Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Home Again 5 October 2014

In the morning we had to drive through Sydney, which we were not looking forward to – Sydney traffic seems to consist of one traffic jam after another. Luckily we were caught in a traffic jam at Gymea and had time to admire the spring flowers such as the Gymea Lilies. Just like many fellow wanderers, we eventually made our circuitous way home to be greeted by Tony, Ali and Billy (the dog) and a wonderfully tidy yard. It was good to come home and see how the garden had blossomed. I think we will always be torn between our happy wanderings and living in our beautiful home – we are very lucky to have a choice! Like all our trips, we camped at many wonderful places and met strong and resilient people – the country life is not easy but has many rewards and we were very glad to see so much of the outback on this trip.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Macmasters Beach 4 October 2014

Headed straight down to Macmasters Beach, trusting our sturdy Tom Tom to show us the way – big mistake! It took us down smaller and smaller roads til we were driving down a bushy lane – luckily the other drivers were understanding of such a large truck intruding on their rural isolation. Macmasters Beach has not changed much since Peter stayed there as a boy – many happy memories. We camped down on the beach and listened to the waves crashing on the beach.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Maitland 3 October 2014

Maitland was another town that we hadn’t spent much time in, however Peter remembered the district flooding from his SES days. Like many country towns, a new shopping centre had been built out of town and the old CBD is pretty desolate, however it is in a scenic spot right next to the river and the council is spending a lot of money to revitalise the district. We camped on the edge of a large common next to the hospital and enjoyed a peaceful night’s sleep. In the morning we were lucky enough to see a special sight – 19 old biplanes flying in formation to Newcastle.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Singleton 2 October 2014

Went to Singleton Vinnies Op Shop and parked outside it were 2 Ferraris and a Lexus sports car – combined value of well over a million dollars. You would think that if they could afford a car like this they wouldn’t have to go to op shops! Singleton is a busy town with the New England Hwy going straight through it. It is a town that we usually pass through but this time we had a good look around.

Lake Liddell 1 October 2014

Set off early in the morning through a series of small historic villages. The country side is changing with the dry plains of the west giving way to the rolling hills and lush pastures of Scone and Murrurundi and old farm houses being replaced by the gigantic buildings of the horse studs. Scone and Muswellbrook are not attractive places - both have long drawn out shopping centres with transport trucks and B-Doubles roaring past from the coal mines. We camped at Lake Liddell right on the water, which had some beautiful views if you didn’t look at the enormous power station across the lake. We also didn’t go swimming when we saw the sign saying not to eat the fish or drink the water!

Willow Tree 30 September 2014

Stayed at the rodeo grounds and we were very lucky as they were working on the railway line, so there were no trains to wake us up - had a peaceful night in a beautiful setting.

Gunnedah 29 September 2014

Even though the locals are complaining about the drought, we thought that the farmers up in central Queensland would love to have this problem! We drove past rich farming communities with full grain silos and freshly sown cotton crops. Arrived at Gunnedah and found another wealthy farming community with a prosperous shopping centre. We camped at the edge of Gunnedah on the Namoi River, at a beautiful spot right on the edge of the river.

Bellata 28 September 2014

On Sunday we went to a local rodeo and admired the skill of the riders – they are either very brave or very stupid – maybe both!! In the afternoon we went to the community bore pools and had a great time. The council spa pool is situated in a modern complex with water temperature increasing as you went from pool to pool - man was it hot! They had powerful jets that knocked you off your feet, but we had a great time and would go back next time. We decided to leave Moree and travelled down the road and camped at Bellata Golf Club, a small farming village. Had a beer with some locals and discovered that the town is fairly static, surviving on the dry land farming, mainly wheat. Everyone knew everybody else and everybody seemed to be related to the rest of the town's folk.

Moree 26 – 27 September 2014

We were not expecting much from Moree, as we had heard many stories of the racial problems and thought it would be like Walgett, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a prosperous town, with a pleasant and leafy shopping centre and some beautiful houses. Moree is one of the richest agricultural regions in Australia and relies on a complex system of irrigated fields to sustain their wealth. While there is still a high crime rate, the locals are very proud of their town and say the council has done a great job in bringing everybody together. We decided to stay at a caravan park in Moree as they had their own thermal pools and we enjoyed a number swims in the pools, which ranged in temperature between 29 and 39o – beautiful!