Having spent the first part of this year planning our three month trip to the Kimberley and WA coast, the recent Covd19 Outbreak and subsequent lockdown in Victoria meant that the last two week have been focused on contingency planning. The first step of this has resulted in us now being in Broken Hill, which, for us, is a significant cross roads – which way do we go?
Two weeks ago, the SA border crossing rules were that we would have been allowed to cross after 14 days of having been in Melbourne – that would have been today. Since then, our plans have been impacted by numerous variables, none of which we have any control of:
- Border crossing rules (which one do we aim for?)
- Road closures (resulting in 150km detour)
- Weather (cold and very windy)
- Internet access (none for four days)
The variable of most interest to us is related to border closures for both QLD and SA.
The first change happened when Victoria was locked down – SA decided to close the border to anyone who had been in Victoria during the previous 14 day period. So, we decided to get across the NSW border as soon as possible, which happened to be the day after restrictions in Regional Victoria were eased. This we managed successfully, despite NSW apparently closing the border for a 48 hour period after we had crossed.
Our plan was to spend 14 days waiting in NSW during which time we would consider an alternative route into WA if the SA border remained closed. This alternative was to travel to WA via NT by crossing the QLD border.
Whether we end up crossing the SA or QLD border, we are now missing out on key visits such as to the Bungle Bungles and potentially Kununurra, but we need to catch up with our itinerary somehow.
As we have had exceptionally strong winds today and it will be the same tomorrow, we have booked into in a hotel in Broken Hill for two nights. This gives us a chance to review the latest border restrictions and make a decision on whether to head for the QLD border or hang around for the SA border. As things stand at the moment, we think that we should be able to cross into QLD on Friday, but this could change due to the selfish couple who broke the Melbourne lockdown to travel to QLD and subsequently proved to be Covid positive. Since it is so cold and windy here, there is an obvious attraction in heading north.
As an aside, a good friend of mine in Sydney sent me a message wishing us well to get across the border to the ‘land of the FREE’. What he omitted to add was the four letters ‘ZING’. Yes, our first night was freezing cold, getting down to minus 1 degrees overnight. Having survived that (only just, with little sleep) we reckon we can cope with anything now, but we would rather not.
Where to now?
Assuming this works out, we will then have to see how things stand with the NT and WA borders. We set out last Friday to take one step at a time and this is exactly what we are doing. Unfortunately, this is very frustrating and means that we have not really settled into the trip as a lot of our time is spent on contingency planning.
This has also meant that my focus on taking photographs has been somewhat diminished, so I do not have many to share.
I guess that things could be worse, we could be locked down in Victoria, we could be getting blown away and soaked at home or sitting in the dark with no electricity (there is a current power outage at home).
I appreciate that this has not given you much information about our journey to Broken Hill, but I will be able write again tomorrow evening to share some interesting anecdotes about our journey so far and hopefully give you an update on where we are going next.
In the meantime, here is a shot of the Main Weir next to the Burke and Wills Campground (near Menindee). I took this with the drone just after sunrise.