, nighty night and big hugs to you all as you face the Covid lockdown. Take care and stay safe.

Arkaroola Village to Copley SA

Friday 25th June 2021
Well we have had a very big day today. We started the day with a scramble up Griselda Hill at Arkaroola Village. This was quite a challenging rock scramble with beautiful views as the reward. We saw a couple of wedge tail eagles at the summit. They are so majestic as they glide above you. Once again I managed the climb up on hands and feet, and then back down again crab walking over the rocks. The drop down was very sheer so care was required.
We then were on our way again as we were hoping to manage another walk later today. We decided to take the 4WD McTaggert track to the start of the walk from the other end. The drive was spectacular as it went straight through the middle of the Vulkathanhu-Gammon National Park. The ranges were on both sides of the road as we weaved through the valley, up and down narrow winding roads, over many dry creek crossings and passed the most amazing trees. We first stopped at the Grindell Hut where we had some lunch and saw some Zebra Finches and Ring Neck Parrots. You can book and stay in the little hut , it has a set of bunks, table and chairs. It is a good refuge for if you are hiking the whole track. After lunch we did a 12km return walk through the Weetootla gorge to Balcanoona. As usual we were running short of time and still had a long drive after we completed the walk, we hot footed it all the way. We did the walk in just over 2.5 hours which is pretty quick in the bush especially with rocky creek beds to negotiate. On the return part of the walk we saw a huge mumma emu with about 8 little chicks. She was very protective and stood so tall and stared us down as her chicks went away behind her. We were very careful for the next 20 mins as we followed her and the chicks along the track. We had nowhere else to go as she kept walking along the track. Eventually she hid in the bushes which enabled us to get past her and her babies. It was another fantastic wildlife moment that you just had to experience and enjoy. We are so lucky sometimes. That is twice in two days with the yellow footed rock wallaby and now a close up encounter with an emu and her brood.
We finished the walk at about 3.30pm and still had to continue along the narrow 4WD track for 3 or so hours. We need to make as much progress as possible today to enable us to make it to the Dalhousie Springs to meet our friends for the Simpson Desert departure on the 29th. We are always trying to do too much but I am sure that’ll never change on Broady’s Tours. Luckily we managed to do a lot of the hard driving in the fading daylight, we were only travelling at about 15-20kmh for a good few hours. We watched a lovely sunset in the ranges and continued along our merry way on the dirt road. It went on and on and on. Up and down, in and out of the trees, through many, many creek beds. It was very exhausting for David and we needed to travel a bit too fast for me to drive. The new car is going great and we are grateful to have done some off road driving before tackling the desert track in a few days. We made the decision to forge on to Copley with an ETA of 7pm we are staying in the Copley Hotel car park and had dinner in the pub. It was a lovely, very big meal. We had a chat with one of the locals whilst we waited in the bar for our meal. It is always a little tricky being a non-drinker in these circumstances, we sometimes feel as though we should order a beer anyway. Maybe one day we will.
We have a few days of planning to do tonight so time to sign off for today.


Wilpena Pound Flinders Ranges to Arkaroola Village, SA

Thursday 24th June 2021
The wind howled most of the night through the campground at Wilpena Pound. We decided to get away early and have breakfast on the road. We headed out at about 7.45am but unfortunately the weather was not being very nice today. It was overcast and raining which was a shame.

Today we are driving from Wilpena Pound in the southern Flinders Ranges National Park to Balcanoona in the northern Flinders Ranges known as the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park and then on to Arkaroola Village in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary which is further north again. The drive was 244km along a dirt road of varied condition, some parts narrow, some winding, some bits wide, some corrugations and some sharp scary rocks. It was a lovely drive with the ranges visible often and the plains also going forever in the distance. The further we travelled north the less it was raining until eventually we had blue skies again.

We struggled to find anywhere to stop safely off the road for ages so we had breakfast at an unusual road stop, near the grave of John Joseph Kenny on the edge of Wirrealpa Homestead. It was a strange place to stop but we had been trying to fins somewhere to stop for ages. We then continued driving towards Barcanoona when we came to a sidetrack to Chambers Gorge. A 8km drive which was a little slow as the track condition was a little worse than the main track. We went for a walk along the gorge to the end where there were some Aboriginal carvings in the rock wall of the gorge. Before the walk we tried to find the track up Mount Chambers but unfortunately to no avail.

Our side track had delayed our arrival to Balcanoona by an hour or more so we had lunch here before driving for another hour to get to Arkaroola Village. We really thought it would only take about 3 hours to get here but as usual it took us 5.5 hours. Oh well. It had been a lovely day anyway. The plan was to go for a long walk in the Ranges which we had to cut a bit shorter due to the daylight available. We did a walk from the Arkaroola Village called Mawson Spriggina which was a pleasant undulating 8km loop walk. We added a little section off the track up a steep rock face to a lovely viewpoint. This was a little tricky as the rocks were quite loose. I did my usual and climbed up and back down with my hands and feet whereas David did his usual and just walked. I always feel a little silly but better slow and safe than slipping down the rock face. The whole walk David had been on the look out for the infamous Yellow Foot Rock Wallaby without any luck until the last 10 minutes where we were so lucky to see not one but two. They have the most amazing tail which is striped like a tiger. It is really unusual to see them as they are very shy. We were so lucky. Unfortunately we didn’t capture a photo of its tail, only a very distant photo but we were very excited to have seen this animal in the flesh. Woohoo!! It made our day. Besides the yellow footed rock wallaby, we also saw some emus, kangaroos, ringed neck parrots and lots of wildflowers.

Then back to camp to setup for dinner under our fantastic gazebo which once again blocked out the wind and made for a pleasant evening in the outdoors. We also had a little rain again tonight. It has been a great day. We now have to work out our schedule for the next few days as we have to be in Dalhousie Springs by the 28th June and it is 806km and 11 hours driving via the Oodnadatta Track. That should keep us busy for the next few days.

Hopefully you are enjoying our holiday as much as we are. Take care in NSW and stay safe.

Broken Hill NSW to Wilpena Pound SA

Wednesday 22nd June 2021
Well, maybe we should have headed to South Australia yesterday as the Covid situation in NSW is very fluid. Hopefully they won’t shut the border to SA before we get there today.

We were grateful for a very good night sleep in our luxurious king size bed in the Royal Exchange Hotel. The meal was very nice as well but maybe detrimental to our future interstate travel, but only time will tell. We have a few little housekeeping things to do this morning before we get on our way. I noticed a big crack in my phone screen yesterday so hopefully I can get a cover to minimise that today. Some petrol, change my uggies and but a tooth brush. So with this all done we were off and running to South Australia by 10.30am. We had rain during the night and it continued raining throughout the morning, reducing the further west we drove.

We finally entered SA at 11am which was very lucky as by 4pm the border was shut to anyone from NSW. We continued on stopping at Yunta for some lunch, then on to Peterborough to do a little more shopping to replace our fruit and vegetables left at the quarantine station, get our SA National Parks Pass, then race the clock to tonights home at Wilpena Pound. We were hoping to get there before dark but missed that by about 30 minutes. Luckily we knew the lie of the land from our last visit which made it easy to find a camp spot. It was quite windy today so David set up the gazebo with a couple of sides for a pleasant camp kitchen. We had a lovely dinner then packed everything away as we would like to be on our way early tomorrow as we have a walk or two planned.

Anyway, nighty night. Take care everyone and stay safe. Love Fiona and David. xxx

Menindee to Broken Hill NSW

Tuesday 22nd June 2021
Well what a beautiful sunrise, it was magical and at such a respectable time, about 7.15am. Well I have finally worked out my night attire – Aldo merino bottoms and socks, singlet, long sleeve bed shirt and headband with my puffer jacket on until I warm up. I had a pretty good sleep but still woke about 4 or 5 times, the wind picked up during the night and it sounded like the water was lapping our wheels. It took  while to adjust to this noise.

We went for a short walk before breakie to the Burke and Wills camp called after the early explorers who had established a long term base camp here. This is where a small party headed west from in the 1800s but they perished before their return. The Darling River near the camp had the most amazing gum trees. After our walk we headed back to camp for another slow start. Oh well!

We headed off at 10am to explore the south area of the Menindee Lake. A couple of the roads we wanted to take were closed so our only option was to head down through Kinchega National Park to the Kinchega Historic Wool Shed. This was a very interesting destination. The woolshed had been restored and there was machinery from the 1900s to view.

We then headed to Broken Hill back the way we travelled earlier this morning as the alternate route was too far in the wrong direction just to avoid travelling the same direction. On our arrival at Broken Hill we purchased our 12 month SA desert pass ($174), then headed to the Aquatic Centre for a swim. Then to the shops to pickup a few things we forgot to pack. By this stage it was late afternoon and we decided to stay in a motel here rather than travel the roads at roo and emu o’clock. A much safe option. We didn’t realise how difficult this decision was going to be, we spent the next 45mins trying to find accommodation. There was nothing available unless we wanted to pay over $200. Eventually we managed to find a room at the Royal Exchange Hotel, a very nice room, not too expensive with a lovely restaurant for dinner.

Hopefully David will get a good nights sleep in the king size bed where he won’t be woken by me all night. Then fingers crossed we can make it into South Australia tomorrow.

“Kinchega Woolshed is a very large linear building constructed of timber frame with corrugated iron cladding. It consists of 26 stands and is built upon a low sandy hill close to the Darling River. The main structure is constructed of trimmed river gum trunks, sawn roof frames and flooring raised well clear of the ground and a wide pitched roof, skillions and walls sheeted with corrugated iron. A notable feature of the building is the pavilion of sweating pens at the southern end; its light stud-frame construction contrasts with the heavier timber of the original section of the shed.
Nearby are a cluster of small corrugated iron clad buildings containing the shearer’s quarters, cookhouse and stores buildings.
Kinchega Woolshed witnessed the evolution in shearing technology that was seen throughout the wool industry during the nineteenth-twentieth centuries. Blades were replaced by mechanical handpieces and the steam traction engine that first powered the machinery stands outside the building. A boiler also is located here. Team was in turn replaced by kerosene and then diesel powered shearing gear. Finally the handpieces were powered by electrical equipment. In addition to the traction engine, the shearing machinery is also present, as is the wool press, wool cranes, a cart and buggy and other equipment.”

Nyngan to Menindee NSW

Monday 21st June 2021
Well David was in fine form this morning. His first words to me were “Well that was the worst night sleep ever”. Oops! It must have been a bad one. I thought it wasn’t too bad. I only woke at 12.30, 2.30, 4.30, 5.45 and 7am. Oh well, maybe tonight. I thought I would have slept well last night because I was so tired.

We woke to a very chilly morning. About 6°C in the tent and 3.9°C outside. So it took us a little while to get up. My aim was to get away by 8am but the tent was a little wet inside from condensation, so we let it dry out a bit and got away at 9am. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast by the river, which has a lot more water in it this year. The river was populated with so many pelicans this morning and the reflections in the water were beautiful.

So our aim today is to make it to Menindee Lake via Cobar along the Barrier Highway. We saw lots of wildlife today – sheep, one emu, kangaroos, cows and many, many goats. We lost phone coverage as soon as we left Nyngan, had it for a short while in Cobar and then have been without cover all day. A bit hard to check on mum without it, so I just hoped she was okay. I drove about 180km today, it was easy straight flat driving, we passed many road trains and caravans that were heading east but no overtaking required by me. Phew!

We turned off before we got to Wilcannia, on the first dirt road to Menindee and followed this west along the Darling River for 150km. The dirt colour and vegetation changed colours frequently and sometimes it was just flood plains. Along the way we saw some red tailed black cockatoos with the most vibrant red tails I have ever seen, it was a lovely drive. We arrived at Menindee at about 3.20pm and drove down to the lake near the weir. Last time we were going past this area on the Barrier Hwy, the caravan park owner told us that there was no water in the lake so it probably wasn’t worth the 150km detour. This time though it is full and is very beautiful with an abundance of birdlife and pelicans. It was amazing how many trees were under the water. We decided not to stay at the Menindee Caravan Park ($35 per night)  as the sun was going to set in the wrong direction, so we drove to Copi Hollow Caravan Park which was on Lake Copi Hollow ($25pn), a much smaller lake. This was very beautiful with lovely green grass, we went for a walk to the park but it looked quite crowded, so onwards we go to Lake Pamamaroo which was a little bigger than Copi Hollow but smaller than Lake Menindee. As we drove around the Lake we were heading towards the furthest camp called Burke and Wills Camp ($0pn) which had a toilet. The lake was very beautiful and there were people camped all along the lake edge for the 12-15km as we travelled to the end. We decided on a lake edge spot ourselves about 500m from the toilet camp. The lake was so smooth, the weather was so calm and I sat down to enjoy the serenity with a cuppa and cheeses and biccies as the sunset. What a beautiful late afternoon/evening. After the sun set we had a lovely dinner then went for a walk in the dark along the lake edge road about 3km as we haven’t done any exercise since Friday. Not quite an exercise as we wore our uggies but it was a lovely night and the walk helped keep us warm.

We managed to contact Kristen via text to check on Mum and then mum returned our called. FYI Mum, it is better for us to call you as it will probably have cost you a bit. Sorry. Mum is okay even though more was done than was initially intended. It was difficult to be out of range today but at least with the Sat Phone we were able to make contact. This is the first time the Aldi/Belong phones haven’t worked in a Telstra coverage area.

Anyway we have had a lovely day and really enjoyed the drive and the Menindee Lake area. We will explore here before we leave tomorrow as who knows if there will be water in the lake next time we go past.