Picking up new vehicle from Sydney and after visiting family, taking the long way home... kind of a practice run for our plans of towing a van (without the van) 😁
  • Day363

    Tathra and Bermagui

    July 25, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Left Merimbula and headed back up the South Coast popping into a few coastal towns we have never been to before.

    Tathra is very attractive with a lovely headland walkway down to the wharf and back. This area had been severely damaged by bushfires a few years ago.

    Further up the coast is Bermagui which has nice sheltered bays and river inlet. We liked the look of Bermagui.

    Dropped into Moruya to check out a holiday house owned by a mate of Brads before heading back to Queanbeyan to stay with Luke for a few days before heading back home (also staying put for a bit because bad weather is forecast for the coast. ) The road from the coast at Batemans Bay across to Braidwood was an area that burnt for weeks before Christmas and I can see why as it is totally inaccessible steep, hilly country.
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  • Day362

    Merimbula and Eden

    July 24, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    This is the first time we have been this far down the south coast and we were really impressed with the natural beauty of the area.

    Went to Eden and had a rather nice walk around a lake on a boardwalk. Plenty of bird life from black swans to bellbirds, wood ducks and the usual ibid and cormorants. Visited the killer whale museum where apparently there where orcas that helped the whalers by rounding up the humpbacks so they could be caught. Their reward was the tongue and lips of the whale. One killer whale was called Old Tom and his skeleton is displayed in the museum. Whaling stopped in the 1930's in Eden and of course is illegal in most countries of the world.

    Fish and chips by the marina followed by views from the local lookout before driving out to Ben Boyd tower which may have been a lighthouse or was used for whale spotting when whaling was the industry in this area.

    Finally checked out Pambula Beach, another pretty spot in this area.
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  • Day361

    From the mountains to the coast

    July 23, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Travelled south from Cooma to Bombala... only about an hour. Nothing much to see at Bombala except it was very cold. It is supposed to be the platypus capital and we did stop at a place where they may be viewed - but not today. I think you would be lucky to see any - they are rather shy creatures.

    From Bombala we headed east towards the coast through some mountainous country that had also suffered badly with the bushfires. The tree ferns however seemed to be thriving. We stopped at a lookout with views towards Bega and there was rather handsome chook that'd seemed out of place in this area.

    Arrived in Merimbula and enjoyed lunch by the river with some pelicans - both rusty arty ones and real. Nice caravan park perched on a cliff top. More exploring tomorrow.
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    Merimbula is a nice part of the world as is all of the south coast [Nod]

    Brad and Mandy Pearce

    You are not wrong there Nod. Absolutely stunning!


    Amazing - great to explore our country 😊

  • Day360

    Snowy Mountains Highway

    July 22, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    Brrrr...... freezing start to the morning with the temperature being either -2 or -4°C depending on whose phone we looked at. What's more, the town is shrouded with fog. We planned to drive the Snowy Mountains Highway to Tumut - a bit over 2 hours drive if you don't stop - and return to Cooma.

    About 5 minutes out of town and the fog cleared to another beautiful winter day - clear and not a cloud in the sky. First stop was Adaminaby, a small town that is home to a BIG thing - a big trout. This town is only about 50 years old as the original town had to be relocated when the Snowy Hydro Scheme went through and would be under water. We drove out to Old Adaminaby where there is still a township but it would have been built after the dam was made and Lake Eucumbene formed.

    Further along the highway we came across a couple of groups of brumbies (wild horses) which was a bit of a surprise. Not much snow apart from a light cover at the higher elevations. This area was devastated by the bushfires last summer and while large areas are regenerating, some sections will take a lot longer...if they recover at all.

    Once we had crossed over the Great Dividing Range, closer to Tumut, the contrast between the two areas was remarkable. Cooma side, the country was dry, brown and quite bare. Tumut side however was green and mostly lush. Tumut itself is a very pretty town and it would have been nice to stay and explore it more but we wanted to get back over the mountains before dark.
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  • Day359


    July 21, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Seems crazy to travel to perhaps the coldest region in Australia in winter, but anyway, here we are. As overseas trips are off the cards for probably 12 months or more, it's a great opportunity to explore different regions of our great country. We were in the capital territory with family, so it made sense to explore this region while we were in the area. First stop Cooma!

    A lovely clear (bit cold) sunny day and about an hour run down the highway from Queanbeyan and we arrived at Cooma. We had been told that the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre was well worth a visit so we stopped there. The scale of the scheme was incredible and is still viewed as one of the 7 engineering wonders of the world. It also is one of the main reasons that Australia became a multicultural nation as workers were brought in from over 30 different countries and settled in Australia bringing their culture and best of all, their food.

    We checked into our home away from home for 2 nights - a cabin in the local caravan park. Fairly basic but being self contained means we can cook our own meals. Then we went on the Lambie town walk, about 5km walk around the town, which took us to the major highlights of the town. Finished off at the Nannygoat hill lookout .
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  • Day5

    Armidale-Dorrigo-Coffs Harbour

    August 2, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    A foggy start as we left Armidale this morning travelling along the Waterfall Way. First stop Wollomombi Falls and guess what no water. Dramatic gorge though. Next stop though at Ebor Falls was a different story - upper and lower falls that were flowing nicely. Heading down through to Dorrigo it is obvious they have had a fair bit of rain - quite a contrast to only 50km up the range.

    The Rainforest Centre is very nice and some great walks in the area through lush rainforest. Brad even saw a Regent Bowerbird (we were told that's what it was - we didn't know), a very elusive bird that was unfortunately too quick for him to get a photo. The walk to Crystal Shower Falls and Tristiana Falls required quite a bit of effort - 40mins downhill and almost an hour back up. At the end of the day we had walked over 20000 steps, 13+ km and over 100 floors. No wonder we are tired.

    Well, first road trip is almost over - just a few hours to home calling into a couple of coastal villages we have never been to before. The car went well and we enjoyed exploring a small section of our country.
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    I must do this one day

  • Day4

    Coonabarabran - Armidale

    August 1, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Very cold night in Coonabarabran but by the time we drove to a lookout in the Warrumbungles it was a beautiful morning, perfect for views over the ranges. Many of the walks in the Warrumbungles take several hours so we chose just a short walk, about 1km, and very easy . Great views and very peaceful. Back in 2013 the entire area was severely burnt out but the bush is regenerating itself nicely.

    On the edge of the Warrumbungle National Park is Siding Springs Observatory which has the largest telescope in Australia. There was an extensive information display regarding space and planets and black holes and super novas etc. but really it was all to technical for me.... information overload. For me one of the most interesting displays was a representation of what a litre of milk would weigh on different planets including the sun and moon. On the moon it is very light but on the sun we would not even pick it up.

    This area also has the world's largest virtual solar system display being 1:38million in size. The observatory represents the sun and in several directions there are sign boards representing different planets. Earth was close to the observatory (about 3km), Jupiter was about 30km away near Coonabarabran, while Neptune was at Gilgandra.

    From Coonabarabran we drove to Armidale via Gunnedah and Tamworth. The countryside just seems to be getting drier and drier. In some areas it is down to bare dirt, no grass cover at all.

    Tomorrow we head along the Waterfall Way from Armidale to Coffs Harbourand promises to be a very beautiful drive.
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  • Day3


    July 31, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Stayed overnight at a great caravan park in Dubbo, had a meal at the local "bowlo" and very impressed with the super friendly country hospitality we have experienced everywhere we went. Visitors to Dubbo usually attend its most famous tourist attraction - The Taronga Western Plains Zoo - but not us as we have been to the zoo many years ago. Instead we went to the Old Dubbo Gaol which was really interesting and a very well done display.

    Heading towards Coonabarabran, we stopped for lunch at Gilgandra near the visitors centre. We poked our head into the visitors centre and discovered an extensive display on the Gilgandra Cooee March - something I had vaguely heard of but didn't know much about it. In 1915 the idea was for a group of young men march from Gilgandra to Sydney, recruiting others for the war effort along the way. They started with 30 men and about 250 men arrived in Sydney. Can you imagine something like that happening today? Didn't actually take any photos of the Cooee March though.

    The plan was to do some sightseeing around the Warrumbungles however we arrived a bit too late in the afternoon and decided to do that exploration in the morning. It's been great just taking our time and making new plans as we go. Countryside in this area is very, very dry - desperately in need of rain. Not much stock around either, in fact the largest mob we saw was a mob of emus at an emu farm. I've never seen so many emus in one spot.
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    It’s great to travel like that, no set agenda. It makes for a relaxing holiday.

  • Day2

    Orange-Parkes-Peak Hill

    July 30, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    It was quite chilly and overcast this morning in Orange. Left our accommodation heading for the Pinnacle lookout at Mt Canobolas. Quite a few steps to the top but rewarded with a great view - would be fantastic on a sunny day. As we moved further north the sun came out and it was quite pleasant.

    Drove towards Parkes, specifically to see the Parkes Radio Telescope. Brad was in his element (anything to do with space or war). We watched a 3D movie regarding telescopes and space etc. which was quite interesting. I was quite intrigued with the whispering dishes - 2 x 3m dishes set about 50m apart. One person whispered into one and the sound travelled clear as a bell to the other person.

    From there we went to Peak Hill for the Gold Mine Experience. Basically an open cut gold mine that we wandered around to various view points. For some reason we seemed to be going uphill a lot.... we certainly got our exercise today.

    The country so far is quite green although not much grass. Even saw a paddock of bright yellow flowers (canola?) that looked magnificent next to the other green crops. Seemed quite early in the season for them to be flowering.
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  • Day1


    July 29, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Picked up our new car last Friday and after visiting Dad, then Luke in Queanbeyan we commenced our road trip.

    Heading towards Orange, we passed through Cowra and spent a couple of hours finding out a bit of history of the Cowra breakout. There was a terrific little holographic display in the visitors centre which got us up to speed with the events that happened in the POW camp in 1944. We checked out the World Peace Bell with both of us ringing it - makes a lovely dong. Then we went to the site of the Cowra Breakout where a group of people were making preparations for the upcoming 75th anniversary of the event next weekend. We finished our exploration of Cowra by visiting the Australian and Japanese War Cemeteries.

    Cowra is a nice looking town and there are many other things to look at, notably the popular Japanese Gardens. We didn't go this time because we have already been there and also the day was showery and quite cool. We also did not want to travel too late because there are plenty of kangaroos and wanted to avoid their active time.
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    Happy and safe travelling, All looks very interesting. John, &Marie R