Once the car is headed home it seems to want to get there quickly. From Broken Hill to Pelican Waters is around 1,750 kms. We divert by way of Bourke and visit the Back O Bourke tourist centre, which brings to life the story of Outback New South Wales from the 1800’s.
After Bourke the road is well known to us so it is overnight free camps and re-visits to Walgett (aboriginal word for ‘the meeting place of two rivers’ and the home of cotton, wool and wheat industries), Moree, Goondiwindi (‘the resting place of the birds’ on the NSW QLD border), Toowoomba (the most populous inland city after Canberra) and finally home.
This trip statistics :
Days Away : 57
Car distance traveled : 7,268 kms
Caravan distance travelled : 5,776 kms
We leave Port Broughton and, after an overnight free camp at Manna Hill, arrive in Broken Hill for a 2 night stay. Broken Hill is an isolated mining city in the far west of outback New South Wales. The “BH” in the world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton, refers to “Broken Hill” and its early operations in the city. Broken Hill has been referred to as “The Silver City”, the “Oasis of the West”, and the “Capital of the Outback”.
Just 20 Kms north west of Broken Hill is the iconic town of Silverton, known mainly in recent history as the base for the Mad Max movie franchise. The area was also used frequently in the Priscilla Queen of the Desert movie.
We celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in Broken Hill with a lovely dinner in town.
This is a picture taken at the place in the Priscilla movie where they stop the bus and get out to see the ‘entrance to the outback’.
Stansbury is the furthest south we will be going this trip and it is time to pack up and start working our way north and east to be home in time to get ready for Christmas. Still on the Yorke Peninsula is Port Broughton, where we stay for a couple of days. On the way, we pass through yet more small villages, all with their own local character, Port Julia, Port Vincent and Ardrossan. Unfortunately, the weather is not the best and neither is the fishing.
Razorfish are a shellfish, or a marine bivalve mollusc to be correct, that live in the sand and mud flats in tidal areas in Southern Australia. They are a large, fan shaped shellfish that lay buried in the sand point first. This leaves the large curved edge of the shell exposed. This edge is quite sharp and has been responsible for many cuts and scrapes of those collecting the shells. Hence the name.
A decade ago, razor fish could be found in numbers right along metropolitan coasts (in suitable habitat) as they were used by only a few fisherman as bait. Now, however, some areas are totally devoid of them now and this is due to the fact that their potential as an extremely tasty seafood dish has been realised.
The shells are fairly well embedded, so it is necessary to bend over, grab the shell and wiggle it from side to side, all the while pulling up.
Once you have collected enough shells, they have to be cracked open and the white “heart” of the fish removed. This is also hard work. The easiest method is to break each shell with the back of a meat cleaver then slip a thin but sturdy knife blade under the shell, keeping it as close to the underside of the shell as possible. If you are doing this correctly, the remains of the shell will open up easily. The insides surrounding the “heart” can then be removed which will leave just the white muscle still attached to one side of the shell. You should have a roughly round piece of white flesh. Depending on the size of the razor fish, this should be about 5 cm or 2 inches across.
Eaten raw, shallow fried, deep fried or grilled, this flesh is superb. Like scallops only tastier, razorfish, in our opinion, are at least rivals to prawns and calamari. The flesh is firm and white and, if cooked correctly, is tender.
Our favourite way to eat razorfish is to combine them with some finely sliced fresh squid, cook them for less than a minute with chili and garlic and add them to a fine spaghetti … yummy.
This was a bumper year for blue swimmer crabs at Stansbury. We were reasonably successful using our usual technique of baiting up our nets and catching them the odd one or two at a time. we did have an interesting experience one day when we spotted a beautiful and large crab on our way out to the end of the jetty in very shallow water … so the hunt was on. A skilled throw of the crab net followed by a tense wait for the crab to crawl in and a perfectly timed retrieval and the result was a nice large fresh crab for lunch.
But that wasn’t the best experience with the crabs. We met a fellow caravanner who introduced us to night hunting with a light and a rake. This was one of the most exhilarating and enjoyable ways to get a good catch of crabs. You need a light (our friend had special lights that worked under water) but a good torch works just as well, a rake and a floating plastic receptacle for the catch. You then wait for dark and high tide, wade out (only up to the knees), turn on the light and the chase is on. The hardest part is using the rake to drag them towards you and then expertly flip them on to their backs and into the floating box. It gets really interesting if you miss one and it then starts swimming about furiously sometimes requiring an athletic leap out of the water to avoid a nasty nip.
Stansbury is located on the south eastern corner of the Yorke Peninsula. It is definitely one of our goto destinations. This will be our 4th time here. The main reasons we like it here is the access to 3 of our favourite seafood species – blue swimmer crabs, squid and razor fish. Separate stories follow detailing our blue swimmer and razor fish exploits but here are the other photos of Stansbury … as an aside Siobhan won the squid comp 3 to 2.