Thursday 2nd May 2013
Day 9 - Broken Hill to White Cliffs, NSW - 292 kms.

Another good nights sleep, it was sleepingbag all night.
We got up, packed up and left by 8:20am and headed direct to the Info Centre, as we had to empty our 'shitter' which is a 150 liter holding tank. Marg's fault. Our Caravan park has a dump point but it has a fence around it and my 'black water' hose cannot reach it, so we had to find another dump point. I visited the Info Centre during our stay and they said that they have a dump point out the back, that is free to the public. So we arrived at the Dump point at 8:30am, first there, Marg had to go get the key and leave a $10 deposit. All went well, except when Marg returned the key, she checked out the souvenirs in the Info Centre, $25 later she was back in the car. She bought a rock sample collection, actually, it is very nice.

We left the Info Centre at 8:40am and headed to Wilcannia, 200kms to the East. First stop was at Little Topar 78kms from BH, next stop was at the Netallie Rest Area, a 101kms past the 1st rest area. The turnoff to White Cliffs was just north of Wilcannia,so we didn't actually drive through Wilcannia. It was only 93kms to White Cliffs and the road from Wilcannia to White Cliffs is a beautiful sealed road. On todays drive of 292 kms the traffic situation is light, we talked 3 truckies past us and about 4 cars past us. We past one caravanner. That was today's peak traffic. Very stressful.

We arrived in White Cliffs at 12:20pm, drove to the caravan park. You select your own site and a manager comes about 5pm and collects the fees $20 per night. We picked a site and setup camp. During the afternoon, we did the scenic drive of White Cliffs, visited the Underground motel for a coffee and finished with a visit to Aussie Southern Cross opals, we spoke to Russ the owner's son, who was so helpful, he also showed us through their underground home. It was bloody great, just as we were leaving Russ gave us some boulder opal. Unreal. We asked Russ where we could fossick and he said anywhere that doesn't have a "Keep out" sign.

Back at camp, Marg cooked sausages and vegies for dinner, which were yumma. You can only get one TV channel, so I setup the Dish and we are watching all Free to Air digital TV.

Tomorrow we are going to do the scenic drive and stop at various 'mullock heaps of used opal gravel'. Wish us luck that we find something.

Our route from Broken Hill to White Cliffs, NSW - 292 kms.

We missed the peak hour rush to Wilcannia.

Still no traffic.

Yes, a car. There are humans on this planet, after all.

Netallie Rest Area - magic view and more humans.

Friday 3rd May 2013
Day 10 - Sightseeing and Fossicking in White Cliffs.

Another good nights sleep, it is getting colder, so my sleepingbag with make its debut tonight, it is warmer than Margs.
We awoke around 6:30am and laid in bed and watched Kochie's Sunrise, I did sneak out of bed and put the heater on, it was 4.5° outside (my reading) and around 8° inside. After the fiver warmed up past 20° I got up and put on my trakky daks and top and uggies. A great look!. We had brekky and got into our fossicking gear and headed off along the tourist drive, looking for any fossicking areas. They all look the same. The 'mullock heaps' are the used gravel that the miners dig out of their mines and discard after checking it for any quality opal, so most of the tourists look through their discards and consequently, you don't find much, but it is a bit of fun looking. We did find some small bits, literally small maybe upto 10mm or smaller. After trying 3 or 4 different areas with similar success (bugger all), we drove back to camp for lunch.

After lunch we went sightseeing to:
  • Maccas Opal sales - couldn't find it, there were no signs anywhere.
  • Red Earth opal Cafe and Showroom - checked it out and had coffee and scones, jam and cream.
  • The Cave Cottage - was next door, but couldn't see much.
  • Brian Moore's Opal Showroom - couldn't find it, there were no signs anywhere.
  • Donna-Lee and Ron's Top Level Opals - met Donna-Lee and checked out her showroom, just before a bus load of 'oldies' arrived, so we snuck out.
  • Historic Solar Power station - it was only open from 1997 - 2005
  • The Stubbie House - a house made of stubbies, the current female owner didn't show much interest in us, I did buy a White Cliffs stubbie holder.
  • Bill O'Reilly Oval - overgrown and dead from lack of water, I don't think that Bill would be impressed.
  • Jock's Place - didn't get to it.
  • Underground Motel - visited it yesterday and had a coffee.
  • Aussie Southern Cross Opals. - visited it yesterday, Russ the owner's son was extremely helpful.
Spent the remainder of the afternoon, just relaxing and swatting flies. As they say here, there are no 'single' flies, only married ones with huge extended families.

Dinner will be ham steaks and vegies, followed a quite night watching TV as tomorrow we head for Cobar about 300kms away for 2 nights.

Emus are very common and not that afraid.

Marg in action.

and still going strong.

With all this gravel around, we still found bugger all.

Top Level Opals showroom.

Historic Solar Power Station.

White Cliffs Opal Pioneer Caravan and Camping Tourist park.

Check out the 'terrible' weather.

White Cliffs Opal Pioneer Caravan and Camping Tourist park.

Mining shafts are everywhere.

Marg still couldn't find much.

Saturday 4th May 2013
Day 11 - White Cliffs to Cobar, NSW - 354 kms.

Another good nights sleep, it was sleepingbag all night.
We got up, packed up, said our goodbyes to Reg and Liz our neighbours who were also leaving today and left by 8:40am. Our 1st stop was Wilcannia for fuel, about 97kms away, arrived at 9:53am, we were told to use the Fuel depot around the corner, but it was just as dear as the main street depot. As we were driving out of town, we waved to Reg and Liz who just arrived in town, they were heading to Ivanhoe. Our 2nd rest area was Baden Park a further 87kms away, arrived at 11am, our 3rd stop was at Meadow Glen rest area another 110kms arriving at 12:20pm, leaving us only 62kms to go and we arrived at Cobar Caravan park at 1:10pm.
We setup camp, including the awning as it is very sunny, but didn't put up the skirt, Marg said that she could live without it. We started doing loads of washing and then drove to the IGA for some food shopping plus a new smoke alarm, as our current one appears to have died, so we replaced it. After the IGA, we drove to the Info centre and asked where we could go fossicking, and were told that there are no fossicking areas, so tomorrow we will do a scenic drive.

On the way back to camp, I topped up with fuel and when we got back to camp, I watched the V8 Supercars on TV, Lowndesy was leading and eventually won, breaking Skaifey's record of 90 wins.

Dinner tonight was nachos, which were yumma.
Tomorrow we will be visit the Fort Bourke lookout and the New Cobar Open Cut Gold mine.

Our route from White Cliffs to Cobar, NSW - 354 kms.

What a magic sunrise at White Cliffs.

Little traffic, but we did see a truck.

Our last rest stop, just 60kms west of Cobar.

Sunday 5th May 2013
Day 12 - Sightseeing around Cobar.

A beautiful night's sleep with a nice sleep in until 7:15am, It was only a 2 blanket night, but it did get cool around 6:30am but I couldn't be bother to put on my sleepingbag.
We laid in bed and watched Weekend Sunrise, I did sneak out of bed and put the heater on. We buggered about camp until mid morning,then drive to the lookout above the open cut and then drove about 5kms south to the Gold mine, where we took a few photos. On the way back to camp, we stopped at the bakery in town for a coffee and jam donut. It was yumma. Cobar does not open on Sunday, only the 2 supermarkets and a couple of coffee shops. We drove over to the IGA, as Marg was in the mood to cook a roast, but there were no roasts suitable, so NO Roast tonight.

Back at camp, we sat in the shade and while Marg read, I was on my laptop. After lunch, marg had a nanna nap, while I watched the V8s, Lowndesy didn't go very well.

Dinner will be pizzas instead of a roast, then we will watch the special on the Blonde ABBA chick on Ch7 and probably an early night.

Tomorrow we drive to Kidman's Camp in Bourke for an overnighter - about 160kms away - should be an easy drive.

The New Cobar Open Cut mine.

You can just see the entrance in the shadows.

A Toyota heading up the steep road.

Notice the vertical seam.

The Shaft.

The Shaft in action.

'Dead' Toyotas.

Site 40 - Cobar CP.

Site 40 - Cobar CP.

Site 40 - Cobar CP.

Monday 6th May 2013
Day 13 - Cobar to Bourke, NSW - 169 kms.

Another good nights sleep, it was sleepingbag all night.
I didn't set the alarm, as we only had to drive 169kms, so didn't plan to leave until 9am. I got up about 7am and went onto the internet, while Marg slept. She finally woke about 7:30am, we watched Kochies Sunrise and started to pack up after 8am. We said our goodbyes to Terry and Kay, who will be arriving at Kidman's Camp tomorrow, but we will be gone. Harry Hema tells me that we left at 8:55am and headed north to Bourke. We only stopped on the side of the road about 86kms, just over halfway. We arrived in Kidman's Camp, Bourke at 11:10am. We paid and were told to pick our own site, so we picked one with shady trees. We did a quick setup only power and water. I tuned in the TV, but couldn't get channel 7, so I put the dish up, now we have all the Free to Air digital channels, so I am happy.

After we got ourselves orgainsed, we drove to the Lock and Weir on the Darling river, that we tried to drive too last year but it was too wet and the red dust turned to thick clay. Today it was red dust, the Darling River was flowing over the spillway and was very muddy in colour. After a few happy snaps, we went to Khan's IGA and did a small shop. I digress, as we were setting up camp, our neighbours arrived with beautiful pies from the Bakery, Marg suggested that we get pies for lunch but I decided on tomato and onion sangas and we could have pies for dinner. So we stopped at the bakery and bought 3 pies for dinner, we have just eaten them and they were bloody YUMMA.

A quiet night watching TV and early to bed.

Tomorrow we head to Warrego Riverside Park on the banks of the Warrego river about 3kms south of Cunnamulla or 254kms from Bourke.

Our route from Cobar to Bourke, NSW - 169 kms.

Only one vehicle passed us between Cobar and Bourke.

No traffic.

Except us.

The weir on the Darling River at Bourke.

The Weir.

The Weir.

The Lock and the Weir.

Down stream from the weir.

Tuesday 7th May 2013
Day 14 - Bourke to Cunnamulla, Qld - 254 kms.

Another good nights sleep, it was nearly too warm for my sleepingbag.
I didn't set the alarm, as we only had to drive 254kms, so didn't plan to leave until 9am. I got up about 6:30am and went onto the internet, while Marg slept. She finally woke about 7:00am, we watched Kochies Sunrise and started to pack up about 7:30am. We left at 8:35am and set cruise to 90kph and away we went. The first stop was about 58kms from Bourke, we then drove to Barringum, about 1km from the NSW/Qld border, still next to no traffic. We stopped at the border to take some snaps and continued onto another rest stop about 88kms up the road to a truck stop. Now we are only 38kms from camp. As we approached Cunnamulla, I noticed an emu in the distance, as we approached he approached us, I slowed, he tried to run beside us, then he made his run across the road. See photo, we stopped.

We drove through Cunnamulla and turned south just before the Warrego river and followed the river for about 4kms until we came across Warrego Riverside Tourist Camp run and owned by Judy Roberts. We paid Judy $32 for a powered site and headed to site 17, she told us that she has planted herbs and spices by each site and feel free to help ourselves. This Caravan park is lovely, every site is drive thru with a grass section for your awning. I did walk all of 50 meters to check out the Warrego river, it is flowing nicely.

After we connected water and power, we headed into downtown Cunnamulla, to the Info Centre to buy a Fossickers licence, Michael told us to visit the Paroo Shire offices to purchase one there. It took a good 30 minutes for 3 office workers to do it for us, as the normal person was at lunch. I wander what will be next week's staff training subject will be. Maybe issuing Fossickers Licences. I hope so. After that ordeal we topped up with diesel and checked out the Cunnamulla Fella. Marg had to pose with him. We headed back to camp, while Marg had a nanna nap, I walked over to the river and took some happy snaps.

Dinner was egg and bacon sangas, was YUMMA. Followed by TV and probably early to bed where I may continue reading the 'Seven deadly sins by David Walsh' about Lance Armstrong's doping during his 7 Tour De France wins.

Tomorrow, we have to drive approx 130kms to Yowah for 3 nights, where we hope to find some Boulder Opal and Yowah Nuts.

Our route from Bourke to Cunnamulla, Qld - 254 kms.

1st rest stop - 58kms north of Bourke.

Barringum on NSW/Qld border.

Still no traffic.

NSW / Qld border.

NSW / Qld border.

Only 1,728kms until we turn right and head for Cairns.

3rd Rest stop only 38kms before Cunnamulla.

We had to stop for this dude to cross the road.

To join his mates.

Sunrise at Warrego Riverside.

Sunrise at Warrego Riverside.

Sunrise at Warrego Riverside.

Warrego river as viewed from our Caravan park.

Sunrise at Warrego Riverside.

*2013 - Index page*

Heading to Yowah.