Louth Races

Friday, Aug 15, 2008 at 01:05

Member - Michael O (NSW)

Another wonderful break at the Louth Races!
Drove up through West Wyalong and Lake Cargelligo. More water in the Lake than when we were there in 2007. Good park for the kids down by the Lake and some AFL goalposts so Mr 8 can practice his match-winning snapshots...
Road from Murrin Bridge almost to Mt Hope is unsealed and was a little muddy after the rain but easily traversed.
Beers at Mount Hope pub which is currently on the market. Doesn't have the charm it had in years gone by. All the potplants are gone, as are the talking birds.
Stop for provisions (ie beer) in Cobar then up the Wilgaroon Road from Cobar. This is a shortcut in to the western end of the Gundabooka NP that swings off the Bourke Rd about 40km north of Cobar. It is a little used road but in surprisingly good nick.
Hit the Bourke-Louth Rd and turned upriver to Redbank, an old station that is now renovated and available for accommodation through the NPWS office in Bourke. It's right on the Darling with hot showers, a gas BBQ and a kitchen. There's plenty of old farming stuff to have a look at, as well as an old barge they used to float sheep across the Darling on.
The Races were a hoot! 50 years on and the meeting goes from strength to strength thanks to a hard working Committee (one of whom was driving around most of the day in a white Prado with "Louth" numberplates...) Plenty of bookies, lots of glamorous ladies in the Clyde tent, and good racing. We set up a marquee on the running rail and had a great view of the final straight. Talk around the traps was that the crowd was 6500, up from the 5000 of previous years.
Sunday we spent around the fire at Redbank, and went for a walk with Matt, a Field Officer with NPWS in Cobar. He knew heaps about the plants and the animals and the farming and aboriginal history of the area as well. Sure is great to spend some time with a knowledgeable local...
In the afternoon we went to Old Yanda, another property acquired by NPWS recently. It has Darling River frontage also, but was badly sited and apparently flooded regularly... Plenty of farming artefacts there too.
Monday back on the road via Gecko Espresso, a wonderful cafe in the main street of Cobar. South via Mt Hope and met Christine at the store. Very friendly lady who with Sue used to lease the Pub. They now run the little store in Mt Hope and do meals for the truckies.
Hillston to visit the grave of my great great grandmother (Tiger O'Reilly's grandmother) and then a final coffee at Mick's Bakehouse in Leeton.
1600km in four days but no regrets.
Will go again next year!
Monday I have Friday on my mind...
The Easybeats 1966
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