Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 09:50
ThreadID: 68552 Views:3539 Replies:11 FollowUps:3
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I intend travelling through Wilcannia to Tiboobrra next week, but have read bad reports about staying or travelling through Wilcannia. Has anyone been through that way recently to give me an update?
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Reply By: Member - Richard H (NSW) - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 10:00

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 10:00
Yeah, slow down as you get to the bridge.

Fuel is expensive and so is take away food. If you need to stop I suggest McCulloch's Range Rest Area 70km east, of the R.A. 15 km so so towards Broken Hill. They both have toilets.
AnswerID: 363451

Reply By: wicket - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 10:24

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 10:24
Stopped at Wilcannia recently for lunch in the park next to the river, local kids were playing, had a chat to some of them all happy and friendly. Place seemed fine to me although it looks a bit sad.
AnswerID: 363454

Reply By: Rod, Sydney - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 10:29

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 10:29
If you haven't been to the town before do have a drive around - the hospital, police station etc are really nice buildings.

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Reply By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 10:35

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 10:35
Some pretty grand buildings along the river ie the old port area.
But the high mesh wire fences give it a bit of a post apocalyptic look.
Not a place I'd consider staying.
AnswerID: 363462

Reply By: Member - Ed. C. (QLD) - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 11:58

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 11:58
The first time SWMBO and I passed through Wilcannia was in 1973..
Since then, we've passed through, I dunno, maybe a dozen times, the most recent being about 18 months ago...

We've always stopped there, toilet break, fuel top-up, etc, and on a few occasions we've gone for a "wander up the street" (on foot)..

We've heard some of the "bad reports" about the place, but not once have we ever seen or heard anything (in the town itself) which has given us cause to feel uncomfortable about being there...

Haven't stopped there overnight, but if bush /roadside camping, we usually try to do this well clear of any town (whether it be Wilcannia or anyplace else;-))

That's my take on it, make of it what you will...

Regards, Ed C

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"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 13:46

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 13:46
I was there last week

Wilcannia is just a town with a couple of fueding families. It has social problems which can also be found in many other places in Australia.

If you drive in to Wilcannia from the east turn left after the bridge and then left again two streets down and you can fuel up there at 15c/l less than on the highway.

The tucker is typical roadhouse fare at the servo and if you are hungry then you eat. The food is edible. There are some tables near the river where you can sit and enjoy your meal. There are toilets on the left on your way out of town.

I have never had cause not to stop in Wilcannia over the past 40 years of occasional visits to the place.

AnswerID: 363479

Follow Up By: Member - Ian W (NSW) - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 14:59

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 14:59
I concur with Willem,

No worse than many other towns and probably better than sum. We also stopped at the park by the bridge for a meal break.

Have a good drive around the town, some lovely buildings there.

Take Willem's advice re fuelling at the BP Depot in the back streets rather than the Shell on the Highway.

As far as staying overnight is concerned, we don't free camp near any town.

FollowupID: 631162

Follow Up By: Member - John Q (QLD) - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 20:51

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 20:51
Was in Wilcannia yesterday (Friday) & can only agree with Willem. A mate from Walgett painted a sad picture of the place but I found some of the old buildings very interesting & the price of fuel at the BP was cheaper than the Shell.

The park beside the river was a good place for cuppa. It was clean & well maintained. Some of the buildings in the town left a bit to be desired but there appeared to be many other positives.

just crusin & smelling the flowers

1. At Halls Creek (Is he really lost?)
2. East of Cameron Cnr

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Reply By: dact - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 16:38

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 16:38
Hi Brian & Chris

Just wondering what direction you are coming from. We travelled back to Melbourne, from White Cliffs recently and took the Cobb 'Hwy' from Wilcannia through to Ivanhoe.

166 km of road which could not really be classified as a 'hwy' We have travelled outback tracks in better condition.

If you are taking this route allow 3.5 hrs between Ivanhoe & Wilcannia with some sections in 4wd

We actually didn't see much of Wilcannia, but ppl we chatted to at White Cliffs, came through around 5 in the arvo, but kept driving to White Cliffs, because they didn't feel safe there. And another friend had pre warned us not to camp there.

Don't know !! No where could be as bad as Oodnadatta??

Terry & Amanda
AnswerID: 363500

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 16:52

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 16:52
While living in Broken Hill I travelled through Wilcannia frequently. We rarely stopped there not because we were worried but because it did not usually fit our travel plan.

I would not be willing to guarantee a trouble free stop in Wilcannia but I could say that about every town I have been in.

Mostly Wilcannia is a pretty average town but when it gets ugly it gets very ugly. But it does give plenty of warning.

On one occasion as I drove through town on the highway a mid teens youth kicked a football across the road just a bit too close to me. We stopped at the rest area about 75km west and while we were there a couple pulled in driving a pretty new Patrol with an even newer van. When they stopped the guy got out and went round to look at the left side of the van. They had been pelted with large rocks as they drove through Wilcannia. When we were leaving the rest area I had to wait for a fast moving Police car. There was trouble in Wilcannia and this car was carrying reinforcements from Broken Hill.

Having said that I still do not actively avoid Wilcannia, I have been there for work and on many visits and not had any trouble, on the contrary I have usually found it very friendly.

If it works out for your travel plans to stop there then stop. I have never stayed overnight but have heard good reports about the CV Park and know a number of people who have stayed there many times trouble free. Apparently the club near the CV Park serves quite a good meal.

Willem's information about fuel is spot on.

AnswerID: 363507

Follow Up By: jeepthing - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 18:08

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 18:08
I have stayed at the CV park on a number of occasions now, you pay at the BP depot and get the amenities key from there, powered sites are $10 or were the last time I stayed. They were suppose to put a caretaker there in the house no sure if that happened.

The amenities are actually cleaned by an aboriginal family and on each occasion they have been very clean. I have spoken with them on a number of occasions and they are very nice people.

I understand that the park is off limits and is complied with.
FollowupID: 631190

Reply By: troopy 2005 - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 18:44

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 18:44
Why not go the Wannaring way.Unless you have a caravan.But Wilcannia is not a pretty town but as usual its what you make it .
AnswerID: 363528

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:57

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:57
Brian & Chris
Every now and again I hear and read peoples exaggerated stories, I read them them here on EO too, over the years of travelling around our country I have learnt that people will spin a story abouny a happening , it must be an Aussie thing to make the stiory look worse than it really was, but about town reputations I have heard and read about Wilcannia, Bourke, Brewarrina, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Elliott, Mataranka, Katherine, Ceduna, Pt Augusta, I have never had a bad experience at any of those towns, go see our country and enjoy it.

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AnswerID: 363553

Reply By: Inkbandit79 - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 21:11

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 21:11
I spent a great deal of my youth living in Willcania, My Dad had a contract building house's for the local community, the memories that I have from that town will far outway any subtle one's that I have from living back in the city. I'll admit that when we first arrived we were all a bit sceptical but after we settled at the local aboriginal compound( we were travel arround Oz in a bus) the local's both white and indiginous were quite hospitible and very friendly, the locals tought me how to use a transfer case at the age of 9. They also taght me a lot about the darling river and the history that the place has give the place a go if you don't like it drive on theres a town within 2-3 hours in every direction. IMHO the "local youths" around Perth are far more trouble some than the ones in Wilcania.
AnswerID: 363574

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