17th May 2018–Cowra

Distance: 306 Km
Fuel: 32 L

Left this morning  just after 8.30am, easy pack up because there was no TV aerial to take down – according to my app the nearest transmitter was over 60 km away so I didn’t bother putting it up.

The sat nav took me to Dubbo on the main road but then decided that a country road was quicker than the main road to Cowra. Fine by me, usually less traffic but on the downside few rest areas. Looking at the map the difference must have been marginal. When you take into account that these back roads tend to wind more than main roads thus keeping to the speed limit is impossible so any time saving is probably an illusion but it was a nice drive.

180517 101 Road to Cowra180517 104 Road to Cowra

I stopped at a small town called Yeovil (one pub, one store) and bought a coffee – which was very good.

180517 001 Yeovil

Didn’t stop in Canowindra because I was there not that long ago (>>>Click Here<<<) but continued on to Cowra again a place I am familiar with.

180517 002 Road to Cowra180517 004 Road to Cowra

Chose a caravan park about 3km out of the centre of town and after setting up went for a drive for fuel and a look at some of the attractions.

First visit was to the WWII POW camp where the infamous Cowra Breakout occurred when Japanese prisoners attacked the guards and tried to escape or die in the process.

180517 007 POW Camp Site Guard Tower Cowra180517 008 POW Camp Site Cowra180517 009 POW Camp Site Cowra180517 011 POW Camp Site Cowra

Next stop the Peace Bell.

180517 026 Peace Bell Cowra180517 019 Peace Bell Cowra180517 023 Peace Bell Cowra180517 028 Peace Bell Cowra

Finally a trip to the Bellevue Hill lookout in the centre of town.

180517 031  Cowra180517 029  Cowra180517 032  Cowra180517 035  Cowra180517 036  Cowra180517 038  Cowra

16th May 2018–Gilgandra

Distance: 308 Km
Fuel: 35 L

Every night/morning is a little warmer than the previous (since the big chill).last night I had to throw off the summer doona and ditch the hot water bottle.

This morning was a very relaxed leaving, not that far to travel today so packing up was done in small bites, ie picked up and packed away mat, had some toast, put away TY aerial, had cup of tea etc – didn’t leave until 9am. Looked like being another perfect day.

180516 102 Toward Gilgandra180516 104 Toward Gilgandra

Coonamble was the only hold up – there must have been a very important person being buried because the town was at a standstill as the funeral procession went through, even the police were involved. I say a hold up but it was probably less than 15 minutes delay I have been held up longer for road works.

Gilgandra was reached just before 1pm after only one 20 minute stop to stretch my legs. The caravan park I had decided on was on the entry to town and only $25, small place but seems OK.

After setting up drove into town  for a look around and buy fuel. About the only thing that Gilgandra is well known for is the Coo-ee March of 1915 (that is probably a disservice to the town but that is all I know about the town).

At the beginning of the First World War about 20 local lads decided to walk to Sydney to enlist in the army. On the way they picked up recruits from the towns  they passed on the way. By the time they reached Sydney they were 300 strong – this is also known as the Gilgandra Snowball. Gilgandra has a statue in the main street commemorating this event.

180516 016 Co-ee March Memorial Gilgandra180516 011 Co-ee March Memorial Gilgandra180516 007 Gilgandra180516 004 Gilgandra180516 006 Gilgandra180516 009 Gilgandra180516 010 Gilgandra180516 014 Gilgandra180516 017 Gilgandra180516 029 Barneys Caravan Park Gilgandra180516 019 Castlereagh River Gilgandra180516 021 Castlereagh River Gilgandra

This trip is winding down, tomorrow is likely to be the last stop when I will be staying at Cowra.

15th May 2018–Lightning Ridge

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.

180515 102 On the Road to Lightning Ridge180515 103 On the Road to Lightning Ridge

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.

180515 001 Hebel180515 003 Hebel180515 005 Hebel180515 007 Hebel

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.

Goodbye Queensland:

180515 010 NSW Border

Arrived in Lightning Ridge at about 1pm and checked into the first caravan park I came to.

180515 012 Lightning Ridge180515 034 Lightning Ridge Outback Resort and Caravan Park180515 037 Lightning Ridge Outback Resort and Caravan Park180515 105 On the Road to Lightning Ridge180515 015 Lightning Ridge180515 017 Lightning Ridge180515 018 Lightning Ridge180515 019 Lightning Ridge180515 021 Lightning Ridge180515 027 Lightning Ridge180515 030 Lightning Ridge Artesian Bore Pool

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.

180515 025 Lightning Ridge

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.

2018-05-15 18.20.53

 

25th April 2018–Warialda

Anzac Day

Distance: 354 km
Fuel: 37 L

Stopped in Tamworth for food and a toilet break! Maccas was the only place open.

Tamworth Golden Guitar

Then in Manilla to watch two up in the main street – unfortunately I forgot to take photos. Tried to do the same in Barraba and Bingara but they had detours in place which took me too far out to walk back. Every little town and settlement had some event at the local club or war memorial as I drove past.

On the Road to WarialdaOn the Road to Warialda

At Warialda the council run caravan park was on the highway so easy to find. There was no office just a number to ring; I was told to pick a site and he would be along early evening. Small caravan park but plenty of room.

Warialda Caravan ParkWarialda Caravan Park

Found the local IGA was open and nearby bought fuel then drove around town but while it looked a nice enough town there was nothing outstanding about it.

Warialda Court HouseWarialda War Memorial

Next door to the caravan park is the sports ground. I presume the local footie team is called the ‘Wombats’ (well, I think it is a wombat)

Warialda Wombats?

24th Apr 2018 – Muswellbrook

Distance: 373 km
Fuel: 34 L

Left home at 8.30am. Drove through the hell that is Sydney traffic between the M7 and the Newcastle Freeway. Eventually arriving in Muswellbrook about 1pm.

180424 006 Muswellbrook

This is very much coal country, Passed the Liddel and Bayswater Power Stations (when Tallawarra closed I was offered a job at the latter). If I hadn’t been so tired I would have driven a bit further on.

Anyway found the Riverside Caravan Park and booked in.

180424 008 Muswellbrook180424 003 Muswellbrook

Cheap enough – $15 for a powered site. Riverside is a bit of a stretch, while it is on the banks of the Hunter River those banks are about 20 metres straight down. I don’t think it really caters for the passing tourist trade but more providing cabins for the local mine workers. I think there are only about four caravan sites.

180424 001 Muswellbrook

The railway line runs close by so it might be noisy tonight.

I bought fuel after setting up then went for a walk to stretch my legs. There is a Chinese restaurant, two pubs and the Workers Club a short walk away. So I won’t go hungry.

At dusk I was having a cup of tea when I saw hundreds of birds flying nearby, I thought it was strange to see birds flying as it got dark so I had a closer look. It was hundreds of bats getting ready to look for food.

180424 009 Muswellbrook

Went to the club for dinner to try their $12 Schnitzel special – it was ok.

180424 012 Muswellbrook

Don’t worry I am not going to be posting pictures of everything I eat!

20th March–Home again

Distance: 301 km
Fuel: 31 L

Was home about 1pm after travelling mainly on the Hume Hwy as Boorowa is only about 45km north of the Hume.

Total distance travelled was just over 2000km – averaging about 290km each day. I find about 300km a comfortable maximum distance to travel each day taking about three and a half hours driving time which leaves plenty of time for stops and visits each day.

19th March–Boorowa

Distance: 247 km
Fuel: 29 L

The temperature dropped sharply during the night. That is not to say it was cold but by morning it was no longer a heatwave but still pleasant enough wearing a T shirt.

Today’s journey was through well travelled territory – Young, Cowra, Canowindra, Forbes etc are all interesting towns in their own right but it was not that long ago that I visited.

Click here to have a look at last years’ visit to the area.

Made a brief stop at the Parkes Radio Telescope just for old times sake.

180319 001 Parkes Radio Telescope180319 003 Parkes Radio Telescope180319 014 Parkes Radio Telescope180319 019 Parkes Radio Telescope

The scenery became more undulating as I neared Boorowa – probably why they describe themselves as “Hilltops”.

180319 101 Parkes to Boorowa180319 105 Parkes to Boorowa

Boorowa Caravan Park was well sign posted, I was instructed to find a site and someone would see me later. I chose one with a reasonable amount  of shade.

180319 099 Boorowa Caravan Park

With the much cooler weather it was easier to walk about the town and explore than on the previous few days.

180319 030 Boorowa180319 035 Boorowa180319 037 Boorowa Court House180319 040 Boorowa Court House180319 043 Boorowa Court House180319 045 Boorowa Court House180319 047 Boorowa St Patricks Church180319 052 Boorowa St Patricks Church180319 057 Boorowa St Patricks Church180319 062 Boorowa180319 063 Boorowa180319 064 Boorowa180319 066 Boorowa180319 067 Boorowa180319 069 Boorowa180319 073 Boorowa180319 084 Boorowa180319 085 Boorowa180319 087 Boorowa180319 090 Boorowa180319 091 Boorowa180319 094 Boorowa180319 097 Boorowa

Did you notice the clock hands are missing from the Town Clock on the War Memorial?