NSW Country trip: August 10-12

Monday August 10
Lightning RidgeBrewarrina

A 3-hour trip or so today, interspersed with UHF chat of 4×4 nomad convoys, we arrived at the most wonderful free camp. Out of town, smack on the Barwon River, free firewood provided by our local firey ‘Burra’ who happened to come around, great weather, and nobody around…. BLISS!! We also set up our little (LARGE) ensuite tent, so we can have a roomy shower. Our solar panels kept the battery full, fridge runs on gas, and Arno’s phone had enough range to hotspot our devices so we can continue our blog.

4 mile reserve camp

Tuesday 11 August
Dry and warm weather, though a little cloudy, and we covered the local attractions in Brewarrina. This small town with a population of around 1,100 is truly an outback town with a high percentage of indigenous people. The visitor’s information is really nice and large with a lot of local art (albeit much is worked into souvenirs). We visited the defunct historic Brewarrina ‘lift’ bridge over the Barwon River; saw many unique fish traps; Arno went downriver to the ochre beds; Jen did the Aboriginal Culture tour at the museum.

The ochre is made into a paste and used in art (wall/body etc).

Brewarrina Bridge over Barwon River

The Aboriginal cultural tour was very interesting, equally disturbing and fascinating. The various atrocities carried out on the indigenous people (eg the Hospital Creek massacre; institutionalisation and displacement of the people) were covered.

But on the other hand, learning of their clever use of any and all natural resources was absolutely fascinating. Of their ingenious design and infrastructure to catch and store fish in the days when the river was still wide and full (ie before the cotton farms were introduced and the water dammed much further up river to support those as well as to create a town water supply; and before the carp was introduced with a devastating effect on the local catch). The Brewarrina fish traps are heritage listed – some information on their workings is here. An interesting history of the importance of the Barwon/Darling river (for those interested) is here.

Museum photo of fish traps
Today’s heritage listed fish traps

The aborigines tools and their multiple uses are amazing in ingenuity as well as artistic, eg the freshwater mussel shell as a cup, plate, a knife as the edge is sharpened.

Arno talked to one of the local aboriginal fishermen and he explained how much the river had changed over the years. He caught a big carp and he was not happy, the first explorers introduced them in the rivers and they have been a pest ever since. Another one of those other great things we brought to this country 🙁

The ochre pools is where they get the colors for their body and face paint.

When we got back to our lovely spot, we discovered that our fridge had a warning light, and the gas was no longer keeping it cold. We reached out to the Facebook group of campers and got many suggestions as to what it could be, but alas, nothing worked. That meant we had to move on to our next destination sooner than we really wanted, given the serenity of the place, but we had to find a service centre or if unsuccessful, a caravan park with a powered site to keep our food cold.

Wednesday 12 August – Brewarrina to Cobar (via Bourke)
Nice thing about free camping is that there is no checkout time! But we did have to get a move on as we had more than 3 hours to drive to Cobar, where our fridge manufacturer confirmed we’d find a service centre.

Off we went via Bourke, where we spent some time looking around this very outback town…. Some pictures here below with some descriptions.

The North Bourke historic lift bridge (1883) – gateway between Western NSW & the Riverina

We were unable to get in contact with the fridge service centre in Cobar and also could not find him in town – out of business more than likely…. So we set up at the one and only caravan park in town with power, and when we turned the fridge back on to gas, guess what… well it all worked! We will run it on gas overnight to see if all is good again, and if so, we will find a different camp off the grid again here in Cobar tomorrow. We’d like to do a bit of sightseeing and the weather is forecast to be good for the next few days.

Latest part of the journey
Journey since leaving home
Due to COVID-19, we won’t be crossing borders to any other states… New South Wales is our only holiday destination. We are lucky there is so much of it to explore!

Related Post

8 thoughts on “NSW Country trip: August 10-12

  1. Hi Guys

    Zo zie je maar weer dat hoe goed je je eigen voorbereid er altijd weer iets stuk gaat of leeg is enz. enz.
    Maar met elke ervaring leer je wat.
    Wij vertrekken zaterdag. Het doel is uiteindelijk het meer van Annesy in Frankrijk. We gaan dwars door Frankrijk maar over Duitsland op ons gemak.
    Misschien wat moeilijk om als we onderweg zijn om jullie blog te lezen maar wij wensen jullie een fijn vervolg van jullie reis.


    Ellen en Henk

    1. Dank! Alles werkt weer prima, we genieten weer volop van ons avontuur! Jullie ook hele fijne reis, we horen graag hoe het verloopt…

  2. Interessant verslag weer, jammer van die pech met het apparaat, maar ja, er zijn ergere dingen, toch?
    Fijne reis verder
    Groetjes Ton

    1. Ach, een beetje pech hoort bij kamperen, thuis gaat ook wel eens iets stuk! Maar we genieten volop hoor!!

  3. Ha lieve reizigers, weer een interessante update met veel historie en bijzondere ervaringen.
    Wel jammer dat het virus jullie wegen wat inperkt maar zo kom je wel op onverwachtte wegen.
    En af en toe wat pech onderweg maakt het ook weer spannend.
    Gelukkig is alles weer in orde want je moet wel gezond kunnen blijven eten .
    Dank weer voor de verhalen en de kaart.
    Liefs en behouden reis xx

  4. Ha Jen, even een vraagje :bij jouw verhaal over het gereedschap van de aboriginals dat ze gebruikten bij het vissen zit een link : Freshwater mussel shell maar daar krijg ik hetzelfde te zien als bij de link over de Hospital Creek massacre , kun je daar even naar kijken en als het kan opnieuw sturen? Met dank en liefs xx Annette

    1. hoi Annette! Ja, ik had nog gezocht op het internet of er iets van de mossel schelp te vinden was, maar niet, en toen vergeten de link weg te halen. Mijn gids op de tour had het laten zien dus ik heb deze pagina even ge-update… Ik vond dit wel op het net, misschien vind je het interessant – xxx. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227628467_Historical_Indigenous_use_of_aquatic_resources_in_Australia's_Murray-Darling_Basin_and_its_implications_for_river_management

  5. Dank voor de informatie, Jennifer! Mijn telefoon kwam wat vast te zitten met de privacy opties maar allee, ik kom er wel uit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *