Australia
Walgett

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18 travelers at this place

  • Day9

    Lightning Ridge

    March 8 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Kurzer Ausflug in das Bergarbeiterdorf im Outback (einer der wenigen Orte weltweit wo der wertvolle Opal zu finden ist). Bei über 3,5h Autofahrt, hatten wir nicht einmal ein Auto vor unserer Nase, also war nur Tempomat und lenken angesagt.
    Leider war die Mine überflutet, welche man auf eigene Faust erkunden kann. Daher haben wir uns mit ein „paar vielen“ Buschfliegen 🙈 den Ort angeschaut. Verrückt was man hier alles findet.Read more

  • Day10

    Lightning Ridge

    March 9 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    Vor der laaangen Fahrt von Lightning Ridge nach Bellingen (7,5h) noch einen Ausflug ins „bottle house mining museum“. Erbaut wurde es von Künstler Tex Moeckel (ein in Deutschland geborener Australier) aus 5800 Flaschen für seine Frau Nola.

  • Day60

    Collarenerbri

    May 10, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Collarenebri is another town that's has declined over the recent years. The Barwon River flows through the town a d is backed up by a weir. At the moment the river is very low due to upstream water usage for irrigation. Dry years also don't help.

    This town is a base for the many farms Iin the are. Today there is one supermarket, a butcher, bowls club, service station., Cafe and hotel as well as a few other service businesses.Read more

  • Day9

    Walgett to Lightning Ridge

    May 29, 2015 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    After another day in the Warrumbungle N.P. and a visit to Coonabarabran we headed North-West to Walgett where we had arranged to stay on a sheep property called Caloola with old friends. On the way we hit our first Dirt Road and the caravan handled it very well, including taking dirt and dust samples along the way and depositing them in the cupboards and over a lot of our stuff. (poorly sealed pipe and electrical penetrations). Because of the drought our friends have been forced to sell most of their sheep and only have about 20 now, some of them lambing at the moment. Here the countryside is completely different to the sheep country I’m used to seeing. Very flat with what they call black soil and no grass, just weedy looking prickly plants which the sheep manage to survive on during drought periods. The trees don’t even grow very tall. We were told that when it rains (as little as 2 – 3mm) the ground becomes so soft and boggy that it is impossible for them to leave their property until it dries out. They have built a gravel hard stand up near the front gate where they move their car up to when the rain is forecast, because even their 4 wheel drive can’t get up their 2.5km driveway. The Barwon River flows though their property and is prone to flooding when heavy rains fall. It all sounds a bit bleak but we actually had a really interesting time there (complete with “billy tea” by the billabong) and learned a lot about the area. They also run a Bed and Breakfast business as part of a chain called Outback Beds and have facilities for campers and caravaners.

    We reluctantly left Caloola after a couple of nights and continued North to Lightning Ridge which is famous for its opal mining. First we visited the Chambers of the Black Hand which is a fascinating underground mine where the chap who owns it has carved hundreds of sculptures into the walls which are made of sandstone. He was actually there carving a new sculpture when we went through and was happy to have a chat. Later in the day we went on a bus tour around the town and went down into a working opal mine where we learned more about what’s involved in mining opal. (We did lots of stair-climbing during the day). We also visited a shop where opals are cut, polished set into jewellery and sold and were given a demonstration of the process. I wasn’t able to convince Frank it would be a good investment to buy me one though! Our driver took us to other local attractions such as “Lunatic Hill” which is an open cut mine. Another mine up there is owned by an odd 84 year old chap who also loved to have a chat. Also Amigo’s Castle which has been built of stones retrieved from the mines and looks really impressive at first until a closer inspection reveals that it is unfinished and has no roof. The reason there is no roof is that the council rates the property by the area of the roof. No roof No council rates. All these characters are very strange and one wonders whether it’s a pre-requisite for living in Lightning Ridge. The guides told us of the high rate of crime in the area associated with the opal industry, including opal theft from mines at night. Gangs are in the area armed with AK 47 rifles and are not afraid to use them even on the police. Miners encroach on other peoples mines, sell opals and don’t pass on the share of the sale to their partners. This includes Siblings, Father and Son partners, Husband and Wife etc, no one is exempt from the greed up here. The other interesting thing is the collusive opal price fixing by the buyers to keep the price of opals artificially high while they rip of the miners. Interesting place to visit.
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  • Day3

    lightning ridge - hot springs

    August 27, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

    After a nice lunch and a look around town renowed for the mining of black opals. We headed for the artesian baths. Wow- what a refreshing swim spent in artesian water of a constant 40 degrees.

  • Day24

    Day 24

    June 23, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Had a good night at the free camp last night very quite considering it is on the highway, nice clean and new toilets good overnight stop. Headed off at 8 this morning, stopped in at St George for fuel and kept on going to Dirrinbandi then down to the Hebel gate the Qld and Nsw border, weather still very good 23 degrees so decided to stop in at lightning ridge for the night. At the Opal caravan park, good as usual this is our 3rd time here very busy lucky to get a powered site, had lunch and drove in to town for a look around, booked the bus for 6 o'clock to take us to the bowling club for drinks and tea.Read more

  • Day35

    Day 35

    July 1, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    A little bit noisy last night till the road trains stopped but otherwise all good, on the road by 8 this morning, taking a shortcut from Mitchell to St George good road a small amount of single lane the rest of the 200km was very good. Stopped at St George to top up with fuel and to grab some cold pasties for lunch, and had a cuppa had to find a dry spot had a lot of rain here overnight. Onto the Castlereagh Hwy heading south next stop was Dirranbandi for lunch it rained nearly all the way there and the temperature is only 13 degrees here back to reality after 5 weeks of warm weather, Hebel Gate was next to pass through and then the NSW QLD border, we got into Lightning Ridge about 2 o'clock our stop for the night. Had some good rain here too but a little warmer at 17 degrees, lucky we booked as the van park is full school holidays now so busy everywhere, off to the bowling club on the courtesy bus for drinks and dinner a tradition when we are here 👍Read more

  • Day16

    Lightning Ridge, NSW

    March 27, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    Many hopeful miners have ventured to this area in search of the black opals. Some made it rich, some busted and others just hung around.

    Once the kind of town you would expect to feature in a movie script, Lightning Ridge has a colourful past. Today the mining is large highly mechanised big money operations. The rules are strict and compliance is out of reach of most small operators.

    Tourism is the new vogue and there are the cafes, accommodation and high end galleries to prove it. It is still worth a visit if you are heading past.
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  • Day10

    The freedom rides & more artesian baths

    August 29, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Woke up in the free camp in Walgett this morning and Gadi read the information boards on his morning walk all about the freedom rides in 1965, where aboriginal activist (Charles Perkins) then a uni student lead a group of University of Sydney students on a bus campaign through several outback NSW towns to protest indigenous inequality.

    Based on the freedom riders in the United States in the early 60s, we learnt that in Walgett the bus stopped and Charles made an impassioned speech at the RSL, which at that time refused entry to indigenous people, not even allowing entry to returned soldiers. Endemic racism in Walgett was beamed into the homes of thousands watching the news, when the president of the RSL was caught on camera saying he would never let an aboriginal person into the club.

    The publicity gained raised consciousness of racial discrimination across NSW at the time.

    We left the camp ground late morning and headed east to our next stop, the outback railway town of Burren Junction. Population around 160, this tiny town no longer even has a shop, but it does boast a pub! And, more importantly, the town maintains a wonderfully warm artesian pool and camp ground, well utilized by passing travelers (mainly nomads).

    Arriving around lunchtime, we found a prime site along a dam irrigating the nearby fields (and giving us a lovely water view). Later in the afternoon (after lunch and a snooze) we changed into our bathers and breathed a sigh of relief as we eased ourselves into the hot, deep waters. We spent a lovely couple of hours soaking, floating and talking to other nomads. We learnt that a couple opposite us have a rainbow lorikeet they rescued as a baby that fell out of its nest and broke its wing, so we chatted all things ‘bird’ related.

    We stayed in the pool until the sun set low on the horizon creating a thin orange and flame red line along the horizon. As I made my way back to the caravan in near darkness, I took in the beautiful reds, oranges and yellows of the setting sun along the dam. Just as I reached the van I heard a ‘thump thump’ sound and was privileged to witness a dozen kangaroos silent (other than the sounds of their hooves thudding) as they hopped along the ridge above the dam, one after the other.

    Dinner of leftover lasagne tonight and it was time to turn in for the night.

    Today I am thankful for so much - finding a relaxing place to stay awhile, beautiful hot water to float in, great weather and lovely neighbours all around. To see the kangaroos hop by against the last bit of sunset was just the icing on the cake!
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  • Day11

    A day of soaking and relaxing

    August 30, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We decided to stay out here in Burren Junction for a few days as we are really enjoying the artesian water and the camp site itself, with our water front site and the mostly friendly people surrounding us.

    What a lovely day it’s been. I went for a mid morning soak while Gadi spent time on some maintenance and talking to some of the other blokes about things like cars, solar, inverters and other boy toy paraphernalia!

    I came back to the caravan to chill out, eat lunch and even baked a chocolate cake in the Weber. Late afternoon we both headed back to the pool for another ‘swim’ and chat to our fellow campers.

    Eventually I dragged myself out of what felt like an oversized warm bath tub so that I could come back to the caravan to watch another magical sunset beyond the canal.

    I prepped dinner on the Weber and chatted with our neighbours while warming myself close by their splendid ‘Oz pig’ fire.

    Finally Gadi made his way back from the pool and we headed inside for dinner. Today went by in a flash and yet we didn’t do very much st all. Crazy really...

    My take home from today:

    May there be more busy days like today doing not very much at all but feeling so content being in the moment.
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Walgett

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