Easter 2016 – Hillston

1st April

Leaving Lake Wyangan, we travelled north on the Kidman Way stopping at the small town of Hillston to refuel, eat lunch, stock up on groceries and use the dump point. This is a very nice town where we have stopped previously so we knew the lunch offerings at the Bakery would be worthwhile.

For the last couple of years, I had been reading forum posts about the camp at Billabourie Riverside Retreat and promised myself that we would visit sometime. Now was as good a time as any as the turn off to Billabourie was around 35kms north of Hillston and then 10kms of dirt road to the property.

No mistaking the entry.

Some background on the property.

There were quite a few other campers there when we arrived, most belonging to a fishing club from Temora who were trying their luck in the river. We had a bit of a chat with Lindsay, the owner, and then chose a spot beside the river for our camp.

As usual, Erich was out early the next morning and walked through the property out to the passing road.

Morning mist.

A loaded cattle truck passing.

When Erich expressed an interest in seeing the solar installation, Lindsay was happy to oblige and arrived in his ute the next morning to take Erich on a guided tour. He apologised that there was no room in the ute for me, but I was quite happy to sit in the shade by the river.

The fixed solar installation.

The tracking solar installation.

The tracking solar pump.

Grain silos on the property.

The pump shed.

Amazing sky at sunrise.

One of the friendlier inhabitants.

This was the first opportunity on this trip that we had for a camp fire so we made good use of the supplied fire pit.

Baked potatoes in the embers.

Topped with tuna mornay.

Just prior to this trip we bought a single induction cooktop with the idea to use it when we have plenty of solar powering our Lithium batteries. I used it to cook the tuna mornay while the potatoes were cooking in the fire. It worked very well but I need a better frypan than the poor quality one supplied with the cooktop. The frypan I have in the van is not suitable for induction cooking but I am sure I have something suitable at home which I will put in the van before our next trip.

Next night – Bratwurst with fried onions and cannellini bean salad.

It’s hard to beat food cooked over the coals. And heating the washing up water with the residual heat.

We enjoyed our 3 nights at Billabourie and would return again.

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