So . . . like many Aussies our overseas holiday was cancelled because of the COVID pandemic.

What to do? Where to go? Like the rest of Australia we’ve decided to hit the road in search of a little adventure — to break the boredom at home.

Our destination is outback Broken Hill and we’re driving a bright orange Citroen C5 Aircross (beep if you see us).

Reckon we won’t see another car like this one out there.

Day Four takes us 320km from Wentworth to Lake Mungo National Park.

Our first stop is Lake Victoria, a man-made lake that is a  130km round trip down a mostly dirt road.

Along the way we take time out to track down the site of the Rufus River massacre.

It was here on Tar-ru land in 1841 that police and drovers killed between 30 and 40 aboriginals, some say more — in retaliation for a series of attacks on stockmen.

There’s nothing to mark the spot and nothing much to see except scrub.

In a way, it’s no surprise the site is not marked. 

In fact, the only way we were able to locate the spot was to enter the coordinates in our GPS.

A bit further down the road we find Lock 7, the outfall for Lake Victoria which was creatd by building a 52km levee.

Once again we’re stunned to see an amazing variety of water birds, no doubt on the lookout for a feed of fish as they tumble out of the lake.

There’s pelicans, ducks, even seagulls — though we’re hundreds of kilometres from the sea.

Returning to town we stop off to see the Perry Sandhiils, trudging to the top through the hot red sand in as the temperature begins to soar.

Large gums including the so-called God Tree are buried right up to the tree tops by the rising sand.

Back in town we pay a visit to the old gaol built in 1881.

They used to put odd numbers of prisoners in a cell, never even numbers.

This way if there was ever a dispute, it wasn’t one prisoner’s word against the other.

The bushranger Captain Starlight is reported to have spent some time here, though there’s some discussion over whether such a person even existed.

Arriving at the large Lock 10 we were just in time to see a houseboat pass through the lock.

Oddly, signs proclaim the vicinity a “drone free” zone.

Lunch was a roll and bottle of water in a park near the spot where the Darling and Murray rivers meet up.

We were expecting something more impressive, but the steel viewing platform with its spiral staircase is unexpected.

We also check out the old wharf.

It’s hard to believe this place was once the largest inland port in NSW.

Then it’s off to find the BIG TRACTOR and Possum.

The BIG TRACTOR is a Ferguson tractor mounted on top of a pole, a tribute to the 40 odd tractors that saved the town from flooding in 1956.

Possum refers to a statue of David James Jones a “will o’ the wisp” hermit who lived in the bush downstream of the town for 54 years before his death in 1982.

Put 20 cents in the green steel box and you can hear all about him.

20 cents — what’s that?

Finally, we head off towards Lake Mungo, with a stop at Coomealla for coffee.

Wouldn’t you know it, they have an EV charge point.

Our digs for the night: Lake Mungo Lodge.

More to come tomorrow.

 

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Chris Riley e1562539398605 96x96 - We hit the road to Broken Hill -- Day 4

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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