Day 11. Awoke to a lovely morning, not too cool, no dew on the fly, sun shining on our doorstep as we had our breakfast, it was 8.15 though, the sun comes up late this far south west. We drove back in to Menindee and as we diLunettes, Mungo National Park, NSWd we passed the Burke and Wills camp ground where we thought we had camped. We had camped at the weir, it was the better of the two spots, the B&W looked like a dust hole. We filled with fuel, filled our drinking water and headed down the road to Pooncarrie. At first it was very dry and dusty but after a few kilometres it looked as if the place had had some recent rain as it all turned green. The road was a bit churned up as it is only a dry weather gravel road and a fair bit of traffic had been through it while it was wet. We stopped for coffee at the Cafe & Gallery and met John, a New Zealander who was tripping around Aus in his caravan, came to Pooncarrie and saw two blocks of land on the Darling River going cheap, bought them and two years ago built his little coffee house and craft gallery, he says he has never looked back. If your going through Pooncarrie drop in and see him and have a coffee there. We then headed further south for Mungo National Park, the destination of our trip. Mungo National Park covers most of an anceint dry lake bed on the plains of south western NSW. During the Ice Ages Lake Mungo was one of a chain of freashwater lakes strung along Willandra Creek, then the main channel of the Lachlan River. These dry lakes preserve one of the longest continual records of Aboriginal life in Australia, dating from around 50,000 years ago through to the present day. Datings of anceint burials shows that these are the oldest known fully modern humans outside of Africa. Mungo Woman and Mungo Man were found by the lakes edge here and have been dated up to 40,000 years old. This site was added to the World Heritage Register in 1981. We have booked into the camp site for two nights and this afternoon have been out to the Walls of China for a look around. Tomorrow we will go for a 70 kilometre drive around the park. Today we have travelled 262klms.

Day 12. Today we drove around Mungo National Park. There is a 70klm one way drive around the park with various Mungo National Park, NSWnumbered stop points, an interprative brochure gives information of the area as you drive around. It is well done and very interesting. There are two camping areas, we had morning tea in the Bella camp area. Both camp areas are very good, the main camp has a barBQ at each camp spot plus a large fireplace between each camp spot. Firewood is available for a small charge, there are no fires allowed at the Bella camp area. Today we drove 73 klms around the park.

Day 13. It was a warm night last night and so was warm this morning when we woke. We breakfasted out and watched the sunrise then packed up and hit the road for Ivanhoe. The first part of the drive was though the huge dry lake beds. These lakes dried up 15,000 years ago and are now just huge flat, slatbush and bluebush covered plains. The road to Ivanhoe was gravel and quite good, parts of it were corrugated or rutted and in places just two wheel tracks. We arrived in Ivanhoe about 10.30 and had morning tea in a nice little park in town where they had all their historical story boards displayed. We then left for Cobar 228 klms of gravel road away. The road started out fairly rutted and corrugated, in some places it was smoother driving off to the side of the road on wheel tracks made by someone looking for a smoother ride I guess. Pretty soon we hit a newly graded bit of road, the trouble was the grader had taken the tops off the corrugations, left the pot holes and left piles of bull dust all over the road. We certainly did a bit of sliding around as we hit the bull dust. The road worsened as soon as we hit the Cobar Shire, it became a bit of a rough track in places but eventually hit the main Cobar Balranald Road, it was then a fairly good 20klm run until we hit the bitumen 50klms from Cobar. All ther way from Mungo to Cobar is lovely and green, the grass is a very short variety, and the land is flat it has the look of a good American golf course, there is also a lot of mallee country. We have booked into a caravan park for the night. Today we travelled 410klms.

Day 14. We are further northwest now so the sun, and we, were up a little earlier this morning and it was a little warmer than it has been lately. After breakfast we filled with fuel, bought bread and some fruit and headed north to Bourke. Today has been the first day since day two that we have had all day driving on the black top, no gravel roads. Bourke is a smaller town than I expected, we had morning tea in the park by the Information Centre, then a look around the Centre before walking through town for a look. Every business on the main street has security grills and roll down shutters on the windows and door, including the police station. We told the man at the Information Centre we were just pasing through, he told us we should stay a while that it was a nice town, the way the town businesses are fortified it just doesn’t look a nice town, I am probably wrong, but that’s the way it looks to me as a tourist. We drove on to Brewarrina, 100klms west of Bourke, spoke to a very friendly lady in the Information centre who gave us directions to the Four Mile Camp Grounds by the Barwon River. We have set up camp here along with four other campers. It is a lovely spot on a bend of the river where we sat and had our tea and watched the sun set down river from us. Today we travelled 258klms.

Day 15. Another lovely morning as we sat by the Barwon River having breakfast. There was no breeze so the river was like a mirror reflecting all the River Red Gums along the bank. We were on the road by 8.30 and heading for Walget. We arrived just after 10 and had morning tea in a small park next to the council offices. We were sitting at a table close to what must Main Street, Wee Waa, NSW.have been the designated smoking area for the office workers and it was a well used area, two blokes stayed out long enough to have a smoke and talk, as they were about to go in another smoker arrived so they stayed and talked and after a while lit up another cigarette and stayed till they finished that, they were still there when we left, I hope the non-smokers employed there get a bonus because they are carrying a few bludgers. Walget is another town with the businesses in town protected with security screens. We drove on to Wee Waa. This is a big grain growing area with huge paddocks under cultivation. It looks like the canolla has gone wild though, hundreds of acres of road side and bush land have been overrun with canolla, it must be doing damage to any grassland where it is growing wild. Wee Waa is a lovely little town, nice clean town centre, the memorial in town is a clock at the top of the main street which chimes on the quarter hour, the stores are full and the people friendly. We had lunch here and then drove on to Narrabri. This is a large country town, cotton is the main crop around here. After being lost a couple of times we eventually went to the Information Centre to ask directions to Sawn Rock where we intended to stay for the night. When we got there we found there was no camping allowed so we moved a further 38 klms up the road to Rocky Creek camp ground. We are camped on the edge of a small gorge with a waterfall at one end of it, it is very nice here, one other caravan has pulled in for the night. Today we travelled 442klms.

Day 16. It was freezing cold this morning, we are camped on the western slopes of the NSW tablelands at about 600mtrs.Myall Creek. After breakfast I went climbing down the gorge to the creek bed. There are huge boulders of conglomerate rock lying around here, the whole area is glacial and was formed in the last ice age. It is a very beautiful place and a great place to camp. I have been looking out for a book for the past twelve months or so and it has been hard to get, I found a copy in the store out at Innaminka, it is called ‘Blood on the Wattle” and is about the massacres and atrocities committed against the Australian Aboriginal since settlement, I have finished reading it on the trip. After our first stop at Bingarra we passed Myall Creek, the site of the Myall Creek Massacre. There is a memorial to the Aborigines who were killed here in 1860. It is very well done memorial and quite a moving site as you follow it around and read the story of what happened here. Seven of the twelve whites who took part in the massacre were hung in Sydney by Governor Gibbs, the first white men ever convicted of killing Australian natives. We then headed for Dulengra and then on to Inverell where we stopped and bought a couple of bags of wash so we can do a bit of saphire hunting the easy way when we get home. On to Ashmore for lunch and then to Bonshaw weir where we are now camped for the night. Today we travelled 208klms.


Day 17. We were up and on the road early and back home by lunch time. Great trip, I recommend Mungo National Park as a "must see" place.


lake garnpang, Mungo National Park, NSW.
sawn Rock.
Mungo National Park.
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