We visited the small country town of Binnaway on the hearsay of a colleague who once owned the Royal Hotel, still a gathering place for locals and those who pass through. The town sits on the Castlereagh River in central western New South Wales and has a population of about 500.
Some scenes of the 1950s move The Shiralee were filmed in the Royal, a claim to fame it clings to. The Main Street has few shops none of which were open on Sunday morning as we walked through the town. We mistook a reasonable gathering of people inside the pub for church goers enjoying Sunday lunch together. Once outside, we realised they were the owners of the line up of vintage motor cars which can be seen in the photo above. We did like the centre piece of John Renshaw Street, the railway signals that would have ensured the safe arrival of farmers and tradesmen and supplies from further afield to work or stock the town.
Our first two nights away were spent at the Pump House Campsite on the banks of the Castlereagh River. Banjo Patterson included the river in several poems about the Australian Outback and in his poem The Travelling Post Office he wrote:
The roving breezes come and go, the reed beds sweep and sway
The sleepy river murmurs low, and loiters on its way
It is the land of lots of time, along the Castlereagh
We camped alongside the river at the Pump House Caravan Park a few hundred metres from the town centre. The campsite provides clean, flushing toilets and for $2 offers a 5 minute hot shower; it asks no camping fee and the grounds are well maintained. We spent two wonderful nights in beautiful quiet surroundings.