Sunday, November 25, 2012

Outback trip 2 - Day 1 - Yanga National Park

After weeks of planning and even a couple of changed plans we finally had a plan - drive to Lake Eyre and have a look at it with water in it.  The intention was to travel in winter - which can be pretty bitter at home.  The hope was for mild days and not to cold nights.  So we got out the maps, got together with some friends and the plan was hatched.  A couple of days of hard running on the blacktopo to get us to Leigh Creek and then the outback adventure would begin.

What I didn't know was that we were about to see some amazing parts of the country and experince things that you rarely get to see and do.

Day 1 we set of early and travelled along the Hume, Sturt and Mallee Highways until we reached the vicinity of Balranald.  The first stop was to be Yanga National Park - and a free camp at a campsite within the Park, quite near the historical Wilga Woolshed.  Yanga gives you the opportunity to camp fairly close to where the Burke and Wills expidition camped.  And Balranald - just down the road was a fairly important part of their expedition.  An auction was held at Balranald and a fair bit of the gear that had been hauled from Melbourne was sold off.

We would cross the path of Burke and Wills more than once on the trip, along with their rival John McDouall Stuart!

Suffice to say that arriving at the Willows campground after close to 600km on the road was a relief.

As far as campgrounds go this place was a brilliant introduction to the outback.  A campground with fire places (and firewood), well maintained toilets and as much room as you need to set up comfortably was much welcomed.

How is that for a nice lot of room to set up camp.

The vista was amazing - as the sun went down through the mallee and the saltbush it really did feel like we were in the outback - fantastic!

And the view kept changing for us.

I really enjoyed the first night away - but I do enjoy the peace of a good bush camp and this was exactly that.  With dinner cooked on the campfire we went for a walk and checked out the woolshed and with the sun down completely had a bit of a chat around the campfire.

It was time for bed - the day had been tiring, but getting 600 or so kilometres into a 5000 kilometre trip was worth the effort.

Some details...

Access: Some campsites are accessible by 4WD. 2WD would be OK in dry weather or if you want to camp close to the wooldshed.
Toilets: Yes.
Showers: No.
Water: Didn't see any - might be some near the picnic area.
Shop: Not nearby - that said Balranald is not that far away.
Campfires: Yes - subject to firebans. Bring own wood.
Pets: NO - National Park
Cost: FREE.