Wednesday, 31 May 2017

AAA Tour - Day 9 - Warrawong

The giant redgum
We have taken a deal to stay at Warrawong for four nights for the cost of three, reducing the cost per night from $37 per night to a little over $28. With a campfire every night, nibblies provided and the promise of a restful environment and abundant bird life on the billabong which we overlook, it seemed an appropriate time take the pace off.

Warrawong may mean "a whiting" and the "side of a hill", "a windy place on a hill", "wind-swept". Its unclear which applies here.

Today, spent a lot of time watching the billabong in the morning and then had two trips to have a closer look at the Darling River and the billabong itself.

The Warrawong Billabong - you can find it on Goggle Maps/Earth just to the south east of Wilcannia - is almost a full circle of water created in the classic manner of being a bend in the river that became cut off during a time of flood. As such, its not subject to the other things which contaminate the Darling. As a result, the water is blue, where as the Darling is a sickly green. Our walk took as along the banks on the inside of billabong so they are low, almost at water level.

In the late morning, we walked around the near island on the inside of the billabong. There are three or four places set aside for bush camping which Warrawong provides for those who don't require power or water. There were lots of birds to observe, especially Little Black Cormorants and Intermediate Egrets.

In the afternoon, we took a drive across the at times sandy tracks which took us to further points on the property. The first, the ironically named Bondi Beach, is an access point to a low bank of the Darling River and a rough camp. A set of life saver flags, fashion from corrugated tin and painted appropriately, have been added in a delicious act of bush humour.

The second was to view a huge redgum at another point beside the Darling. I have no way of guessing its age, but the base is eleven metres in girth and a photo of the tree with Sue beside it for comparison, is a pretty good guide of its size. We had seen the dead stump of a redgum in Warren which was carbon dated at 950 years and its circumferences was nearly nine metres. Do the maths. Its bloody big and bloody old.

In returning to camp, we stopped by Pelican Bay, the apex point of the billabong and site of an old truck which had been left where it stopped.

Late in the afternoon, on the report of pelicans being on the waters of Pelican Bay, we drove back to the inside of the billabong and across the water from the old truck. The next half an hour was an orgy of bird life. Pelicans, black cormorants, egrets, little corellas, black cockatoos, herons, a yellow beaked spoonbill and Whistling Kites.
Click to view today's photos

As night fell, we settled in around the communal campfire for chats with other guests and stayed on
for the camp dinner of lamb stew.

Pretty damn good day.

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