Posted by: tangararama | June 26, 2008

Day 19: Adelaide SA to Hay NSW


The day got off to an interesting and noisy start. The Mt Lofty Railway Station Lodge  had a fireplace and firewood – it had been a cold night so we had the fire burning overnight, but had mostly gone out by the morning. At about 7am we tried to revive the fire, and all seemed to be going well until a smoldering pine cone let out a puff of smoke which set off the smoke detector.

The smoke detectors at the lodge are connected to an external alarm system, so within seconds we had sirens going off outside the building, in addition to the ear piercing noise of the internal smoke detector. Thankfully the owner had already prepared us for such an event – apparently this has happened to other guests from time to time. We had to punch in a special code on the door panel in order to turn off the external alarms and then call a phone number to verify the false alarm – failure to do so would mean the fire services would soon be turning up!

The internal smoke detector alarm continued, however…  we were supposed to then open some doors and windows to vent the smoke out of the room and hence stop the internal smoke detector alarm. This failed to happen and the internal smoke alarm (hard wired and mounted on a very high ceiling) continued to operate. After about 15 mins the owner of the lodge turned up with a tall ladder and was able to examine the unit and clear out the smoke particles which had lodged in the detector, and finally the unbearable noise stopped!

That was a nice peaceful start to the day.

Adelaide to Hay - 683km

Day 19: Adelaide SA to Hay NSW, 683km

After making our way through the eastern and northern suburbs of Adelaide we head out into the country on the Sturt Highway toward the SA-Victorian border towns of Renmark and Mildura. The Sturt Highway is the most direct route between Adelaide and Sydney.

Sturt Hwy, Renmark SA near Victorian border

Sturt Hwy, Renmark SA – near Victorian border

Around lunch time we crossed two state borders in the space of about 30 minutes – given the Sturt Highway has a short run into the northern tip of Victoria and through the town of Mildura before crossing the Murray River into New South Wales.

Sturt Highway river crossing at Mildura

Sturt Hwy crossing Murray River, Mildura VIC at NSW border

After leaving Mildura and crossing the river into New South Wales the countryside again gets drier and flatter which is typical of western NSW. The Sturt Highway is an important truck route between Adelaide and Sydney, as is evident by a large number of heavy vehicles on this highway.

Sturt Hwy near Balranald NSW

Truck passes windmill on Sturt Hwy near Balranald – outback NSW

Between the towns of Balranald and Hay in south-west NSW is an area known as “The Hay Plains”. This stretch of road goes for some 150km (90 miles) of the absolute flattest, dullest, un-interesting landscape from horizon to horizon. It’s the un-interestingness of it all that makes the Hay Plains noteworthy.

Hay Plains, NSW

Hay Plains – outback NSW

The Hay Plains is not without its dangers – especially at sunset which is the time when kangaroos start coming out to feed and are notorious for being the stuff of roadkill on highways all over Australia. And the kangaroos out here are quite BIG – we actually spotted a large Red Kanagroo next to the highway grazing on the grass, he would have been about 1.5m (or 5′) in height.

We spend the night in Hay before continuing on to Goulburn tomorrow.




  1. We have mostly deer for roadkill in the U.S. In some places, there’s also moose. But, mostly its deer.

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