23-Feb-2002 -- Trida, NSW. After a couple of months without any confluencing, I got itchy feet again and decided to embark on a weekend trip to outback NSW to try to pick up four new confluences around Hay and Ivanhoe.
I bought a new car a few weeks ago and decided to get a four-wheel drive this time (Toyota RAV4) with a view to doing several trips into the outback in the next year or two. We gave the new car a run down the Great Ocean Road last weekend, and it had its 1000 kilometre service during the week, so everything was in order for this 1500 kilometre trip.
I left work a bit early on Friday afternoon, planning to hit the road immediately after Jamie gets home from school. After a bit of mucking around, we left Melbourne at about 4:00 p.m. heading for Hay, NSW where we slept both Friday and Saturday nights before coming home on Sunday.
The drive up to Hay is a route that I’ve taken several times before and was quite uneventful. We ate dinner in the car and the kids slept for the last couple of hours of the drive. We stayed at the Sundowner Motor Inn that was quite nice and had a good rate for RACV/NRMA/AAA members.
I toyed with various routings, some of which included 32S144E, but I was concerned about fuel stops and didn’t want to find out the range of my new car the hard way! Eventually I decided on a routing that would have a maximum interval between petrol stations of about 400 km.
We got up nice and early on Saturday morning and hit the road just before 8:00 am heading north up the Cobb Highway towards Booligal and Ivanhoe. About 30 km after Booligal we turned right on Audrey Lea Road and took that road a further 33 km and then turned left on an unnamed road heading more-or-less north. We drove through the Willandra National Park and then on to Trida, which is an unmanned railway station on the line from Broken Hill to Sydney.
Like a lot of sheep and cattle stations in this part of NSW, stock move freely about over the roads that run through these stations and quite often there are no fences adjacent to the road. The closest we could get by road was about 1.6 kilometres, but there were lots of tracks leading into the paddock with the confluence so we went cross-country and managed to drive right up to the confluence. The new car is certainly paying dividends!
Continued at 32S 145E