Posts filed under ‘Nundle’
Sunday 1 March 2009
This morning we did the heritage walk around Cowra. A leaflet is available at the information centre with the heritage walk route and information on the sites. We have been here in Cowra before and on that trip we saw the war cemetry and historical sites outside of the town centre. Cowra is on the Lachlan River, there was some water in the river but you could see it would get a lot higher when/if it rained.
Cowra is 312 km west of Sydney, with a population of around 9,700. It was first settled in 1931, the village of Cowra was proclaimed in 1849. In 1944 more than 1,000 Japanese prisoners of war attempted to escape from a local internment camp. The breakout resulted in the deaths of 231 prisoners and 4 Australian soldiers.Cowra has since forged a remarkable friendship with Japan, and there are many tributes to this relationship around the town.
After our tour of Cowra and a gormet lunch of a pie and bottled water in the park, we drove to Grenfell, the birth place of the short story writer Henry Lawson, and walked the main street there as well. There is another heritage walk here in Grenfell and the town is a very intersting place with lots of history. Henry Lawson was actually born on the nearby goldfields at Emu Creek.
You can still see some of the old pit heads from the gold mining days at the lookout on the way into town. Apparently a shepherd (Cornelius O’Brien), found gold here on 20 September 1866 and a gold rush ensued.
Back to Cowra via Gooloogong. After all the walking I did not feel like cooking so we dediced to try out the local Chinese Restaurant for dinner.
Monday 2 March 2009
Cowra to Lake Burrendong State Park NSW
From Cowra we took the road to Canowindra then over to Orange via Cargo and Lidster. I was amazed at all the apples growing around Orange, for some reason I thought they would grow oranges, just shows how much I know.
From Orange we went up to Mullion Creek, Euchareena and Stuart Town. From Stuart Town we went out to the (State Park) Mookerawa Camp Ground on the southern end of Lake Burrendong. There was not a living sole around and the place was not well kept, there was no way to know where to camp, no one to tell us or take our money. We moved on to Mumbil and out to the dam wall end of Lake Burrendong. What a pleasant surprise, there was someone on the gate and we booked in for 2 nights to start with. The camp area is well kept as are the amenities and an effort is made to keep the area green by watering. The Dam is low but at this point it is holding around 20% water and does not look too bad. When full Lake Burrendong holds 3.5 times the water in Sydney Harbour.
Our camp site is on a flat ridge that overlooks the dam. The cost is $20 for a powered site a night but if you are a pensioner (Senior Card holders can expect the same), you get two nights for $20. Not bad for power and water. The water to the sites is not for drinking, but there is a fresh water tank for that, carry it back to your camp. The showers are 20c for 3.5 minutes and have good hot water. There are only 2 showers though and I don’t think this would cope in busy times. There area a lot of permanent holiday vans behind the tourist camping area and in this area there seems to be a much larger amenities block. I do not know if this is open to tourists or restricted to permanents. If open to tourists it would take the pressure off the small block.
Lake Burrendong State Park.
Powered Site: $20 a night (Seniors recieve 2 nights for $20).
Saturday 7 March 2009
Shopping day, and off to Wellington. As I thought the shops might close at noon this being a country town and a Saturday, we did the shopping first then set out for a look around the town. Wellington is on the junction of the Bell and the Macquarie Rivers and is the second oldest town west of the Blue Mountains. It is a popular stopover on the Mitchell Highway. The area’s biggest attraction is the Wellington Caves about 10km out of town going south. On the turn off to the caves is a very strange sculpture (in my opinion anyway). It’s called the POD and is supposedly inspired by fossils found in the area and is supposedly the representation of the heart of Wellington.
There is what looks like a nice caravan park out near the caves, it has a golf course next door, might have a look at it if we are passing by sometime.
The main street of Wellington is also the highway with shops on one side and a nice park on the other between the road and the river.
Sunday 8 March 2009
Lake Burrendong NSW
Today we took a drive over the dam wall. I am not a fan of driving over dam walls (or mountian ranges), as I do not like heights. I realise this is an irrational fear but I can not conquer it.
Burrendong seems to have two walls, one you can drive across which is made of stones, and another concrete construction where the water can be released if necessary, no chance of that at the moment. The water in Burrendong comes from three main feeder rivers, the Macquarie, Bell and Cudegong rivers. Water in times of good rainfall also comes form numerous other streams and creeks which flow from the surrounding ranges. On the way over to the dam wall, we found a grazier with his sheep munching their way along the roadside.
We have now spent 8 days at Burrendong and caught no fish. Fish are sure getting scarce.
Tuesday 10 March 2009
Burrendong to Condobolin NSW
We left Burrendong at our usual time of around 9.00 am and headed towards Wellington then west through Yeoval, down to Parks, out to Bogan Gate and over to Condobolin. Yeoval was the early childhood home (or a property nearby), of A.B. ‘Banjo’ Patterson, one of Australia’s famous poets.
The country side is very dry through here. We did see some wildlife though, we saw a big fox about to cross the road ahead of us, he thought better of it and turned back into the scrub when he saw us.
Condobolin is another typical country town. Probably the most notable thing of recent times is the fact that Shannon Knoll (runner up in one of the Australian Idol series), came from this area. The caravan park here is very quiet, I am not sure if it ever gets any busier but right now there are only a few vans that look like people working in the area in the park. We were the only tourists. The park is very reasonably priced and council owned and run. The amenities are in good condition and reasonably well cleaned. The park is right on the Lauchlan River and there is a weir in the river by the park. It looks like the park manager is a keen gardener as the road into it is lined with lovely standard roses and garden beds.
Gold was discovered north west of the township of Condobolin in 1896. You may have heard of the name of the station where the discovery was made – Overflow. This is the same Overflow in Banjo Paterson’s poem Clancy of The Overflow.
Obviously the area inspired Banjo. Condobolin is in history, and was originally settled soon after Thomas Mitchell camped here in 1836.
The RSL in town serves good food, typical RSL food and typical RSL prices.
Condobolin Caravan Park.
Powered Site: $15.50 a night.
Wednesday 11 March 2009
Tour of Condo (as the locals call it) today. We were going to go out and camp at the lake here in Condobolin but decided to book into the park first. That may have been a good idea if we had desired water at our camp. The lake called Gum Bend, (Camps 4, NSW 955) has been dry for 6 years. What a shame, it would have been lovely when it had water in it. You could still camp here if you wanted to, it has toilets for your use but just don’t expect any water. The lake is man made and we were told it would cost around $45,000 to fill it again. Not a viable proposition for the council, it would be quite a waste of money and water I suppose. One simply has to hope that someday down the years it will rain enough again to fill it. It would be a lovely place.
We went out to Mt Tilga to the lookout. The road goes about 90% of the way up the hill, it is steep, no room to pass and gravelly and stony. From there you have to walk up the steep incline to the top to get the view. Its not an easy walk down again either as it is steep and very rocky.
We were told of a new church with a fantastic painted ceiling out of Condobolin, so off we went to try to find it. Go to Kiacatoo and turn right we were told. Well it seems that this place is through a private holding and there is no signage (we found out later), it was a pleasant drive though, out on the bitumen and back via the dirt road. Needless to say we did not find the church. There are free camp sites along the river out here as well, probably would be quite nice it the area had had a little more rain to lay the dust and put some more water in the river.
There is also another lookout in town at the water tower, it is not as high as Mt Tilga but is much easier and gives you a view over the town rather than the countryside.
Thursday 12 March 2009
Condobolin to Tullibigeal NSW
We were going to stay at Lake Cargelligo tonight so off we set from Condobolin.
Lake Cargelligo the town is on the shore of the lake of the same name. The lake is a natural feature, not man made like Gum Bend at Condobolin, but the water is, as with everything at the moment quite low. We did a quick drive around town, went out the Frog Hollow (Camps 4, NSW 949) and had our lunch. The camp spot is ok, no amenities here although it seems there are some at the other camp area on the lake called Dead Mans Point (Camps 4, NSW 951).
After lunch we decided we would move along as there was a storm coming over the lake, we decided to go to the rest area at Tullibigeal, which is between Lake Cargelligo and West Wyalong.
The Pioneer Park at Tullibigeal (Camps 4, NSW 960), has good amenities. There is a BBQ, undercover picnic tables, playground and free hot showers. At the back of the park there is a all weather gravelled parking area. This turned out to be a bonus as we did not leave the storm back at the lake, we had rain and storms for most of the afternoon, which is unfortunate as I did not get to go for a walk and have a look around the little town. There only seemed to be a pub and a couple of shops.
We had a very strange lightning experience here. There was a flash of lightning which seemed to be right over head, I braced for the crash of thunder but all we heard was a noise like the sound of sky rockets going over head, this is not something I have ever heard before.
Friday 13 March 2009
Tullibigeal to Gilgandra NSW
The weather was still overcast when we pulled out from Tullibigeal and headed into West Wyalong.
Today we travelled from Tullibigeal to Gilgandra via: West Wyalong, Forbes, Parkes and Dubbo arriving at Gilgandra around 2.00 pm. We decided to stay at a caravan park listed in the book at the Rotary Caravan Park on the Newell Highway. It seems the name of the park has long since changed and it is now called the Gilgandra Caravan Park, it is now an OzPark. The park has all drive through sites and seems to have mostly slab sites and great green grass (watch out for the prickles though). The amenities are in good condition and well cared for, shower curtains in the showers are a bonus as they give you a dry change area.
There were a lot of wide loads and oversized on the roads today, While we were at the park, an oversize load came along the Newell Highway heading into Gilgandra. To say it was oversized is an understatement. It was some hung piece of what looked like it might belong to a power station. It had three prime movers pulling from the front and two pushing from the back., (with huge concrete blocks on the back to stop wheel spinning I guess). The pilot and police car went ahead and stopped all traffic coming over the bridge and we watched the long long load slowly go over the bridge and inch round the corner on the other side. How the hell they steer the thing is beyond my comprehension. I wish I had the camera closer by so I could have taken some photos.
Saturday 14 March 2009
Gilgandra to Lake Keepit NSW
From Gilgandra we took the Newell and Oxley Highways through Coonabarabran and Gunnedah to Lake Keepit State Park. The park has two areas where you can stay. The first: from the gate turn left into the caravan park area, here they have both powered and unpowered sites and cabins. There is also a kiosk with fuel and alcohol sales, a great kids playground and picnic area and boat ramps. Or the second option is to turn right after leaving the gate and drive around the lake till you find somewhere that takes your fancy and make camp. We chose this later option. We found a nice grassy area by the water and set up. Put up the awning with a view of the water. There is a concrete toilet block with cold outdoor showers about 500 metres away which has a toilet dump point attached to it, great amenities for bush camping areas.
It was a fairly still afternoon and quite a nice sunset, but at around 10.20 pm the wind came rushing through blowing a force 10 gale, tried to take off the awning and blow the van away as the edge of a storm passed by. We moved the vehicle to the windward side to make a windbreak and dropped the awning for safety. The storm did not last long, just fast and furious, but it was moderately windy all night. Some people abandoned their camps and there were quite a few cars up at the concrete block toilets sheltering till it blew over. It stirred up the cattle as well; I think some of the smaller ones were separated from their mothers. There are quite a few head of cattle grazing around us. All cows with large calves.
Sunday 15 to Thursday 19 March 2009
Lake Keepit NSW
Nice fine days, plenty of things to watch out on the water; water skiing, jet ski’s, fishermen and lots of different birds. There is a gliding club nearby and the plane towed up glide after glide most of the day on Saturday and Sunday. Eric thinks the lake should be renamed Lake Carpit, as all he could catch from the edge was huge carp, he caught 5 in about 2 hours just in front of the van.
While we were here we did some exploring … driving around the tracks to the back of the dam. There were no more fish on the back than where we were camped unfortunately.
Friday 20 March 2009
Lake Keepit State Park to Tamworth
We checked out of Lake Keepit and paid our bill at the office on the way out. We stayed 6 nights here at Keepit and as we were bush camping this cost us $57 for the whole time. Not a bad price.
Sadly no fish were caught although it was not for lack of trying. Eric went out every day and tried different spots around the dam, nothing; they were not co-operative at all. Not unless you count carp and he does not.
It is only about 50 km into Tamworth and we arrived about lunchtime. We booked into the Paradise Caravan Park in Peel Street just off the New England highway on the way east. This is a Big4 park and is kept well. All the sites seem to be drive through although they are not very large. There is two sides to the park, one on the side where the office is (bigger section), and one across the road. The Peel River runs around virtually two sides of the park. The sites are grass and the grass is in good order. We set up the van and went out to refill our pantry. We found a shopping centre with an undercover car park, (not much use to us as we are too high for most of these), and a small carpark in the front. When I say small, I mean small, talk about a tight squeeze. Vehicles could not even get around the corners in the park passing each other.
For dinner we went to the Services Club, they have a buffet meal which cost $38 for two people. Choices of sea foods (hot and cold), roasts and chinese cuisine, with a lovely desert bar. It was Friday night raffles but we did not manage to win anything.
Saturday 21 March 2009
Terribly mundane things today, washing and trying to find a new number plate light as ours fell apart recently. We could not find the correct replacement, but we found something that will tide us over until we can get the right one.
Paradise Tourist Park (Big 4)
Powered site: $27.00 a night
Sunday 22 March 2009
Chaffey Dam NSW
Another short trip of about 50 km out from Tamworth to Chaffey Dam.
The turn off to the dam is difficult to see coming from Tamworth, if you have not been before. There is no warning, as you come around a bend and there is the sign on the left hand side pointing to the right. As we had a couple of cars behind us, it was impossible to break sharply enough to turn the van into the dirt road that leads into the dam. We had to continue on, looking for somewhere to turn around and go back. There is not much in the way of places to pull over along here and we ended up having to travel the whole 14 km into Nundle to turn around and go back to the dam. If coming from Nundle the turn off is easier to find as you can see it on the right as you approach. The easiest way to find it coming down from the north is to watch for the following landmarks: Pass the dam wall, look for the sign pointing to a right turn which says “Workshop and Office”, the dam turn of is around the next bend.
As it is Sunday there were a lot of weekenders still here. Most were packing to go and by the end of the afternoon only one other caravan and us in the area down on the water side. There is another area where you can camp up the top near the toilets on bitumen. Here there is power for 4 camps. Although one outlet is permanently taken up by the caretaker. As we were not interested in power we camped right on the waters edge.
As you drive into the dam road there is an honesty box system. The cost to stay here or to visit for a day is $2.00 per person. This includes the power up the top and the use of the flush toilets and showers. For a hot shower you put a $1 coin in the slot.
The dam is full right now and looks lovely. Late afternoon we had a visit from a herd of cattle, they came through and munched their way along the water edge in and out of the camps and the day trippers. This was followed by a nice sunset.
Monday 23 March 2009
Today we took a planned trip to Nundle, unlike the one yesterday. I desperately needed a haircut so we decided to go off to Nundle to see if they have a hairdresser. Unfortunately not, the staff at the Woollen Mill where I asked did however offer me a shearer, but I declined.
Nundle is a pretty little place at the end of the valley population just over 200. The Woollen Mill is worth a look, it sells quite expensive garments but you can look down and see the machinery working, some of this machinery was made long ago. You can see the process starting with the carding machine to the machines spinning the wool on to the bobbins and also the dying process.
Nundle has a huge antiques shop, I wanted to go in and browse but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on which angle you look at it from), it was closed.
There is a neat caravan park here in Nundle called the Fossickers. It is a Top Tourist park.
From Nundle we drove up the hills to the lookout and on to Sheeba Dam. Sheeba is very small but very pretty. You can camp here for free. There are only toilets supplied. To get to the dam you have to drive up a very steep hill. On past the dam the road turns to dirt and has a sign that says it is not suitable for caravans.
On the way back down to Nundle we stopped at the old cemetery, this is where Mary Ashton, the wife of the originator of Ashton Circus in Australia is buried. Mary passed away at the age of 19 just after giving birth to a child and unfortunately the child passed away quite soon after.
Wednesday 25 March 2009
Chaffey Dam NSW
Today’s outing was to the western side of the dam. There is a road that goes from Woolomin around the back and comes out near the Peel River bridge. Camping on this side of the river does not look promising. There is not much level ground and not many places you can get down to the water.
Behind the main road in Woolomin, behind the general store there is another camp area with toilets next to the river. The sign says that you can stay here for a maximum of 30 days. It looks very nice.
We also drove up the road to Bowling Alley Point today and found very little, just a couple of houses on properties and an abandoned church on a hill. The Peel River runs along by here and the dirt road seems to go into Nundle.
Another lovely sunset tonight.
Thursday 26 March 2009
Chaffey Dam to Bingara NSW
When we were pulling out this morning we had only moved about 20 yards when another van took our place. These people had come looking yesterday and moved down from the camping area behind the Woolomin store.
Back up through Tamworth, Manilla and Barraba to Bingara. Manilla is a much bigger town than I expected it to be. Both Manilla and Barraba look like interesting places with large old buildings showing how prosperous they must once have been.
There is a lot to see in and around Bingara, but unfortunately we will not have time to see it all on this trip. We must come back again and go to Mt Kaputa National Park among other places.
Along both sides of the street where the RSL is, are orange trees. These trees were laden with fruit and we wondered why they were there. It seems that the trees were planted in 1946 by members of the Bingara RSL sub-branch in remembrance of the fallen from World Wars I and II. Each year in July the local school children harvest the oranges and the town has a festival and street parade.
The caravan park just out of the town centre is well kept and has a discount rate for pensioners.
Bingara Caravan Park
Powered site: $18 a night
Friday 27 March 2009
Today we checked the camping possibilities down on the Gwydir River. In the area of the river near town you can only camp in the designated area and only if you are completely self contained. You have to take away all your water, both black and gray.
Further down the river, there are two areas, one about 3.5kms from town and the other about 6.5kms from town where anyone can camp. The 6.5km area is quite busy, some of the campers here look like they have been here for quite a while. Further along the river, about 10kms from town there is camping on private property. The owner of the property “Callola” allows camping along the river on his property asking for a donation to the Jane McGrath cancer appeal. There was no one here and we decided we might try it out for a couple of nights.
While shopping in town today we went in to see The Roxy. This building was originally built in 1936 as a picture theatre. It fell into disuse and sat for 40 years before being faithfully resorted to its original splendour, maintaining its original fixtures and fittings. It is a lovely old art deco theatre and well worth a look. These days they use the theatre as a multipurpose venue, cinema and performing arts centre.
The information centre is housed in the front of this building. One of the best organised information centres I have encountered, when you go in they give you a full folder of things to do in and around the area in a calico carry bag. Full marks to the organisers here.
Saturday 28 March 2009
Bingara (Sawn Rocks) NSW
Around 70kms from Bingara on the road to Narrabri is the Sawn Rocks. This 40 metre basalt cliff face is in Mt Kaputar (pronounced ‘cap-you-tar’) National Park. The cliff resembles a series of giant organ pipes, some of which have crashed to the floor of the ravine which houses Bobiwaa Creek (quite dry at the time of our visit). The formation is attributed to fast cooling of layers of molton rock following volcanic activity 21 million years ago. The rocks can be seen rising above you as you look up and also on the creek bed. It is believed that these rocks are buried at least another 60 metres into the earth.
The rock formation can be seen by taking a 750metre (one way), walking track from the car park and picnic area. The track is mostly level and tared for about half of it and then a metal walkway for the rest. Access is an easy walk. At the end of the walk there is a viewing platform, just past which is an earth and timber stairway down to the creek. The walk passes a few Fig trees and Lilly Pilly trees, and some trees that look like eucalypts but are actually called Rough Barked Apple Trees (an Angophora rather than a Eucalypt).
The road to here is almost all sealed now, they seem to be about to seal two sections soon and that will only leave about 5 kms of dirt road which was dusty but in good condition when we drove out.
On the way out or back it is worth a stop at the Glacial Area. This is only about 600metres off the road via a dirt road. From here you can see Rocky Creek. The best way to view the fluvio-glacial conglomerates is to go down by the running water and look for something that looks like ‘pebblecrete”. This is a bit of a climb and is not as easy to view as the Sawn Rocks. The Rocky Creek glaciations dates back to the Carboniferous period around 290 million years ago.
There is a picnic area here as well with toilets but it is not well maintained and vandals have broken the BBQ’s, there is a good seat up top to sit and take in the scenery though.
Bingara is a place we will come back to. There is a lot to do and see in the area but we do not have time to take it all in on this trip. If you are interested in fossicking, there is a lot for you to explore in the region.
Sunday 29 March 2009
Gwydir River NSW
Big move, pack and move 10km down to the camp area on the river. We were very pleased when we arrived to find that there was still no one here. We set up camp facing the river and made a coffee. That is about all the time we had to ourselves, another van pulled in and got out to choose a spot. We go to talking as found that they have been here before and usually camp right where we are. As we are only staying 2 nights, they thought they would wait for us to move and come down to this place but ended up deciding on another nice place a little further along. They are very organised, even brought the rake and a brush cutter to clear around their camp. Not a bad idea apparently as they saw a black snake there.
Eric tried his hand in the pools in the river but nothing seemed to be hungry.
Another buggy night. This is the only thing I dislike about camping out. It would be ok if the bugs were of a size that would not let them through the window screens, but they seem to be very small and they get through when the lights are on.
Monday 30 March 2009
Gwydir River NSW
Very little to tell today except that Eric is very happy with himself, he caught a Murray Cod in the river.