Brisbane to Lake Eyre. Our first big adventure.

Thursday, Oct 09, 2008 at 14:00


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Friday 03/10/2008

11pm on friday night and we had just pulled out of our drive-way. After many weeks of planning we finally had the car packed and were ready to embark on our first big trip.
We had talked to many people about leaving at night. All saying we were crazy and that it was just far too dangerous driving at night due to all the wildlife on the roads. We wanted to get out past St George by day break as we didnt want to waste a day doing the same drive we have done dozens of times.
We left at about 11pm. First stop was to fill up the tanks with fuel and then we were on the road headed for Toowoomba. Stopped here for a quick loo break and then back on the road. Was actaully nice driving at night as there wasnt much traffic and we so no wildlife on the roads. Our next stop was at Westmar for another loo stop and then on to St George. We arrived at St George just on day break. It was just stunning watching the sun come up. This was the start of our holiday. This is where we encountered our first bit of wildlife. So many roos on the side of the road. Was just beautiful arriving at St George at this time of day. All the utes coming home from a night out pig hunting. WOW. I'm a city girl and had never seen anything like that before. Was pretty neat. Nothing was open in town so we kept driving hoping to find a fuel station open somewhere close by. We finally stopped at Bollon and filled up the tanks and had our breakfast and a much needed coffee on the banks of Wallam Creek. This, to me, was the start of our Outback trip. It was beautiful to just sit back and listen to the birds and watch the colours change as the sun came up.

We had a good break at Bollon and after a few hours we jumped back in the car and continued on to Cunnamulla. I was so surprised with how green everything was. Really didnt expect it to be looking so lush. Spent a bit of time looking around Cunnamulla and had another cuppa then hit the road again, this time heading out towards Thargomindah and then on to Noccundra. By the time we reached Eulo DH was feeling pretty stuffed so it was my turn to drive. WooHoo finally. Was great to get behind the wheel and have a turn. I'd never been outback before so it was just amazing to see the landscape. The straight roads that just looked like they would never end. Driving and driving and driving and feeling like you're not going anywhere. I drove to Noccundra where I shouted myself a much needed beer (I let DH have one too) and sat down to have a chat with the other travellers we met at the pub. The Noccundra Hotel was lovely. It was so busy as there was some function going on their so the camp ground behind the pub was full. Not to worry. We headed over to camp next to the river. So dry and dusty but we found a nice little spot and put up the oz tent. All very tired and just wanting to relax. The flies at this stage were just shocking. Our 6 yr old son was absolutley disgusted with them and put on quite a tanty (even with his fly net on). In the end I think he decided the best thing to do was to just keep his mouth closed. Best idea he had had all day...nice and quiet for the first time since we'd left Brisabane. We had a very early dinner and just relaxed. DH and our son took their chairs down and put them in the river and just sat there and relaxed. What a sight. By late afternoon a storm was rolling in. The sky was black, the wind was picking up the birds were flying away. we looked up and we saw this massive dust cloud coming our way. It all happened so quickly. We had about 60seconds to throw everything in the car and jump into the tent. There was rain and gail force wind. We found out the next day that the wind had been 140km/hr. The dust storm lasted for about 10minutes. DH wanted to see what it looked like so he stuck his head out of the tent for a peak! HA! Needless to say he copped a mouthful of dust and sand. Was rather funny, mind you I think he would disagree. Storm pasted and we ventured out of the tent to clean up the mess. Not too bad just made everything filthy. Cleaned up, played some cards, had another beer and turned in for the night. Was wonderful to get some sleep, and was surprisingly warm too, didnt expect that.

Day 2.
Woke up to the sound of 100's, maybe 1000's of birds on the river. Everyone feeling very refreshed and ready for the adventures of day 2. Had a nice breakie by the river watching the pelicans floating up and down the river looking for food. DH did a quick service on the car. Everything looked great. So far we are very happy with out set up, especially the OzTent. it's fantastic to be able to put it up and down so quickly and with such ease. And is the perfect size for the 3 of us too. Were packed and ready to go by 9am on the dot. There was a storm rolling in from the south which didnt look very promising and the weather reprt wasnt great either. We decided we'd carry on anyway. Went back to the Noccundra Hotel to take some photos and have a wash and hit the road headed for Innamincka. Seemed to be quite a bit of water on the side of the road so obviously got a bit more rain during the night than we thought. Not enough to change the conditions of the roads though which was a relief. The drive to Innamincka was very slow. Lots of dead kangaroos, emu's, sheep and cow's on the road. I was the first one to hit anything. Poor Lizard, I truely didnt see it. The land scape was still continuing to change. It was getting flatter and flatter. The trees and shrubs were disappearing and being replaced by rocks and dirt. We arrived around lunch time at the turn off to Nappa Merrie station and head off to see the Dig Tree.
I remember learning about Bourke and Wills when I was at school, so to be able to see the Dig Tree was just fantastic. I never thought I’d be standing here, not at this stage of my life. I thought we’d travel when we were much older, not standing at the base of the Dig Tree with my son and the love of my life at the nice young age of 25! It was a great feeling. We were the only ones there when we arrived. It was so quiet. I think the fact that we had this place to ourselves made the experience even better. We took our photos, read all the visitor information, pinched a leaf from the Dig Tree and headed on our way to Innamincka.
We hadn’t been driving for that long when we saw something in the distance. We couldn’t quite make out what it was but soon discovered to our excitement it was the South Australian boarder. Now to some people this may not be a big deal, but to us it was so exciting. DH has only been out of QLD once in his 25 yrs so to make it this far was pretty neat. We stopped here for a few minutes and took all the photos of us under the sign with our hands waving above our heads saying “Look at us! Look where we are!” We kept driving and eventually arrived in Innamincka. Fuel here was $2.04/L!!!! Dearest we had come across so far. We refuelled, got some souvenirs (stickers, tea towels, fridge magnets), picked up our Desert Parks Pass, Alex had an ice-cream and then headed over to the pub to have a few drinks and cool off in the air con. We spent the next three hours in the pub talking to fellow travellers, having a few drinks and just unwinding. DH gave the car a quick once over and we headed off again to have a little drive around Innamincka. We found the old cemetery. Such an isolated place. So dry and harsh. Can’t have been an easy place to live. The earliest grave we found was marked 1894, and the most recent was 1943. There were so many children buried there. Took some photos and continued on to Burke’s grave site. We arrived there and had a very sandy 300m walk to the grave site. I will point out here that I absolutely hate walking in sand! Especially when I’m wearing thongs. I was leading the way, following what I thought was the path when DH overtook me and decided it was his turn to lead. We followed him and followed him. I swear we had walked more than 300m. DH and Alex were ages ahead. This was stupid. We had missed the grave site and were now walking aimlessly around in the scrub. I finally found the grave site and was relaxing under the tree when DH and Alex finally arrived. Turned out I was heading in the right direction to start with. Bloody men. It was a beautiful spot. Huge red gums, Cooper Creek. It was a very simple monument but lovely all the same to be standing there looking at it. Took photos and headed on.
We decided that it was time to think about where we were going to spend the night. We had planned on setting up camp at Cullyamurra water hole but didn’t know how far that was. We set off to find it. One again we were the only people camped at Cullyamurra Water Hole. It was such a large area and so many camp spots to choose from. In many of the areas there were think water reeds growing near the back so it was too difficult to get down to the water for a swim or a paddle. We finally found somewhere perfect with a lovely area to swim. We set up camp right on the bank of Coopers Creek. It was the perfect time of the afternoon to arrive as the colours were just starting to change. All the reflections on the water made everything absolutely glorious - Just stunning. DH and Alex decided to go down for a swim. Alex was terrified by the little fish that kept nibbling his toes. I finally braved it and went in for a quick dip. The water was FREEZING! And so dirty. I desperately needed to wash my hair so I filled a few buckets of water from the river and took them back up to our camp. I got my hair all nice and wet and then soaped up. So far so good. I rinsed. Still good. I conditioned and rinsed again. Seemed ok. Let my hair dry a little then tried to brush it. Oh my goodness. Now remember I’ve never been bush before. Never really roughed it. Never had to wash myself in a creek or wash my hair in a bucket or water. My poor hair was like straw. Brittle and was a kind of a muddy grey colour. Yuck! We got a small fire going for Alex to toast some marshmallow’s on after dinner and cooked our snags and enjoyed a sausage sizzle for dinner. There were dark clouds filling the sky now and we could see some lightening in the distance. It was great sitting around the fire. Such an awesome feeling knowing that we were in the middle of no-where with not a single person around for miles. No lights, no cars, no TV’s or radios. Just pure silence. In a way it was rather eerie knowing that we were so completely alone out there. The wind started picking up so we packed up for the night and went to bed. Not sure what time it was but we all woke up in the middle of the night with the sound of rain pelting down on the tent. The wind was just roaring through the camp. I truly thought the tent was going to take off. Then the panic set it. We’d camped under a huge red gum. Not something I had even considered when setting up. DH assured me we would be ok and we all went back to sleep. Next morning we awoke once again to the sound of the birds on Cooper Creek.

Day 3.
What an amazing morning. Had a leisurely breakfast and packed up camp. At this stage I could really see the advantage of having a camper trailer. Sick of putting the tent up and down every day. Not that I was the one doing it. Was still exhausting to watch. Car still performing well and with that we headed back into Innamincka. I thought by day three that I would be used to the flies. Hmm I really can’t see that happening now. Got into Innamincka at about 9am and used the toilets and had a bit of a wash. Called my parents to let them know we’d made it this far. Good to talk to them share some of our trip. Got to love 1800reverse ha-ha. Talked to the guys at the trading post about the old Strzelecki track and decided that would be the way we’d go to Lyndhurst. Before we said goodbye to Innamincka we went out to the site where King was found and to have a look at Will’s grave. King’s site was a lovely spot, but the area of Will’s grave was stunning. I think the fact that it was a glorious day may have had something to do with it but it was just so pretty. Cooper Creek was much wider here and was flowing so fast. If we ever come here again I think this will be a spot that we’d have to camp, no toilets here though but ample trees. DH and Alex went for a potter down to the creek and to explore a little. Alex spotted an old boot that someone had nailed to the truck of a great big red gun. He thought that was rather neat. We took the usual photos and I pinched a flower from the tree at Wills Grave. We spent quite awhile hear before we headed on. We went over our first sand dune here too (it was tiny but still counts).
We were now ready to start the next leg of our trip. The Strzelecki Track. We had decided to travel along the old track until we reached Merty Merty where we were told it met up with the new track. Before leaving for this trip I had talked to lots of people about the Strze track and what it was like. Some people said it wasn’t bad, others said it was pretty rough and to take care. I’m thinking those people may have been pulling the micky out of me. I think we’d actually been on the old Strzelecki Track for about 30minutes before I realised we were actually driving on it. Was nothing like I expected. We didn’t ever engage 4WD. I had my eyes peeled for the Merty Merty sign. I was actually starting to think that we were on the wrong track when all of a sudden we were at the intersection for the new Strzelecki track. A little overrated if you ask me.
The new track was so straight and smooth and seemed to just go on and on and on never ending. We pulled into the Montecollina Bore. This was pretty cool. The colour of the water was gorgeous. Like the colour of the ocean. It was icy cold and so salty. Alex tasted salt crystals off the ground which was a bit of a novelty for him. We had actually planned on camping here for the night but it didn’t look that inviting as it was very windy and the sand was getting blown everywhere. We decided to carry on to Lyndhurst.
We were really in desert country now. Red sand dunes and sand everywhere. Just dead straight roads as far the eye could see. The old surf didn’t like driving on the sand at all. The gearbox was playing up. The oil in the auto gearbox got too hot and wouldn’t hold top gear so it made travelling rather slow. We were running very low and fuel and as usual I was starting to panic slightly that we wouldn’t make it. The red fuel light came on just as we pulled into Lyndhurst. Phew!
We filled up in Lyndhurst. The fuel here was only $1.85/L here which was reasonably cheap in comparison to other places. It was getting late in the afternoon and everyone was getting tired and cranky. Well I was anyway so we didn’t hang about it Lyndhurst. We sat and let the car cool down for a bit while we decided where we were going to spend the night. We could smell a very strong diesel smell and discovered that the fill hose on the back tank had a hole in it. It turned out that the rough roads had been causing the tyre to rub against the filler hose. It made filling the tank all very difficult. Nothing some duct tape and a stubby holder couldn’t fix. This quick fix lasted all the way back to Brisbane which was great.
We thought it would be a good idea to stay at Farina for the night so headed off in that direction. I was not impressed about staying here at all. I was tired and very cranky. It was absolutely freezing cold. It was windy and there was dust blowing everywhere. We turned at the Farina turn off and headed down to the camp ground, paid our money and looked for a site to set up. There was another vehicle there but could see no people. I did not want to stay here. It was bare and nothing but red dirt. It just seemed to unappealing to me. DH put his foot down and told me that this was it and if I didn’t like it I could sleep in the car. There were flush toilets which were clean and a shower with a donkey boiler. I guess I could put up with it for one night. By the time we had the tent up and had set up camp and the wind died and the all I can say is WOW. I was in awe of this places beauty. Just standing there watching the sun bathe the surrounding area with this gorgeous golden light. Everything looked so beautiful. I started cooking dinner, Thai green curry with lamb, and just sat back and watched the sunset. It was still very very cold so we ate our dinner, cleaned up and went to bed.

Day 4.
All had a great sleep. It was so cold though. Had two sleeping bags over us and we were still cold. The wind had gone completely now although it was still quite chilly. The other people in the camp ground had got the donkey boiler going so I couldn’t wait to have a stinking hot shower and wash my hair. The water from the shower was straight out of the bore and was so salty. I washed my hair and felt so refreshed and clean and just terrific. I was ready for anything now. DH went for his shower too. I don’t know why, maybe it’s a male thing, but DH seems to think using soap to wash his hair is just the same as shampoo. HAHA he soon discovered that this was not the case. Not quite sure why but the salt water didn’t quite agree with the soap DH was using. He came out of the shower and it looked like he had washed his hair with wax...and no amount of clean fresh water could change that. Dread locks really don’t suit him.
After being so cranky about having to spend the night here it actually turned out to be pretty special. We experienced our first proper outback sunset. Farina turned out to be my favourite place. We had a very easy morning and took our time packing up. The rough roads had started to take their toll on the car. We had to tighten a few bolts but apart from that all seemed ok. We left camp at 10am and went to have a look at the Farina cemetery. The old cemetery was just amazing. 1942 was the most recent grave we could see, and graves from the 1860’s were the oldest we found. Once again there seemed to be so many children. There were quite a few Afghan graves too which were situated in a small corner of the cemetery away from all the others.
Before we got back on the road for Marree we stopped at the Farina Ruins. Once again this was just absolutely amazing to see, especially for young Alex. For him to see how people used to live, to see how hard it must have been. It was an eye opener for him I think. We spent about an hour walking through the ruins exploring and reading all the stories. We found bits of old plates and broken tiles. Alex even found an old fashioned woman’s boot which he thought was just great. A real discovery he called it. I can’t imagine living like this. So isolated. It isn’t any wonder that the town died. This harsh landscape seems so unforgiving.
We left for Marree at around 11:30am. Stopped and had a very small look around. The towns out here are just getting smaller. I guess for me when I see a town on the map I just assume it is going to be a busy little place, but there wasn’t a soul out walking the streets when we pulled up in Marree. We stopped and got some supplies from the shop as well as a sticker for the car. Unfortunately we weren’t going any further than Marree. I so badly just wanted to keep going but we had only planned to come this far before we turned and went home. Next time we will go further. All that aside it still didn’t stop us from driving a few Kilometres up the Oodnadatta track. We had our photo take under the sign too (of course). It may seem silly but just to be driving along the Oodnadatta was such a thrill. Instead of reading about it and hearing about other people’s travels we were having our own adventure and I was loving every minute of it. We turned back and turned off at the road headed for Muloorina Station. We had heard this was a great place to camp and thought that we would spend the night here. Everything is so dry and bare out here. No grass, no water, no trees, no shade yet so many sheep. Dead and alive. The drought out here means nothing until you actually see it for yourself. What they show you on the news on TV is nothing. You really get a sense of the desperation when you see it for yourself. We crossed over the dog fence where there were warnings about dingoes and the baits out to catch them. Lucky we left our pooches at home. We saw a mother Emu and about 20 baby emus running through the scrub. What an amazing sight.
We got to the camp ground. There was one other tent there but no car. We followed the track around to what appeared to be a swimming hole off the main bore. This is where we found the other car and some very surprised travellers who were enjoying a skinny dip. What a fright we gave them. They jumped out of that water so quickly. Very funny. We left and went back around to the camp ground and started to set up. Shortly after the skinny dippers drove back to their tent, packed up and were gone in about 10 minutes. Once again we had the camp ground all to ourselves. We found a lovely spot by the water where there was a nice big table and a tree for Alex to climb. While we were busy setting up camp again we were surprised by about 16 horses that came down to drink from the bore and to have a swim. These horses I’m assuming were from Muloorina Station. It was lovely to see them and Alex enjoyed watching them too as he’d never seen so many before.
We found out that Muloorina means ‘place of plenty’. The camping here was $2. There were flush toilets but no showers. Muloorina Station is about 400,000 hectares and sits on the artesian bore is 543m deep and the water comes out at a scorching 56C. While we were setting up camp I noticed that our bulbar was a little lopsided. The bolts holding it in had snapped and there was only 2 bolts holding it to the car. So off it came and up on the roof it went. What a bugger. Meanwhile Alex set himself a challenge to wade through the bore all the way to the other side. It wasn’t deep and we could see the bottom but for that little man to do it all by himself was pretty brave. Not something he would ever do. He was so proud of himself. We lit a lovely fire and boiled the billy and just sat around all afternoon relaxing and enjoying this beautiful piece of Australia. Once again we were able to sit and watch the sunset. The colours were just spectacular. They went from light pink, to dark pink, to purple to red. The sky was just on fire. Pesto pasta for dinner which was yumo. It was a very enjoyable evening just sitting around the camp fire talking and toasting marshmallows. Another campervan pulled up rather late and set up camp down the other end of the camp ground. Bed by 9pm.

Day 5.
We woke to the sounds of 100’s of birds. What a sight. All slept well and feeling very well rested. We noticed a whole heap of dog tracks around out camp site, not sure if they were dingo’s or just dogs from the station. Packed up by 8am and headed off to Level Post Bay to see Lake Eyre. It was 46km from the camp site to Level Post Bay. The road was just awful. Obviously sand but just so corrugated too. Lucky that DH took the bar off otherwise it would definitely have fallen off. Arrived at the little car park and left the car there and walked the last 200 odd metres. A ‘Lake Eyre National Park’ sign met us. Oh my goodness I was getting so excited. We were finally here. On the edge of Lake Eyre. Who would have thought we’d actually make it. I was lost for words. It was amazing. Beautiful. Nothing. Absolutely nothing for as far as the eye could see. So salty. So windy. So open. So isolated. We were told that you could camp here but it turned out that that information was incorrect. Lucky we decided to camp at Muloorina instead. Lake Eyre is truly something you have to see for yourself. It’s the largest salt lake in Australia and apparently it takes three months to fill and about three years to dry. In some areas it has layers of salt up to 50cm thick. Coopers Creek flows in here too. We walked out onto the lake. There were even car tracks that looked rather recent. Alex tasted the salt too. Would be spectacular to see it with water in it. Maybe one day we’ll be back. I sure bloody hope so. We headed back to the car after we’d taken the usual tourist shots and I noticed that the winch was looking a bit funny. DH informed me that the fairlead mounts had snapped off and the front of the winch was hanging out. An easy fix. We left Lake Eyre and headed back towards the Camp site. We had just made it back when the car started to make a funny noise. DH got out and said that the drive axel had slipped out, not all the way, just a little bit, something about the washer under the bolt bending because of the rough roads. Once again it was an easy fix and we were able to carry on back through Marree on to Lyndhurst. We drove up the Birdsville track for about 10km just to be able to say that yes, we’d driven on the Birdsville (yeh I know it’s lame but I don’t care). We arrived at Lyndhurst around lunch time, refuelled and had a quick bite to eat at the pub, pie and beer. We were just about ready to jump in the car and go when Alex needed to go to the toilet. He ran ahead of me and was in the toilet cubicle with the door locked by the time I got there. After about 10minutes of waiting Alex informed me that he couldn’t get out and that the lock was stuck! Bloody boys! There was no gap under the door for him to crawl under and there was about a 10 inch gap between the top of the toilet door and the ceiling but he had no way of climbing up there. So off I went to find some help. There was a young German girl working behind the bar so she came to see if she could help armed with a bar stool and a knife. The knife failed to unlock the door and she wasn’t thin enough to squeeze through the gap. So off we went again to find a skinny person to squeeze through the gap. Finally we found another young girl who climbed up and just managed to slip through the gap and unlock the door for young Alex. Needless to say he got a clip round the ears and a stern talking to. An hour after finishing our lunch we were finally on the road taking a very embarrassed and sorry Alex along with us.

We left Lyndhurst at about 2pm. About 40km along the Strzelecki Track the car once again started making a funny noise. We pulled over and had a look and discovered that the front drive axel was falling out of the drive hub (I think that’s what DH said anyway). DH managed to fix it without any drama. Some people stopped to see if we were ok which was so nice. Had a nice chat with them about their travels and where they had been. They’d just been to Mt Isa, the Gulf, and Birdsville and were heading to Innamincka. Said they had experienced 42C temps in the Gulf!! They told us that they had been stuck on the side of the road for about two days waiting for a car to drive past when they had car trouble. We said goodbye and continued on our way. No other problems with the car and as we seemed to be making pretty good time we decided not to spend the night at the bore and kept on going, bound for Cameron’s Corner. The road from the Strzelecki Track to Cameron’s Corner was GREAT! So much fun. Like a rolla-coaster. We came over a rise a little too quick and almost hit two cows that were right on the other side. We got such a fright and so did the cows...the actually crapped themselves. Needless to say that Alex thought that was an absolute hoot. We arrived at the Corner Hotel right on dusk. Just in time to see the colours changing. WOW. Absolutely magnificent. It was so good to be here. We had planned on putting the Oztent up but as it was almost dark we decided we’d treat ourselves and stay in one of the rooms. Was nice to not have to worry about putting the tent up. We had a drink and a chat at the hotel and decided we’d have a wash before dinner. Was awesome have a hot shower with pressure! Had a burger for dinner and a few more drinks. We were the only ones here for the night so it was really nice to sit and have a chat with the owners. The hotel had such a lovely atmosphere to it. We were told that the Hotel was up for sale. Would be a great place to work. You’d meet so many people. DH and I both said that when we are retired we’d come back and work at the hotel. Alex threw a $5 note up on the ceiling with all the other notes that fellow traveller had pinned up there for the Royal Flying Doctors and he left one of his hats pinned to the wall. We got a sticker and organised to be mailed a stubby holder as they had sold the last one the day before. Bugger! We said goodnight and headed off to bed. I think we were all asleep within seconds of the light turning off, was a very long day.

Day Six.
Woke up early this morning. All slept really well. Up, showered and packed and ready for breakfast by 8am. Not looking forward to getting back in the car today. Not because my bottom is sore but because the end of our holiday is getting closer. We’re a day ahead of our schedule so we can have a very leisurely morning and take our time. Breakfast at the hotel, had a look at the corner post and then we said goodbye to South Australia as we drove back through the dog fence and into NSW. The road to Tibooburra was horrible, nice little down though. We stopped and had a little look around, saw the museum and got the usual stickers and stubby holder. From here we drove all the way to Wanaaring, once again the road was horrible, covered in bulldust. Was a very slow drive. We were planning on spending the night at Wanaaring but once we arrived we decided against this and since we had heaps of daylight left we continued on to Bourke. DH was buggered by this stage so was allowed to drive the last 192km to Bourke. First time this whole trip he’s let me behind the wheel. Was nice to be driving but was a little difficult as the road was so soft. I think it was covered in sand or bulldust or something like that. We kept driving and driving and driving slowly getting closer to Bourke. The sun was starting to set and the roo’s were starting to come out. Had a very close call with a Kangaroo and a very large Emu. We finally arrived in Bourke at about 7:30pm daylight savings time. It was still light so we went to the information centre to try and get our bearings. Once again we decided to stay in a motel after another long day. We stayed at Back O’ Bourke in a nice little self contained unit, cost $100 but it was nice to just relax. We arrived at the motel and went to start getting our gear out of the car but the damn back window of the surf was stuffed and it wouldn’t wind down. We have draws in the back of our 4wd and the only way to access them is through the tailgate. We had our bedding, all our cooking gear and a heap of other stuff so that was the end to our camping. Lucky we had opted for a motel. We ended up having sausages, bacon, tinned mushrooms and instant potato for dinner (trying to use up some of our food). Note to self: Never ever ever buy tinned mushrooms or instant potato again. In bed by 10:30pm. All buggered!

Day Seven.
All had an awesome sleep. Felt so well rested. Had breakfast and coffee and packed the car. Left motel at about 9:30am. Headed into town to have a look around and get a bit of a feel for the place. I really liked Bourke, it had such a lovely feel to it. We went back to the info centre, once again getting our sticker and our stubby holder. Found a great little bakery so stopped there for about an hour and had some morning tea and a coffee while we read over some of the information we had picked up at the info centre. Discovered that Fred Hollows is actually buried here, something I didn’t know. Saw the old Bourke Bridge and the ‘Janda’ paddle boat. Left Bourke and headed towards Brewarrina. DH had been wanting to catch a Shingle Back lizard the whole trip but had had no luck. He spotted one crossing the road so stopped to rescue it off the road. I don’t think the lizard was terrible impressed to be disturbed but it would have been horrible if it had been squished. It was a real eye opener travelling through some of the towns as we headed for home. Just seeing all the shops with bars all around them, even some of the houses had huge security fences around the whole house. Locals just sitting on the side of the road with kids in prams, were a little scary. We drove all the way to Moore and again spent the night in a motel. Just as we pulled up in the motel car park the car died. Perfect timing. It was just the battery, the rough roads had rubbed a hole in the side of our brand new battery. Turned out we had been sold the wrong type before we left. Lucky the NRMA man was able to help us out with a new one. Didn’t really spend any time looking around Moore. The car was our main concern and by the time we had all that sorted it was late so we had some dinner and went to bed.

Day Eight.
We left Moore early. We knew we’d be home that afternoon and we were all heavy hearted that our trip was almost over. It would have been so nice to spend another few weeks exploring but we just didn’t have the time of the money. We had seen what we came to see. It was never meant to be a long trip, and we knew we’d be doing it again in a few years time. It’s just such an amazing feeling being away from the comforts of home and getting out there and exploring everything is amazing country has to offer. I am so lucky that we were able to make this trip. We all had a wonderful time. My son learnt so much and saw so many things that he’s never seen before.
We arrived back in Brisbane at about 4pm. The roads were wet and everyone was heading home from work. I sat in the car looking at all the other drivers thinking to myself “ Gee! If only they knew where we’ve come from!” We pulled into our driveway at about 5pm and were greeted by my parents. I can’t believe it was only 9 days ago that we were waving goodbye and excitedly heading off on our adventure. We have travelled 1000’s of km and seen so many things. Words just can’t explain how much I got out of this trip. I can’t wait to do it all again.

8th September 2009
It has taken me almost 12 months to type up my notes from our trip. As I sit here reading over our trip again it all comes back to me and I get a tear in my eye as I remember the wonderful time we had. We are in the process of selling out beloved 4wd and planning on getting something newer for our next big trip which hopefully won’t be too far off. Not sure where we will go, but I can’t wait.


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