Gilgandra, Parkes to Temora

This part of the trip is basically caravan touring because I have had waitlist success and will be on the Ferry to Tasmania on the 21st August.  This means getting to Melbourne by then.  Of course I could just hit the road and drive long distances each day  – but given the timeframe there is no need.

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Armidale – still up on the Tablelands

The drive to Armidale was made more interesting by a side trip to Captain Thunderbolt’s Cave.  Little did I know when I pulled off the highway that the way to the cave was by an ever narrowing and ever rougher dirt road.  Mrs GPS reckoned the track would eventually rejoin the New England Highway but at times that looked like wishful thinking!

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Glen Innes – New England Tablelands

I escaped the sugar cane burning smoke of Yamba and went to Glen Innes and into rain.  How unusual.  The countryside around here is extremely brown as the last decent rain was some years ago.  Oh well, the caravan needed another leak.

Glen Innes.  Altitude 1,135 metres = cool to cold in winter.  District settled mainly by Scottish (newspeak for pinched from the Narabal people) in 1838.  The original name was Gindaaydjin which means “plenty of big round stones on clear plains” and there still are.

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Another week, another shared bike path (or two)

Leaving Port Stephens we headed north to Forster/Tuncurry.  According to an information board, Tuncurry means “Plenty Fish”.  Certainly this was proven by the fishers cleaning their catch using special tables – while surrounded by pelicans.

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Tomaree Head

Tomaree Head Walk (i.e. not a cycle!)

Today the 22nd July is our last day in Port Stephens. We decided to walk the trails on Tomaree Head.  A lower level path takes walkers to the WWII gun emplacements while the upper track takes leads to the top at 161 meters where there was a radar installation – the earliest in use and longest in use in WWII in Australia.  It was manned by soldiers who were all WWI veterans – and so were some of the guns in use there.  All a bit worn out but allowing the younger versions to be up in Darwin or in PNG repelling the Japanese.

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