Louth – Trilby Station, Tilpa, Wilcannia and Menindee – Outback NSW at its best!!


After leaving Bourke, we continued our ‘Darling River Run’, heading south on the Eastern side of the river towards Louth… Louth is a small service town on the Darling River about 100km downstream from Bourke, at which point you can cross the Darling River, allowing the choice of  travelling on the eastern or western side of the river for the trip downstream to Tilpa.

Louth is also home to the massive Trilby Station, run by Liz (who we met and she is just wonderful!!), her husband Gary and their four children.

Darling River Downstream

This is the Darling River looking downstream from our campsite at Trilby Station. Due to recent rains in the Darling River catchment area, the river is very full and with running with strong currents…

Enjoying a beer on the Darling River

Can’t complain! first things first… set up table and chairs and open a cold one!!!! Aaaahhh!!!

Original Bush Thunderbox

Our own thunderbox!! Australian slang for a no frills bush toilet. Sometimes, like in our case with just three walls so you can enjoy the uninterupted outback views (haha)… Interesting experience!!

Darling River Upstream

Looking upstream from our campsite… quite an event to see the river being so full. The Darling River runs through some of the most arid land in the country so the flow is extremely variable  from floods to droughts that reduce the flow to nothing more than a trickle… difficult to envision!!

Camping on The Darling River

Setting up campfire to cook delicious stew in the camp oven!! Yum!!

Sunrise on the Darling River

Stunning sunrise over the Darling River from our campsite!!

Mills Campsite

All the campsites were named after paddocks on the station and it looks like Anthony owned a campsite in Trilby Station!! This was our neighbouring campsite, but since this one wasn’t as shady, we’ve decided camping at Couthers!!

At this point, we were already in love with Trilby Station!! But the start of day 2, we are handed the ‘Trilby Station’ Mud Map… The mud map entails a self driven tour of the property, complete with comprehensive trip notes about the station and yabby traps!!

Steam Boiler on the Darling River

Steam engines left behind from what was once a part of the legendary million acre Dunlop Station, first in the world to shear sheep by mechanical means in 1888, Trilby Station is 320,000 acres these days, running approx 24,000 Merino sheep and an extensive goat enterprise. The Murray family trace their settlement on the Darling River near Louth back six generations to 1860 when Andrew Murray, from County Galway, Ireland, purchased 60 acres of land for 60 pounds sterling.; building the Shamrock Inn.

Feral goats near a dam

Wild goats are everywhere… and at Trilby Station, they’ve also made a side business of catching them for extra income!!

Old double decker Sydney bus

Double-decker bus owned by some two old time fencers that worked on the property. These fencers used to like going to Louth for a drink at the pub on weekends. They would give the local kids a ride up and down the main street… but one day, they underestimated the height of their bus and the clearance in the Louth bridge, you can see that the double decker has lost its second deck!!

Rusting Farm Truck

Old car, still with the starter crank still attached!! Just beautiful how they age!!

Rusting cars in the outback

More old cars left behind from a time gone by…

Family of Emus

We leave Trilby Station… and a family of wild Emu run by!! Emus, roos and lizards are everywhere in the outback and I just love their personalities!!

We keep on moving downstream with the river, next stop – Tilpa!!

Historic Tilpa Hotel

Tilpa is a very small town, with its only 150 inhabitants. Its one popular attraction, the Tilpa Hotel, was was built over a 100 years ago and is one of the last remaining timber and corrugated iron pubs around.

Tilpa Bridge over the Darling River

Tilpa was an important river port with paddle steamers delivering supplies to nearby sheep stations and returning down river carrying bales of wool for market. The town was once home to a punt, allowing sheep, horses and people to cross the Darling River safely, for a fee. The punt has since been replaced by a bridge.

Tilpa Hotel visitors book on the walls

The inside walls of the Tilpa Hotel are covered in messages and autographs (really, they are just EVERYWHERE!!) written by visitors in return for a donation to the ‘Royal Flying Doctor Service’.

An overnight in Wilcannia, on our way to Menindee. Nice and clean Caravan Park…

Entering Willcannia

Shingleback lizard showing its blue tongue

Another Shingleback pair sun baking on the road, as we headed toward to Menindee – which seems to have a large shingleback population… these were browner than the ones I’ve seen before… and posed for our pics… love this shot, with its blue tongue!!

Menindee – Lakes and National Parks!!

The banks of the Darling River in Kinchela National Park

Kinchela National Park offers 34 campsites  bordering the Darling River…

History of the paddle steamer Providence

The ‘Darling River is home to a few wrecks and we were able to visit the P.S. Providence…. only could see its boiler remaining!

Freshwater lakes near Menindee

The Menindee Lakes is a chain of shallow freshwater lakes connected to the Darling River to form a huge water storage system.

Menindee Lakes Foreshore

At the moment, Menindee lakes weir are holding flood waters to spare the regions further South, as the Murray River, is also currently in flood.