Outback Road Trips

Barham to Eden

Friday 28 May 2021: Barham to Deniliquin 90km

Deniliquin is quite a nice town and a good night stop.

Main street of Deniliquin
Deniliquin Water Tank – Artist: Cam Scale (2019)
Deniliquin’s old brick water tower was constructed in 1882
The original Deniliquin school of 1879
No parkrun in Deniliquin so we had to do the Beach to Beach Riverside Walk instead

Saturday 29 May 2021: Deniliquin to Urana 155km

The road follows the Mulwala Canal, at 155km the longest in Australia

Finley

Mural on the wall of Finley Bowling Club – Artist: Heesco (2020)
Heesco painted the Gunnedah (here), Murrumburrah, Grenfell & Weethalle SilosĀ (here)

Urana

The Urana Shire has a population of 1620. The town is the kind of place you like immediately on arrival. We met Andrew Whitehead, a local artist using scrap metal, in the pub. He produces some fabulously realistic pieces including the Big Spider on the town water tank.

We read Urana had a water tower with the Big Spider so we had to go that way
Close-up of the spider made from discarded steel pipe – Artist: Andrew Whitehead
Campground on the water at Urana
Spoonbill at Urana
Farmer with sheep all made from old corrugated iron and scrap metal horse drinking from the town trough
Urana Post Office opened on 1 January 1861
Court House in Urana, with Roman-arched windows, was completed in 1880  
With separate rooms for the judge and the jury it was described as “being fit for a city”
Urana Soldiers Memorial Hall 
The largest Soldiers Memorial Hall in Australia, built in 1923 to commemorate the soldiers who fought and died in World War I – a building out of all proportion to the small town
The Royal George in Urana has seen better days since it was opened in 1928

Sunday 30 May 2021: Urana to Wagga Wagga 140km

When we were taking to local metal artist Andrew Whitehead in the pub at Urana he suggested we “go via Boree, it’s only 2 stubbies away” where he had some more art.

Main street of Boree Creek
Swagman and his dog Rusty – Artist: Andrew Whitehead (2012)

Lockhart

Lockhart is called “Verandah Town” for its Lovingly restored buildings with verandahs overhanging the footpaths on the main street. Each year the town offers a $10,000 prize for the best metal sculpture so there are dozens on display. Here’s our favorites.

Rusty Cockatoo – Artist: Sean Meaney (2015)
The Good Old Days – Artist: Keith Simpson (2010)
Horse and Buggy – Artist: Stuart Spragg
Lockhart Water Tower – Artists: Scott Nagy & Krimsone (2018)
Lockhart aka Verandah Town

Monday 31 May 2021: Wagga Wagga to Yass 180km

Wagga Wagga

Wagga Wagga has been kind enough to provide an excellent free camping place just over the Murrumbidgee from the town. It was very cold the night we camped there.

Our coldest morning, reported as -7, huddled in the sleeping bags
Sun illuminating the mist on the Murrumbidgee River after a very cold night
Wagga Courthouse of 1903, Federation Free Style architecture

Gundagai

There’s more to Gundagai than dogs and tucker boxes.

For 81 years until 1985 mail from Gundagai Post Office was delivered on horseback
Prince Alfred Bridge across the Murumbidgee flood plains at Gundagai
Built in 1866, in use till 1976, is the longest timber viaduct in Australia
The timber Railway Bridge completed in 1902 carried traffic for 82 years and is 820m long

Tuesday 1 June 2021: Yass to Braidwood 140km

European settlement began in Yass in 1830. It’s historic main street displays fine, well-preserved 19th-century buildings.

Yass Mechanics Institute 1869
Yass Public School 1877
Yass Courthouse 1880
Yass Post Office opened 1884
Yass Westpac 1887
There’s a nice walk along the Yass River

Gundaroo

We made a short diversion to Gundaroo not knowing what to expect. It turned out to be a delightful small town full of beautifully preserved heritage listed buildings from the mid 1800s: like a remade, transported “Historical Village” but for real.

Royal Hotel Gundaroo built 1865
Constructed of 2 foot thick stone walls with hand cut hardwood ceilings and five open fireplaces
Sally Paskins’ original shop
Typical of slab huts built by the early settlers with corrugated iron roof and brick fireplace
Kilamaroy built in 1889 from bricks made on site as a private residence
Originally the Gundaroo Court House, built in 1875
It was sold to the Church of England in 1940 and is still used for services
Eastern Rosella feeding in the grass

Bungendore

The village dates back to 1837 and now antique stores and gift shops sell everything from vintage bric-a-brac to local art and pottery.

The Royal Hotel in Bungendore was opened in 1886 but it is now closed for maintenance
Bungendore Station is an example of a five-room standard third-class station brick building (1885)

Braidwood

Braidwood between Canberra and the coast retains a strong sense of its nineteenth century history.

Braidwood street
Braidwood Bakery
The 1870 Criterion Hotel is now a deli

Wednesday 2 June 2021: Braidwood to Cobargo 170km

It was a steep descent from Braidwood to the coast through forest in places badly burnt by bushfires
In other places cycads growing prolifically

Nelligen

By 1853 steamships, some as large as 10,000 tons, were plying the Clyde River up to the present site of Nelligen. The bridge at Nelligen replaced the ferry in 1964.

Clyde River at Nelligen, a beautiful day
The old Steampacket Hotel at Nelligen was originally a cheese factory
It was converted to a hotel in 1925 and operated until 1966 when the boats stopped coming
The pub at Corbago allows camping on the grass area behind – they do good meals too

Thursday 3 June 2021: Cobargo to Eden 140km

It’s only 95km direct from Cobargo to Eden but we went via Bemboka to sample one of their famous pies. Not one car went by without stopping while we were there!

Bemboka Pie Shop
Old Candelo Butter Factory
Eden Harbour fishing boats – it was a dull and cold rainy day in Eden
Pelicans waiting expectantly for a feed from the fishing boat
For dinner we bought fresh mussels from the wharf & cooked them in wine and garlic – delicious