Monday, June 24, 2013

Aussie Road Trip Days #1 & #2

Posted by Maryde
WELCOME TO OUR AUSSIE and OVERSEAS VISITORS.     Please Join me in fun and adventure as we experience some Australian History.                                  

To the Left is Australia.
And below is the state of NSW.

 If you live in a LARGE country then you already know about the joy (or loathe)  of Road Trips.
 When DH and I travelled overseas, I spoke to many people in smaller countries and it came to my notice that lots of people think 4 hours on the road is an AWFUL long time. I mean, take Europe for instance, you can be in another country in under 2 hours drive, whilst here in NSW, to get from the East coast from - let's say - Sydney and drive West to Broken Hill, close to the boarder of South Australia (SA) it is approx 10 - 14hr drive. A good full day and a bit.
But Us Aussies love to go for a drive.
We can go 3- 4 hrs one way (maybe more) in a day just to visit a place and  then drive back home again the same afternoon or evening.
Previously on holidays, we have left a relatives home in Coloundra Qld, - 90kms North of Brisbane, at 8.30am and arrived home at 9pm that night. Even with the road works on the Pacific Highway, (all Aussies are nodding their head at this moment) <g> and it was a comfortable, easy trip.
Over the past 30 years my DH and I have travelled much of this great land. We've even driven to and from Perth-WA, twice.

Now I'm going to invite you to come along on *Our Journey's*, as we tour this lovely & diverse land and share some of it's wonderful sites. We will revisit old favorites and search for new & exciting destinations around this HUGE country and I'd like to share these travels with you.

As with the rest of the world, all through-out Australia you will find beautiful FREE or low-cost camping sites which are ideal if you are in a fully self-contained Caravan or Motorhome or even Tenting. There are 1000's of these spots, and we are going to check out as many of them as we can :)
Here I have plotted the route we took for this 7 Day trip. 
Along the way I'll share photos, some history and interesting snippets.
So settle in your armchair, put a bookmark on the page you're reading and come along for the ride.

Day #1 We couldn't have picked a worse day to begin travelling. In the morning, I went to my HunterRomanceWriter's group in Maitland, so it was a little  after Lunchtime before we could get away. We left the Central Coast under a torrential downpour of rain. I was skeptical that the weather was going to clear, but DH was certain the storm would break the further Nth and West, we drove.
 Turns out he was right - 3hrs later the sun poked it's way out from under grey clouds. It was late afternoon by the time we reached out first overnight stop at Burning Mountain and it was cool and clear. We pulled into the camping area to find 1/2 a dozen motor-homes already set up for the night. It's comforting to know that there are so many friendly people out there on the road, that you never feel quite alone. 
Because this trip was more of a reconnaissance mission, and we had planned roughly where we wanted to go in a limited amount of time. (always the way with holidays), unfortunately we never got to do the 5Km walk to actually SEE the Burning Mountain, which I wished we had, But it is on our Bucket List now :)

I did some research and found that the name of the Mountain is Mount Wingen, approx 224km north of Sydney. (That's about 160kms from the Central Coast).
The name comes from a smoldering coal seam running underground through the sandstone. Scientists estimate the fire has been burning for 6,000 years  and it is the oldest known coal fire. It is believed the smoke coming from the fire is volcanic in origin.

More info on Burning Mountain

Now depending on where you stay around the country, most areas have amenities - but not all FREE camping places do, so you have to check. But I did find the amenities varied from place to place. Some are the basic of *necessities* while others are a lot more modern and accommodating  But there several important traits they all had in common - they were clean, the locks worked and there was ALWAYS toilet paper!


Day 2 we left Burning Mountain and continued North on the New England Hwy. The day  dawned a beautiful fresh  and  clear and the road ahead was easy travelling.

We came to  Gravity Hill (click on the link and find out the unusual story of Gravity Hill) and turned off the steep winding road up to Moonbi Park Lookout. What an amazing picturesque View.                                                        

Travelling north,we passed through Tamworth and stopped off at Armidale for a cuppa and to gather fresh supplies. Then we drove on to Dumeresq Dam, about 5km just out of Armidale.
At the moment this camping ground has FREE camping status, but some of the locals said that will be changing soon. Although $12 per night (aprox) will still be a bargain for such a lovely spot.

 What a beautiful spot this turned out to be. I'd never been here before or even heard of it. There was an easy 3km walk around the dam. The dam wall is off limits to walk on as it may not be safe. There are supposedly Trout in the dam, but not a one graced my dinner plate, thank goodness for home made burgers and salad & Tim Tams for desert  :)


There were surprising little havens like this arched track and bridge crossing the creek. We spent 1 night and half the next day here. We moved on just after lunchtime.   Here is the Claytons Photo!
The photo you have to have when you don't want a Photo!  "SMILE!"

 I was hoping to catch a glimpse of some Australian Wildlife but believe it or not other than a few water fowl, they eluded my camera this time round.


Allison Butler said...

Thanks so much for sharing the beginning of your Aussie road trip, Maryde:)
I love a good road trip! My DH and I have done quite a few, some on his motorcycle.
Love your pics, especially the Claytons photo. I look forward to seeing the next leg of your journey.
Best wishes:)

Suzi Love said...

Loved the Aussie adventure, Mary. Thanks for taking us touring with you. Can't wait until the next one.

Cheryl Leigh said...

I enjoyed coming along on your travels, Mary. We did a road trip to Fraser Island last year, which was fun.

Loved your photos!

Anonymous said...

Alison, you are brave :)
I'm frightened of Motorcycles but I think that would be a great road trip. I love the trips Billy Connolly takes around the world (and the Aussie one he did) on those 3 wheeler motorbikes though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Suzi :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheryl, we have never been to Fraser Island and with DH being an avid fisherman it has to be on the list. I hear it is really lovely.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Allison I forgot your other *l*

Allison Butler said...

Hi Maryde,
DH and I have done the Great Ocean Road 3 times now - once in a car and twice on his motorbike (right to left, then left to right:) and being open to the elements makes the experience totally different.
And thanks for the 2nd *l*:)

Best wishes:)

Anonymous said...

I hope it was in the warmer climate on the bike. I could imagine how cold it gets in the dead of winter along the bottom of Victoria.
Only been from Portsmouth back to Melbourne so far, but am looking forward to doing the Ocean Road trip again. 3 days was a little rushed. There are so many pretty seaside towns. Port Fairy ... who wouldn't like to have that in their address...

Joanna Lloyd said...

I have had a great time and now am a bit tired from our road trip, Maryde :-). Loved the wonderful Aussie landscape and your great stories. Look forward to the rest of it.