Sightseeing


Road to TibooburraToday we hit the dirt and headed towards Tibooburra, the last of the tarmac for several days. Studying the road closures and weather forecasts we were worried that we might find ourselves stranded for a few days if the rain fell and the road turned to slush.Lake PattersonThere is a lot of nothing around this area, but the nothing is interesting all the same. We were surprised to find that Lake Patterson and Salt Lake contained water – surrounded by dry sandy scrub. The last thing I expected to find was such a huge water mass.

We spent the night in a quaint caravan park, we looked like the only guests other than a ‘permanent’ van.

picp1040856.JPGpicp1040847.JPGAfter returning the Living Desert Gate key to the visitor information centre we headed out towards Silverton to go on the Daydream Mine Underground Tour. Daydream Mine is an old silver mine which opened before mining began in Broken Hill. Mark would never have made it as a miner in those days – he’s way too tall! Not a tour fo those who are claustrophobic….We went down three levels in the mine, donned in our helmets and headlamps. Lucky we had those helmets coz even I smashed my head on the roof about a dozen times.

Next it was onto the town of Silverton (about 25km out of Broken Hill) to have a look around. Quite an interesting town. Several movies have been filmed around here. Check out http://www.silverton.org.au/ if you want more info. There are a few old buildings (some turned into art galleries), a museum which was quite impressive, a pub with a replica of Mad Max’s V8 Interceptor parked outside and even some donkey’s who were quite interested in looking into our car!

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We then came back to Broken Hill to spend another night in the Van Park before heading into the never-never tomorrow.

 

We left the Meadow Glen Rest Area this morning and traveled the remaining 420km to Broken Hill. We drove around the town of Wilcannia on the way for a bit of a look. We were going to need more fuel but we decided to continue on and use what we had in the Jerry Cans rather than stopping!

We arrived at Broken Hill around lunch time – the first stop being the tourist information centre to see what was happening around town. We decided that we would go and see the Living Desert Art Sculptures just out of town at sunset, so we paid our $10 entry fee and a $20 deposit for a key to drive right up to the sculptures rather than walking the few kilometres the other way. For the rest of the day we checked into the Lake View Caravan Park as some clothes washing and battery charging was needed. I always feel much more at ease when we leave the van unhitched in a van park rather than at some random place!

When we saw that the sun was starting to descend we jumped in the car and headed off to the desert sculptures. The sculptures are amazing, and with the sunset in the backdrop they look awesome. Well worth a visit. The shots shrunk for the blog don’t really do it any justice – you’ll have to look at our full set of pictures at some stage!

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Today we caught the bus into the city for some general sight seeing – while there was still light showers it was quiteSydney Harbour Bridge enjoyable to wander around the streets – the rain kept some of the ‘other’ tourists home keeping the bussle to a minimum.

We stopped in at the Marietime Museam which is a massive display with many different galleries – which are all FREE – visiting the ships or submarian does attract a fee however.

Beer Can BoatI did find a boat that I would happily help build… or at least assist in providing the materials.Sydney Opera House

After wandering around Darling Harbour, we caught a river ferry to Circular Quay. From there we walked around to the Sydney Opera House – something I had never seen close enough to touch before.

From there it was back to our friends for a beautiful Sunday roast, a few refreshments and some good conversation.

Back down to Sydney today, more friends to visit. Instead of following the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway all the way back, we got off at Mooney Mooney and travelled the almost unused Princess Hwy winding across the cliff faces – in some sections it almost felt like a ‘ghost’ highway.

We eventually made it to Drummoyne after navigating through a mass of Sydney’s no right turn signs, and after a few laps found a park for the van in suburbia.

We tripped into the city for the afternoon to meander around The Rocks, saw the Sapphire Princess docked in the harbour, quite a site to see such a big ship imposing itself on the harbour. We enjoyed an early dinner/really late lunch at Phillip’s Foote cook your own meat restaurant, followed by some light refreshments at some of the local establishments.

Today was spent visiting friends in Newcastle and enjoying the rainy weather Newcastle provided (no really, we did enjoy the rain… sure beats dry and dusty). We visited Strzelecki Lookout and attempted to count the numerous cargo ships docked off the coast… best guess was 14.

We also did a drive by of Warners Bay and also Bar Beach. We filled the rest of the day with shopping. Enjoying an evening meal with our friends.