Wilcannia to Bourke (along the Darling)

I will be traveling thru' NSW and into outback QLD in June of this year, and would like to know if anyone has followed the Darling from Wilcannia to Bourke. I have a Pajero,and onroad Coromal poptop, (with increased ground clearance). I am wondering if I would be too foolish to hope that I might be able to do this interesting leg, and enjoy some free camping as I go. Any advice would be appreciated. I realise that rain would need to be considered...What else though ?
Thanks, Barry
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Reply By: dindy - Saturday, Feb 04, 2012 at 15:03

Saturday, Feb 04, 2012 at 15:03
hi barry22,

i do this trip a couple of times a year, there are a number of places to free camp along the way such as tilpa and louth. You will be able to do this trip quite easly if you take it easy. However speaking with someone who lives in between louth and wilcannia there has been a fair bit of rain out that way recently which can and does damage roads and the local authorities are not always quick to rectify this damage. Also a huge amount of water is coming downstream from Queensland and north western NSW which takes about 6 to 8 weeks to reach this area and is expected to isolate some areas along the route for some time. It pays to check with the Tilpa and Louth Pubs before embarking to gauge road conditions. Apart from all this it a great trip with plenty to see and do.

AnswerID: 476853

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Saturday, Feb 04, 2012 at 15:04

Saturday, Feb 04, 2012 at 15:04
I have done this trip many times with both on road caravan and off road vans in tow and no problems at all.
Just lower your tyre pressures by at least 5psi from normal highway running and drop the speed to less than 80kph, I usually lope along around 70k's slowing for anything that is rough or looks a bit off. Don't worry about going slow as it gives one plenty of time to look around, Just be wary of following traffic.
The major thing is NOT to traverse these roads when they are wet.
You will find that the shires close these roads when wet and the fines are substantial if you do.
Carry plenty of food and drinking water.
Make sure you call in at the pubs at Tilpa and Louth and talk to them.
At Wilcannia police station you can find what roads are closed.

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 476854

Reply By: Honky - Sunday, Feb 05, 2012 at 00:11

Sunday, Feb 05, 2012 at 00:11
Its about 360 k's of dirt with a couple of ks of tar thrown in.
A couple of years ago I did it 4 times a year as it was more interesting than travelling via Cobar up to Bourke.
Definetly dry road only but there is a lot of gravel and if you travel at speed it will throw a lot of rocks onto your caravan.
There is two roads but I recommend the south side of the river.

AnswerID: 476912

Reply By: outback epicurean - Sunday, Feb 05, 2012 at 11:21

Sunday, Feb 05, 2012 at 11:21

We travelled from Mendinee to Louth in October and really enjoyed the trip. The roads were quite good and agree south road is better but either OK at the right speed. We stayed at two farm camping areas, Nelia Gaari 80 km north of mendinee and Trilby station about 20 km south of Louth. Both were very welcoming and provided excellent camping and relaxing sites, camp fires, wood, facilities at the homestead. The national park camping area on the Darling (can't remember name but noth of Wilcannia) was very poor in comparison). There are many other places that you can stay on the rive and either internet or local tourist info places will give good information. Another great spot for virtually free camping is at Pooncarie where the cafe at the old wharf does the best breafast around.

have fun
AnswerID: 476967

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