The much anticipated morning had arrived. It was finally time to set off on our big adventure to The Red Centre. We had spent months planning for this trip and had many discussions about what we would do when we get to certain places along the way. We even had the Countdown+ app on our phones counting down the days until we left.
Finally it was ‘D’ day…….’D’ for departure.
We are on this adventure with our daughter, Katie and her three children, Riley, Ben and Maddie. They are travelling in their 4WD and caravan and we are in our motorhome. Our route took us from Griffith to Hillston via Goolgowi then onto Cobar via Mt Hope. We had a short stop at Goolgowi to check our rigs and everything was traveling well. We traveled through the little town of Hillston and stopped for a lunch break alongside the Lachlan River at Willanthry. We have stopped at Willanthry a few times in the past and it’s always a lovely spot. The river was quite full and the children were amazed to learn that it is the same river that runs into the dam that we waterski on at Grabine each year. They found it hard to believe that the river comes all the way from there.
It was another 220km of travel to arrive in Cobar. Lots of emus and wild goats were seen on that stretch of road. We also commented on the number of caravans travelling. Good to see people out exploring our fabulous country. We made use of our UHF to let the others know when we spied emus or goats.
Just before we arrived in Cobar we turned off to check out the Fort Bourke Hill Lookout that looks over the huge open cut mine. We’d been there before and suggested to Katie that she leave the van at the bottom of the hill, they could all jump in the MH with us and we’d drive to the top. There is not a lot of room to turn around at the top especially if there’s lots of cars parked. So that’s what we did. Once at the top Katie was glad we’d made that suggestion when she saw how little room there is to turn around.
The children were amazed at the big hole in the ground. There is a viewing platform inside a wire cage (to prevent anyone going over the edge). Inside the cage are information boards with a bit of history of the New Cobar Open Cut and the other mines in the area.
Of course we had to make a stop under the famous Cobar sign just as you come into town. We managed to park both our rigs under the sign and got the picture.
Our camp for the night is one we’ve been at a few times before and we really like it out at the Old Reservoir. It is a free camp with no amenities at all however it is a large flat area with room for lots of RV’s. We’ve been here when we’ve been the only ones here but this night there was lots of RV’s of every description. There’s lots of caravans, a big bus, a few motorhomes and camper trailers.
As we were setting up camp a couple walked by and came across to chat to Katie. They are also owners of a New Age Bilby caravan and wanted to meet the fellow Bilby travellers. Katie was happy to chat about her beaut little van.
The children were all willing helpers to get camp set up and the boys got their swags set up on the mat ready for later. Rich got a fire going. After camp was set up the kids went off exploring and it was lovely to hear their happy chatter.
Katie, the children and I went for a bit of a walk and found the other Bilby parked next to a Jayco motorhome. The MH people had their two dogs with them and the children loved seeing them. They even got to take the elderly pug, Ruby, for a walk in her stroller. Ruby has very bad arthritis and cannot walk very far but she loves to be pushed in her doggy stroller.
Back at camp Pa cooked up sausages on the Biji BBQ and we enjoyed our camp dinner under the stars sitting around our little camp fire. With all the lights off the children were amazed at how many stars there are in the night sky. It was a very clear, cold night and the children enjoyed spotting satellites passing overhead. All around the reservoir we could see the twinkling of camp fires. What a great spot!
And so our great adventure has begun. 360km travelled and the first of many free camps. I hope the boys sleep well in their swags.