Day 31 - Menindee, Kinchega Nat Pk, Menindee Lakes
Trip Start Apr 17, 2012
37Trip End May 27, 2012
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Firstly, we headed in to Menindee to get coffee, I thought I saw a Coffex sign yesterday whilst doing our recce of Menindee. We drove around a bit and couldn't find it (later research showed that it only opens 1 or 2 days a week and is run by the local Hospitality Students - it's meant to be quite good so please try to visit if in the area)
Driving into the National Park was rough at places but mostly soft sand, it got a bit deep at times but with the tyre pressure reduced from the day before we never lost traction. We were the only 2wd there though. I just had to bear in mind that 4wds have only been around for 40 years - before that everyone out here had 2wds. I drove with care - which I always do anyway but kept it under 30 km/h throughout the park. Some interesting water control devices and water channels were going bananas with the amount of water flowing but the birds and fish seemed to be having a field day. The woolshed was about 10 or 15km into the park and we noticed that many of the roads were closed as they were still under water. Luckily all our roads were open.
The Woolshed and Visitor's Centre were interesting, just like at Mungo, this place was once a sprawling cattle station so all the photos and relics were there in the museum
After showering and having a look around at all the old engines and things we continued on our tour of Kinchega. We wanted to check out some campsites at Lake Cawndilla but the road was inside the lake (and closed) so we did the Emu Lake loop, as you would imagine there are plenty of emus. Being birders, we always love to watch emus, they have so much character but the best thing is when they have some babies following them. We also saw some wild boars which I imagine all the locals would love to shoot, but they also had a few younguns with them. I have to say we thought they were pretty cute too - that is, until you realise the harm they do to native wildlife.
Since half the park was still under water, most of the roads were closed so once we had done the Emu Lake loop we were almost back at the entrance again
It was now after 4pm and the afternoon was getting shadowey and colourful so we made the most of the campsite - quite possibly the best one of the entire trip. We relaxed, played with our cameras and just enjoyed the place. As it got darker the colours just got better and better, this sunset was even better than the previous night. We took too many photos and recorded hundreds of GB of video. It seemed like a lot but it's always worthwhile in the end. We stayed outdoors until the last bits of sunset had completely disappeared and it was getting too chilly to stay outside. Oddly enough we were starting to get hungry again so we prepared a salad. I threw a bit of grilled chicken breast on mine and we re-heated the leftover chips from lunch which turned out quite nice.
I was able to position the TV antenna and cable to the same exact spot so that ABC TV was clear and we were set for the night. We were also now getting into the final week of our holiday so we did some careful planning and calculating routes, distances and priorities. We were starting to realise that although we have done heaps on this trip, we would still have to put a fair amount off until the next one. We made the decision to keep following the Darling River northwards until we were completely out of time. Tomorrow we would press on and say goodbye to Menindee, so we absorbed the atmosphere of our campsite and went to bed once the nightly chill began to set in.