SUNDAY 23 SEPTEMBER BOURKE TO CURRAWINYA NATIONAL PARK 249kms
After a good breakfast, and minimal pack up (cabins are good in that regard!), we headed out of town.
At North Bourke, after crossing the Darling River, where the Kidman Way turns to the north, we kept going to the north west, on the Hungerford road. This soon became a good unsealed road that was very pleasant driving. The country was flat, but there was variety in the vegetation types – from open grazing country to different sorts of scrub land.
At one stage we drove through thick stands of mulga on each side of the road – almost felt like some sort of avenue!
There were a couple of hamlets, entrances to pastoral properties, the occasional river or creek.
We came to the tall fence and gate that is the dog-proof fence that extends along the NSW/Qld border. This fence extends from the Darling Downs of Qld to the Great Australian Bight in SA, Built in the 1880’s and intended to keep wild dogs out of the sheep grazing lands of the southern part of the continent, it is over 5000 kms long – the world’s longest fence.
I had to get out and open the gate for us to pass through.
At the gate, a strip of bitumen road began. This went through the centre of Hungerford, the tiny hamlet right on the border. From what we could see, it was essentially a hotel and a few houses. We stopped for fuel at the hotel – diesel variety!
The Royal Mail Hotel also dates from the 1800’s and was a single storey, mostly corrugated iron clad building, rather showing its age.
We continued on, trending north east, soon crossing the several channels of the Paroo River. The sealed strip of road had soon ended.
We entered the Currawinya National Park, our destination for the next few days, we hoped. This was a relatively new National Park, it only being ten years since the former pastoral property became Park. I had not been able to find a great deal of information about it, except that there had not been much in the way of park development. It was kind-of on our way to John’s target of the Yowah area, and so I’d been able to persuade him to come this way – and to stay a while if what we found was to our liking.
About 20kms from Hungerford, we turned off the “main” dirt road and took a side track to the old Currawinya Woolshed and, beyond that, a couple of kms to the bush camping area at the Ourimperee Waterhole on the Paroo River.
We liked what we saw. No facilities – there were showers, of sorts, and toilets back at the woolshed complex. One could set up camp amongst the trees that lined the river. Even better, we saw no other campers there!
We set up the new dome tent, for only the second time. All I could say was that we will get better at it, with time! Set up the assorted camp gear where we wanted it, used the air compressor in Truck to blow up the lilo. Had lunch, went wandering and gathered some firewood, then relaxed by the river, for the rest of the day, feeling ourselves very fortunate.
After tea, we sat by our campfire for a while before bedtime. Back in the bush again – wonderful!
First night in the new tent……