Matilda Country

The Darling River Run eventually finished when we left the track at Bourke and we were pleased to be back on the bitumen, as the Aussies call it. The weather has been excellent since our arrival with the temperature steadily rising and today it hit 38 degrees. Luckily the nights are pleasant temperature and cool enough for sleeping.

There is a saying all over Australia ‘Back’o Bourke’ which is similar to us saying ‘the back of beyond’ i.e. there is nothing there. After just being at the back of Bourke we can confirm that there is absolutely nothing there.

The road is now straight and flat and the countryside uninteresting. Small townships now only appear every 150 to 200 kms and we stop at them all mostly just for fuel or for a break. The only thing of any interest is the amount of roadkill. Kangaroos, emus and an occasional wild boar litter the roadside. You definately have to drive round them. It’s too dangerous to drive over them even when they’re dead.

We had an overnight stay at Cunnamulla on a brand new campsite just out of town on the river. An excellent stop with the best toilets and showers we’ve had on a campsite. The next night we stayed at the back of the pub at Blackall – definately not good facilities! The following night (this journey seems a hell of a long way) we stayed at a gem mining town called Sapphire. We’ve visited these mining towns before i.e. Coober Pedy and Lightning Ridge and they always look a bit rough when you first arrive but if you ever get a chance to visit any of them do stop for a couple of days and you’ll find the places and the people really interesting.

Unfortunately in this instance we had to move on to get to our furthest northerly point, Cooktown.

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The campsite is based near Beccles in the Waveney Valley in Suffolk.

Dove Cottage,
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