Saturday, 18 July 2015

Kidman Way

We hear about snow in other parts of New South Wales, in areas that haven't seen snow for decades. Roads are closed because of snow and ice, but not where we are on the Kidman Way. We've travelled in brilliant sunshine all day.

Kidman Way north of  Hillston, NSW.
We're drove south from Bourke through some beautiful country, mostly bush, rather flat with the occasional hill or peak around Mt Hope. There is a tinge of green everywhere because there has been rain in the last month and it contrasts with the red soil and the grey foliage of the trees and shrubs. As we neared Hillston on the Lachlan River we saw signs of the agriculture. Hillston has diversified from cropping and grazing to fruit and vegetable production - cherries, potatoes, olives, cotton, almonds, capers, jojoba, citrus, watermelons and more.

Off course the downside of this is that they need water for all of the above. They use underground water and by using proper management the water entitlements have been reduced by half to 108 000 megalitres. That still sounds like a lot to me.

The largest Cashmere Goat flock in Australia is farmed near Hillston but we saw hundreds of feral goats by the highway as we travelled south. They are a real pest, doing damage to the environment by eating vegetation and trampling the fragile soil with their hooves. We saw dozens of dead kangaroos on the highways in NSW and Queensland but not one dead goat. They graze by the roads but we slowed down to avoid hitting any on the road because we didn't want to damage our vehicle, and I presume everyone else does the same. The kangaroos graze at night and try to cross the roads the heavy vehicles are travelling at speed - they don't slow down for anything.

We've also seen cactus, particularly in Queensland on the St George to Cunnamulla road. Prickly Pear cactus was a huge pest in the past but it is still not completely under control. Weeds and pest animals are a problem all over our beautiful country.

1 comment:

Ken said...

The prickly pear is classified as under control. It now is now part of the ecology with the cactoblastis moth. The moth keeps the population in check and the small amount of prickly pear means that the moth population never goes to zero.