|Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
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11 April 2006 - Wagga Wagga to Hay |
Today we drove from Wagga Wagga to Hay. The Sturt Highway passes through some hilly parts initially while passing over the western edge of the inland slope of the Great Dividing Range then flattens out into the Riverina plain. Fairly quickly we came to the western slopes vegetation mix of mainly eucalyptus with cypress growing on the sandier parts. Then, after passing Narrandera, the road enters the main part of the Hay Plain; very flat with few trees except along the Murrumbidgee River away to our right and saltbush becoming common. Where irrigated water was available, a variety of crops (corn, sunflowers, pasture and grapes) are grown, elsewhere the ground looks barren and neglected or grain is grown and sheep grazed. Emus grazed in twos, threes and large groups in the grain stubble.
Approaching Hay the effects of irrigation water were sometimes obvious. Amid the general dry and dust there would be a sharply defined, bright green area of grass growing where flood irrigation had been used; it was easy to see the parts of the paddock the water had not reached because they remained dry and dusty.
About 25 or 30 kilometres before Hay we came upon a serious accident where a B-double truck had overturned and caught fire at about 3 o'clock this morning. The driver had been killed in this single-vehicle accident; we didn't find out the cause. Traffic was being diverted along temporary dirt tracks; fortunately there was no rain as the clay here becomes very slippery when wet.