The destination of this trip was proving difficult to lock down. Maybe Innamincka? Maybe the Victorian highlands? My grand plans were finally screwed when the missus announced that she had to be back home in just 4 days. I decided we’d better head to Menindee for a look.
After finalising some business stuff on Monday morning we finally got going around midday on the little 650 V-Strom with 60kg of gear.
We headed out to Eden Valley, Pine Hut Rd and on to Towitta.
You wouldn’t think a bit of wind would bother 430kg of bike, gear, pillion and rider but you’d be wrong. The bike was getting blown across the dirt tracks and we had to continually dodge fallen tree branches. After just being missed by a rather large falling branch we decided to bitumen it to a motel in Barmera.
The view from our room showed some rather large waves breaking on the Lake Bonney beach.
Absolutely crazy weather.
The next day looked much better but still a little windy and we took off to Wentworth via the Old Wentworth Rd and Renmark Rd.
Stopped off for a look at Chowilla.
The road was a fairly major gravel road that varied in both track condition and scenery so it made for an interesting trip.
After a feed and fuel at Wentworth we followed Lower Darling Rd until it hooked up with High Darling Rd. This took us up the western side of the Darling River. Nice roads and scenery with numerous sand drifts to negotiate (probably due to the windy weather).
We crossed the Darling to the eastern side just before Pooncarie and headed to Menindee via the Pooncarie-Menindee Rd. This was a more major road but was a lot rougher and we bottomed the Strom’s rear suspension on a number of occasions.
After a drink at the Menindee local and a refuel, we headed out to camp in Kinchega National Park. We chose a site on the banks of the Darling which was fantastic.
On Wednesday we followed the track through the national park which was a great ride except for a rather close encounter with a 5 ft brown snake that was spread across the narrow track.
I had intended to follow the Darling down the western side but missed the turn at Emu Lake and ended up at Tanduo Station.
Followed Bindara-Tandou Rd to Coona Point-Bindara Rd.
Again mostly good clay roads with quite a bit of sand. The sand wasn’t deep and a bit of throttle carried us through without much drama even though the Strom is not a big fan of sand.
We followed the Darling until we hit the same bridged that we used to cross the river the day before. We crossed back to the eastern side and had a spot of lunch on the river’s edge.
We then headed for Mungo National Park via Top Hut Rd. This again was a rough road and we crushed the rear bump stop on the Strom on numerous occasions. Had no option but to back the speed off to 80k for most of this road.
Mungo in a dust storm is interesting.
Then headed south on dirt to Mildura for the night, treating ourselves to another motel (and a shower).
The plan was to follow the old Mail route to Renmark but I ended up on the wrong road. Still a really interesting track.
Finally caught up with the Old Mail Rd only to find it closed. As it had rained the night before we decided to heed the warning and took the bitumen to the Vic/SA boarder. There we turn south. What a waste of time. Just boring and dull. Had to negotiate one tricky sand hill but mostly was a grass overgrown, dead straight, two wheeled track with no scenery worth a second glance.
Oh well, been there, don’t have to go back.
We followed the border track to the junction with Carwarp Rd and Fisher Rd. Fisher Rd turned out to be a great road with refreshing scenery including a number of old ruins and lush farmland.
We then followed the GPS into Berri for lunch via some delightful Riverland orchard country.
Camped the night on Katarapko Creek.
Hit the bitumen on Friday morning and headed home via Morgan. Lobbed back at midday.
Over way to soon for my liking but a worthwhile trip all the same.