Downstream from the weir.

We hit the road to Broken Hill — Day 3

Riley Riley

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 Three takes us 465km from Griffith in the Riverina to Wentworth in the Sunraysia district of the State — oh yeah, and we’re officially in the Outback.

The land is flat and some may say featureless, apart from a sea of grape vines and citrus trees that line the road.

They go on and on as far as the eye can see.

Our first stop after looking for some cheap 95 premium unleaded for the Aircross is Darlington Point.

Here we take a look at what remains of the Old Darlington Point Bridge built in 1905.

Then it’s on to Hay where there’s lots of lovingly restored buildings and we pull up for coffee and pumpkin scones on the beach at Sandy Point by the mighty Murrumbidgee River.

We checkout The Convent, home to the Sisters of Presentation from 1921 to 1993 (weird name).

Around the corner is the imposing Court House that looks more like a house, built in 1892 and carefully restored.

There’s plenty to see and do in Hay, including the Gaol Museum, Shearer’s Hall of Fame, and Prisoner of War and Internment Camp Interpretive Centre.

In 1961 the goal was turned into an experimental centre for incorrigible girls.

They were sent here for three months of constant surveillance, supervision and discipline — the mind boggles.

From Hay we made a B-line to Balranald and its ‘swing bridge’ over the Murrumbidgee.

The town has adopted the Southern Bell frog as a mascot and various figurines of frogs can be seen around town.

After Balranald came Euston and looking for Lock and Weir 15 we fell foul of the police as we inadvertently attempted to cross into Victoria via a COVID checkpoint.

One of the officers was kind enough to point us in the right direction of the weir and it is certainly worth a visit.

Built in 1932-36 it holds back 60km of water and is quite a sight to see.

We were surprised to find a dozen pelicans paddling, looking for fish downstream of the weir, even though it’s 500km to the ocean.

The riverbanks are towering and the gum trees picturesque.

We couldn’t figure out however why such a major tourist attraction is not signposted, hidden as it is at the end of a wandering dirt track that passes by the cemetery.

They’re loss.

There’s also supposed to be a BIG WINDMILL in Euston — erected in 1948 and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere — but we couldn’t find hide nor hair of it.

We did however run across the BIG ORANGE near Buronga.

It isn’t that big but . . .

Freshwater Lake Benanee lies just off the Sturt Highway and taking heed of the fruit fly warnings we take the opportunity to dump some grapes.

Then it’s on to Wentworth located at the junction of the Murray and Darling rivers, and our digs for the night, the Two Rivers Motel, with dinner at the local pub.

We’re now more than 1000km west of Sydney and just across the river from Mildura.

The B-Doubles are getting bigger, but the Citroen has the measure of them, punching past with plenty to spare.

Being orange and different, it attracts comment, with one woman wanting to know why the lower body cladding is not symmetrical?

Fuel consumption is edging up, but still good at 7.6L/100km.

Gotta say they take the whole COVID thing a little more seriously in the country.

More to come tomorrow.


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