On this trip we have intentionally gone "off the beaten track" a little so after our visit to the "Gully Pub" we headed for a town known throughout Australia as the start of the true outback, the town is Bourke NSW which boasts the saying "back of Bourke" which translates to Beyond the Black Stump or WAY OUTBACK.
Apart from being a long way from most of the rest of Australia Bourke was "the end of the line" for the paddle steamers which carried the huge wool clip down the Darling River to the rail line at Echuca Vic. The Darling has always been a river that has been very much affected by the seasons often drying up into a series of billabong's before the next good rains brought the water level up to navigable levels.
These good rains have already fallen in 2010 so while the paddle wheelers no longer ply the river there is a substantial amount of water in the Darling, in fact in all the rivers and creeks throughout the area, in turn this has given the surrounding country a green gloss that has been missing for the last decade
|The "Outback" is looking great with the coming of Spring there are Wattles in bloom everywhere|
|The 3 level wharf at Bourke allowed loading of the paddle wheelers regardless of the river height|
|The fields of brilliant Yellow denote a bumper season in the making for Canola Crops|
|A sight to gladden the heart of an old river man... The Darling running a banker!!!|