This morning was one of those mornings that once we were up it was way too cold to hang around. I was shocked by how cold the night had been and was worried…had i packed enough blankets.
We have driven to Broken Hill quite a few times now as we have close friends who live there. We have always found the drive between Nyngan to Broken Hill extremely boring. This time we found it a lot slower as Matilda has had a sudden love for the toilet in the caravan and she would be telling us she needed to use it every hour. Being that she is at the end of toilet training we wanted to still encourage her, however it had now became an amazing fascination of hers…
The Barrier highway seems to span the distance to the moon with landscape to match that of the moon in some places. It was amazing to see the landscape change, particularly from the start at Nyngan where it changed in what felt like the blink of an eye. It went from lush farmland scenes to a barren desolate landscape that that would require the toughest to survive.
Speaking of survival, the amount of animals, both foreign and native have to contend with a mutual hazard…. The mass array of cars, 4wds, holiday makers like us with caravans, road trains (small compared to the Northern Territory variety which we were yet to experience) and the great number of Army vehicles that were in convoy. Often such animals which call the Barrier Highway and surrounds home, tend to frequent the bitumen and meet their demise on the tar against such a vehicle barreling down the Barrier. We experienced the need to stop and humanely assist an emu that had been struck by a vehicle. It lay helpless in the middle of the road unable to move its body apart from its head which appeared to us to be an action on its behalf asking for us to stop. There we assisted the defenseless emu and we were on our way.
We continued on our way avoiding a lot of fuel stops due to Patsy being able to span long distances over mum and dad’s Mazda. I’m sure the fuel was fine at the road houses we passed along the way, however one further advantage was the ability to wait for larger towns that generally have cheaper fuel. This will become more evident later in our trip where in more remote areas fuel was over $2 a litre.
Although the Barrier is quite a barren highway, it was interesting going though towns such as Cobar which has a strong history. This is evident by the grand buildings in the main street and a rich mining history. The only other town which one must pass through is Wilcannia. Although Wilcannia often has a stigma of being a place not to stop at, it appears to have a warm charm of its own which we will have to return and explore.
By 5pm we had arrived at Broken Hill were we accepted the hospitality of our friends back yard. We stayed three nights. We caught up on visiting places we loved visiting prior such as the great little town of Silverton where you could spend days exploring.
A short distance out of Silverton, we viewed the Mundi Mundi plains at sunset, a location famous for scenes in the Aussie classic movie Mad Max. We also finally got to drive up the Line of Lode Miners memorial which pays homage to miners that had lost their lives over the years. It made us appreciate the fact we still have our own fathers due to both spending years in the mining industry back at home. The memorial also consisted of a great look out where the great town of Broken Hill can be viewed from above.
Mundi Mundi plains.
After some boring shopping, we had a night of rest ready for an early start on our way to Quorn the following day to meet with friends from home on their way home from their own adventure…….