Rob and Tess's trips 'round oz
3rd Jul 2012
Sunshine, Sand dunes and Red dust!...
The chilly Victorian nights and days have seen us keen to follow the sun, leading us on an inland route North through Mildura, (NSW) Broken Hill, Tibooburra, (SA) Cameron’s Corner, Innaminka, (Qld) Birdsville and Mount Isa. While our daytime temperatures have been rising to 18 and 20 degrees with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine.... the nights have still remained bitterly cold at 1 and 2 degrees!
On the banks of the Murray River in Mildura, we were treated to a pretty campsite and enjoyed watching the paddle steamers head off from the port in the morning. Even though it was a little frosty! The kids enjoyed looking at the orange tree plantations along the roadside and the changing scenery as we arrived in Broken Hill. The bright landscape colours and rich history of Silver mining in Broken Hill were fascinating, unfortunately we only had time for a quick look.
Broken Hill through to Tibooburra saw the roads become gravel, long, dry and dusty. But the beautiful remote landscape had me stopping often to take photos of big red kangaroos, eagles, and rocky outcrops. Tibooburra was a great little outback stop with many camp characters and stories around the fire! With a gorgeous backdrop of large pebble like stones in the sunset (similar to the Devil’s Marbles).
We then travelled West through the red dust to Cameron’s corner at the border of SA, NSW and Qld, where we saw the dog fence, had the best steak sandwich (I’m not sure what the meat was though...) and found some typical outback humour (toilet signs: Men’s - Flip Dry, Women’s - Drip Dry!)
The road to Innaminka along the Strezlecki track was different again! We went up over more than 100 sand dunes in less than 100km’s (the kids loved the roller coaster ride! I didn’t love that they counted each one! – homework apparently!). It wasn’t what I expected sand dunes to be like, most of them have quite a lot of vegetation on them at the moment and I naively pictured sand dunes to be like a triangular mound. They are more like a long ripple in the landscape, over many km’s with no beginning or end in sight, the ground is flat between each dune and often less than 1 km apart. From the top of a high dune it is amazing to look at the ripples on the horizon and the track of the road going over them. We also found the remnant's of 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert's' twin double decker bus, stranded in the outback! What were they thinking!!!
At Innaminka we camped along the banks of Cooper Creek, a beautiful with large river gums and lots of birdlife. The trip to Birdsville took us on some rugged outback tracks, it was a long dusty day with over 500 km’s travelled. As we approached Birdsville Rob swore under his breath and gave me a look... “Whaaat...?” I asked, “The fuel light’s on”! Rob replied. Of course, Rob hadn’t thought we needed to fill our Jerry cans just yet, (picture me pouting!) so with 80 km’s left to reach Birdsville and no other travellers on the road... the temperature and tension in the car went up a couple of notches! Thankfully we were able to flag down one of the locals 20km’s out of Birdsville and they had some spare diesel to get us into town. The beer at the pub that night tasted especially sweet!
In Birdsville we visited the famous Hotel and races site, as well as a trip to Simpson Desert’s largest sand dune ‘Big Red’! The dune is a 4wders wet dream and needless to say my husband enjoyed conquering the dune in the Landrover and having fun in the sand. The red sand dune is a wondrous site and the surrounding scenery, which has recently seen a lot of rain, was red with a vibrant aqua blue water hole bursting with greenery and wildlife. An amazing sight in the middle of the desert!
The drive to Mount Isa was broken by typical outback humour... a road sign covered in over 100 boots, thongs and shoes! As well as old kitchen appliances and benches assembled on the desert roadside!
We have taken a short break in Mount Isa to wash the red dust from our clothes, restock our food supplies, sink a few cold ones and take a look at the map! We have been doing long days of travelling in the car, but have started to settle in to a routine and relax along the way!
Toilet training on the road has thankfully been successful! – We all go at the same time now, wether we need to or not. Most of the time this works to synchronise our bladders! The hardest part has been teaching Alyssa to bush squat! – Oh my! Where is the parenting guide book for bush toileting?! The laughs, the accidents, the fall over’s and awkwardness of this skill have been an interesting experience!!!
Funny things kids say....
• Alyssa: “Mum can swans marry?” “Why? They are in love! – look at them!” (Complete with a bouquet of flowers Alyssa then proceeded to marry the swans on the Murray River!)
• Jack (At the border): “Hey mum! You are standing in SA and we are in Qld. It’s a lot warmer over here...”
• Alyssa: “When do we go to school? Will we go to school in Cape York?... Is 8 weeks forever?”
|3rd Jul 2012 The road to Tibooburra|
|3rd Jul 2012 Tibooburra|
|3rd Jul 2012 BIG red Sand dune - Simpson Desert|
|3rd Jul 2012 Priscilla Queen of the Desert's twin bus!|
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