Its funny cause after a rest day we’re always keen to get going, so after a cool early start we said goodbye to the Dry tank camp. Heading further westward the call was given out to head into Bennett's Gorge area. An 8km diversion had us keeping the speed down due to the rocks and a few skippie’s that had a mind set to be all over the road. Was long until the area opened up and we were left with some stunning views of what layed ahead with an outlook of the Mount Gundabooka plateau.
We decided on the short 30 min walk to a rise in the landscape where info boards explained the significance of the area- it takes your breath away !!!.
Back on the road heading out of the park soon saw us on the Bourke-Wilcannia road. Very suprised to see more of this road had been tarred and the goats !!!……was like a goat farm- oh wait they were !. Next stop the historical town of Louth. Love stopping here and to check out Shindies Inn and the old bits of gear inside- and also to support the place…..mmmm lunch.
My prefered choice to keep heading down the Darling River is the western side, but decision was made to wander down the eastern side. We werent disappointed as there was no traffic for the next 70km, dust was minimal and there were plenty of photo stops along the way. One stop that had me thinking was seeing just how low the Darling River is at the moment AND the flow has nearly stopped !.. not good for one of our major rivers but i suppose when you suck all the water out for the massive cotton farms and when there has been no significant rainfall in Nth Qld to kick start the system- something has to give.
Arriving at Tilpa we also serviced the local establishment for a look see and a cooling ale in the back yard. Tilpa pub is full of old photos, historical items and for a donation you can sign your name on the wall or roof if you can find space.
With one more last driving stint we soon headed westward towards White Cliffs across the Paroo Darling basin area. Up until two weeks before our trip these roads were still shut due to localised flooding. We saw signs of where the water was at its peak and there still was water on the road in areas. But it was all def open. A lot of the paddocks or basin area were still full to the brim with water which hopefully will stay around for the spring warmth.
Roads out here were generally ok but with water still laying roadside no one was keen to veer off even a little. I stopped a few times for pics ( of course ) and even with my weight ( no I am not fat !) it was really soft on the edges. The more the road rose and fell with the undulations was where the base changed from the grey whitish base to the deep red colours that you often see in the simmo. Only one major diversion around a bog hole which caused no drama as a good side track had been cut in, but it was the next 20-30 km that saw the road get pretty rutty and rough. I would say that in the previous weeks this had been where the water had been streaming down the road looking for the lowest point to lay and pool. The good thing about the roads being like this meant that there was minimul dust, but we still sat a few miles apart- ( personal space ?? )…..
Wasnt long before we had the metro city of White Cliffs in our sights…….. another day of around 300km, great sights and an interesting drive, but two days without a SSS ( shower shave s@#* ) had us be=line for the infamous WC caravan park. Not a bad park this, $15 per site a night, fantastic hot showers ( $1 for 5 min ), laundry, brand new fully kitted camp kitchen and stunning sunrise and sunset views.
The caretakers have been looking after the park for two years now and are so friendly ( forgot their names…lol ), nothing is a problem. All settled in - but with the cool night air starting to blow in- I am thinking it might be a cold one. You can have a fire here in the caravan park- but because the wind picked up it wasnt possible so looks like the extra blanket is coming out- only because i dont have a heated camper…..pffffff…. overated I am sure !!!!
A short clip on the road into Bennetts Gorge Gundabooka before leaving the area.