Australia’s Scenic Public Toilets #22 – Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales

Last Updated on March 20, 2015 by Red Nomad OZ

Amenities Block, Perry Sandhills, Wentworth New South Wales

If time travel and/or tele-transportation leave you stranded at the Perry Sandhills amenities block, you’d use your deductive powers to interpret the clues around you. Blue sky, tall sand hills and arid-land vegetation – that’d be the desert, right? RIGHT?? Or somewhere in the Outback at the very least!

Sandhills, Perry Sandhills via Wentworth, New South Wales
After all, dunes don’t normally feature in an area where, say, a confluence of two rivers forming a massive river system is found, do they? DO THEY??

Actually yes. Just out of Wentworth, where the Murray and Darling rivers merge, the Perry Sandhills are a geographic anomaly. Thought to have developed by wind erosion in the wake of the last Ice Age, they’re a geological and historical (but happily not literal) mine field!

We’re not in the desert, are we?  Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales
Take that teletransportation back to the distant past and roam amongst (or maybe run from!) the now extinct megafauna – kangaroos, lions, emus, wombats and goannas – that once wandered the dunes. Time travel device not working? No problem!! Head for the Wentworth Pioneer Museum instead to see replicas based on the skeletons found in the sandhills.

Head towards the present from the megafauna era and you’ll find Aboriginal tribes camping and hunting in the area. Wind and shifting sands are still uncovering evidence of their presence in the sandhills – who knows what a present day visitor may discover after a storm?

Still life with Pilchard (1990’s), Perry Sandhills via Wentworth, New South Wales
Fast forward to World War II and DUCK! The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) used Perry Sandhills for target practice – so the 400 acres covered by the dunes was off limits to civilians for good reason.

In the more recent past – about 18 years ago – you might have been lucky enough to spot the rare Pilchard amongst the dunes as I did …

But move to the present, and the Pilchard has made another appearance! You’ll also find the Perry Sandhills far more sedate than their turbulent past would suggest.
According to the Wentworth Heritage Drive trail notes, they’re used as a site for film and TV productions and local drama and music presentations as well as family outings – with abandoned ‘sleds’ made of cardboard and sheets of iron at the foot of the dunes a dead give-away to another popular recreation pursuit!

Back at the Perry Sandhills conveniences the ground water indicates that we’re not really in desert country. Who says dunes are just for deserts anyway?

Water at the amenities block, Perry Sandhills
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  1. @TMWH – It’s really THAT red! Of course the light enhances it, but it’s not sunrise or sunset, so WYSIWYG!!

  2. @GCAF – Well … it’s just good manners, isn’t it??!! I like a bit of interaction!! But I note you didn’t respond to my ‘suggestion’ – so I guess that’s a NO!!!! Never mind, still love your work …
    @NixBlog – Thank you! SO much fun taking them too …
    @Saucy Kod – If you’ve got a pic of the backyard loo, do send it over!! I’d love to run a comparison … and I’d love for you to feature on RED Alert too!!!
    @Raphael & Yvonne – Where there’s great scenery you’ll usually find a loo …

  3. HiYa Red:
    Great Shots and info and love the “Still Life” #1 🙂
    Oh gee, I would love to be roaming on those red sand hills and I betcha they look great as a back drop for a “Red Photo. ha,ha That toilet reminds me of a small “Man Den” my Dad had in his back yard. Nice 🙂
    Have a great Day

  4. @diane b – I wish I’d bookmarked the blog post I read about a mini desert in DENMARK!!!
    @Cathy – C’mon! You REALLY keep coming back for the scenic loos, don’t you?!?!
    @PDP – When you’ve been to as many as I have, you just go! But it’s amazing how clean and odour-free modern composting loos can be!!
    @sebi_2569 – Welcome and thanks for dropping in! Come back any time!!

  5. A veritable Aussie ‘oasis’ Red, I thank Andrew for asking the question that doesn’t seem to bother any one else but was what I immediately thought of, being that ‘ughy’ toilets are somewhere high on the list of my many, many phobia’s haha!

  6. I’ve learned so much about Australia through your eyes, OZ. As always, enjoyed your photos very much.

  7. It sure looks like a desert. Couldn’t it be called a mini desert. In Arizona they have rivers running through the desert. So do we when the Cooper Creek flows. The red colour is magic.

  8. @Diane – Based on current sightings (2 to date), I believe the Pilchard is the rarest finding of all!!
    @Sallie – Hahaha! Nothing like incriminating oneself, right?!?!
    @Go Camping – Hahaha!! They’re not really on the way to anywhere, so easily missed! Happy to write about it for YOU!!

  9. @River – Ah yes, the arty-fartie shot!! I like it too – but it really doesn’t add anything to the story right? Except to people like us!!
    @TGFN – If you play your cards right, you could see BOTH!!
    @SFlaGuy – Gosh, you mean you want LOTS of water? AND a proper beach?? Don’t tell me you’re missing the lifeguards too??!!
    @George – Maybe I shouldn’t have told my secret about NOT being in the desert …!!!
    @Beach Bum – You said it!!

  10. @Zim – Thank you! No real bravery required – it wasn’t that far off the main road!!
    @MJWC – Both dirt AND sand!! Thanx again for your kind words – so great to hear from you!!
    @Glen – And here I was thinking the golden glow was from the setting sun …
    @Filip – Thank you! It’s so easy to take good photos in a place like that!
    @Eccentricess – Trust me! It really IS better being there, but the pix are the next best thing!!
    @Windsmoke – Thank you! And yes, I too find all the moods of the dunes fascinating!
    @Bush and Beach – I don’t think it’s possible to take a bad photo in those conditions!!
    @Indrani – Thank you! It’s been great on both our visits – even if they were 18 years apart!

  11. @Alessandra – Thank you! I’ll have to get my head around this G+ thing …
    @Joan Elizabeth – Now Mungo NP is on the hit list for another time!! But you haven’t lived til you’ve slid down a Perry Sandhill …
    @Carole – It’s amazing what you see if you look hard enough!!!
    @darlin – Yes, it’s SO cool there! Hope you’re enjoying your Aussie odyssey as much as I enjoy mine!!
    @FruitCake – Thylacoleo, the Aussie marsupial lion! Sounds like a musical … try this website if you care!
    @Mark – No view = no posting on Amazing Australian Adventures!!
    @Kath – Thanx! As for framing the pic – I wish! He doesn’t care for fame …
    @Andrew – Hahaha! Laughing too hard to respond normally … I don’t recall the particulars, but most are now composting toilets – here’s a link if you care: – they’re surprisingly non-odiferous!!

  12. Love that the constantly shifting sand is still uncovering evidence of past habitation. And the occasional Pilchard. Wonderful pics!

  13. These sand hills are both beautiful and amazing. I would have definitely thought you were out in the desert some place. Thanks for telling us about this place.

  14. Talk about red, red and more red! I love it. And would love to see it in person. Australia, not the public toilets 😉

  15. I haven’t been here for a while, I’ve missed so much! Like that last photo here, with the wheel tracks edging the water. I love that one.

  16. Bonza photos. Especially the third photo showing waves in the sand, its always amazed me how that can happen :-).

  17. The colours are amazing, again, I have to say your photography is brilliant.
    I had no idea this existed and I love how nature plays tricks on us with it’s unexpected delights.

  18. I just love visiting Australia through your eyes…. and camera. If it was just me visiting…. I would just see a pile of dirt… er… I mean sand. You bring life to your posts. Thanks for the tour!!

  19. Wentworth? Where we bought a bag of oranges for 10 cents? No idea that was a mini desert there.

    Now luvvie, about the lavvies, without being unnecessarily descriptive, how do these sometimes outback lavs dispose of what visitors deposit? I assume they are not long drop?

  20. I visited these sandhills on our tour out to Mungo National Park a few summers ago … it was really hot out there. My reportage had none of your colourful yarn spinning though and I don’t even remember the toilet.

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