Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 11:24
ThreadID: 69677 Views:3560 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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We regularly pass through Wilcannia on our way to lots of places. We've stopped a few times too, to fuel up, have a meal etc..., but never overnight.

Probably the main reason for not stopping is the bad reputation that the town has. This is a pity, as there are quite a few beaut old buildings that are worth a look, as is the Darling and what's left of the old wharf.

On our last trip through we did a quick tour of the caravan park just over the bridge on the east side of town. It looked pretty good to us. Neat, clean, tidy etc. and in a top spot right on the river.

We'd like to make use of it. Wilcannia is well situated as a break point for a lot of trips further west and north or simply down along the Darling.

But there is still that niggling concern about staying in the town.

Is that concern justified? Has anyone recently stayed at the caravan park, or elsewhere in Wilcannia, and if so, how was it?

Why? ... Why not?

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Reply By: Fiona & Paul - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 13:59

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 13:59
We go through there quite regularly too Jeff and generally try to make Wilga Station, which is about 70km north east of Wilcannia towards Tilpa. It's a toss of the coin really but having worked in the area I prefer to go direct to Broken Hill.

Next week when we head out we will be following the Darling down to Menindee, others over recent years have used the CP and said it was OK whereas I have a long memory and prefer to minimise the risk for my wife. There wasn't much water in the river in 2007 although that has recently changed for the better. I could never recommend Wilcannia for anything except a petrol stop.

Things do change of course but history tells us to be cautious.

Regards Paul
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 14:48

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 14:48
Poor old Wilcannia. This was discussed only a few weeks ago see thread 68552.

I have never been to Wilcannia so I won't comment, but there is a lot on the ABC today about violence in Melbourne. And they have swine flu too. I am going there for a holiday in week or two and will be going to the football and I have heard that Collingwood supporters can be a bit rough ... should I have any concerns...

The point I am trying to make is that there are lots of places where we may or may not choose to stay, but some of the stuff is wildly exaggerated and the tale grows with the telling. There are streets in outer suburban Perth where kids throw things at cars too.

Last month I bush camped within a few hundred kilometres of Perth. How did I know that my fellow campers weren't axe murderers? I didn't and i didn't worry about it

I was bit worried about the couple from NSW with the Navara and the caravan ... they looked a bit suss then I found out it was member Heather G and John!

I hope somebody who has been to Wilcannia and found it OK will let us know. I want to travel down the Darling some day and it sounds like the town could do with a bit of a boost.


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Follow Up By: Member - Heather G (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 21:23

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 21:23
Hi Rocco,

Well, I know we may not be the best looking people you may have seen but didnt think we looked too suss! We dont even carry an axe - just a tomahawk which helps when we have to get out of some tight camping places.

Heather G
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 21:27

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 21:27
Hi Heather

You were OK really, that bloke over the back on his own had me worried ... not.

I have been following your trials and tribulations, good to hear you are back on the road



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Reply By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:07

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:07
G'day Jeff,

IMHO, Not worth the risk If you value your equipment (especially If Its payday)!

Like you, have been through it with no probs & have heard lots of bad stories but I dont think you would be missing much If you didnt stay there.

My 2 cents worth
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Reply By: Volvo driver - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:51

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:51
have to agree with ingo57,
not worth the possible drama,
been there, done that..not going back
AnswerID: 369332

Reply By: 98nav - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:58

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:58
Hi jayk at

I have stayed at the c/v park in Willcania on 4 0r 5 seperate ocasions and have really enjoyed our stay , just before our last stay we were asked by other travelers at mutawingi where we were going next so we told them Willcania and they were warning us not to as they have heard terrible stories, we stayed there anyway but instead of just an overnight stay we stayed 4 nights and had a great time. If your realy worried call in to the police station and let them know your intentions and they will drive through the park on a regular round if it makes you feel a bit more safer. i actually plan my trips so i can spend the night in Willcania as i find the town and locals freindly and i allways travel with my young son.

This town and its people have really grabed me and i hav e spent today organising to go back up there and try to teach building and carpentry skills to some of the locals and finally if you do stay the night and are interested in the indigenous people and arts then ask at the police station if they could put you in contact with uncle waddy harris , he is a fantastic bloke who makes boomerangs and didgeridoos which he allso sells.

I hope you do call in there and im sure you will love the history of this fabulos town. Regards Grant
AnswerID: 369336

Follow Up By: rlbrooks - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 16:14

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 16:14
I too have stayed at the caravan park overnight on two occasions and did not have a problem. The police did come and say hello on one occasion. A walk around the town is fascinating and a mud map is available giving some history of the buildings.
Regards Ray
FollowupID: 636775

Follow Up By: Member - steveinoz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 17:57

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 17:57
Back in 1975 I travelled extensively through the back of the state and Wilcannia was one place to stop for the night. I had no problems except for the indigenous groups that wanted money for grog. al refusals were excepted then as the police were not far away. If you worry about your safety anywhere in this great country, stay at home. Then, perhaps you would like to join me for a walk down George Street in Sydney. Make sure you leave your wallet and mobile phone at home. I can remember when you could leave your door and windows unlocked and your kids could go and play in the park on their own. My dear old Mum would say " Go out and Play " Now we take our Grandchildren to the Park. But while travelling, I have never had any problems..
Here's to safe travelling...

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Reply By: On Patrol & TONI - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 19:41

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 19:41
Jayk At
My wife & I stayed at the Wilcannia CV pk earlier this year and have to say that we enjoyed our stay, amenities are ok for the price ($10 PH)

The council have given control of the CV pk to the local community and the live in manager is a cross between Lionel Rose and big Arnie whatsisname, I would not cross the man and it seems neither would the lads in the community.

The manager was friendly and helpful and the place was quite overnight despite it being a Friday. The most noise was from the rabbits in the area.

I could not knock the place as it is now managed by someone that knows and understands the locals knows what is needed to turn the place around.

We did leave the camp for side trips and nothing was disturbed during our absence, BUT we did not leave much of value in camp, just in case.

Shopping at the store was hassle free, in fact quite friendly, as were the people we meet in the street.

Our experience in Wilcannia was all good as has always been our experience in Bourke as well.

Cheers Colin.
AnswerID: 369390

Reply By: Jayk At - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 21:19

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 21:19
Thank you all for your replies.

Our experience of the town on the occasions that we stopped there was not negative, but indeed, as many have pointed out, it was friendly.

Looks like it might be worth a night's stopover on our next trip.

Thanks again,

Why? ... Why not?

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