27th and 28th February 2019
A quick trip to the Grampians and beyond.
After a fairly long drive spent the first night at a Wagaa Wagga caravan park with the most run down facilities I have come across, definitely one to avoid in future.
On the way stopped at Deniliquin, a town I have always liked.
Entered the Sunrasia Quarantine area where we dutifully tried to eat the remaining bananas before disposing of them in the bin.
Originally had planned to stay at Barham in NSW but drove the extra 25km to Kerang just across the border in Victoria. Again the facilities not the best but much better than the previous night. Seem to have picked parks that have their best days behind them. This one was situated on the Kerang River and despite this I would visit again, it wasn’t that bad. .
In the evening went for walk to the town centre which was only 500 metres away.
Distance: 448 Km
Fuel: 49 L
Even as I left Roma I had not decided where I would stop for the night. I have previously stopped at Hebel (one pub, one store and about twenty houses) as well as Lightning Ridge (opal mining centre of NSW) so decide to just drive and see how felt when I arrived.
It was very dry country that I drove through, the grass was almost yellow but the weather was perfect, no need for air conditioning today. Didn’t stop at St George or Dirranbandi just kept going until I reached Hebel.
When I was last in Hebel (click here) the General Store was up for sale with the threat of closure at Christmas if not sold but it was open when I arrived. I stopped in for a coffee and one of their home made pies (they are really good) and walked to their History Circle just to stretch my legs.
It was only just after midday and the journey had been very easy so far; I decided to push on to Lightning Ridge which was only about 70km further on.
Arrived in Lightning Ridge at about 1pm and checked into the first caravan park I came to.
Visited the Tourist Information Centre and paid $1 for a Car Door Tour guide. I don’t know if it is just an Aussie thing but a number of towns have these guides. An old car door is painted an appropriate colour and numbered indicating a point of interest, personally I quite enjoy them and so easy to find rather than the usual council signs which often peter out in the middle of nowhere.
The evening meal? Went to the pub, they had a bistro but all the meals were $28 then I noticed the bar sign for food served all day. Pizza – $15 – that’ll do me. It was quite good too, went down well with a couple of beers.
Distance: 502 km
Fuel: 97 L
Set off early; before 8am – hardly any packing up required because I left the camper coupled up last night so there was only the mat and power cord to put away.
Within minutes I was back in NSW.
Filled up with fuel at Walgett and only made a couple of rest stops because I want to get as far south as was possible. One rest stop commemorated John Qxley’s 1818 expedition.
Originally I aimed to reach Dunedoo but made good progress and in the end settled on Gulgong an extra 65km toward home. I should be home tomorrow as I have less than 400km to cover (though admittedly through what will probably be the worst traffic of the trip).
Poor Gulgong is quite a nice little town but since the town was dropped from the ten dollar note I think it has suffered a bit. The Town that Used to be on the Ten Dollar Note doesn’t have the same ring to it as The Town on the Ten Dollar Note. The only caravan park in town has a slightly run down feel to it (though the owners are friendly)
I had a look around town, it hasn’t changed much since I was last here – some shops have closed while new ones have opened, the Gulgong Opera House is still entertaining the locals but you can stand in the middle of the street with little fear of being run over.
After wandering about the main streets I had a nice coffee and muffin in one coffee bar before filling up with fuel again ready for tomorrow.
When I returned to the caravan park at 4pm it was already feeling quite cool and I needed a jacket.
What Gulgong does have is an Indian and a Thai restaurant so I was spoilt for choice. In the event I went for Indian, resisted a Vindaloo and tried Shahi Korma Beef. The restaurant was nicely appointed and warm so I ate in – the meal was very nice indeed.
BTW I might be wrong about the local economy after eating I drove past several pubs which were surrounded by vehicles and seemed to be doing good trade.