Imagine driving at 110km/hr (68mi/hr) for about 4 hours through a landscape that is split evenly in a straight line across the horizon. Above – incredibly blue sky. Below – saltbush plains. Thousands of hectares of grazing country, unbroken by trees, buildings or mountains. (Well, maybe there is the odd Black Box tree, but they are few and far between).
Nothing disturbs the horizon; nothing breaks that even line. Not even a row of trees in the v..e..r..y far distance – probably alongside the Murrumbidgee River.
One gets a full, uninterrupted 180 degree view of that incredible sky! Imagine what the stars would be like at night!
Not even a main highway between Sydney and Adelaide can create a distraction from this incredible place – the Hay Plains. It is one of the flattest places on earth with only 17m (56 feet) of difference in elevation between the highest and lowest point in the Hay Shire (which covers 11,348km(sq) or 4,381mi(sq).
The Hay Council has constructed rest stops at regular intervals along this route. These are sensitively designed, simple structures which blend sympathetically with the surrounding environment. But they are insignificant against the awesome backdrop of the Plains.
During the past week, my work took me on a 1200km (745 mile) round trip through this amazing place. I recalled from previous visits that alighting from one’s vehicle to take photos was a foolhardy thing to do. Within a few minutes, one was befriended by a dozen or so pesky flies! And yes, once again, these photos were indeed taken with a lot of insecticidal assistance! 😆
The only way of getting away from these pests is to return to the vehicle and to entertain your travelling companions as you squirm around, sliding into your seat – trying to avoid trapping some of the insects inside the car as you enter. (Getting the latter out again is a whole new challenge which is either highly amusing or somewhat frustrating 🙂 . It is preferable to do this before continuing to drive as, ironically, these critters will spend the remainder of the trip flying up and down the windscreen in your field of vision trying to get out!)
If you are interested in seeing where these plains are located, they are around the town of Hay – shown on the map below.
I have no idea why there are so many flies on the Hay Plains. However, it is worth putting up with them to see this amazing place. And who knows? You may get to see someone performing the famous Australian salute (waving the flies away!)
It was a great trip and it was nice to see the plains looking refreshed and relatively green after recent rains.
What is the flattest place you have ever visited? Was it as spectacular as the Hay Plains?