Caravan Adventure # 48 – Red Hill to the Red Centre – Days 9-18 – Wilcannia, White Cliffs, Broken Hill, Peterborough and Port Augusta.

Posted: 26 June 2016 in Australia - travel

Heading west out to red desert country – WRONG – the red desert has turned green, and that is not a political statement. Plenty of rain and the country looks like parts of England and Scotland, well almost. Those who have been to Silverton will probably remember the vista from the Mundi Mundi look-out – ochre red soil, blazingly blue sky and the curvature of the earth clearly visible.  Not on our visit, it was green with grey skies. . .

Broken Hill - Green Desert from Mundi Mundi look-out 01 - 21 June 2016

. . . and there were plenty of very big puddles to get lost in.

Little Topar - Mud - 19 June 2016

We did however get to do some cycling, and got into conversation with a Broken Hill lady cyclist who organizes an annual Big Bike Ride for riders from all parts of Australia.  This year the ride was to be over 800km all on back country dirt roads.  We quickly ended the conversation and promptly rode into town for coffee and cake.

Broken Hill - Faye at Silver City Hwy sign - 22 June 2016

Wilcannia, another sad town like Bourke, where everything is either shuttered, protected with high fences and barbed wire or closed completely – an indigenous youth problem that the community is struggling to deal with. Despite this, the town is in a fighting mood and the bridge over the Darling, the main route to Broken Hill, is being blockaded in a series of rolling closures of 20 minutes each day. Even with all the rain the Darling River is almost dry due to the excessive water taken by cotton farmers upstream in Queensland, especially at Cubbie station now 80% Chinese owned.  Good On Ya Wilcannia, we support your efforts to save the river.

Wilcannia - Darling River Bridge Blockade - 17 June 2016

White Cliffs was nothing like I imagined – I thought it was flat country but has several hills that actually have whitish cliffs – it figures I guess. The Hills, one called Turley Hill, have dugout homes built into the cliff faces – and have interesting addresses.

White Cliffs - Dugout Home 04 - 18 June 2016

Peterborough is a former large regional railway maintenance centre and has four Locos that standing at each of the main roads coming into Peterborough – we did a 14km walk that visited each loco – its amazing what strange things we do while travelling.


Petersborough turned on the cold – not quite snow but close enough.



. . . and finally this week to Port Augusta, gateway to the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena pound.  At the moment there are warnings posted of slow moving military vehicles going to the El Alamein Army Base – we have seen dozens of large trucks, 4WD’s, Chinook helicopter shuttles and containers on low loader trucks – the Base has a double width high fence with razor wire and lighting – now what’s that all about ? surely not a Brexit contingency force !

Hopefully the weather will be warmer for a cycle ride tomorrow on the paths that traverse Port Augusta and take us to the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens.








  1. says:

    You must have photo-shopped the green. It cannot be a true reflection of the Australian bush.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Wow, sometimes a change in weather can make for a trip with s difference. We have great memories of White Cliffs it looks fabulous from the air.