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    • Day 2


      July 5, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

      First up, I need to say something about the Hay plain. I've never driven it before, and my pre-reading and pre-chats with others made me think it'd be a challenge. But OH. MY. GOD. This will sound weird, but it was almost a spiritual experience for me.

      The vastness of land and sky was truly awesome. As the weather was pretty dismal today, the clouds alternated between dark and angry, with splashes of chrome when the sun peeked out. It felt like I could see clouds in 3D (that sounds weird, but like, you could see multiple layers...and just so many). My favourite bit was the stretch where there were no trees, no buildings, and straight road. On one side of the road there were white, voluminous clouds outlined in grey and silver, and on the other side there were thick grey clouds with rain falling on the horizon. Words and photographs cannot begin to express the vastness and flatness of this place.

      Anyway, once I got past the plain, I headed into Balranald. +10 for toilet cleanliness at the information centre. The info centre was also nicely decked out. Not much to the town, but a good stopping point for a coffee and a wee.

      As with each town, I did a main street run to check the place out. I followed a sign that said "Riverbend" and lo and behold I ended up at a gorgeous spot on the Murrumbidgee. I stood on the bank for a bit and imagined the swaggies who'd camped alongside her a hundred years ago.

      Anyway, on to Mildura.
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    • Day 36

      Balranald and Surrounds

      September 4, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      .....where the Wetlands meets the Outback.

      Headed off to spend a few days at Tooleybuc today so Steve could have a rest. This (Tooleybuc) is something he needs to do and who am I to argue. Stopped and had lunch on the way be the roadside and arrived at Tooleybuc around 1.00. Whilst driving around checking out the place, Steve spotted a sign for Balranald. He didn't have much to say about Tooleybuc but we headed for Balranald as we hadn't been there before. As we drove over the Murrumbidgee River we spotted a lush green caravan park on the banks. We both said "that's the park we'll stay at". Spent 2 nights here for the bargain price of $28 and checked out the pub while we were here, as you do. We also came across a frog, which represents the Southern Bell Frog, which is endangered species, also known as the Growling frog and low and behold a Toad sat down along side him. "Mary you need to loose weight my dear", I said to myself as I saw the photo.Read more

    • Day 321

      Three in a free camp

      March 4, 2022 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

      Mum hasn’t be camping since BC (before children. That’s her children, so it was a while ago) back then it was a canvas tent slung out the back of the ‘27 Chev. She loved our spot by the Murrumbidgee near Balranald at Mamanga Campground Yanga National Park.
      It had only just reopened in the last couple of days after floodwater subsided. This was just your normal Murrumbidgee flooding. Nothing like the East Coast is experiencing right now.
      Down the road a little we visited the Yanga Homestead which is now a museum after the pastoral lease was sold back to the government and the land converted into a National park. Ad a grand old property it must have been.
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    • Day 28

      Days 26 - 28

      April 2 in Australia

      Distance travelled 922kms
      Next town Boundary Bend

      Finally made it into Balranald after a long 5 day paddle from Maude during which the only people I saw was 2 guys in a tinnie, so very isolated. The Nanga National Park borders the river for most of this section, so more wildlife now, kangaroos, emus, native water rats and even a couple of tortoises sitting on a log who plopped into the river when they saw me, and of course, lots of birds.
      I passed the point where Captain Sturt put his whaleboat into the Murrumbidgee, there is a blazed tree there apparently but I missed it. They rowed down to the Murray Mouth only to find it was unsuitable for shipping, so then rowed the 1500kms back upstream against the current. Phew!
      Negotiated Redbank weir, the final one, with the usual amount of stress and difficulty.
      Rest day tomorrow, then 3 days paddle down to the Murray Junction at Boundary Bend to finish.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Balranald, BZD

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