A Travellerspoint blog

Gunnedah to Glen Innes

Sunday - 24 May 2015

Forecast for today was mainly sunny with a maximum temperature of 18 degrees.

We were on the road for our 285 km trip to Glen Innes by 9:45 am. We headed generally east on the Oxley Highway, before heading north on the New England Highway. Our route took us through Tamworth, Armidale, and Guyra, before we climbed over the Ben Lomond Range at 1410 metres before descending into Glen Innes. On the way we encountered two caravans from South Australia ambling along at less than 80 kph in areas where passing was impossible. Bloody caravanners! No wonder people complain about caravans. Eventually we and about 12 cars managed to get past them both on a long overtaking lane.

At Glen Innes we checked into the Fossicker Caravan Park for 4 nights - this will give us time to explore the immediate area and its Celtic Heritage, and do a bit of fossicking for sapphires at Glen Innes and also at nearby Inverell. We visited the Information Centre before driving around the town to get our bearings. Being Sunday the pubs were closed along with the business centre, so we paid a visit to the local RSL Club for a couple of sun-downers. Even there, there were no bar meals on offer, not too many customers, and no sign that the restaurant would be open later. It was back to the caravan park for dinner.

Back at the caravan park David had a chat to two couples from Queensland who were making their way back home. One couple were from Brisbane and the other were from Rockhampton. We compared notes on past and future travels. They are only staying overnight and are not into fossicking. Once the sun had set the temperature dropped quite quickly - expected minimum tonight is 3 degrees.

No photos today.

Posted by TwoAces 02:09 Comments (0)

Gunnedah

Saturday - 23 May 2015

Fine and sunny in Gunnedah today with a maximum temperature of 17 degrees.

Gunnedah is a town of about 10,000 people situated within the Liverpool Plains, a fertile agricultural region, with 80% of the surrounding shire area devoted to farming. The Namoi River flows west then north-west through the town providing water beneficial to agricultural operations in the area. The area now occupied by the town was settled by European sheep farmers in 1833 or 1834. With settlement in the area focused on wool production, Gunnedah was initially known as 'The Woolshed' until taking its name from the local Indigenous people who called themselves the Gunn-e-darr. The Gunnedah area is a significant producer of cotton, coal, beef, lamb and pork, and cereal and oilseed grains.

Coal was discovered on Black Jack Hill in 1877. By 1891, 6,000 tons of coal had been raised from the shafts. The Gunnedah Colliery Company was registered in May 1899 and by 22 June a private railway some 5.7 kilometres (3.5 mi) in length had been completed from the railway station to their mine. In September 1957, the Government Railway took over the working of the line. Today very long coal trains from the Gunnedah Basin roll through Gunnedah every couple of hours on their way to Newcastle. We heard 5 go through last night, as the railway line is across the road from the caravan park.

The famous poet, Dorothy Mackellar was a frequent visitor to family properties near Gunnedah, and her statue in Anzac Park gazes out across the Namoi Valley, an area that probably inspired her to write My Country, better known as: I Love a Sunburnt Country. Gunnedah is also home to one of the largest koala populations in the world and many live in the trees of Stock Road, which was once part of the main north south stock route through the town.

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A front garden on the way to the Porcupine Lookout - I'm glad they are not in our front garden

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The Liverpool Plains fro the Porcupine Lookout

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Di at the Porcupine Lookout

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Gunnedah from the Porcupine Lookout

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Stock Road - the old north south stock route - now a home for Koalas

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Di at the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial

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Dorothea Mackellar Memorial in Anzac Park

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Stone carvings at Pensioner's Hill

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Di with another stone carving

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Gunnedah from Pensioner's Hill

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Aboriginal carved totems at Pensioners Hill

Posted by TwoAces 02:04 Comments (0)

Dubbo to Gunnedah

Friday - 22 May 2015

It had rained for most of the night and extinguished our fire-pot. We were the last to leave the Terramungamine Reserve at about 10:30 am - a late checkout? We headed back towards Dubbo to the Newell Highway and turned left for Gilgandra.

Gilgandra is the home of the Coo-ee March that took place in October and November 1915. After the disasters of Gallipoli and the Western Front in 1915, recruitment was flagging as people realised the war would not be over in a few months, and a recruitment march was organised in Gilgandra. A group of 35 volunteers left Gilgandra on 10 October 1915, and marched to Sydney via Orange and Lithgow, recruiting as they went. They arrived in Sydney on 12 November with 263 men having marched 320 miles over dirt roads that were often no more than a muddy track.

At Gilgandra we had a look at the Gilgandra Heritage Centre, before a quick stop in town for a few groceries and newspapers. From Gilgandra it was north east on the Newell Highway again heading to Coonabarabran. As with the last two days on the Newell most of the trucks were heading in the other direction. As usual we continued our practice of helping the trucks to pass us easily and usually got a thank you for our efforts. After all they are working and we are on holiday?

Just past Coonabarabran we turned onto the Oxley Highway heading for Gunnedah. While the Newell Highway was getting rougher as we headed north, the Oxley was worse - very rough and bouncy which is not good for the van and the contents of the cupboards. Also more hills with long climbs and passing lanes, although not over much traffic to make their way past us. At Gunnedah we checked into the Gunnedah RV Campground for a couple of nights. Tomorrow we will take in the sights of Gunnedah, which is a reasonably sized country town with Woolworths, Coles and Target.

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A late check-out at Terramungamine? - every one else had gone

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The Coo-ee Bugle at Gilgandra Heritage Centre

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The Coo-ee Spring-cart with supplies

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Gunnedah RV Campground

Posted by TwoAces 02:24 Comments (0)

West Wyalong to Dubbo

Thursday - 21 May 2015

We were on the road by 9:50 am and it was back to the Newell Highway. Our track took us north east through Forbes and Parkes to Dubbo. The autumn colours in Forbes and Parkes are a month or two behind those in Tassie but still enjoyable. We stopped at Forbes for a morning coffee, before visiting Woollies and BWS for essential supplies. We refuelled at Dubbo before heading NW for about 12 km to the Terramungamine Reserve - a free camp now only available for 24 hour stays because of pressure from local caravan parks. There are about 10 to 12 caravans and motorhomes set up for the night.

The weather today was mainly sunny with a maximum temperature of 19 degrees - the shorts will be out soon! The Terramungamine Reserve is home to Aboriginal grinding stones thought to be 20,000 to 30,000 years old. After we set up camp at Terramungamine we got out our new fire pot for its christening. A thunderstorm passed to the south of us, but eventually we were forced inside with heavy rain at about 6:00 pm.

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Posted by TwoAces 02:51 Comments (1)

Finley to West Wyalong

Wednesday - 19 May 2015

Fine and sunny this morning however showers were predicted for later in the day.

We were packed up and on the road by 10:00 am after picking up some papers in Finley before we left. Just north of Jerilderie we had to negotiate a large mob of cattle being driven along the road. At about 12:00 we stopped in Narrandera for a morning coffee with raisin toast at the Narrandera Bakery. As it is our fast day we only had one slice each! On the way back to our parking spot we realised the we had parked outside the Narrandera Tiger Moth Museum, so we had a look see. Narrandera was a training base for RAAF pilots during World War 11 using Tiger Moth aeroplanes.

We stopped for fuel on the way into West Wyalong and made our way to the local Showgrounds. A powered site here was $20.00 - a little dearer than Finley. As TV reception was less than desired it was out with the dish, but we only have free to air as our Foxtel box is on the blink. Foxtel have mailed us a replacement box but it will not catch up with us until the Gold Coast.

Some very heavy cloud passed over us as we set up but thankfully no rain as yet. The showgrounds are a training track for local pacers, and a couple of two-year olds were being trialled. They have not raced yet but the owner is hopeful that they are good enough to make it in the City, as yet they have not been named.

A large mob of cattle on the road

A large mob of cattle on the road

Stopped for morning tea at Narrandera

Stopped for morning tea at Narrandera

Narrandera Tiger Moth Museum

Narrandera Tiger Moth Museum

Di checking out the Tiger Moth

Di checking out the Tiger Moth

Ominous cloud over the West Wyalong Showground - but no rain

Ominous cloud over the West Wyalong Showground - but no rain

All set up at West Wyalong Showground

All set up at West Wyalong Showground

A couple of two year old pacers coming down the straight

A couple of two year old pacers coming down the straight

Near the finish line

Near the finish line

Posted by TwoAces 01:29 Comments (2)

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