Cobar to Bourke

It rained a couple of times overnight. Just light rain and nothing to give us concern about the dirt road to get out of the camp area at the Cobar Old Reservoir. We both enjoyed listening to the patter on the roof while snuggled warm in our very comfy bed.

It was raining in the morning. Just a misty rain and it looked cold outside. I’d had a message from one of our son, Michael’s old school mates who lives in Cobar with his young family. I contacted him and he said he’d call out to catch up with us before we left.

Chilli arrived not long after. He’d just come off a night shift working at one of the mines in Cobar and was ready for a good sleep. He came in while we finished cleaning up after breakfast and getting ready to move. We followed him to his house with a stop to check out the Newey Reservoir. What a lovely spot for a picnic on a nice day, I thought.

We had a lovely visit with his young family. The little boys were excited to see us. I think they remember visiting with us in Griffith not long ago.

We left an overcast and rainy Cobar behind at 9.30am and headed northwards towards Bourke.

After leaving Cobar we were on a road that neither of us had been on before. From here on we would be exploring places new to us.

The countryside between Cobar and Bourke became progressively flatter. There were lots of feral goats along this stretch of the road. We also saw a few Emus.

As we neared Bourke there was scattering of cotton along the edge of the road. It’s obviously a large cotton growing area

We arrived in Bourke around 12ish and spent the afternoon exploring this little river town. We visited the following:
* The Historic Bourke Cemetery
* The Lock & Weir on the Darling River.
* The Historic Wharf
* The Crossley Engine
* Historic Bourke buildings
* The painted water tower
* Back O’ Bourke Exhibition Centre & Information Centre

After that very busy afternoon we topped up our fuel and got a gas bottle before heading to North Bourke to find a camp spot for the night. This Swap N Go gas bottle was the most expensive one we’ve ever encountered. $35 for a 4.5kg bottle. Diesel was $145.90/l. It was very windy and cold.

We crossed the Darling River over the ‘new’ bridge and from there we could see the original lift-span bridge. It is the oldest surviving lift-span bridge in Australia and was designed to allow paddle steamers and barges to pass under during periods of high water. The bridge was built over 100 years ago. It is now closed to all traffic. On the other side of the bridge is the Back O’ Bourke Gallery featuring works by local artist Jenny Greentree. Jen is fascinated with the outback and its extraordinary landscapes. She brings it to life in her beautiful works, mainly using pastels. I bought a print of a classic Darling River scene complete with River Red Gums. I’ll have it framed and put on my travel wall with the other paintings I’ve collected over our travels.

Back south across the ‘new’ bridge and this time I was on the right side of the motorhome to be able to get a photo of the old bridge. Just past the bridge is a turnoff to a boat ramp and this spot shows on WikiCamps as a great spot to free camp on the banks of the Darling. We found a fabulous flat spot right on the bank overlooking the muddy brown river. We quickly set up camp, got a fire going, put on our Apricot Chicken and potato bake to cook and settled in to enjoy the serenity. Rich pulled the top off a ten year old red, I’ve got a lovely dry Sauvignon Blanc. How good is life? What a great day we’d had.


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