LR to Weethalle

Lightning Ridge to Weethalle Report 2021

          2 vans a & 1 lady in a car left Lightning Ridge on 7th April for a roving rally ending up in Weethalle on 27th April. First stop was Walgett police station. No we were not in trouble but we had to check on which  roads were closed due to floods. Change of plans already as we could not go to Bourke through Brewarrina. We decided to leave Bourke for another trip. Off we go & see where we can go to.

          Next stop was Warren where we see lots of flood water.  Our free camp tonight was bombarded by mozzies, expected I guess, with all the water lying around. Visited IGA @ Warren to purchace mozzie coils, citronella buckets & aeroguard. Onto Nyngan & the Big Bogan & another free camp.

          Next stop Nevertire for smoko where us ladies encounted a green frog in the toilet bowl. Bev was not going to sit down till she recued the little frog. With the aid of the toilet brush she managed to rescue him only for him to try & return to the bowl. But this wasn't going to happen, a few more nudges & he was outside, finally. Now we can go to the loo in peace.

          Onto Cobar & another free camp only to find it closed due to Covid. Trev decided to check with the RSL Club & found out, to our surprise, that we could camp on the vacant block next door in the main street. Hmm, not sure about this. So we decided to pull in there & have a look around town & have some lunch & think about it. In the end we stayed. Could be noisy being near the pub, in the main street & also a Friday Night in a country town. But all was quiet. A great find. We checked out the sites along with very friendly flies, but no mozzies. No rain out here.

          Onto White Cliffs with a stop at Wilcannia for fuel & stretch the legs. Good town to stay away from. White Cliffs, what can we say. Set up in caravan park before driving around the sites. Checked out the Solar Station, found the 4 named loo's amoung the mounds & Doug's place where he had all sorts of sculptures made from rail spikes. Elvis, witches, sports people, inmates, etc. What an imagination he had & so well done.

          Off to Broken Hill. Found Info Centre & obtained pamplets & maps. Free camp site 6 kms out of town was our base camp with the parking area near Info Centre as our meeting place. Dump point, loo's, showers & drinking water were all available. Spent 4 days seeing all that was on offer, Miners Memorial, The Big Picture, Historic Buildings, Silverton, Murals, etc, etc.

         Menindee Lakes was next. What a lovely drive out to Menindee. Obtained directions to camp sites. Was a "Shit of a Road " to say the least. Rough, corrugated, very dusty & approx 9 km long. We were so glad to reach the end. Found a spot & set up camp. Over the next few days we went sight seeing, collected wood & did a bit of 4 wheel driving. Had our 1st camp fire of the trip. Ate Jaffles, toasted marshmellows & relaxed. Sadly Menindee Lakes itself was empty. The drive out was staggered so Barb & Bev could take the road slower. We all made it but Bev had some minor damage. Cracked window, door handle cover missing, fire extinguisher fell off wall & later found roof tight to raise. The joys of travelling.

          Back into Broken Hill & off to the library to obtain Vic Covid passes. After 1 1/4 hrs we had all 4. What a joke. Just so we could drive through Mildura.

          Off to Wentworth where we stayed at the free RV Park ( Sports Complex car park ). Fresh water, toilets & dump point available.  Wentworth is where the Murray & Darling Rivers meet. We also visited & climbed Perry Sandhills to see the God Tree, Lock 10 & seen the old Paddle Steamer which is being restored. The night & morning were very cold.

         Onto Mildura which we found to be very busy but had cheap fuel ( $1.16 fuel & $1.13 diesel ) & so glad when we made it through to Euston then Robinvale, both very lovely, clean towns. Finally we arrived at Balranald. Free 24 hr camp behind Discovery Centre with toilets & showers opens 24 hrs. Walked across the Swing Bridge, walked the town spotting the Frog Sculptures & Trev & Bev visited the Southern Cross Museum. Before leaving we visited the Charles Kingsford Smith landing site, where he did joy flights to raise money.

        Next stop Hay. We stayed at Sandy Beach RV Park. Magnificent painted silos which were only completed in Dec 2020. Another camp fire was made & more apple & sultana jaffles made. We attended the Anzac Day march on Sunday morning, followed by a walk around the town & a visit to the Railway Station. Cooked chicken & vege soup in the Dream Pot followed by apple & ginger jaffles served with custard for tea. Yummy. Monday morning Barb & Bev cooked a lovely bacon & egg brekky. Delicious. We do it tough when we free camp.

         Final stop Griffith where we set up camp at Willow Park on green grass, yes grass, beside running water & swimming ducks. Decided to stock up on groceries & necessities before we reach our destination. Headed off on the final leg to Weethalle via Barellan to show the ladies Evonne Goolagong's home town & big Tennis Racquet. Arrived in Weethalle to see lots of caravans already at the showground waiting for the Country Music Muster to commence.

        Overall we had a most enjoyable, interesting trip. Visited lots of towns, did lots of km's & enjoyed every minute.

        Report by Sue