17 September 2016

Out West in NSW, Australia - Conservation - AWC (Australian Wildlife Conservancy)

Last May Catherine and I were met at Sydney Airport by her sister, Rosemary and husband (Jim) and then headed west. We had lunch in the Blue Mountains at a lookout and spent the night at Dubbo (cattle territory).

Cuppa at the Blue Mountain lookout (Rosie, Catherine, Jim)

The next day we travelled further west, finally crossing the Darling River into Willcania - fuelled up again before heading to Menindee where its lake was dry but we observed the dead trees and the control works on the Darling River. The lake is now full again!

Sunset at dry Lake Menindee

Checking our GPS - are we there?

Old Shearing Shed - Kiwi Shearers Beware

Broken Hill - Each Rose a Mining Death

Blade Shearing Stand

Catching Pens

Western NSW Sunset

From Menindee we headed out to Broken Hill (which gets its water from Minindee) - a shadow of its former self. We visited the miners memorial, the hill of sculptures just outside the town and stayed at a grand old hotel - The Imperial. There was some confusion as Broken Hill exists on South Australian time as it does most of its business with Adelaide.

Next day we moved on to Scotia near the South Australia border, a 65 000 hectare wildlife reserve established by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, a privately funded organisation with 80% of its staff in the field. This reserve was partially (8000 hectares and more is planned) fenced off with a predator proof fence a bit like the the NZ Xcluder which surrounds Maungatautari near Hamilton, NZ. The Scotia one is designed to exclude foxes and cats, the latter a serious problem in outback Australia. At Scotia we were well looked after and managed to see bilbies, numbats (I saw one as we were waiting to leave on the last day! Little more than a fleeting glimpse as it ran across a road with its tail erect), malas, bettongs and several methods of controlling pests in the area. It rained while we were there and we had to be escorted out to the sealed road.

Convoyed Out from Scotia

Typical NSW Car (Photo: Jim Millar)
Emus along the way

Mala and Joey at Scotia (Photo: Jim Millar)
 At Wentworth we picnicked at the junction of the Darling and Murray, the two most important rivers of Australia's inland, before spending the night at Mildura, the heart of Oz's dried fruit industry.

Our next destination was Lake Mungo the site where Mungo Man (and his lady) was found, about 40 000 years after his death. The roads were muddy and more rain fell while we were there. This impeded our getting about in the area but we did manage to have a good long walk and saw lots of kangaroos, emus and some of the early station wool sheds and other buildings.
NSW wet enough for Mushrooms!

Tang Exhibition

Tang Exhibition

Our last day was big, 1000 km back to Sydney, passing on the way the Murrumbidgee River. In Sydney we visited the nieces, nephews and families and had our obligatory visit to the Art Gallery of NSW which was showing 'Tang', a collection of art from China. Good place, Australia. Better when they learn to play rugby!

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