Day 8 Thursday 3/6/21 Tocumwal to Darlington Point, Toc fine DP wintry and foggy
Queensland Covid regulations demand that we stay in NSW for 14 days. It’s nice to be on the road but in no hurry. In a strange quirk of the pandemic, we notice a couple of golfers wandering about the Newell Highway looking for a lost golf ball. This would never have happened pre Covid when the highway was always frantic with traffic.
We take the Kidman Way, there are flat paddocks to the horizon, yellows and browns with the odd dark line of trees. Wisps of cloud break the blue sky and a flock of emus stalk a fence line. We stop for drovers moving a mob of cattle along the highway.
Before we know it the scenery changes to rice paddies, then the cotton appears with white tufts on top looking to be close to harvesting. With these crops we must be in the MIA (Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area). I just finish writing that sentence and we see grapevines.
We stop at Colleambally to stretch our legs and there is a huge old dredge on display in the park / RV camp. The dredge was used to dig all those irrigation channels. We pass a vast solar array and to my excitement we spot our first crazy little Apostle birds of the trip.
Crossing the Murrumbidgee River we enter the Darlington Point Riverside Caravan Park which sits in a sweeping bend of the river. The vibrant lady manager welcomes us to her pretty autumn leaf dappled park. Once set up we rug up in winter woolies and walk across the bridge into town. It’s little more than a small village comprising a butcher, a grocery store, coffee shop, trendy homewares and the old Punt Pub which gives us a bit of a giggle as it’s little changed since the historic photo on the storyboard out front was taken. Down on the river there’s a new boat ramp, levee bank and landscaped parkland with a history walk outlining life here over the years. The Wiradjuri people and the settlers. Paddle steamers once plied this river and a particularly high flood saw a laden barge visit the pub tying mooring lines to the beer taps.
Weary from a day on the road we heat up the last of the home-made pumpkin soup.
POI: The entrance to the caravan park is flanked with the lift up section of the old river bridge which was reinstalled here by architecture students. A piece of history saved for future generations.
Towing Kms: 157kms