After all the excitement of the launch of Sunset Shadows, we headed off to outback New South Wales and South Australia for a two-week holiday. There have been unusually good rainfalls across central and eastern Australia the past month or two, so the landscapes were amazingly green and lush – at least by outback Australian standards!
We travelled with friends via Broken Hill to Arkaroola, a wilderness sanctuary and resort in the northern Flinders Ranges in outback South Australia. We had a week there; Gordon and our friends did some bushwalking, and I enjoyed relaxing in the stunning landscape!
It rained while we were at Arkaroola. In outback areas, the roads are mostly unsealed roads, and the fine red sand becomes a sticky, dangerous mud when it’s wet. Think of hundreds of kilometres of mud, and hundreds of creek crossings, in isolated country … you won’t be surprised that the roads are closed when it rains! The road we drove in to Arkaroola on is more than 100 kilometres of dirt, and there are more than 60 creek crossings. We’d planned to head north-east from Arkaroola, up to Cameron Corner and across to Tibooburra, but when it came time to leave those roads were still closed. So we went back the way we came, back to Broken Hill, and then up to Bourke.
The Darling River at Bourke was flowing well, and we stayed at Kidman’s Camp in North Bourke, overlooking the river. We didn’t actually camp – the cabins are much more comfortable and roomy than a tent!
Strolls by the river at sunset, a cruise on the PV Jandra, a visit to the Back O’Bourke exhibition centre, a leisurely lunch, and another stroll by the river – we enjoyed a relaxing two nights in Bourke.