The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

15 May, 2013

Along the Mighty Murray

Well it's been a while since the last blog as we have been free camping and had limited service.

We finally finished celebrating Briony's birthday and started to make our way along the Murray River to Adelaide.  As we had been in a caravan park for nearly 2 weeks decided to free camp, so out with the 'travel bible' (Camp 6 Book) and searched for suitable places.  The first one that stood out was camp 584 Boomanoomana State Forest, you ask why, well with a name Boomanoomana we had to stay there just so I could write Boomanoomana in the blog!.

Boomanoomana SF, Sandy Beach camp [584]

Sandy Beach - on the River Murray

Plenty of firewood, wine overlooking the Murray

Boomanoomana State Forest is approximately 100 km (give or take 50km) east of Albury on the Murray River. We stayed at Sandy beach camp site which was 4.5 km in from the road and on a nice sandy bank.  When we arrived some nice chap had left a pile of cut firewood, and being the only ones there, we enjoyed a great campfire.  The afternoon was nice and captured some vitamin D from the sun but that was short lived as the afternoon shade became quite chilly - so fire was a bonus.

Camp on the Wakool River

Oliver was up early to see sunrise over the River Murray at Euston CP

After leaving Boomanoomana, with some extra firewood on board, headed east travelling through Finley and Deniliquin - couldn't stay in Denny as we didn't have a ute for the muster .. ha ha. Friday night camped on the banks of the Wakool River, NSW [873] just on the out skirts of Kyalite.  From here kept eastward bound with the intent of staying at Lake Benanee [874] on Saturday night but when we arrived early afternoon the wind was blowing off the lake and a decision was made to continue to Euston.  A prime site next to the River Murray was selected for the night at the Euston CP followed by a visit to the local club for dinner and watched the Crows (AFL) on the big screen.  I won $3.65 on the pokies but as I couldn't work out how to cash the ticket (new to me),  I reinvested and lost the lot .... bugger.

Road works at the Bottle Bend camp site [1194] .... oh the serenity!!

Another couple of noisy cheeky characters at our camp - Apostlebirds 

Colin (my brother) had called and said he would drive up from Adelaide and meet us at Bottle Bend camp [1194], 20km west of Mildura on Sunday.   A couple who Colin & Yolanda had meet on a previous trip would also meet us at Bottle Bend.  On arriving at Bottle bend we saw Norm & Maureen's van parked right in the middle of the best spot so we pulled up close by so they could not miss us on their arrival back from a trip into Gol Gol for supplies.  When they returned we quickly struck up a bit of banter about parking close to their van so knew that we would have a good couple of days in their company.  Colin & Yolanda arrived right on queue ...... around 3 pm just as the billy was boiling!.

Norm had been travelling in the van for many years so had plenty of stories and knowledge to share over the next 3 days.  With Norms knowledge of free camping he was able to source some excellent fire wood, this was required not only keep warm but for billy tea and using Norm's special double sided toaster.  Norm has promised to make one for Hels and we can pick it up when we pass through Taree next.  We were also privileged to observe a new section of road constructed in the park, apparently this was to trap water for future regrowth in the area, not every day you have graders in the camp ...... just as well!

Needed 2 fire pots to keep warm
I had to buy crumpets so I could use Norms "special" toaster

Norm had been out collecting firewoood

Norm and Maureen, now that's Maureen's ipad but how come I only saw Norm using it? Was it just the colour he liked!!

We tried to entice Norm and Maureen to stay an extra day by making our specialty "stockman's delight" without success so Colin and I stayed on for and extra day after Norm left, to finish burning the firewood, (thanks Norm) and to discuss the next camp site.

Breakfast on the banks of the Murray

Not often you get a bottle of 1975 port to drink around the fire, thanks Colin.

After a lot of head scratching a decision was finally made to head towards Barmera and a free camp on the banks of Lake Bonney, SA [180].  We had eaten most of the fruit and veg to avoid handing too much over at the check point so also had to stop in Renmark to get fresh fruit for the next couple of days.  We found the camp spot which was right on the lake but needed to be cautious as some of the track was sandy.  This was our camp until Sunday, so we had plenty of time for fishing (without any success, not even a carp) walks along the beach and taking in the sunsets and sunrises.

Camp at Lake Bonney



Lake Bonney Hotel, built 1853 - couldn't find the bar!

After Lake Bonney travelled further down stream on the Murray to Swan Reach, this free camp is on the opposite side of the river to the town and pub, so after setting up caught the ferry over the river to the Swan Reach pub for Mothers Day lunch. 

Swan Reach, Tenbury - Hunter Reserve camp [222]

This was a great way to celebrate mothers day for Helen and Yolanda as well as a nice finish to a great week with Colin before we head to Mt Pleasant, Mt Compass and then into Adelaide visiting friends and rellies.

Hels on the ferry heading to the Swan Reach pub in the background

Mothers day lunch with Colin & Yolanda.

Now after 2 weeks of mainly free camping along the River Murray we are heading into Adelaide for a week before heading north ;0)

No comments: