As mentioned in our earlier post, we decided to break up the drive to the Murray River as it was too far to go in one day, now we were in the laid-back holiday mode! After looking at the maps, Mat suggested somewhere near Hay in NSW. I had been through Hay many times as a kid as that was the way we would make the long trip down from Wandoan to Bordertown to see my Grandma every second year for Christmas. All I could remember were those big long flat tree less plains, with nothing out there. We used to see how many Emu's we could count on our trips to make the time go a bit faster and I am sure during the drive through the Hay plains were the times we used to fight the most between us kids in the backseat, driving my parents to despair!!!
So it was with some caution that I agreed to do a bit of research into the camping areas out there. And so I discovered the Murrumbidgee River, how could I have forgotten about that?? So we checked out the Camps Australia Wide book and the Campee app and found a place called the Illilawa Reserve just off the Mid Western Highway about 10km from Hay. It was a free campsite right on the Murrumbidgee.
It turned out to be a great campsite despite our fridge dramas mentioned in our last post!! We got there about 1pm and decided to have a bite of lunch before setting up.This turned out to be a great idea because it gave us chance to have a look around and find the best spot. We were the only campers there, so the only things we had to consider was keeping our trailer out from under any potential falling tree branches from the River Red Gums, and finding a flat piece of ground to park the trailer.
We found a great spot and setup right on the banks of the Murrumbidgee, what followed was a great couple of days (despite the fridge). It was a very quiet spot, just what we needed. We spent our time, swimming (it was freezing!!!), fishing, bird watching (see the Rosella and Red Rumped Parrot photos below,I was in heaven!!), taking photos, relaxing and having a look around. Firewood and water were abundant, so it was a really easy first camp. We stayed for 2 nights and then headed to the Murray River near Mildura, more on that in our next post.