Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 2

For a large part of our holiday we followed the trek of our Australian explorers, Burke and Wills and Sturt. Growing up we covered our explorers during primary school but our kids don't seem to have studied them. We thought it would be a good opportunity for them to learn a little more about them.

Wenworth is a beautiful historical town an is on the junction of the mighty Murray River and the Darling River. Wenworth is one of our oldest settlements in the area and was named after our explorer Charles William Wentworth. At the caravan park where we stayed in Wenworth this plaque is on a tree opposite where Captain Charles Sturt anchored his whaleboat and hoisted his flag to celebrate the discovery of the junction of the two rivers.

The junction of the two rivers.

Red sand dunes just out of Wentworth. This area also had huge vineyards surrounded by these dunes. We passed hundreds of fruit trees, emus, paddy melons, wildflowers on the road from Wentworth to Pooncarie.

Just outside of Pooncarie after travelling 683kms we hit dirt roads. Over half of our holiday was on dirt roads. We stopped to put the skirt on the back of the car. This goes between the car and the camper to prevent rocks being flipped up and hopefully preventing broken windows.

From here on until Kinchega we saw bright green (ringneck parrots?), hundreds of wild goats, station airstrips, glimpses of the Darling River, emus, kangaroos, and a short span of bitumen in the middle of nowhere. The majority of this road was pretty good.

At 733km we left the Shire of Wentworth and entered the Shire of Darling. We drove through Menindee. Not quite what I expected it to be like. A bit of a shanty town in places. We saw the pub where Burke and Wills begain their trek. It took Burke and Wills two months to reach Menindee (it took us two days). We refueled at 177.9 cents a litre.

We camped the night at Kinchega National Park on the bank of the very low Darling River. Camp and park fees were $17. $7 a car to enter the park and $3 an adult and $2 per child to camp.
Jason did a little fishing, Leah and Jason looked for mussels. We were looking forward to seeing the lakes the next day. The girl at the tourist information in Mildura had told us they were all full. How wrong was she lol.

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