23rd, may 2014
...we are exploring the Outback of NSW.
5 days driving through amazing landscapes, observing an abundant wildlife and experiencing some of the best things the region has to offer.
I share with you only
la “crême de la crême” !
N°1: Jump at the sunset in the middle of an open air art gallery
Broken Hill is not only a mining city, mainly yes, but here you can also experience a breathtaking sunset among 12 massive sandstone sculptures set amid the desert !! Wait for the precise moment when the sun is right in the middle of the most famous sculpture, called Bajo el Sol jaguar realised by Antonio Nava Tirado, from Mexico. How cool is that?!?
The City Council had a pretty good idea when 20 years ago they asked to a dozen of artists coming from all around the world to come and sculpt in the sandstone in the Living Desert.
Watch the roos hopping, enjoy the quiet so specific to the Outback, feel free and happy!
N°2: Feel the serenity at menindee lakes
After many years of being dry, the Menindee lakes are back to life thanks to the recent rain. Driving around the lake system is such a relaxing and impressive experience at the same time. The scenery is something that I've never experienced before. Hundreds of dead trees are still standing in the water. A real paradise for a photographer as the reflections are simply perfect. A pure joy sitting here and capture this out of time landscape.
I look at the people coming camping on the bank and think this is a awesome spot to camp, I'll remember it for my next visit :-)
N°3: Play Bowls with desert melons in Marvellous red sand dunes
Travelling south of Broken Hill, direction Wentworth, we head over to Perry Sandhills. 4WD parked, I take my shoes off (it's winter time, so the sand won't burn but give me massage :-) and jump straight to the red sand dunes.
The contrast with the etincelant blue sky is stunning, what a scenery! Suddenly, we get surprised by melons growing out of the dunes?!? Dozen, Hundreds and more covered the dunes and the bush. They look like small watermelons, how weird! Our tour guide told us they call “desert melons” but unfortunately don't ask any good !! Very pale inside and full of seeds... what a pity! So what you could use it for?
Our French roots come back to the surface and we decide to play “petanque” with them! Haha,but nothing very easy as they roll over the sand dune once thrown away !! But it's fun!
We also discover the soft bush and eat pieces of it, very salty it's not too bad and gives you need to survive in case of severe drought.
N°4: Walk on the oldest evidence of modern humans in the world
Discovering Mungo National Park for the first time is something pretty special.
Over 2000 generations of Aboriginal people have left behind traces of their lives at Mungo!This is why this area is World heritage listed. We meet Tania, an indigenous ranger, at the entrance of the park, she is taking us for a stroll on the lunette. What a weird name, in French “lunette” means “glasses” but it comes from “lunar”. The landscape does remind you of what you could imagine would be the moon. The lunette is made up of layers of sand and clay, that have been blown up and eroded with the year. Tania tells the stories of her ancestors and it's fascinating. By myself, I could not see all what she sees. Fireplace, the debris from the manufacture of stone tools, remains of animals bones and much more! She loves the place and we know why! We watch all around us, the clouds travel through the sky, the sun starts its descent and the scenery is spectacular.
The best is to come yet, sunset! The clay becomes red and it's spectacular!Better have enough memory on the card.
The camera has no break for a while!
N°5: Meet the Locals... Fluffy or not !
A trip to Australia is not complete until checking out the Outback, the remote areas. This is always an interesting place where the most special characters are found. Of course, there are pubs to do so but I was also referring to the other locals, the wildlife.
I love the outback for its wildlife: abondant and diverse. How many times I have heard tourists complaining because they hadn't had the chance to come across kangaroos?!? They need to go bush! New South Wales outback is the way to go to see a lot of them hoping and crossing dirt roads. Emus, Australia's biggest flightless bird, is well camouflaged but found in every corner in this bushland.
They are cool to observe but the minimum noise you do and they are gone! Do you know why the Emu and the Kangaroo are on the Australian coat of arms? Because they both can't go backwards!! The country is then supposed to go forward only, to the progress. Interesting!
If you are more into reptiles, keep an eye on the road while driving on the dirt road. We meet a shingleback lezard just crossing the “street”, pretty cool!Its head looks similar to its bottom, which is quite surprising and he also got a blue tongue!!(google it :-).
My thing is more birdwatching and again this area has not disappointed me! Pink cockatoos and red tailed black cockatoos call loudly, galahs fly majestically together on the side of the road, pelicans always look for the freshest fish to eat! This is a pretty busy place !
I know that the driving can be long in Australia and especially to get to these more remote areas, that's why leave someone driven you around is quite convenient :-)
Our trip was just awesome thanks to the wonderful team at Tri State Safaris! Only 4 guests, it was almost a personalised tour with a private chauffeur and in a luxurious 4WD.
On top of that, our guide Irving knew always the best and quirky spots to stop along the way :-)
Check this mail box: it was a oven! Love this old car left in the middle of nowhere...?!?
And ladies, why not contribute to the community by hanging your bra to this cool tree?!? And guys turn on the Radio!
Where to stay at Broken Hill ?
The town has a lot of accommodation on offer.
If you like something new and convenient, the Red Earth Motel is great!
If you prefer something more characteristic and iconic of the town, stay at The Palace Hotel. A few movies were filmed in it, like “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”. The heritage building has been all painted inside, check the fresco all over the walls, impressive even if this won't be to everyone's taste!
And around ?
Nothing better than to overnight in a B&B to get to know the locals and the region. We can just recommend to visit Ian and Barbara at Avoca On Darling station. We experienced a true outback evening, Ian showed us around the old woolshed station while Barbara cooked us an exquisit diner.We finished the night by watching the stars listening to Ian's explanations. This is one of his passions. A very lovely couple and it feels great when you are far away from your family :-)
In another style, there is also Mungo Eco Lodge, in the heart of Mungo National Park . Stay in luxurious cabins and wake up with the roos in front of your terrace!
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