Aussie Road Trip: Yamba to Melbourne

14 Dec

The second part of our 2,000k journey took us to parts of eastern Australia neither of us had visited before. To say Australia is a big country is an understatement. Australia is a vast compared to most other nations, dwarfed only by land giants like Russia. Don’t believe me? Look at the handy size comparisons below.
http://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/national-location-information/dimensions/australias-size-compared

  
 

Our inland route via Waterfall Way passed through pretty, arts and crafts Bellingen and on to Tamworth for an overnight stop to pay our respects to the big golden guitar. Tamworth is country music HQ but Tuesday night three weeks before Xmas was dead quiet, even at the Longyard Hotel.        

Our motel was notable only for the fact that the advertised outdoor pool was clearly not meant to be used by guests, even mid-summer. The proprietor, Bruce, (I kid you not) was an ex-Queensland copper of 27 years service who ran the place like a prison. So many rules. I especially like ‘Do not iron on the carpet’. 

  

 
Now that we were in pasture and agricultural country the land and skyscapes were magnificent, especially along the Bylong Valley, where locals are fighting coal and coal seam gas companies wanting to move in. Hopefully sanity will prevail. At one point we had to stop while farmers moved their herd of cattle from pasture on one side of the road to the other. 

    
    
 Coffee stop at Cowra stocked home made pickles.

In Orange, flamenco friend, Tarnya, treated us to a delicious vegan dinner on her deck. So good to see Tarnz and her pup Frankie at home. Orange is a tidy, heritage town. We’ve pegged it for a return visit for wine tasting. Tasting store, Ferment, was a great find.

  
I love the central double car parks under cover in Rylstone’s wide main street. 

 Main street Orange 

 Ferment

Orange to Benalla was another scorching drive, much of it on the Olympic Highway. En route we came close to Gundagai (‘There’s a track winding back to an old wooden shack along the the road to Gundagai’), drove over the Murrumbidgi River, had coffee in Cowra and stopped to buy cherries near Young. We picnicked in the Cootamundra memorial park rose garden which was signposted as the ‘last resort’ (gathering place) in the event of a bush fire. Sobering.

  

  

  

  

  

   
From there it was a quick run past Wagga (never Wagga Wagga, just Wagga) and Albury into Benalla staying in an unusual apartment complex set up for travellers. I chose it for the pool and happily this time the pool cover was off. In town we wandered down Bridge Street to see the street art installed last March. Like many country towns the clothing shop windows seem frozen in time. Who actually still wears spencers and such? 

    
   
The final leg into Melbourne was boring motorway but we made our deadline for my niece’s 10th birthday party and that’s all that mattered. On to Tassie tonight.

2 Responses to “Aussie Road Trip: Yamba to Melbourne”

  1. Linda December 14, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    I wonder if you will pass through Sale, that is where Nick, Vale and Luna are going to move to at the beginning of February!

    • Sharon Tickle December 14, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

      No Linda, we came in from the north. Maybe on our return on July! Have a wonderful holiday. Love, sxx

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