Outback Road Trip Day 5

road to balranald

It was the last morning of our outback road trip as a group. From here, some (like my sister and myself) would start the journey back towards home. Others planned to head further afield and keep travelling for a couple more weeks. A sunrise shoot had been tossed around the night before, but all the days had caught up with us, so the sister and I elected for a bit of a lie-in. Up at 7 am instead of 5.30 am. Naturally, the sunrise we elected to skip was the best one since the trip started. Fortunately, Julie Powell got up early 😉

sunrise by julie powell
Red sky in the morning by Julie Powell
Sunrise over the water hole by Roy Powell

We packed up our room, loaded the car, then headed over to the dining room for our last breakfast and group photo. Two people are missing as they got the meet time wrong – but otherwise, it’s our happy group.

group photo
Friends on Tour

We headed out of Mungo NP around 9 am and made our way to Balranald. Another 60 kms of dirt road or so. This was made a bit longer by the GPS sending up straight ahead instead of right. We drove 20kms down the dirt road before realising that the GPS had steered us wrong. Another U-turn sent us back the way we came and onto the right road. We would have eventually got to Balranald going that way, but it would have meant an extra 30kms of dirt road. We weren’t the only ones, though – the GPS from two other cars in our group also sent them that way before they turned back also.


Reaching Balranald, we headed for the Visitor Information Centre. In search of morning tea, not information. They have an excellent complex with a cafe, visitor centre, toilets and museum grouped around a grassy lawn and kids play area. There are even showers in the toilets for those coming through with RVs or caravans. The cafe is excellent with fine coffee, teas and cakes. We had peppermint tea with apple and rhubarb crumble. Absolutely delicious!

morning tea at balranald
Morning tea at Balranald

After a quick fuel stop we headed to Hay via the Sturt Hwy.


Matt Adnate painted the two water towers in Pine Street Hay in December 2020. The art commemorates Lorna Whyte, George Murray, Clifford Farlow, George Cannon and Norman Flack, all local people who joined up to serve in WWII. All endured terrible hardships at the hands of the Japanese in prison camps. You can learn more of their story HERE.

From the water towers, we visited Shear Outback, a sheep shearing museum on the Sturt Hwy. I am always ‘wary’ of country town museums, but Shear Outback was excellent. Museum, shearing shed, cafe, gift shop, toilets – the museum entry is $15, but it’s def worth a stop.

shear outback

The cafe featured a lot of lamb on the menu, lamb burger, lamb wrap, lamb pie.. but I couldn’t come at it…. after reading what the sheep go through for shearing and then to see there no light at the end of their tunnel (or is there? LOL) I couldn’t eat lamb that week.


Our days’ destination was Deniquilan, and we were booked into the Settlement Motor Inn. The room was large, carpeted and came with a standard kettle, toaster and microwave. The shower was fantastic – loads of water pressure. After booking into the motel, we went in search of the water tower. Located in Scotts Park, Whitelock st; and painted by Cam Scale, it features two kookaburras resting on gum tree branches in front of a night sky.

deniliquin water tower
Deniliquin Water Tower by Cam Scale
water tower
Another side of the tower

We did try for sunset, but while it started out promising – it turned into a fizzler. We called it a day, picked up Chinese takeaway and headed back to our motel room. Tomorrow would be the last leg of our journey home.

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