We go extreme motorhoming again

After a great nights sleep at MacCullochs Rest Area we set off in convoy towards Wilcannia. I’ve never been to Wilcannia before but what a lovely little town. It had been on the news a lot lately due to a COVID outbreak but the town seemed very quiet as we drove in across the Darling River.

Wilcannia was once the third largest port in NSW after Sydney and Morpeth near Newcastle. In 1887 218 vessels arrived in Wilcannia carrying 36,170 tons of goods and 222 vessels left Wilcannia carrying 26,552 tons. Isn’t that incredible? Fancy being the third largest port and it is so far inland in the middle of the desert!

Because it was such a centre for trade the town has many beautiful historic buildings and I just had to go for a walk around the town to capture these gorgeous buildings with my camera.

The Athenaeum built in 1884. The youngest son of Charles Dickens, Edward Dickens was on the original committee. Edward later went on to represent Wilcannia as town Alderman and state member of Parliament. The Atheneum was a School of Arts with a library and reading rooms and was later the Wilcannia Municipal Offices.
Wilcannia Club Hotel built in 1879 on the site of Wilcannia’s first hotel
Wilcannia Post Office built 1879 and restored in 2010.
The Original Bridge across the Darling River was opened in 1896
Rich & Co Emporium was built on the site of a shepherds hut that was an outstation of Mount Murchison Station. The Emporium became the shipping and transport hub of the district.
Court House built in 1880
The Old Gaol and Courthouse, now the Police Station

Richard and Robert went to the self-service fuel station to fill up while Catie and I went for a wander with cameras at the ready. Robert tried the Police Station to see if he could find out which road would be the best to take. There was nobody there. He did find a number to call to find out about road conditions but when Robert called the lady who answered was really no help at all.

There was a group of people gathering in the park so I wandered down to see if they were locals. They were and when asked about the roads a lady told me that they were much the same, rough gravel roads. I explained that we’d driven from Ivanhoe to Mendindee and she quickly exclaimed that was a worse road than these two. So we decided to take the Western Road and see how it went. This road follows the Darling River and is part of the series of roads known as The Darling River Run.

I have to say I am so please with the build quality of our Avida Esperance. Another 160km of rough gravel road and not a thing fell off, nothing broke and we arrived safely at Menindee 3 1/2 hours later. At times we were down to 30km/h but at others the road was good enough for us to get up to 70km/h. It was an interesting trip too. We saw lots of emus. A few property entrances and a Woolshed. About half way along we passed a Farm Stay at Nelia Gaari Station and we thought that looked like a great spot to try one day.

Richard drove half the way and then we swapped drivers and I drove the rest of the way into Menindee. I find the Iveco very easy to drive although, because I am so short and have to move the drivers seat forward so I can reach the pedals, the seatbelt cuts into my neck. I bought myself a sheepskin seatbelt cover and that has made a huge difference. I can drive for hours now.

We meet so many people on our travels that say to us they’d never take their motorhome off the tar. I think they are really missing out on some fantastic travel experiences by not venturing off the black top. These motorhomes are built on a truck chassis and our thoughts are that if an Iveco truck can go there then we can probably go there. So far our trusty Avida has taken us on many gravel roads and it has never let us down. We are impressed with it. It is a 2013 model so getting on for 8 years old and we are up to 89,000km traveled.

We arrived in Menindee and went directly to the Showgrounds to fill up with water, get a load of washing done and use the Dump Point. We managed to call up Robert on the UHF and he directed us to where they and Andy and Jenny had set up camp lakeside at Lake Pamamaroo.

We had no trouble finding them and quickly got our camp set up. What a gorgeous spot. A lovely sandy beach, shady trees but still enough sun for our solar panels.

Lake Pamamaroo, Menindee

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