Our recent Darling River Run (pic heavy)

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piston

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Madigan Madman

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Post Sun May 03, 2009 12:39 pm

Our recent Darling River Run (pic heavy)

Hi, a few weeks back wifey and I did a bit of a stroll along the Darling River from Louth west of Bourke down to where it meets the Murray at Wentworth on the NSW, Victorian border….I guess you could say it was ¾ of the Darling River Run.

So without further ado, here is a pictorial of the trip with a few words tossed in to explain things.

The story starts a Cobar, central west NSW where they originally mined copper from 1870 but now they mostly mine Lead, silver, zinc and gold.

The Heritage Information Centre in town has a museum on the second floor and out the back with some top examples of old ‘things’ also the active mining companies have put together one of the most informative displays about mining activities in the town I think I have seen anywhere so far…..this is on the top floor and it took me 2 hours to just read all the info and see through it.

For the firey’s – this old bus got around.
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A photo in the museum - times were a bit different
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A big hole just out side of Cobar......this is 'The New Cobar Open Cut' taken from the lookout at Fort Bourke. You can see the original holes where the old miners followed the Quarts seam years ago looking for gold. Well, they found some but it was a bit deeper :wink:
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This was a food safe once upon ago. Found on an old station in the area.
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Anyway, enough of the mining and museums (for now)

We stayed on Idalia Station for 4 nights http://www.idaliariverstay.com.au/ there were a couple of campers there when we arrived but they left the next day and we thought “how good is this no-one else around” and it remained that way until a group of Prado’s towing camper trailers came and hogged the camp site.

Early morning mist at the hogged campsite :)
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Coolabah in the morning mist.
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This old cottage is for hire, looking through it I’d stay there.
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Now, would you believe that one of the Prado’s was being driven by a forum member, in fact he was the trip leader……

He can be seen in this photo – but that’s all your gonna get…… :P
Late arvo yabbying on the Talyawalka Creek which runs through Idalia as well as the Darling. Image

The yabbies were big, blue and plentiful which was a good thing as the Darling seems to be dead.
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“Go on I dare you”
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Nice little run-about.
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We all did a run down to Tilpa Pub for lunch one day – it was an interesting experience, no more said…….except I think they were a little overawed at the numbers.
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Next day we (we decided to tag along seeing we had been given the official title of “interlopers”) headed off to White cliffs for a look see…not a bad place…for a visit.

The caravan park was the chosen site for an overnight stay…..8 vehicles circling the park till they all found a place to set up. I backed into the only area left only to see this…..
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I thought the sight of a skull to be a bad omen so decided to hunt up the caretaker and we booked in to the White Cliffs Hilton instead.
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A different life – ‘Push a wheelbarrow to Broken Hill’ ???? nup, White Cliffs. But I guess that old way of life still exists for some.
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It’s really strange seeing aerials, chimneys and stink pipes coming out of the ground, it’s like there’s some strange race of beings living underground like you see in movies.
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Some pics of PJ’s underground motel. He’d done a fantastic job of converting an old underground opal mine into a top notch 3 & a half star Motel.
http://www.outbackbeds.com.au/pjs-underground.html
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And when there no guests to attend to, just open the back door and do some opal scratching.
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Not everyone was as accommodating though.
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And drove past Herr Hitlers hideaway on the way out – ‘The Eagles Nest’
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And off we went to Broken hill for a brief interlude and to stock-up at a real supermarket for the week ahead. These two shots were taken on a short cut from the M435 road from White Cliffs and the Barrier Hwy, effectively cutting 30K’s from the journey into broken hill and bypassing Wilcannia or was that Wil-kan-ya !!

Literally driven into the ground – the badge on the grill said ‘Austen’
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Sorry, I got a bit arty with this one….but I like it
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I love Broken Hill…apart from the fact it is a mining town…and I like that industry, it really is a fascinating place for the tourist if you take the time to look around. Like a week or two.

The miners Memorial on top of the ‘Line of Load’
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The North Mine, looking north on the line of load.
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Looking south. There is a museum up there with lots of old mining machinery, shaft buckets, underground skips, trains, boggers, compressors etc. My wife takes a good book when we go ‘Mine exploring’ LOL
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So off we go - continuing down the Darling having said fairwell to the 'prado' guy's at Broken Hill as they were off to Kinchega Nat Park and Mungo. We have been to both those places previously so we decided to head west a little bit.

Next stop.....for 4 nights was at ‘Bindara Station’ on the Darling. Magnificent.
Bindara is south of Kinchega National Park on the South Aus side of the Darling River, virtually on the opposite bank to Tolarno Station, which is also a Station stay. You can find most of the station stays in NSW on the link below, see links.
http://www.bindarastation.com/
Getting there
http://www.bindarastation.com/gettinghere.htm

The station has a green grassed area for camping with access to an amenities block. There is also a communal fire pit with a cooking and BBQ set up over the fire.

We found a nice sandy bush camping spot about 500 metres from the communal spot which was nice and quiet…..just far enough away that you didn’t see or hear anyone else.

How’s the serenity love ???? Early morning at Bindara. You could have been a million miles from anywhere 8)
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There’s also some good bush camping spots around a lot further from the homestead.

About a kilometre up the river – certainly shows how much water isn’t getting into the river.
We went for a canoe paddle one day and on the straight sections you could only get the paddle half way into the water before hitting the bottom. The bends were quite deep though.
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The old disused woolshed. There is no power going to it and indeed there is is still the old mounting left that would have had the old Lister oil engine on it powering the shearing stands.
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I’m estimating it hasn’t been used since around the 60’s.
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Old pump that doesn’t work.
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Ahh…that’s why :wink:
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We pulled some meat out of the freezer one day to let it thaw on the table for dinner…..mistake
This guy smelt it and sat watching it hoping we would disappear.
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That’s one gnarly old Red Gum….an artist could do something with that old trunk I’m sure.
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Leaving Bindara we set off to Pooncarie on the other side of the Darling and headed south to Wentworth to have a look were the Darling meets the Murray river. He first thing I really noticed was how tidy Wentworth is….it is a nice town and well presented.
Sarah Ferguson (aka fergie) must have visited at some stage and left quite a mark because the locals seem quite besotted by her….there are references to ‘Fergie’ everywhere in town........ :shock:
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:wink:

To Hay, NSW….we’d been through Hay before but never stayed long enough to look around so we decided to stay overnight and have a look at some of the historic houses and museums that are there.

First up was ‘Bishops Lodge’ build in 1889 as the official residence for the Anglican Bishop of Riverina. It was owned by the Anglican Diocese until 1946.
Apart from the lives lived by all the families (5) and it’s brief use in 1935-46 as Linton House, a youth hostel used for boy’s attending the Hay War Memorial High School, it is significant in the fact that Architect John Sulman http://www.dab.uts.edu.au/research/outc ... dwards.pdf was contracted to build the fine building.
It even has heritage roses http://www.heritage.rose.org.au/bishops ... roses.html
The house is constructed from iron sheets and timber as ‘they wanted the house to have good ventilation and be able to ‘move’ as the Hay soils move substantially through moisture gain and loss.
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This photo prompted us to ring the children and remind them of our impending return..... :lol:
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There is also the Dunera Railway War Museum which was very interesting. It focuses on the Hay internment and POW camp in WW2
http://www.about-australia.com/travel-g ... ra-museum/

The first Japanese POW in Australia.
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Also there is the Hay Gaol Museum
http://www.pleasetakemeto.com/australia ... aol-museum
This was particularly interesting, the cells are full of ‘old stuff’. It is fascinating just looking at the way they used to do things…..sort of a big time capsule in a way.

The things you find….I bet they have knocked back a few offers on this. An old Matchless in the background.
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He he....Kiddies Beer.....why did those 40’s caricatures look so.....well you know !!!
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Old V8 Ford with a gas producer on the back…they were the war years.....govt and oil co’s don’t want you doing this now though. The vehicle was original and in very good order.
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We left Hay for Junee and then Cootamundra where we stayed overnight. A cold snap had blown over NSW that arvo and we found a very nice steak and excellent red at the Globe Hotel’s dining room.....very comfortable sitting next to the fire as the temperature got down to 8 degrees with rain squalls outside.

We stocked up on local Texal lamb (can’t get it as good in Skidney) at a local butcher and headed off to the National War Memorial in Canberra to pay our respects as it was ANZAC Day. (see other post) and that was that basically as we were home that night.










Yeh.....I’d do it again 8)

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Cheers
The world will end !
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Rumpig

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Post Sun May 03, 2009 8:41 pm

nice work Piston, good pics and i even learnt a couple of things along the way.

Things i learnt:-

1:- Beer is for Queers, it says so in the 4th pic :wink:

2:- Flywest now drives a Prado :shock:
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neolux

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Post Sun May 03, 2009 11:32 pm

Nice report Piston!
One of the most thorough I've read.
A former customer of mine does the Darling run every few years, weather permitting, and used to tell me how interesting it is. Now I know I've gotta do it one day!
Only problem is my partner sounds a bit like your wife. I can take two hours or more to go through a museum or similar but for her 10 minutes is enough!
4ROCS Offroad

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subyroo

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Post Mon May 04, 2009 12:20 am

I have never seen the Darling look so sick Piston.
As a young teen we (family) used to hit Wilcannia every year to go fishing and had some wonderful times up there and caught some huge Cod.
I can now see what all the hoo haa is about with the water rights and Cubbie Station etc.


I went home to Balranald for Anzac Day and was shocked to see the Murrumbidgee looking sick - green and still, it always flowed in my day.

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Last edited by subyroo on Mon May 04, 2009 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pedro

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Because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.
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bockstar

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Post Mon May 04, 2009 8:58 am

Yep thanks Piston for a great report and photos.


I'm constantly amazed at what there is to see and do. There's just some fascinating places around that I look forward to visiting some day.


Ta.
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piston

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Madigan Madman

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Post Tue May 05, 2009 8:38 pm

Thanks guy's, glad you enjoyed it 8)
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Big Red

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Post Wed May 06, 2009 6:08 pm

great report ... thanks for the read 8)
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The Fire Chief

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Post Wed May 06, 2009 8:50 pm

Just reading it now piston. Well done!! 8) 8)

Great stuff.

I'd love to do the same trip. 8)
Surf is raging!! Finally having success!
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trac44

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Post Wed May 06, 2009 10:19 pm

Thanks Tim. Very informative.
I would though question your assertion that the old pump didn't work.
The plate clearly states, "Shanghai Internal Combustion Engine Works". :P
Cheers
Norm
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piston

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Madigan Madman

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Post Fri May 08, 2009 2:00 am

trac44 wrote: The plate clearly states, "Shanghai Internal Combustion Engine Works". :P


:P
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Jimbo69

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Post Fri May 08, 2009 7:41 am

good read and pics
Jim
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GU4500

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Post Fri May 08, 2009 11:53 am

trac44 wrote:Thanks Tim. Very informative.
I would though question your assertion that the old pump didn't work.
The plate clearly states, "Shanghai Internal Combustion Engine Works". :P


Go and fix it then..... :lol: You have plenty of spare time :P
"There's always something waiting at the end of the road, if you aren't willing to see what it is, you probably shouldn't be out there in the first place."
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Hog

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Post Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:47 pm

Nice read Tim, just dug this up on Google, I am gunna travel along the Darling route on my way to W.A. to do the CSR with you next month. 8)
Last edited by Hog on Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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4wd26

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Post Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:56 pm

Someone mention it the other night :lol:

We are planning on the trip ourselves, on our way to SW WA.

Wife rung Mungo today to book- 46 degrees in Dec - having a hard time convincing the wife that just part of the experience :oops:
ML Triton, with goodies.Getting Out There

Unable to afford FTE club membership fee ... so Di-D for me......:lol:
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Dion

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Post Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:13 pm

4wd26 wrote:Someone mention it the other night :lol:

We are planning on the trip ourselves, on our way to SW WA.

Wife rung Mungo today to book- 46 degrees in Dec - having a hard time convincing the wife that just part of the experience :oops:


Air con? :lol:
In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.
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