Camped out on the bank of the Darling at Wilcannia, John and Marilyn Nothdurft are on their fourth visit to this part of the NSW Outback.
It's a couple of weeks before COVID begins to close down the state, before the virus sweeps into Wilcannia and infects almost 20 per cent of the population.
The couple plan to stay for about six days before heading back to their home in the ACT. They love the solitude, the raw beauty, the rich history and the birds a flowing river attracts.
"We don't actually fish or anything so it's just the beauty of the river, watching it flow, thinking about old times, about the steamers that used to come down around the corner," says Marilyn.
We caught up with Marilyn and John in Wilcannia as part of journey to listen to the people living along the banks of the Darling River as part of a four-part podcast special called Forgotten River.
Listen to the full story of the Forgotten River on our podcast.
Marilyn is a casual employee at the University of Canberra; John is a retired public servant who worked for 40 years in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Before that, he was in the Royal Australian Navy, deployed twice on the HMAS Melbourne.
Their visits have sparked an active interest in the fate of the Darling.
"We were interested in Lake Menindee, when that dried up, and the fish kills the year before last," says John.
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Marilyn says the health of the river system, especially the birds that rely on it, concern them.
"We like watching the birds, not that we know two much about them. As long as they've got feathers and two feet," she says.
As if on cue, a pelican glides in to land on the mirror smooth water.
Before the lockdown and the Wilcannia outbreak, there was a silver lining to COVID as far the Darling River was concerned. With international borders closed, it encouraged people like the Nothdurfts to travel domestically. To cast eyes upon the Darling and appreciate what's at stake.
Watch the full Forgotten River documentary below.