|Travelling Australia - Journal 2012
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|21 March 2012 - Canberra to Burrinjuck|
Thick fog this morning burnt off quickly once the sun rose and was all gone by the time we were ready to leave. Our destination for today was Burrinjuck Waters State Park set back from the Hume Freeway past Yass. We drove along the Federal Highway towards Canberra until reaching the junction with the Barton Highway where we turned to head towards the Hume Freeway. Traffic was light, even just after 9 o'clock on a Wednesday morning, and the weather was good for travelling.
The Barton Highway comprises several sections of dual carriageway as well as increasing single carriageway as it gets closer to the Hume Freeway near Yass. The surface is generally good. Near Yass (which the road bypasses completely) we joined the dual carriageway Hume Freeway where traffic was very light indeed. After about 30 kilometres we turned off the freeway onto the road to Burrinjuck.
This was all grazing country; cattle were in the majority at first but around Yass and along the Hume Freeway there were hundreds of sheep in paddocks.
The Burrinjuck Road was very much a back road, bitumen and initially wide enough to pass an oncoming tractor and trailer, but 60 kph was about the fastest speed comfortable towing the van. Approaching the State Park the road was narrow and went around several hair-pin bends, comfortable enough towing the van on a good bitumen surface but passing a vehicle going the other way would have been a problem.
Arriving at the State Park alongside Burrinjuck Reservoir we booked in for two nights. The park is quite big, mainly cabins, but there are powered caravan sites and camp sites as well. We were assigned a specific site, "to keep the computer happy", but were told the place was so empty that we could set-up on any other site if we wanted to. The assigned site had a large gum tree with low branches over it so we set up on the site next door which had better overhead clearance.
At this time of year the park was virtually deserted; to see another person was unusual. The Eastern Grey Kangaroos seemed to appreciate the lack of people; there seemed to be groups of two or three kangaroos grazing everywhere we looked in the park. Birds were also common; we looked up at one stage to see a couple of King Parrots (one male, one female) watching us from a branch above the van; these are reputed to be shy birds.
One reason for visiting Burrinjuck Reserve had been to photograph Burrinjuck Dam which is a major unit in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation system but the road to the dam has been closed, for several years we were told, so I didn't get those photographs.