Thursday, September 28, 2006

Broken Hill Holiday ... Part Three

We left Tibooburra at around 9am, after packing up the tents (again) and refuelling. More dirt roads ... approx. 250 klms of them ... which take quite some time to travel, due to the conditions. The roads were interesting, to say the least. We (yes, it had to be us !!) got a flat tyre ... it was only flat on the bottom, though !! ... but many hands make light work, and it was replaced in no time.

We detoured via Mutuwingi National Park, where we stopped and made ourselves lunch, and then went for a bit of a walk. The river was dry ... as were most of the rivers we passed on this trip.

There were some caves along the walk, with some aboriginal art ... unfortunately my photos don't do it justice.

There were some beautiful rock formations, and I love the contrast of the white gum trees beside the red rocks.

Unfortunately, we still had a good 2 hour drive ahead of us, to reach our overnight destination, so we had to make it a short walk.

On our drive out of the park, we came across this lizard which appeared to be petrified in the middle of the road. Of course we all got out to look, and photograph, and the silly bugger still didn't move !! I don't know what sort of a lizard he was, but he sure was cute.

We eventually arrived in White Cliffs, which is an outback Opal Mining Town. It gets so very hot here in the summer, that many residents simply turned their mines and dug outs into homes. The motel we stayed out was dug out into the side of a hill. After we checked in, and entered the motel proper, this is what we saw ... this is the corridor to our room !!

There was a lovely bar in the complex, which of course we had to sample !!

Many of the walls throughout the complex are sealed, and then painted white, however some are just sealed and left to show off their natural colour. This is where a huge staircase takes us up top, to a lookout at the top of the motel.

We had an amazing night's sleep. It was so dark, and deathly quiet, in those rooms. I could hear my head buzzing !!

In the morning, we put all our gear back into the cars, and went to explore the town. We visited a couple of galleries ... one was by a photographic artist called Otto (he was originally from Germany), and he had the most stunning photographs. We also visited a couple of opal stores, where some of us picked up some gorgeous gems. Then we visited Jock's Place. Now that was interesting. Jock is an old timer, with the most amazing stories, and the gift of the gab. The man could talk your head off. He gave us a tour of his mine, which is also his home. He had some interesting artifacts down there !! We then went noodling in the opal fields. Noodling is where you scavenge through the piles of rubble taken out of the mines, to see if you can find some opal that may have been missed.

Noodling ... the landscape is very moon-like, with white hills (with the deepest holes in the middle of each one). It is not recommended to walk backward around here, because if you fall down one of these mines, you may never be found again !!

The guys had a quick drink in the hotel. Attractive, isn't it !!! Years ago, when we visited White Cliffs, we actually stayed in the motel section of this hotel. Interesting experience, that was !!

After leaving White Cliffs, we travelled another 240-odd klms to Menindee, on more rutted, dusty, sandy dirt roads. It was like arriving at an oasis ... it had the first real water we had seen since leaving Victoria on Saturday. The lake the caravan park was located on was a man-made lake, which was about to be drained for irrigation purposes, as the natural lakes in the area had almost dried up. It was a lovely caravan park, and the sunset was spectacular. The photo I started my story with, on the "I'm Back" post was taken here, as was this one. We had a relatively late night, and awoke to strong winds, which tried to rip up our tent. Fortunately, we were able to (with teamwork) get the tents down safely.

Next stop ... Lake Mungo National Park.

Till next time, take care,



Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very well planned trip Meow, enough variety to hold the interest,a lot of time in the cars though, always a problem if time is limited.

Michelle said...

Please tell me there was a 5 star resort, with a pool, spa and mini bar somewhere amongst all of this :o)

brian said...

Thanks Meow for the fascinating travelouge and all the wonderful pics of the country. I have always wanted to travel to Australia.

FelineFrisky said...

What a fantastic voyage! I agree with Brian (my hubby) that these posts are facinating. Can't wait for more! D :}

Clare said...

Thanks for more great pictures and telling us more about your trip. Those rock formations were something else and that little lizard was kinda cute :).

Meow said...

Peter ... thank you, we did spend a lot of our time in the cars, but we have never found that a problem. I would like to go back and spend more time at some of these places, though. I guess this holiday was just a "taste".

Michelle ... lol ... there was a pool and spa, a restaurant and bar, no mini-bar, though !! I think you could've put up with this motel, not to shabby at all !!

Brian ... thank you for your kind words. I enjoy talking about this country, it is an amazing place.

Felinefrisky ... thank you. There is a little bit more to come. I will post again tonight !!

Clare ... thank you. I have a thing about rock formations. They are quite fascinating.

Thanks again, friends, and I hope you are enjoying my travel adventures. Wish I had room to post all the pics, but that would take ages !!!

Take care, Meow

Cathy said...

I really really do want to go! It looks like so much fun and so very differnt from my neck of the world.

On a different note, I watched a tv special about Steve Irwin last night and cried my eyes out. Have I told you this already? Because I am getting deja vu (or senile; yikes!).

Meow said...

Cathy ... thanks, you would probably love it here ... it is very different to your world, I think !!
We haven't had the Barbara Walters Steve Irwin interview with Terri, his wife, yet, but we had one with one of our Aussie reporters, which was heartwrenching ... I cried my eyes out, too.
Take care, Meow

PEA said...

Oh wow I'm amazed at that hotel built into the awesome and different is that?? I would have absolutely loved to explore those mentioned they were aboriginal paintings on them...are they very old do you know? I still can't get over the red earth shown on the first photo! I'm so looking forward to the next installment now:-) Hugs xoxo

debs said...

WOW, that motel looks amazing! Would have been sooo cool!
Loved looking at all your photos!
Debs xx

Kylee said...

wow you have so much fun. How great is that!!

Hi Meow!! Thanks for the visit. I will totally catch up soon!!

rev. shawn said...

OH Meow, I am soooo jealous of the holiday you had - you live in a truly beautiful country. The desert looks incredible, thanks for sharing your pics with us.

I love travelling in Canada - it's a pretty country too - but Australia is sooo different.

thanks again,

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

wow!! 700 pics , I wanna see them all !!!!! they are great so far , the ground looks orange , is all the soil there like that?
wonderful trip , I like the pics of the NOODLING? looks like you could drop off any second LOL the rocks are really interesting ,the art on them as well .
The hotel under ground looks very interesting , I would not be able to sleep in there , tomb like , must have been a freaky experience ??
love all the pics ,,,,,MORE PLEASE LOl
Hugs to you my friend and stop hoggin the heat LOL

LittleJen said...

Looks like you had a very lovely holiday, very lovely pictures

Anonymous said...

Gidday Meow, Some nice photos and it looks like you had a good trip. The White Cliffs underground rooms reminds me of Cooper Pedy in South Australia.
The white gum trees certainly look great against the red outback background.

Meow said...

Pea ... thank you. The underground motel was quite spectacular. I think the Aboriginal paintings are a couple hundred years old (I could be wrong).

Debs ... thank you. It was a fun holiday.

Kylee ... thank you. See you soon.

Rev Shawn ... thank you. I guess when it comes down to it, every country is beautiful in it's own way. I know I would loooooove to visit Canada.

Greeneyes ... thank you. Not all our soil is red ... we have normal soil coloured soil, too !! I agree about the underground motel being tomb-like ... it kinda was, it got quite stuffy toward morning (at least I thought so!!), and it was freaky not seeing daylight, or hearing outside noises.

Littlejen ... thank you so much.

Wazza ... thank you. White Cliffs and Coober Pedy are very similar, although in many ways very different. I feel White Cliffs is a friendlier town ... Coober Pedy scared me when we were last there !!

Take care, Meow

Tab said...

Thanks for sharing those amazing pictures..seriously!

Meow said...

Tab ... thank you. I'm glad you are enjoying them.
Take care, Meow

Fruitful Spirit said...

While I could have gone underground to look there is no way I would have been able to sleep. The walls would have closed in on me! Great shots and oh so interesting! Just beautiful! The driving must have worn you out!

Meow said...

Fruitful Spirit ... thank you. I know what you mean about the walls wanting to close in on you. It was a very strange experience. Take care, Meow