I had planned to take Reg to see the Menindee Lakes, about 111k south of Broken Hill, via a sealed road, but had postponed due to the flooding.I saw this area and painted there, many years ago when I was exhibiting art in Broken Hill. I painted in watercolours along the Darling River and viewed the sunset across the lakes.
I just rang the Tourist Information Centre at Menindee, (Telephone: (08) 8091 4274) to ask what the current situation as regards access to this area and the flooding is like and I was told Menindee is currently flooded however they feel that by June and July, the area should be accessible.
The Menindee Lakes and the Darling River are apparently some of the best places for inland fishing in NSW.
with Murray cod, golden perch, silver perch, European carp, crayfish and catfish in abundant supply. Sounds good to me. Geoff Looney on (02) 8091 4437 is the local fishing and bird watching expert, I believe. You could also contact Burke & Wills Hire Boat Expeditions (02) 8091 4383.
Remember that many of the local roads are gravel and can be hazardous or impassable after wet weather. Phone (08) 8091 5155 for an up-to-date report on their condition.
Also driving the main road back to Broken Hill after viewing the sunset over the lakes, is very hazardous as stock and wildlife wonder freely on the roads. This is a road kill area.
Many of the trees along the Darling River are magnificent to look at and for the artist to pain, they are however, typical widow makers. Do not camp under those big limbs, they can drop off without warning. There are two caravan parks in the area.
While painting in the Darling River area, I was once startled by wild boars running though the bush.
Burke and Wills site at Pamamaroo Creek
I first came to Menindee as a part of a bus tour that followed the Burke and Will Trail.
Pamamaroo Creek is the site of the base camp of the 1860 Burke and Wills expedition. The expedition party included 15 men, 23 horse, 27 camels and 21 tons of stores. At the time of Burke's arrival in Menindee it was an outpost with no other settlements between here and the vast interior. On 19 October the small party of Burke, Wills, Brahe, King, Gray, McDonagh, Patton and Dost Mahomet, 15 horses and 16 camels left the Pamamaroo camp and headed north. The balance of the expedition party stayed for the next year.
I've since heard that they have drained the Menindee Lakes for ecological reasons, there was an excessive amount of evaporation of water from the shallow lake and that water has been returned to maintain the health of the Darling River system. You would need to check legally as to the state of the Menindee Lakes.
Ryn Shell writes stories of crime, love and Australia.
artist and author
Formerly Kathy Shell of Buninyong Gallery.
The splendour of nature and the Australian bush captured in work of acclaimed artist Ryn (Kathy) Shell.
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