Forbes to Coolah

I set off from Forbes in the rain and arrived at Coolah in the rain, it rained all day. I was lucky though the rain nearly stopped at each of the three silos I visited on the way. The roads were in terrible condition, lots of potholes, plenty of very rough sections probably the result of lots of rain over recent months. There was water everywhere all the roadside drains were full, as were the creeks and rivers and the paddocks were waterlogged. The country over vast swathes of NSW west of the divide is sooo flat, look in any direction and you just see flat land stretching to the horizon. No wonder the water lies around everywhere, the one positive was that it wasn’t cold.

The first silo was at Nevertire a tiny town which doesn’t show on most maps, but it has a 21 metre high water tower.

The artwork celebrates the main agriculture of the region, sheep, wheat and cotton. The yellow cylinders are bales of cotton at the bottom of the cotton plant. When travelling through this area you pass many cotton depots with acres of these bales neatly stacked in rows. More of our precious water being exported!

The next silo was at Warren and this was another good one. They are building a new sports complex next to the tower and the artwork celebrates the sports which will be played there. The sports being featured are Cricket, Soccer, Swimming and Skateboarding.

Next stop was Dunedoo where the silos had been painted in 2020 on two sides and the other sides painted in 2021 by a different artist. The 2021 side was painted by Daniel Krause, assisted by Jarad Danby and show Daniel’s son reading a book in a wheat field (and a few cotton plants as well).

The first two sides were painted by Peter Mortimore over three months in 2020. The painting is of Winx and her famous rider Hugh Bowman, who was born in Dunedoo. Also featured is Chris Waller, Winx’s trainer. On the side facing the road is some local fauna and flora.

As would be deemed appropriate I needed a dunny by the time I got to Dunedoo and the toilet provided near the silos was state of the art. Press a button and the door unlocks, which is announced by a “voice”, enter and push the green button and the door locks and the button goes red. You are told the “door is locked”. Nothing happens when you push the flush button, but when you push the door button the door unlocks and the toilet flushes. Strangely, it seems the name Dunedoo does not originate from this dunny or any dunny, rather the name is derived from a local Aboriginal word meaning “swan”, which are commonly found in the area’s lagoons.

After a day and night of rain the Coolaburragundy River at the end of the caravan park in Coolah rose just under 2 metres, but was still 1/2 a metre below the level of the park. The ground is so wet that any rain falling runs straight off into the creeks and rivers, though Coolah did get around 35 mm on Thursday and Friday, a considerable precipitation. By the end of Saturday the river had dropped back to its original level, which was reassuring as debris stacked outside some of the cabins in the park showed that the park had been flooded recently. Interestingly the Coolaburragundy River is normally dry.

On Saturday I went for a drive to Coolah Tops National park. The roads had shallow water over them in many places and you had to slow right down as often there are deep potholes hidden under the water. The bitumen road changed to dirt for the climb up to the National Park and it was like driving on a creek bed with many deep erosion gutters cutting across the road. After bouncing around all over the place and travelling very slowly I decided after a couple of Km that I didn’t need to see the park that badly so I turned around and headed for home. Marg and I had visited the park a few years ago.

There was a lovely view up the Coolaburragundy River from the road to the park.

The normally dry Coolaburragundy River was running rapids, a bit unusual for a normally dry river.

Tomorrow will be a rest day and then off to Cranky Rock Nature Reserve for a few days.

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7 Responses to Forbes to Coolah

  1. RHONDA says:

    Another really interesting post Russ. We are also having lots of rain in the Dandenong but at least it is not flat and lying around. The standard of painting for all the silos is amazing. Thanks for sharing ???

  2. RHONDA says:

    Another really interesting post Russ. We are also having lots of rain in the Dandenong but at least it is not flat and lying around. The standard of painting for all the silos is amazing. Thanks for sharing ???

  3. David Incoll says:

    Hi Russ,

    I have enjoyed reading all your blog entries, but haven’t had time to respond.

    It is interesting to read about the huge amount of rainfall there has been in NSW. Has that relieves drought conditions? We have the worst drought since 1935 here, which is putting a lot of pressure on water resources, including our own spring supply. Crop yields in the UK will be affected, and along with the Ukraine crisis this will mean huge inflation on food prices in Europe in the next year. Climate change is hitting hard and earlier than experts predicted.

    I love the name Coolaburragundy – trips right off the tongue, like so many Aussie Aboriginal words! Dunnadoo too – great explanation and exposition of your hi-tech toilet trip!

    I hope your journey continues to be enjoyable and stimulating, with more creek-bed-like dead ends and a dry place to sleep!

  4. Gil Ottosen says:

    Very interesting Russ

  5. Russ says:

    I have been hearing about all the rain and cold in Melbourne, I’m glad I’ve been out of there for a while even though I have had plenty of rain on occasions. Good to hear from you.

  6. Russ says:

    Hi David
    Good to hear from you, the drought is well and truely broken in Australia. So much rain that it may negatively impact crop yields. I have been following reports of summer in Europe, amazing to see how low the major rivers have dropped. Climate change is driving all the rain we have had in Australia but at last we have a government that will do something about it; unlike the climate deniers we had for the last 9 years. The aboriginal wards are wonderful as you say, it’s so good we are starting to change place names to the original aboriginal place name, like Uluru for Ayers Rock which was the first big impact name change. I’m enjoying the trip, I’ve slowed down and have been just chilling before I head back to Melbourne. Tomorrow I’m off the Myall Lakes national park for 3 days. The Aboriginals were called Myalls in the past. The Myall Lakes national park was one of the first environmental battles won in Australia. The park was saved from sand miners after a big battle in the 1960s and 70s. It is a wonderful place.

  7. Russ says:

    Thanks Gil, glad you are enjoying the blog. Russ

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