Broken Hill to Menindee

Monday, we woke to wonder where our sun had gone. It was still warm but quite overcast and cloudy. But, as was ‘de rigueur’ of our days, we were up, fed, showered, car packed and on the road by 8.30 am (a bit of a sleep in today).  Today, we travelled from Broken Hill to Menindee and had a van booked at the Menindee Lakes Caravan Park.  Menindee is 112kms from Broken Hill, so that it would be an easy run. we filled the tank before we headed out (driveway service too! I haven’t seen that since 1920!)

Road Kill abounds

The road from Broken Hill to Menindee was excellent, single lane each way, and not much traffic. What little we did see kept to the 110kms, not a slow caravan in sight.  We were seeing so much Road Kill that we started counting it. if you’re planning a trip from Broken Hill to Menindee – it is a 16 RK (RoadKill) trip 🙂

We saw lots of dead roo’s. Seriously it’s not a busy road cant they wait 2 mins till the car passes. or look left? I came around one corner and across a dead wild mama big and piglet, two roo’s and a lizard – talk about dead man bend. I hope it wasn’t all one car that collected them! Loads of flood plain signs along the road and depth markers for the water but nary a drop of water in sight. And passed quite a few dry creek beds.

Menindee

We arrived around 10 am and called in at the general store for bread… “that’s delivered at 11 am, do you want me to save you a loaf?” umm ok, then over to the supermarket. “do you have any fresh meat”? “no,that’ss delivered tomorrow” Sheesh, save me from tiny towns!  We found our caravan park with directions from the general store with no bread. We unpacked and looked around. 5mins that was done. So we made ourselves lunch with the last of our bread and sliced meat.  We decided to check out the Kichega National Park.

Kichenga National Park

I had heard lots of good things about it. No., It is definitely a 4wd place only. Dirt roads everywhere, even though they said it’s 2wd, and they are BAD dirt roads. I thought we were going the shake the car apart.  We did stop off at the Kichega Woolshed, which was great, except for the very friendly flies. That drove us back to the car pretty quick, smart. I would have hated it out there in the 1800s

Kichenga Wool Shed
Kichenga Wool Shed
Kichenga Wool Shed
Kichenga Wool Shed

Kichega Woolshed

Remarkable for its size and design, the Kichega woolshed was constructed in 1875. It illustrates the huge size of pastoral holdings in the arid areas of inland Australia. Kinchega lies amongst the beautiful Menindee Lakes, fed by the Darling River amid forests of river red gum, coolabah and black box.

Kichenga Wool Shed
Kichenga Wool Shed
Engineers Shed, Kichega
Engineers Shed, Kichega

I had been driving that morning – letting my sister take it easy as she still wasn’t 100%. But she took over as we left as she wanted to get the hell out of there felt I needed a break while we drove around in circles for a while (no signs) along shuddering bone-jarring dirt roads. We had visions of our whitened bones being found years from now. Eventually, we found the exit then went back to the general store to claim our bread. Last loaf, lucky she saved it, and bless her she also had roast chickens to take care of dinner. Back to the cabin and chilled out reading for a while, which turned into nana naps for all of us.  

Sunset on the lake

Towards sundown, with more directions on the best spot to photograph the lakes, we headed off up the road. “go up the bitumen, cross over the channel, turn left at the first dirt road. There’s no sign. Drive to the end. You can’t miss it. Sure. They don’t know us! We missed it, turned left at the dirt road after the creek (thinking that was the channel) and took the first dirt road to the end. Parked the car, walked across the railway line and to the water… fab spot!  I could see where we meant to be, but this one was good!

Lake Menindee Twilight
Lake Menindee Twilight

The light was amazing. Almost naturally monochromatic. It had been such a dusty day that the sky was full of dust and created total haze across the sun.  Between the side of the channel, we were on and the other side was a weir with water spilling through from the channel into the lakes. Lined up at the weir was a back row of pelicans. And a front row of Seagulls, all waiting for the channel to spit out dinner. A little silvery fish would come through and down the spillway every few minutes, and they would all dive on it. It went on for ages and was hilarious to watch 🙂 Gradually the light changed as it got darker, and bearing in mind all the roadkill we had seen thus far, we packed up and headed back to the cabin before it got totally dark.

Pelican Self Serve
Pelican Self Serve
Pelican Self Serve
Pelican Self Serve

Cabin beds were comfy, shower was ‘ok’ (rain tank no water pressure), but we were fed, showered and comfy, and in bed again lights out by 9.30. tomorrow was back to Mildura.

menindee map
Broken Hill to Menindee
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