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.
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…
Can’t complain! first things first… set up table and chairs and open a cold one!!!! Aaaahhh!!!
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!!
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!!
Setting up campfire to cook delicious stew in the camp oven!! Yum!!
Stunning sunrise over the Darling River from our 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 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.
Wild goats are everywhere… and at Trilby Station, they’ve also made a side business of catching them for extra income!!
Water so transparent that you could see the yabbies!!
Unfortunately for us, they could see us too and keep their distance
Driving around, we spot this sand goanna… I stop the car to take pictures and block its way so I can have the perfect shot…
Only to be told afterwards that goannas, when scared, tend to climb up the tallest object in the proximity… in this case, ME!! Could have told me before hand, Anthony!!
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!!
Old car, still with the starter crank still attached!! Just beautiful how they age!!
More old cars left behind from a time gone by…
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!!
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 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.
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…
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!!
Kinchela National Park offers 34 campsites bordering the Darling River…
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!
The Menindee Lakes is a chain of shallow freshwater lakes connected to the Darling River to form a huge water storage system.
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.