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Distance

5 528 km

Dénivelé positif

9 934 m

Difficulté technique

Modéré

Dénivelé négatif

9 934 m

Altitude maxi

763 m

Trailrank

18

Altitude mini

-45 m

Type d'itinéraire

En boucle

Durée

19 days 19 hours 21 minutes

Coordonnées

45572

Publié

22 mars 2017

Recorded

juillet 2016
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763 m
-45 m
5 528,0 km

Vu 148 fois, téléchargé 8 fois

près de Albany Creek, Queensland (Australia)

2016 Darling River Run Trip Report:

Fuel Economy for the Trip, towing our Trailer: 15.3 ltrs / 100kms
Total Distance covered from Start to Finish] 5592kms in 20days (280kms per Day)
Average Driving Time per Day: 3hrs 51mins


A quick report of our 3wk trip.....

Day-1:
Left HOME at 4am, breaks @ Hungry Jacks at Dalby then smoko @ Westmar then onto St George for Lunch, refuelled before heading on to our nights destination of Lightning Ridge It was around this time that I decided to investigate a squeak I was hearing. I originally thought it was just the slippers on the trailer, but on closer inspection I found was coming from the Front Suspension. Rang the fella that had replaced the Strut bushes some 2-3 mths previously to get his opinion, he said it should be OK to continue. Pressed on via Hebel to Lightning Ridge for the night.
Pulled into LR at around 4:30pm and it seemed all the Grey Nomads had taken all the camping spots within the Caravan parks but we managed to book the last spot at the Croc Caravan park for the night. Not really a good spot for the $$ paid....
Distance Travelled: 790 kms
Driving Time: 9hrs 07min

Day-2:
Up early and packed up to head off to check some of the local sites out, like the thermal baths. From there we drove 2 of the 4 Tourist Drives around Lightning Ridge - the Yellow Door & Blue Door drives & then onto the Walk-in Mine where I decided to look at tightening the Top Strut Nut to fix the suspension squeak...... Well, bad news. The nut or thread on strut shaft had stripped. So on the phone to a mate then the local mechanic who just happen to have a set of ironman struts, but we would have to hang around LR until Monday.
Nothing more we could do but explore LR and enjoy the extra 2 days stay, so we found a better/cheaper caravan park (LR holiday Park) where we booked in for 2 nights extra... Added benefit of this park was that the owners put on free wood fired pizzas, so it ended up being a late night chatting to some fellow tourists before going to bed."
Distance Travelled: 20 kms
Driving Time: 1hrs 02min

Day-3: Slow morning before going for a bit of a drive on the other 2 Tourist Drives - the Red & Green Door Drives around Lightning Ridge before checking out the local market and returning to camp for a hot shower before the grey nomads came in for the night….. Didn't work though & ended up having another luke-warm shower…
Distance Travelled: 28 kms
Driving Time: 1hrs 11min

Day-4: Woke up to a very cold and wet morning. Very uncomfortable morning tramping around the tent in what had become mud. Tried to get dry and warm until 10am where we all jumped into the car and drove down to the mechanics so they could replace the 2 front struts. Spoke to the mechanic and he kindly put us to the front of the list and we walked back to camp, visiting the local shops along the way. Called into John Murray’s Art Gallery for a look – very impressive.
Stopped into the local Bakery for a bit to eat before heading back to our wet, soggy camp just in time to receive a call from the mechanic saying the cars ready for pickup. I quickly walked down to pickup the car & paid for the repairs ($510 in total which was a relatively good price considering....) Went for a quick test drive and then back to camp to packup and head off at around 2:30pm. We reached Walgett, then onto Brewarrina and after seeing a bit of the town, we decided to push on towards Bourke. Ended up camping along the Bogan River 45kms from Bourke at around 5pm"
Distance Travelled: 282 kms
Driving Time: 3hrs 06min

Day-5: Up and left camp at 8:30 and headed into Bourke to the info Ctr. Paid for a 2 day pass for the Back of Bourke walk through and paddle wheel boat ride. Decided to take other people's advice and camp at Kidmans Camp (nice but very expensive - $60/night for a family of 5). Took some time to drive around Town & ended up checking out the Steam Powered Engine near the old Paddle Wheeler Wharf. Had Lunch across the road at Diggers on the Darling Cafe. Did the paddle wheel boat ride at 3pm the back to camp for the night.
Distance Travelled: 61 kms
Driving Time: 0hrs 59min

Day-6: Left Kidmans Camp and headed out to check out Mays Bend Camping Area but the road became boggy and we had to turned around otherwise we would have missed the Outback Horse Show at the Back O’Bourke Ctr. Had lunch at the café there before collecting the keys to check out the old Bourke Fort just out of town. On the return trip we did a detour to the local weir where they were also pumping water into the irrigation channels. From here it was back into town to refuel and drop off the key then head to the town of Louth for the night, hoping that the extra time will help dry the roads. Since it was our youngest boy's 11th birthday, we decided to camped in the grassy area next to Louth pub and had a hot shower and dinner at the pub for Ethan's birthday meal.
Distance Travelled: 175 kms
Driving Time: 3hrs 02min

Day-7: Woke up to the sounds of the local Turkey going off every time the dogs let out a bark, it was uite funny and the family got a bit of a laugh out of it.... Had a quick breaky, then packed up and checked the road conditions and took the punt on travelling down the western side of the Darling River to Tilpa. The road down was good as gold & we had no worries reaching Tilpa where I had to make some repairs to the AUX mud flaps. Once completed, we decided to take the chance and continue south on the western side. Reached the 1st bog hole where I got to walk it - it had a hard base so back in the car & off we went, reaching Wilcannia without any problems and we refuelled and checked out some of the local buildings before pushing on towards Menindee Lakes. Decided to do another road side camp and found a great campsite on the side of the road about 65kms nnorth of Menindee township. We had our 1st campfire for the trip as well....
Distance Travelled: 308 kms
Driving Time: 4hrs 15min

Day-8: Left camp around 9:30am and made our way south towards Menindee Lakes. Reached the T-junction and turned right to check out Sunset Strip. A row of houses over looking a dry Lake. Would be a sight to see when there's water in the Lake system from what it looks like now....From there it was back twds the township before turning off to check out Copi Hollow then follow the road around the outside of the lake to the main dam wall. Stopped for photos before making our way into Menindee Township for a look around; refuel & then onto Kinchega NP to check out the old Shearers Shed and old quarters. Had lunch there then off to follow the road heading around the edge of the dry lake and then turn Sth towards Tandou (private farming property in the lake). We turned east towards the Darling River again meeting up with the river again and found a nice little camp besides the river about 45kms from Pooncarrie. Had our 2nd Campfire for the trip and finally got around to cooking a birthday cake in the camp oven for Ethan so he would stop badgering us about it....
Distance Travelled: 222 kms
Driving Time: 3hrs 47min

Day-9: Packed up camp and headed off towards Pooncarrie at around 9am. Crossed a few Grids when the Wife saw something fly out from under the trailer…… Couple of kms down the road I stopped to check the trailer and noticed we had a broken Spring on the LHS of the Trailer that the trailer chassis had sustained a bit of damage as well from the U-bolts banging into the Chassis (I did have the springs on top of the axle). Having no spare springs, we started unloading the trailer and putting what we could onto the Cars Roof Rack when a Semi came along. He stopped to help, gave me a piece of steel and I bought some bike straps for $50 which I thought I could use to keep the axle in place and use the piece of steel to hel keep the wheel off the mud guard. Continued trying to resolve the problem when another local came along and stopped to see if he could help as he found what was left of our slipper springs further back up the track. He had a look and said it was our lucky day as he had a spare spring back at his home just down the road. He headed off to drop off his load and return with a spare slipper Spring for the trailer. We had to reposition the axle to above the springs and installed the new Spring and we were back on the road after having a bit of a long chat and exchanging Names and phone numbers so I could re-pay him when we got back home. Said our farewells and told Laurie that I would make contact with him when we back home and send some money his way.
We packed up and made our way into Pooncarrie for Lunch where I also noticed the hinge on the trailer side door had the pin come out. After a bit of mucking around, we eventually fixed it and called into the local shop for a loaf of bread and a lettuce. The nice lady gave us some advice about what to see in Broken hill before we headed off to Mungo NP for the night, staying in the local campground near the Mungo Lookout. The plan was to get up early to explore the Park before making our way south to Mildura for the night which would enable me to source the trailer springs/U-Bolts, etc as spares for where we are heading in the weeks ahead…..
Distance Travelled: 186 kms
Driving Time: 2hrs 12min

Day-10: Up early to see the sun rise over Mungo Lake. From there it was back to pack up camp, have breaky, then head off to explore Mungo NP – Walls of China, and the other sites to view, including a walk over the dunes at Viggers Well. Stopped to spend some time exploring the old Homestead Ruins. This was very interesting reading/seeing how they battled to live in this harsh environment. Stopped at the Mungo Info Ctr for lunch before we again hit the road towards Mildura for the night where hopefully the next day when business hours opened, that I could source the trailer parts I needed plus a food top up as well. Reached Mildura in good time and ended up booking into the caravan park on the northern side of the Murray. We had water front views too."
Distance Travelled: 183 kms
Driving Time: 2hrs 54min

Day-11: Late rise and a late breaky before I headed off to Bunnings to source some gear I needed then off to Mallee Bearings to buy another H/D 7 leaf slipper Spring and associated u-bolts, plates, nuts. Then back to camp to start the spring replacing process. About an hour later I had finished and we packed up camp and headed off into town to re-fuel, food top-up, then find somewhere for lunch.
After lunch we made our way to Wentworth for a “quick” look around town, visiting the old Gaol then to where the 2 rivers junction is located and then just down the road to the lock. The weather was starting to turn bad and we were starting to lose light, so we headed off for a quick stop in to view the Perry Sandhills before heading back onto the Hwy towards Renmark, turning north onto Anabranch road when the rain started to come down. With the weather looking more rain like and getting dark, we found a little clearing on the side of the road where we quickly setup the tent plus the trailer side awning just in time for it to start raining a bit heavier along with a COLD breeze too. Due to the outside weather conditions we decided to sit in the warmth of the car playing some games with the kids and having Chocolate Eclare Lollies for dinner before just jumping into the tent and going to sleep.
Distance Travelled: 94 kms
Driving Time: 1hrs 51min

Day-12: Up early again to a wet & a very cold camp. Managed to pack up and head off up the slipperly dirt road, coating the side of the car and trailer with red dirt/mud. We continued following the Anabranch Rd all the way north where it meets the Hwy where we turned Sth for a bit then crossed the Hwy and followed Old Broken Hill Rd nth through some nice country (when the fog finally lifted). Ment up with the Hwy and then turned north towards Broken Hill. Upon reaching Broken Hill we headed out to the Racecourse to setup camp to dry out before heading off to check some of the local sites out (Sculptures of the Desert & Jack Absaloms Art Gallery). From there it was back to camp & knowing our luck, probably another cold shower :(
Distance Travelled: 327 kms
Driving Time: 4hrs 32min

Day-13: We decided to stay a 2nd night at the Racecourse in Broken Hill and just go around to visit some of the other local attractions within Broken Hill. Headed of to visit the The Big Picture (Fantastic paintings, prints and the BIG PICTURE) / Silver Mint & Chocolate Shop, then did a quick drive around town, visiting the Big Ant, Mining Memorial, the onto Bells Milk Bar before heading over to the Royal Flying Doctor Service to do the tour and look around – very interesting on how it's all become modern, etc. As the daylight was coming to a end it was back to camp.
Distance Travelled: 32 kms
Driving Time: 0hrs 51min

Day-14: Woke up to a HEAVY Fog and windy day, so had a late breaky and slowly packed up & headed out towards Silverton, calling into the The Day Dream Mine tour. We ended up just doing the Surface Mine tour due to the cost for a family of 5 (done under mines tours b4, so wasn't a biggy). On our return from the tour, we had freshly made scones and hot coffee, tea and milo for the kids. Left there and headed into Silverton just as the fog finally decided to lift. Upon reaching Silverton, we visited the usual local tourist spots - Mad Max Museum, the local stone buildings before making our way down to the Silverton Pub for Lunch.
After lunch we headed off to the Mundi Mundi Plains Lookout then onto the VERY dry Umberumberka Dam and then we eventually found a good spot well off the side of the the road for the nights camp."
Distance Travelled: 102 kms
Driving Time: 1hrs 48min

Day-15: Tried for another early rise due to the BIG day that we head before us, but yet again we woke to another heavy fog. We were going to try and get to Tibooburra for daughter's 14th birthday meal at the Pub, so we headed off nth to a fine day once the fog eventually decided to lift. The plan was to head north and then follow along the Dingo Fence (SA/NSW border) until we reached Hawkers Gate, where we would turn east towards Milparinka and finally Tibooburra for the night. Along the way we started seeing a notice board that the homesteaders wanted us to call into their HS to advise them of our passing through. We did this once or twice but gave up as there no response. Reached the Dog Fence (SA/NSW) border and had lunch. Found out that a stone had taken out our watertank outlet and we lost all the water in the tank under the trailer.... wasn't too phased as I still had 65ltrs inside the car. We reached Hawkers Gate then turned east reaching Pooles Grave, Depot Glen Sturts Cairn. From here we headed to the old town of Milparinka and then turned nth onto the Silverton Hwy reaching Tibooburra late in the day. Managed to squeeze into the local caravan park. Set up camp and managed to score another cold shower before heading up to the local pub for a meal……. Almost 2hrs after ordering our meals we finally got our food, scoffed it down & then headed back to camp for bed.
Distance Travelled: 403 kms
Driving Time: 6hrs 09min

Day-16: Early rise as we had a BIG day again, so after refuelling we headed west towards Cameron's corner. Reached Fort Grey campgrounds then turned east onto Middle road to do the loop road to the QLD/NSW border then down onto Gorge Loop road, The Jump-ups Lookout and onto Mount Wood Station, stopping into see the usual sights along the way. From Mount Woods Stn, it was back to Tibooburra to refuel and then headed south to free camp for the night along Thompsons creek.
Distance Travelled: 338 kms
Driving Time: 5hrs 09min

Day-17: Up again to start the fire and have our 1st Bacon & Eggs for breaky of the trip. Once we cleaned up, it was off to Milparinka to explore and look around before heading off down the Silver City Hwy to Packsaddles R/H for lunch. Along the way we passed Elisa’s Grave and was surprised to see water in the nearby lake Cobham.
After lunch, we decided to take a chance and try a take a shortcut down to Mutawintji NP via Nundora & Marrapina Homesteads as this would be the shortest route to our distination. Unfortunately when we got to the turnoff point @ Nundora HS before heading south. and I stopped to ask the local Homestead if we could travel down that way and he told us he & his neighbour would prefer if we didn't. So we kept on heading east, which was going to add a fair bit of time and distance onto our journey to the NP. We eventually reached the park around 4pm and setup up camp just before it started raining.
Distance Travelled: 365 kms
Driving Time: 4hrs 29min

Day-18: Well, what a 1st night we had out here…. Around 10pm some drunk driver came hooning into the camp, I thought he was just a late arrival who couldn't reverse for nuts. Apparently he was giving one of the other campers a mouthful before crashing into some barrier fences that divide the camping areas before taking off again and tearing up the place before racing off…. About 10mins later we heard come back a full speed andthen we heard a loud bang and crash as he failed to take the corner and rolled his hilux. This obviously woke up the rest of teh campers in the campground and a few of us raced over to see what actually happened. Upon reaching his rolled Hilux, he wasn't to be found but as little more searching and we found him about 10mtrs away from his car, not moving at all. Fortunately there was some off duty police camping there as well and they tried to perform CPR (but no breathing), but with no pulse & no pupil dilation he was pronounced dead…. This obviously put the wind up the missus and our kids with all of us having a terrible nights sleep. With the events of the previous night we decided to stay another night here as we were all tied, so we decided to do some of the main walks with the one nth (Homestead Creek Walk) of the camp being the better one. After a full days of walks it was back to camp for dinner and prepare for a early rise and departure the following morning.
Distance Travelled: 28 kms
Driving Time: 0hrs 34min

Day-19: Early rise and packed up and was on the road by around 8am, we headed north towards White Cliffs. Upon reaching White Cliffs, we refuelled at the corner store, had a very quick look around town then called into local info centre to ask about road conditions out to along the road to Paroo-Darling NP & then north to Wanaaring. The lady told us the road to Wanaaring was closed (which turned out to be incorrect) so we took another road north that would meet up with The Cut road which would enable us still to get to Wanaaring and then onto Hungerford and Currawinya NP. We took the road north via Glen Hope and Questa Park HS's. The road nth was an excellent road and we pulled into Wanaaring for a late lunch. Called into the local store for some bread, drinks, ice creams for the family and ended up having a bit of a chat and that's when he told us that the road wasn't closed at all only the section below White Cliffs….
After lunch we hit the road and reached the Hungerford and the NSW/QLD border and we continued up the road reaching the turnoff to the 2 salt/fresh lakes in the Currawinya NP and found a nice little spot beside a fresh waterhole left from the recent rains and set up camp there, hopefully for the 2nd last time….
Distance Travelled: 503 kms
Driving Time: 5hrs 55min

Day-20: We again managed another early rise again and this time we managed to head off at 7.30am, our earliest yet…. We headed out to the 2 Lakes (Fresh Water Lake Numalla and one Salt Lake Wyara). The track in was good but became a bit wet where u had to drive around a fair bit of water, but it wasn’t a problem. We stopped at the Fresh Lake 1st (Lake Numalla) and went for a walk down to the waters edge. Apparently this lake usually has water in it and never really dries up but apparently it came close this time before it rained. It’s a beautiful lake that u can swim in. Then it was onto the Salt Lake Wyara some 6kms down the road where we met the local Contractors that had the contract to round up and catch the wild/feral Goats. This is done via bikes and dogs. We stopped and had a good chat. Apparently there’s some good money in the Goat Business if u know what you’re doing. We walked half to the waters edge of the Salt Lake but it was clear that it was a fair distance to walk and we didn’t really have the time so we turned around and walked back, stopping to have a bit more of a chat the lady Goat catcher. They informed us that this lake is usually dry most times.
Once we said our goodbyes, we headed out and onto the “The Granites” for a bit of a look. This turned out to be a mini Devils Marbles of sorts, quite a nice surprise. This was a top little spot which really deserves more time exploring. It was then back on the road and made our way out & up to Eulo via a pretty good Road. Continue onwards to Cunnamulla where we would refuel and have a bit to eat. After Lunch I did a few calculations on the distance from home & then called a family chat where I explained to the missus and the kids that we were in striking distance of Home and I gave them the option of driving through into the night and getting home around midnight vs stopping and puttin up and pulling down a wet Tent again.... They all chose the 1st option of driving through to HOME, so the decision was made and after lunch we set off, hoping to reach home around midnight.
We made good progress, reaching St George by around 5pm; Goondiwindi by 7>7.30 and Warwick by around 9.30. Stopped to refuel at Aratula and finally reaching home at 11.54pm at night - some 1145kms from where we started.
Distance Travelled: 1145 kms
Driving Time: 12hrs 53min


THE END..... until next time.....on the road less travelled
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