St George, Nindigully, Thallon, Dirranbandi, Hebel, Lightning Ridge, Walget, Combogolong, Coonamble, Gulargambone, Gilgandra, Dubbo.
Wednesday 7th left St George for Lightning Ridge. We are well into broad acre farming country now with huge expanse of flat land with cotton and wheat. Stopped at the Nindigully pub which is reputed to be the oldest continually licensed pub in Queensland. Nothing at Nindigully except the pub but there is free camping on the riverbank behind the pub. The pub is well known for its parties, it had 4,000 people for New Year Eve and 3,000 for a B & S Ball. Wild times! It was too early in the day to camp but we did have a schooner before moving on.
Lightning Ridge looked like a mining town that now mines tourists. Being right on one of the main caravan routes they have taken full advantage of the influx of grey nomads. Three caravan parks in town with a very large park right across the road from the thermal spa under construction. We went 5 kilometres out of town to Lorne Station to overnight. Interesting place, at one time it has been a very upmarket camping ground but now it is very run down. Wandered around Lightning Ridge in the morning and then headed south.
By mid afternoon the weather was looking very threatening. Mike and Jenny who we were still travelling with thought they would stay in an onsite van rather then their camper so we went into the Coonamble Caravan Park. Probably a good decision as we had 41mm of rain that night.
Friday morning we parted company with Mike and Jenny as we were heading for Dubbo. They had been good travelling companions and we had enjoyed their company. It rained most of the day and there were large amounts of water laying alongside the road. Ten kilometres north of Dubbo we turned onto a side road making for the Terramungamine Reserve, a free camping area on the bank of the Macquarie River. It was raining heavily when we arrived but the camp proved to be okay with about 6 rigs parked there. Only 7C last night. This morning I turned the gas water heater on for our shower, we normally only need to have it on for ten or fifteen minutes and then the water is hot enough but this morning it took thirty minutes. We might have to go north if this keeps up!
We will leave the van here whilst we have a look at Dubbo over the weekend then on Monday will take the van to an agent for the awning who hopefully will be able to repair it. From Dubbo we plan to go to Sydney and spend a week or so wandering around that settlement.