Broken Hill/Radium Hill “intra-trip”
Following on from our last Broken Hill/Radium Hill trip report,
Here’s an “intra-trip” report of the Kellys and Drummonds side trip to Fowlers Gap arid area research station 112 kms north of Broken Hill…..
…. The following morning, Thursday 19th, Rob, Jacqui, Rob and Kira headed north up the Silver City Highway to visit Fowlers Gap. When we arrived the Arid Zone Research Station was deserted save one fellow we chatted to for a while. He told us that most of the staff were off site but we were welcome to poke about and take our own tour around the buildings. They have one building which holds copies of many PhDs and evidence of projects covered the tables and lab benches. We spend an hour or so exploring before carrying on north to stop for some lunch at Packsaddle. We provided our own lunch but had a coffee in the roadhouse. That wasn’t as easy as you might expect as their coffee machine was playing up and we watched the one-armed staff run around to get us our brew which we finally enjoyed sitting in the back room which has lots of donated bushmen’s hats hanging from the roof. If only the hats could talk! After our lunch stop we meandered our way back towards The Hill. We stopped at Double Tanks which provides water and the sign suggests it’s designated a Public Watering Place which had been run by the now defunct Milparinka Pastures Protection Board but the Tanks, one actual tank and the other being a dam, were very low. There was evidence of some recent activity as the troughs were in process of being upgraded but almost no evidence of the stock which would drink their bounty. I’m sure they’re out there somewhere.
Further along we took a quirky photo of Telephone Creek road sign with telephones hanging from the sign. No idea why this creek got its name but could be due to an old telegraph line following the creek? Back now opposite Fowlers Gap we saw a track heading up towards the hill where the water tanks supplying the Research Station are located and turned east from the road to take the adventurous track up to the tanks. This track provided some respite from the tar as we wandered through the creeks and red gums before the last steep, rocky climb to the windy summit. The water tanks were less than half full and we’d found out earlier that the Gap were down to about a month’s supply. Back in the cars and out of the wind we hit the tar again and drove back to the Hill.
After enjoying another evening’s meal with the group at the Musicians Club, we did a preliminary pack up in order to get away early next morning, Sydney bound. Up at 05:30 and on the road before too long we started our journey home along the Menindee Road being very watchful for the wildlife which are so very well camouflaged in the pre-dawn light. From Menindee we travelled home though Ivanhoe, Hillston, Lake Cargelligo, West Wyalong, Cowra and Bathurst. We decided to do the trip in one day and give the family a surprise by getting home a day early. It was a 15-hour day, but with the variety of scenery and good company, we made it home without a hitch. Now to remove the dust from the car………and to ponder and plan next year’s trip to the Outback! (For details of this trip see the trip Calendar which follows). Who’s coming?