Travelling Australia - Journal 2008
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17 February 2008 - Finley to Darlington Point
Location map From the rest area just north of Finlay we headed north along the fairly empty Newell Highway towards Jerilderie which was pretty well deserted this early on a Sunday. We stopped at a rest area on the other side of Jerilderie for a drink and to photograph some eucalypts with shiny green leaves. The weather was bright and sunny but gusty wind made the car and caravan move a bit and I was glad that we were not planning to travel very far today.

Near Jerilderie we left the Newell Highway on the Kidman Way which starts here taking a more inland route to the north than the Newell. The Kidman passes through flat cropland being used by a couple of emus for feeding. After we passed Yanko we began seeing an acacia-like tree reminiscent of gidgee. Cypress woodland also increased from about 38 kilometre south of the Sturt Highway, and were common by the time we reached Colleambally.

About 30 kilometres south of the Sturt Highway we entered the Colleambally Irrigation Area with some channels and Dethbridge meters visible but very little water in supply channels; there were only a few crops visible, mainly sorghum and sunflowers. This irrigation area is the newest in the region and was developed to use water from the Snowy Hydro-Electric Scheme. The dragline used to make the irrigation channels is preserved in a park beside the highway at Colleambally.

Dragline The dragline used to excavate irrigation channels at Colleambally remains on display at Colleambally, reportedly ready to resume work.
Channel Irrigation channel being overgrown with weeds.
Rice storage shed Rice storage shed in Colleambally; the fans along the side blow air into the stored rice to control humidity and temperature.
Sheep Australian rice farmers are required to grow alternatives between rice crops. Wheat and sheep are popular between rice crops. There is so little water available for rice this year that many rice farmers have turned to uses for their land which need less water than rice.
At the Sturt Highway we turned left for a hundred metres or so before turning north for the few kilometres to Darlington Point on the Murrumbidgee. We checked in at the caravan park for a couple of nights being told to select whatever site we wanted and ended up on one set back a little from the Murrumbidgee River among river red gums, but not older gums with large horizontal branches which are known to fall off without warning on hot days and not necessarily during high winds. Nearly in the caravan park a large branch had done just that and was now lying on the ground.
Fallen branch This branch, about 30 cm across, fell from a river red gum on a calm day. The wood inside the branch appears to be weak and degraded while the exterior makes it look as if the branch is sound.
Former Bridge The bridge formerly across the Murrumbidgee at Darlington Point has been restored as an engineering memorial and is now the entrance to the caravan park.
Murrumbidgee River Murrumbidgee River at Darlington Point.
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