Grafton to Wauchope

3rd November 2022

Distance: 247 Km
Fuel: 27 L

Went for a walk early just for the exercise, it was a lovely sunny morning and there was no need to set off early as we only had about 250km to drive to get to Wauchope.

GraftonGraftonGraftonGraftonGrafton

The drive was mostly back down the route we travelled up on but instead of heading east toward Port Macquarie we drove inland to Wauchope.

Checked into the motel early and went for a walk into the town, quite a nice shopping centre with an IGA where we bought some snacks. It is a fairly typical small Australian town of about 7000 people.

Wauchope Motel

In the evening strolled down to Wauchope Country Club for a meal and a couple of beers.

Wauchope Clock TowerWauchope

The town has an RSL Club too but the Country Club was only a few minutes walk away.

Grafton–Day 2

2nd November 2022

Distance: 7 km
Fuel:

At 9am walked to the Post Office to buy some stamps. Was surprised to see it still using the original Post Office building, far too many have been sold off and replaced with a Post Shop in the local shopping mall.

Grafton Post Office

Set off in the car back to See Park but parked on the other side so we could get a better look and walk around the area. Yesterday we were on the side with a steep slope.

Grafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See ParkGrafton Jararanda Fesival - See Park

Even the colours of the flowers fallen in the pond looked interesting.

Grafton Jararanda Fesival - See Park

Also strolled down to the old Grafton Bridge which is always worth a look it was built in 1932 with a roadway built on top of the railway. Until I actually stopped in Grafton I thought it was the daftest bridge ever built, being very narrow, with steep and badly angled approaches at each end. I never realised there was a railway underneath because you cannot see the line from the road. It also has a pedestrian way each side on the railway level and the road supports have been decorated with modern art.

The new bridge now runs parallel but the old bridge remains in use for road traffic.

Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)Grafton Bridge (1932)

After returning to the motel for a very late lunch went for a walk to see all the Op Shops, have a coffee, ice cream and buy more milk in the shopping town.

All in all it was a busy but entertaining day.

Port Macquarie to Grafton

1st November 2022

Distance: 248 Km
Fuel:

The highway has changed a lot since I last drove it maybe 30 years ago. It is a road that I have avoided like the plague preferring to go through New England and the inland routes. Now it bypasses every town on the way so is just like driving on the Hume Highway fast but pretty uninteresting.

Made a stop at a rest area to stretch the legs and have a sandwich.

M1 Going NorthM1 Going North

Arrived in Grafton too early to check in at the motel so went for a walk to the shopping mall which is virtually opposite to stock up with a few odds and ends. By the time the shopping was complete we were able to check in, fortunately have a room on the ground floor coincidentally right where the car was parked. If I stay at motels in future must remember to always ask for a ground floor room when booking, stairs are becoming a bit of an issue. The room was fine but pretty expensive.

Grafton Central Motel

After settling in drove to See Park which offers the best view of the Jacarandas in flower. It was just a quick drive round the tree lined streets, will spend more time on it tomorrow.

Grafton Jararanda FesivalGrafton Jararanda Fesival

In the evening discovered a nice looking Indian Restaurant within walking distance of the motel so visited and had a really good meal there.

Indian Cottage Restaurant

2nd November 2017–Grafton and About

Distance: 80.5Km
Fuel: 58L

I have never stopped in Grafton before but I have been over its bridge on several occasions and wondered who designed it to be such a difficult bridge to negotiate. It is very high and narrow for two lanes of traffic with very tricky bends at each end and no footpath either side. I never had to cross it often enough to wonder why.

Today I had a serious look at it. It is a two level bridge with a railway and two footpaths occupying the lower level – you would never know that from driving to or on it.. At one time it was possible to raise a section for river traffic to pass but that was sealed up years ago. It needs a good coat of paint as it is covered in rust but the reason for that could be seen next door where a $240 million bridge is being built.

171102 002 Grafton Bridge171102 004 Grafton Bridge171102 008 Grafton Bridge171102 009 Grafton Bridge171102 011 Grafton Bridge171102 013 Grafton Bridge171102 015 Grafton Bridge171102 019 Grafton Bridge171102 022 Grafton Bridge171102 023 Grafton Bridge171102 020 Grafton Bridge

I suspect the town has been waiting for this new bridge for a very long time as it is such a bottle neck with queues at either end almost continuously yet otherwise Grafton is just a typical country town.

One of the reasons for visiting the bridge was to see the wreck of the SS Induna which was supposed to be at the SW corner of the bridge but I couldn’t see any sign of it. Winston Churchill escaped the Boer War on SS Induna before it became a rail and vehicle ferry across the Clarence River.

Headed south to Shannon Creek Dam 18km away. Not the most exciting dam that I have visited but it was full and nearby they had created a very nice picnic area.

171102 031 Shannon Creek Dam171102 027 Shannon Creek Dam171102 029 Shannon Creek Dam171102 033 Shannon Creek Dam171102 036 Shannon Creek Dam

Then it was north to Junction Hill to visit an Open Garden we had been given a postcard about at the Festival. It was a very beautiful garden in a suburban street which charged $2 for entry (worth it). They also offered morning or afternoon tea of scones etc for $10 and, as it was well after lunch time, we tried that. I wonder how they get on with their neighbours – remember the fuss and eventual closure of Janet’s Royalty Rooms in Woonona?

171102 045 Open Garden171102 047 Open Garden171102 048 Open Garden171102 050 Open Garden171102 051 Open Garden171102 065 Open Garden171102 068 Open Garden171102 075 Open Garden

Returned to Grafton to look at the Arboretum in See Park but it was a bit underwhelming so spent the next hour trying to get round detours for a festival event and road closure. It was hell! (especially when you have no idea where you are going).

Late afternoon took down the gazebo ready for tomorrow’s departure.

31 Oct 2017–Grafton

Distance: 400.9Km

Left Murrurundi at about 9am driving north on the New England Highway to Tamworth then on to Armadale.

Stopped at Uralla to look at the grave of Captain Thunderbolt the bushranger who was shot nearby in 1870.

171031 006 Uralla Captain Thunderbolt171031 007 Uralla Captain Thunderbolt171031 011 Uralla Captain Thunderbolt171031 014 Uralla Captain Thunderbolt

At Armadale followed the B78 to Grafton a narrow and winding road but less traffic than the appalling and equally winding Gwydir Highway. There is no way you can get anywhere near the 100kph speed limit for (at a guess) half of its length.

Arrived in Grafton and found the caravan park after a couple of wrong turns which involved lengthy detours to get back on track.

171031 016 Glenwood Tourist Park Grafton