We decided to camp at Bogan Weir as it is only 7ks out of Peak Hill. There was a shade shelter and BBQ at the campsite. While it is nice to be in the middle of a town it is also nice to be out of it. There was only one other van there when we pulled in but by night our number had doubled. The camp is a massive area so we got to pick our spot. We were spread out but as we walked around we got to know out neighbours.
We set up camp and made the drive back to town to the tourist information centre. There wasn’t much to see in the town. There was the mine of course and the silo. Peak Hill had the first upright grain silo to be built in Australia in 1918 and it is still in use today. I am being a bit mean here. The mine and the silo aren’t the only things to see in the town. There was also the Big fish Fossil Hut, but we were told that it was closed as someone had hit it with their car.
Not only did the Info centre have a display of some old items of history and information on the town but also it was a second hand shop come craft shop. We both had a look round but the more we looked around the more it looked like a junk shop with no real sense of direction on what it was. One thing did put a smile on my face and that was the little tube of Peak Hill clean air that you can buy. I liked that. There was a large map of Australian on one wall asking people to pin where they had come from. I also added my pin to the map. I liked that as well.
Our first day at camp was a get in and do stuff day. While I was cleaning the van Adrian decided to fix the awning. It has started to peel because of the sun beating down on it, not an uncommon thing for vans. He had put tape on it once before but that too had started to peel away. He had to take the old tape off and add new stuff. It took him most of the day. Our next-door neighbour was kind enough to lend him a stepladder so making the job a lot easier. Lets hope it lasts longer that before.
After the work had been done Adrian put in out nets hoping to catch some yabbies.
We took the self-guided tour of the mine the next day. Gold was discovered in 1889 in the area. The mine was started soon after in 1890 and closed in 2002.
We walked up the hill and at set points there were little lookouts were you could look into a hole, most times with water at the bottom.
I did learn that the Bogan River weir where we were staying, supplied the water for the township as well as the mine. The weir was built in 1920 that was interesting as it was so far out of town. To start with the water would have had to be carted.
While we were walking around the big holes we saw the grain silo off in the distance. It is the 4th one from the left side. Now I can say I have seen it.
Not all of the mining was done by open cut. The earlier miners would drop shafts down. The men would be lowered or raised by a poppet head. The poppet head winding gear would use horses or later steam driven engines to wind the men down or up. The ore was raised the same way. We saw several shafts. All I can say is they were brave men.
We chose to take the yellow track, as it was a bit shorter than the green one. It wasn’t until I was back in the car thinking that was hard work (only because I am unfit) when I looked at the pamphlet to find the green walk had a picture of a person walking while the yellow track had a picture of a person with a backpack climbing a little hill. No wonder I was feeling like I had just completed a work out. It did make me feel a little bit better.
We hadn’t long been back at camp where a council worker came knocking on my door. To start with I thought ‘what have we done wrong’ but he was there asking what we thought of the area and if there we had any ideas for improvement that they may be able to make. What a hard question. My first thought was some toilets but before the word could leave my lips he told me that toilets were out of the question as the area floods in the winter. Good to know. Mental note to self ‘if it starts to rain, get out quick.’
He also let me know that he would be sending some men out the next day to clean up the area as they were expecting between 100 and 200 vans on the weekend for a rally. Another good thing to know, ‘Leave before the weekend’
The council worker took a look at the bins and told me, he would have them emptied and more brought out for the weekend. He told me that there isn’t a lot of money in the kitty to keep the place looking good and up to date so they are always asking vanners if they have any good ideas so they don’t waste money on things that are not needed. I told him I was happy with how it was.
The tourist information centre sadly was lacking and I passed the information on to the council worker. He told me there was no money for a full time staff person for the centre in the budget either so volunteers ran it. Ok that made sense.
We pulled the canoe off the car and got it wet. It had been a long time since I had gone for a paddle. I was surprised with how much I had missed it. Mind you my arms were not very happy about it though, but it is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Adrian started to catch some yabbies. Not many. Only 3 or 4 a day and only medium sized ones at that. Each day we cooked the ones we had and put them in the freezer. At the end of our stay we put them all together. There wasn’t enough for a good feed but there was enough to enjoy. I made honey yabbies. Very nice if I do say so myself.
These yabbies, (I am sure they have a name but not sure what) were quite angry, much more that the red claw we had caught before. The yabbies were not happy with being trapped and some had taken their anger out on the net. Poor Adrian had to make repairs to both nets before he put them away. First time that has happened.
We had drinks with one of our neighbours on one night. It was nice to sit back and relax. The weather had been too cold to sit outside of late so we made the most of it by talking long into the night.
The next morning, mist was still lingering around by the time I dragged jumped out of bed. I grabbed my camera and took a walk. On the day we had seen the mine we had stopped for coffee afterwards. The owner was horrified to find out we were at the weir. She didn’t like the place and told us it was nothing but a mosquito infected spot. We didn’t have any mosquitoes while were staying and as for it being a horrible spot. We loved it, we even stayed an extra day.
To keep Adrian busy on that extra day we made health balls. We had a little production line going. We tell ourselves that they are healthier than having desert at night. After all we roll them in coconut. That is healthy, isn’t it?