Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Kidman Way, NSW.

Crossing the Queensland / New South Wales Border we entered The Kidman Way. This Tourist Route crosses NSW, in a North/South direction and terminating at Tocumwal, a Murray River town. By using The Kidman Way, caravaners can avoid the majority of freight trucks. Most of these trucks use The Newell Highway further to the East.

Our first stop-over was at South Enngonia Rest Area. This is a large flat area with no amenities but about 12 vehicles stayed the night. Alongside the Picnic Shelter was a Memorial Cairn commemorating the lives of Brother and Lenny Gleeson. The brothers were the first to create and use the principle of "The Road Train" form of freight haul. Brother was the first driver to have his licence endorsed to operate a Road Train.

Via 'the travellers' grapevine', we had heard great reports of The Mitchell CP at Bourke, NSW. We decided to stay a night and check it out. Steph and Dan, a young couple managing the park are doing a fantastic job, welcoming and entertaining all visitors. That there was almost 100% roll-up at the Happy Hour is testimony to Steph and Dan's enthusiasm for their caravan park.

Further on we arrived at Cobar and found Newey Reservoir. What a delightful Free Camp this is! The reservoir was once the town water supply but is now utilised soley as a recreational park. There are toilets for 'day use and camping patrons. The town of Cobar is most welcoming and contains most of the services a traveller would need. We stayed three nights here but could easily have stayed longer.

We moved on to Hillston, only a small town but easily accessible by foot from the Free Camp on The Lachlan River. We stayed two nights beside The Lachlan.

We then moved onto the City of Griffith. Once again we were able to access a Free Camp, this time at Wyangan Lake, about 9 km from the City Centre. We stayed five nights at this camp but still did not take in all the Tourist Highlights of the District. Griffith is located in The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, (MIA). Among many other crops this is a major wine producing centre, with producers of the calibre of McWilliams, De Bortoli, Casella Wines, producers of the Yellow Tail Label, Wauburn Estate, producers of Gossips and Rumours Labels. It is our intention to return to the fabulous City of Griffith on a later trip.

Eventually, we moved onto Finley, staying at The Finley Lake CP. At $50 for three nights, what more could you ask for! We welcomed the 240v power as we encountered one of those notorious 'Southern State' Cold Fronts. Bitterly cold Southerly winds and 1 deg mornings. We could exercise, after the sun come up, by walking the 2 km circuit around Finley Lake, or we could walk a similar distance into town. Due to the prevailing weather conditions we stayed in Finley for 4 nights before taking the final leg of the journey to Geelong.

This will be the final Blog Post for this exciting tour of Australia. We have seen many places of interest and met some wonderful people along the way. Some of these people we hope to maintain lasting friendships with. We have already been asked, "What or where is your favourite place that you have visited?" We cannot honestly answer that question as all places are different and have their own appeal for different reasons. We didn't dislike any place we visited! Up to this point of our travel, we have covered about 28,000 km over 13 months and enjoyed every day of it. By the time we arrive home we will have covered about 31,000 km over 15 months.

We are making a deviation to Victoria to visit with family living in the East and West of the state. We will then leave Victoria early November and make a relatively quick trip home to Hervey Bay. We anticipate arriving home "around" mid to late November.

WOW, what an experience!!!

Tune in again around mid 2016.

Arriving in Bourke from the North this imposing structure strikes the eye.

It is the Bourke Information Centre.

An imposing entry to Cobar.

A haul truck winding it's way down into the pit of this gold mine on the outskirts of Cobar.

The haul truck is just about to enter underground section of the mine.

Looking over the open cut to the town of Cobar.

Some old mining relics from a bygone era.

There is an informative Mining Heritage Park in Cobar depicting many aspects of the Gold Mining Enterprise.

More of the extensive park at Cobar.

An underground bucket loader.

The Loader above is powered by this massive electric motor.

The Information Centre at Cobar.

Some of the 'string' of caravans camped along Newer Reservoir.

The reservoir level is quite low at the moment. The caravans above are along the tree line on the right of this photo.

Our view of the reservoir from the caravan.

Camped on the bank of The Lachlan River.

Lake Wyangan, out of Griffith.

Lake Wyangan at the Boat Ramp.

There is a large Day Use area at Lake Wyangan including a small zoo.

Another inmate of the zoo.

Finley Lake, looking towards the town.

Finley Lake, looking towards the Caravan Park. Hope the levee holds as there will be several very wet caravans if it lets go!