Monday, March 4, 2013

Bourke to White Cliffs

4th March

Nice mild morning,left van  park around 9.30 ,went to the Tourist Information to find  out about the road down to Louth,they said it was open,so we left Bourke at 10.30.

 Bottle shop in Bourke,all products are behind glass,the cashier being there as well

The road was dry,bit bumpy & corrugated,shook loose a couple of screws on the awning,plus a drawer had fallen out.

Road was mainly straight,saw a few goats as well as emus,one lot with four young birds.Arrived Louth about 12.30,stopped(as we do for a beer at the Local)got talking to a couple who we saw at Bourke,then we  headed over the bridge to a camp spot on the Darling River.

Few wild goats
 5th March

Very overcast & dark morning,decided to move on in case it rained not because of the river,but the roads,we  had set ourselves up to stay a few days,but we were packed & ready in under an hour.
We started off toward Tilpa at 8.45,saw huge eagle on the side of road,not enough time to get my camera.

 Remains of an old windmill near the river

 There were a lot of cattle and sheep along this stretch of road.Stopped at the Weir just out of Tilpa to have a look,vey nice spot, a couple of vans were camped there,had a cuppa with them,then headed into Tilpa for a look.

The Tilpa Pub is made completely out of corrugated iron,the walls of the pub are covered in graffiti,costs you $2.00 to write on the wall,money goes to the Royal Flying Doctors,by the look of the walls they must raise a far bit.

 Left Tilpa for Wilcania at 11.30,once again the road was long & straight,going from orange dirt to white to gravel,a lot of cattle,more emus and some wild pigs on this road.

About 30 km's out of Wilcannia we struck a big body of water,we had been told the road was OK to travel on,anyway 4 wheel drive mode we ploughed our way through,mud flying every direction.

  Arrived Wilcannia at 2 pm,fueled up and turned off to go to White Cliffs ,an Opal mining area,where a lot of the residents live underground.The road to White Cliffs is long & straight ,but at least it's bitumen,Peter calling the vegetation mulga scrub with very red soil.Decided to rain when we arrived at White Cliffs,but went for a drive around anyway,not much you can do about the weather.

View from the Gallery we went to,a lot of nothing out there

Stopped at one of the Gallery's and the owner Dick told us a bit about his mining and the type of opals they mine here,different to Lightning Ridge,they also have what they call pineapple opal(similar in shape)only found in White Cliffs. (Photos and info about the pineapple opals)

We then went on a drive around the opal fields,too wet now to do any noodling.Heaps of open shafts surrounded by mullock heaps,looks like a luna landscape from the air.
One of the many open mine shafts....have a look at this link White Cliffs Ariel photo worth looking at
 Had a drive through the opal fields,still wet,might go tomorrow.Caravan Park $20 night,plus $1.00 for your shower.

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