BEHIND THE SCENES: OUTBACK PUB EXPERIENCES Part 2
Join us for part 2 of the Outback pub experience.
A very early rise saw us packed up and out at the Mundi Mundi lookout for a sunrise shoot, a repeat of last night, but this time the Mundi Mundi Plains exhibited the stunning blue hour just before the sun finally rose. Hot coffee and bacon and egg rolls were on offer from the Silverton Hotel — perfect after such an early start.
Retracing our steps back to Broken Hill, fuel tanks and jerry cans were topped up before we headed north up the Silver City Highway. It didn’t take long to reach the Packsaddle Roadhouse and I was surprised to hear the highway was now bitumen all the way to Tibooburra.
We hustled into Milparinka in time for a cracking lunch at the Albert Hotel. Steak sandwiches with the lot, minus an ingredient or two was the go and the service was excellent. Volunteers are still working hard restoring some of the buildings and surrounding streetscapes and there is a gold coin donation box at the courthouse that goes a long way in keeping the works going.
The temperature gauge rose as we ventured further north to Tibooburra and having checked into the Granites Caravan Park everyone enjoyed a refreshing shower. The crew were blown away by the huge serving sizes when we dined on the front verandah at the historic Family Hotel. Built in 1882, the hotel is famed for the murals painted by renowned Australian artists including Clifton Pugh and Russell Drysdale.
As golden hour began to descend, we took the Wonderland and Bushtracker out to the Granites Sunset Lookout for what we call ‘hero shots’. Once the colour had drained from the sky, we headed back to camp for an early night.
Rising at dawn, Tim whipped up another tasty breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs, hamburgers, smashed avocado and English muffins. Those that needed to fuelled up, before we finally hit the dirt on our way into Sturt National Park.
This was the first time many had been out this way, so when we came across a large open dry lakebed, it was the perfect backdrop for some content shooting (yes, we stayed on the track). Fort Grey campground was the next stop for morning tea and a chance for Cam to back up his latest video captures. Water in Lake Pinaroo prevented us from walking out to the tree blazed by explorer Sturt.
We continued along the Cameron Corner Road before turning onto Middle Road. Entering dune country as the track led us through this amazing national park. With room to park up, we enjoyed a quick lunch at Binerah Well before heading to a beautiful escarpment just past the old Olive Downs Homestead. After capturing some epic content, we jumped onto the Jump Up Loop Road that led to the Silver City Highway. Driving the dusty bypass track as the fresh bitumen cured was a bit of fun, but the Opus suffered a major blowout along the way.
Heading south we eventually turned onto the Gorge Loop Track, arriving at the Mount Wood Campground just as the TPMS system on the Wonderland Ram sounded, with a rear tyre suffering a puncture. After everyone had set up, tyre plugs were forced into the offending gash in the tread. As the sun dipped towards the horizon, we dined on pulled lamb shoulder with a Ras el Hanout rub, hummus, tahini dressing, tabouli salad, cabbage salad and pita wraps, another spectacular feast prepared by Tim.
Trilby Station was our next destination, so we followed the Tibooburra Road south before taking a hard left onto The Cut Line, a virtual straight road all the way to Wanaaring. On the way the plugged tyre failed on the Ram, so the spare was installed — thankfully it wasn’t a useless space saver! Most in the crew fuelled up before lunch was enjoyed at the Wanaaring Store, the burgers were bloody beautiful, and we were well looked after by Karen and Col.
The Ram suffered another puncture, and the tyre repair kit had another work out, with three tyre plugs inserted to stop the leak. Tentatively we continued before tackling some back roads to Trilby Station on the Darling River. The evening was spent around the fire as we enjoyed an asparagus risotto with seasoned chicken thigh and a spinach salad with balsamic reduction and toasted seeds.
The next day was spent shooting content with some time in the hot afternoon spent relaxing by the pool before a final night reminiscing while feasting on a sharing platter of food from what was remaining in everyone’s fridges.
On the final morning, we completed content shooting before the Wonderland and Austrack departed, the Bushtrackers having left at dawn. The Isuzu D-Max containing Tim and Cam and towing the OPUS followed me as we headed towards Cobar. We stopped at a muddy watercourse to capture some gear content before continuing to Cobar for lunch. From here we went our separate ways, me ending up at Narrandera and Tim and Cam at Griffith.
This was the first OPE, but it certainly won’t be the last. It was a pleasure to have experienced this epic adventure and share it with great company, capturing great content, eating great food, enjoying great hospitality, finding great scenery, with great driving, in this part of our great country. I’m looking forward to the next one.
The Milparinka Hotel features accommodation and hearty meals.
(08) 8091 3863
Granites Caravan Park
Located near a roadhouse with plenty of amenities, the Granites Caravan Park has motel units, powered and unpowered sites.
08 8091 3305
Mount Wood Campground
This NSW national park has barbecue facilities and toilets.
08 8091 3308