The Hay Plains, One of the Flattest Places in the World

I look forward to my 3 days off every other weekend. Not only does it mean I don’t have to get up at 3am, but it usually means a road trip and change of scene from lovely Blighty.

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Chris and I decided to check out the Hay Plains, about 2 hours north of Blighty. With only a 17 metre difference between the highest and lowest point on the plains, this is one of the flattest places in the world. And you do really get that impression as you’re driving along the highway, as there’s literally nothing around you. Everything is totally flat with not even a tree on the horizon.

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We drove 16km north of Hay to a sunset viewing area where we stayed for sunset. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best of sunsets but we took a few photos anyway. I tried a time-lapse sequence on my GoPro also, but left the wifi connected to my phone and so the battery died. I ended up with just a 10second video… fail.

After the sunset we went back into Hay, starving. The town seemed pretty dark with not much life to it so we settled for the first restaurant we saw, a bistro. It was a strange little place, I felt like I was at some kind of social club for people over 60 and when we got our food it reminded me of school canteen dinners back in the day. Not really what you hope for when you spend over $20 on a meal, but at least there was a lot of food so can’t complain too much.

Fed and watered we went to the towns free campsite on the Murrumbidgee River and pretty much got straight to bed, setting our alarms for 5.45am the next morning. The plan was to drive back out to the sunset viewing area, but this time for sunrise. I really wanted to have another go at a time-lapse on my GoPro and hoped that the sunrise would be better than the sunset.

It was harder than I expected getting up in the morning and as we drove the 16km out to the viewing area I could already see the sky starting to brighten, even though sunrise wasn’t until 7.11am. We got the GoPro set up and taking photos at 6.24am and didn’t stop it until 8.09am. Luckily the battery didn’t die this time!

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There was something nice about being out there as the sun came up. The sunrise was extremely average and nothing special. But as it rose we spent the time just walking around in the silence, taking in the 360 degree view of flatness, getting photos as the light and colours changed.

The best thing was getting to enjoy this area without the flies for once. It wasn’t until the sun was fully up and things were warming up that the little bastards started to appear. Have you ever tried to take a panoramic photo on your phone while flies crawl all over your hands and face? It’s definitely a challenge! I can’t stand them.

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Overall our trip to Hay wasn’t bad. It’s probably not a place I’d advise anyone to go out of their way to see, but if you’re passing through that way it’s worth a look. For me it was more an excuse to play with the GoPro and learn more about making timelapse videos. And of course, I’m always up for seeing a new place too.

 

Vicki Larkin

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