Through Central NSW, To Outback QLD (Plus More, Final Report).


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My Last Report.

Right from the beginning when I started planning for this trip, I hoped to stay at Lake Houdraman. I had visited it previously and new it would be a lovely place to camp and to witness a sunrise over it’s waters. You never know what may greet you at that time each day, and although there was no cloud cover to give it that wow factor, the early morning colours reflected in it’s still waters were still something special.

Whenever I photograph a sunrise/sunset I try to get as many different foregrounds in various shots as possible, to try and give the viewer/reader a feeling of what my total experience was at the time.

Again there were two other couples there that morning and they were still punching out the zeds whilst mother nature was putting on that show.

The next destination that I thought worthy of showing you is Eromanga, special for a few reasons, one of those is explained on their welcome sign to town.

The next reason, is any town that displays things like these prominently along their main street is a town that I immediately like.

Founded in the 1880s when Opal was discovered nearby, in fact the towns first name was Oplalopolis! which not long after was changed to Eromanga, an Aboriginal word for a hot windy plain which in the summer I’m sure this place would be.

The Royal Hotel was originally a Cobb & Co staging post built in 1885, much of that and a few other outbuildings from that period still stand but it has had a bit of a make over in recent times.

What the town is now becoming famous for is the amount of dinosaur fossils bing found locally, including some from Australia's largest dinosaur, titanasaur a species of sauropod, making the area a must visit for palaeontologists and others with such an interest. This is reflected in local architecture and sculptures.

On the southern edge of town a park has been created, although the recent heavy rains caused an access issue for some! There a sculpture has been erected to pay homage to the towns fascinating past, one that goes back millions of years with their dinosaur history!

Daddy (or mummy) was huge and even the little tackers dwarfed Big Col!

I was so impressed with that sculpture, modern and yet connecting with the past, but I had to push on as rain was forecast for later in the day and I wanted to get well south of Tibooburra before it struck.

On the way back to the car I saw this golf ball, really weird for it to be where it was but I occasionally have a hit so I went to pick it up. I was surprised to see it was a Fungi, not something you would think of way out here, not yet fully formed but that’s what it was.

Every creek, every depression every floodway showed signs of those recent heavy rains, and how nice did it look particularly the creeks where months earlier they would have been dry. Native flowers were everywhere which just added to the scene, this Sturt’s Desert Rose took my fancy.

And then I was halted, a road block put my travels further south very much on hold.

I slowly drove on with the occasional toot of the horn, have I ever told you how dumb cows are. Many times I had to slow for cattle on the roads and tracks I drove on. They see you coming they watch you get closer and closer and then they all of a sudden jump and prance about not knowing what to do or where to go, many times I thought just how dumb they are and this group sat there and watched me approach and then all of a sudden there was a stampede in all directions Ha!

A quick stop at the Noccundra Hotel for a pic.

When I left Melbourne I had to do my trip in reverse to allow the tracks and roads around Tibboburra and south to Broken Hill time to dry out, so when I left the pub I was shocked to be confronted with this.



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It actually stunned me, for the recent rain (nearly 2 weeks previous around here) had not been heavy enough to still have this effect on the roads and tracks in the area. But what I hadn’t allowed for was the accumulative nature of those rains combined with heavy rains over the months previous. Once the ground is saturated there is no where for it to go, the general area and indeed most of outback Australia is relatively flat, so it turns out that those waters would be around for quite some time yet.

From the pub and that sign to the bridge over the Wilson River is about a kilometre and all bitumen so I drove down to see how bad it all was, I couldn’t even get close enough to it to see the bridge.

The bridge was around that far bend indicating that the volume of water there would have been huge, I could see that is was flowing across the road just in front of me so at the bridge it would have been something else.

Here are a couple of pics I took of the Wilson River when I was last there in late 2013.

The only way for me to go (and get home) was to head east towards Cunnamulla and then turn right and go down through Bourke. Rain was forecast for that area and indeed for most of NSW the next day but at least it was bitumen all the way south.

I stopped quickly at the Noccundra Cemetery, I now know why that spot was chosen for it was the only area around that still looked desolate after all those drought breaking rains.

The road to Thargomindah was open but still water flowed across it in places, here the depth indicated 400 mm which was no probs. I drove through it slightly quicker than usual trying to give the Beast a bit of a wash and get rid of some of the mud that was still stuck underneath.

There was such a contrast of vegetation through this part of the country, beside the road at times it looked barren with just the occasional flowering shrub or bush and then it was lush and verdant.

As I was taking that last pic I could hear twittering in that small tree, so went to check it out and saw these Budgies (No not smugglers!)

Not that much further along the road I came across this, just stunning!

At Thargomindah the Bulloo River was flowing quite quickly, normally it is just a series of waterholes.

Near Eulo I stopped at these Mud Springs.

Such an unusual geological feature, not something you see everyday.

Many unique forms of wildlife depend on areas like this for their very survival.



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It was now heads down and bum up as I drove on towards Bourke. As the day progressed clouds started to build and there was definitely the possibility of rain. I had no idea where I was going to camp that night but I did hope to make May’s Bend on the Darling River just north of Bourke before night fall. This I just did and before I pitched my tent and set up camp, I captured this shot of the sky to the west.

A bit later the sky looked less threatening but still very colourful.

Between courses that night I took the next couple of pics. Baked beans then the next shot then 2 minute noodles then the next photo!

With such a technical type meal being prepared and that amazing sky developing around me I was really impressed that I didn’t burn any of it, it did take a special amount of concentration to pull it off but pull it off I did Ha!

When all the colour finally left the sky and darkness descended over me, I sat there on the banks of one of Australia’s most iconic rivers and reflected on what had been an amazing day, and indeed trip. From the start of the day when I witnessed a stunning sunrise over Lake Houdraman, I had experienced so many beautiful scenes with a mixture of emotions thrown in, 865 ks driven as well and I knew I would sleep well that night.

With rain forecast further south and many areas still in flood from the last rain event and non virgin areas to drive through I decided to head for the Vic border where I would somewhere get a cabin or room to stay in for pitching the tent in rain on my last night was not something I looked forward to.

Up for a pee again in the middle of the night, the stars shone brightly between the clouds and I knew that this would be the last I’d see of them for awhile.

I was up and on the road at 6.15 but not before I had captured these scenes of a dramatic sunrise. Looking across the Darling right in front of my tent and then to the north towards a threatening sky.

I had previously mentioned that the forecast for today was not good so I spent the day driving towards Victoria. I didn’t get hit by the worst of it as I seemed to be keeping just ahead of the bands of rain that again dumped heavy rain on an already very wet NSW. As I closed in on Vic I thought that as I was only 2.5 to 3 hours away from home I might as well keep going which I did.

Pulling into my driveway just after 6.30 pm it had been a tiring day with 975 ks driven but I was home. Another amazing trip completed with so many hi lights, most of them I have shown you through these reports.

I was really lucky to do and see what I did on this trip, for the weather in the week after I returned deteriorated further, pouring down right across NSW and many of the areas that I went to and experienced had now been totally closed due to flooding Rivers and Creeks.

I hope you enjoyed my eleven days on the road/track, 5280 ks done and a great time had.

Till next time,


PS. The next morning I gave the Beast a bit of a squirt with the hose, I wasn’t up to doing a proper clean just yet. On that last day of my trip I had driven through quite a bit of rain and a couple of times through water over the road, I was still surprised at the amount of muck what was left on the road when I drove the car back into the driveway.



What a great trip this would of been for you and fantastic photos descriptions as well col.
Hoping to get out there myself 1 day and have a look around as well.