Travelling Australia - Journal 2015c
|20-22 May 2015
Warren is a small town, population 2200, supporting the surrounding rural areas. The town is remarkably clean,neat and tidy. Arriving from the north (on the Oxley Highway from Gilgandra) the visitor crosses the Macquarie River surrounded by carefully cultivated lawn giving a welcoming appearance to the town. Equally prominent are the levees positioned to reduce flooding impact of the Macquarie River.
The shopping centre is small but sufficient. An inexhaustive list includes two supermarkets, banks, newsagent, pharmacy, post office, bakery, butcher, real estate agent, Warren Shire office, several financial service businesses, NRMA base, at least two hotels, a bottle shop, library, police station, hospital, ambulance service, health centre, two service stations (including one radiator repair facility) and various supporting businesses. A Service Club (generally known as the RSL) and the Golf Club provide meals. The former post office has been converted into a well equipped local information centre manned by volunteers; on our two visits there the volunteers were well-informed. A light industrial area on the edge of the town contains the hardware store, panel beater and tyre dealer. There are at least two veterinary hospitals or practices and a variety of specialised, more technical, businesses (such as irrigation pump dealer, Toyota dealer and agricultural machinery dealer).
Warren is notable for the welcome extended to caravans and motorhomes. Signage points to suitable streets for caravans to park in, there is an excellent caravan park on the edge of town and the dump point is clearly marked. As an additional, very useful feature, the water tap beside the dump point was labelled as "Potable Water" replacing the more usual warning not to drink the water found on dump point taps. There is a free-camping areas on the Gilgandra Road/Oxley Highway (at 31° 40' 02"S, 147° 51' 29"E) and another on the Nevertire Road (at 31° 42' 30"S, 147° 49' 44"E). Both of these have bitumen surfaces; there are a couple more on the Nevertire Road with gravel surfaces.
20-22 May 2015, Warren - page 2
There is a Council designated free-camping area near Brian Egan Weir (at 31°40' 02"S 147° 51' 29"E) on the Macquarie River, available for 96 hours. Access is via the sealed Industrial Access Road with a couple of hundred metres of good gravel access road to the free-camping area and boat launching ramp on the Macquarie River; there are no facilities.
Overall, Warren can be described as an excellent place to use as a base for seeing the local area and a very pleasant surprise. As an added bonus the residents are very friendly and helpful.
Weather during our stay was variable. After the thunderstorm on our first night we measured 16 millimetres of rain in the rain gauge behind the caravan; other people spoke of 50 millimetres on nearby properties and of 33 millimetres as the official rainfall figure for the town. Whatever the figure, it was welcome rainfall in an agricultural area which has no irrigated water allocation for this year.
Other days were sometimes bright and sunny, sometimes cloudy and sometimes with light rain. The Bureau of Meteorology didn't do its reputation much good on the third day with forecasts of a 60% chance of showers and possibly thunderstorms. The thunderstorm part was correct but at about sunset rain began falling for five to seven hours during which 19 millimetres of rain fell - hardly a "shower". Once again, this rain was most welcome, but it had not been forecast. The rural press is beginning to note that farmers are increasingly ignoring weather forecasts, especially long-term ones, because they are wrong or inadequate.