An Impromptu Trip to Country NSW

A short trip to country NSW was the most recent subject-matter for my camera. Donald had bought a part on eBay, with a transport cost of nearly $300 – we could just about drive there and back and have a little bit of a road trip, so we did just that!

The trip down was a huge rush because we had to be there by 3pm…we left home at 5am and got there just before 4 pm – so not too bad. But of course no stopping for photos! After a coffee in Singleton after picking up Donald’s part, we headed north along a route I had saved years ago, when I still lived in Sydney, but had never had the time to try out.

So from Singleton we headed to Gloucester through the beautiful green hills of earth. By the time we got to Gloucester we were dead tired and just paid for a room in the first hotel we came across (though I’m pretty sure I read some good reviews on Tripadvisor).

The next morning we stopped in town for breakfast at Roadies. It’s like a posh biker bar, complete with museum bikes. It wasn’t the cheapest, but it was there and open…

We hit the road and had our first photo stop at a little rest area on the Manning river on the road to Walcha. Donald was glomped on by a dude who told us how he’d been there for weeks already. He must be lonely!

Rest Area near Gloryvale Reserve on Manning River off Walcha Road

Rest Area near Gloryvale Reserve on Manning River off Walcha Road

The next stop just a little further up the road was at the Bretti reserve. There were a surprising number of people there camping, too.
Bretti Reserve

Bretti Reserve

We continued on until we came past this stand of flowering trees that just a picture to be taken. They were right next to the Barnard River on the Walcha Road (Thunderbolts Way).

By the Barnard River bridge

By the Barnard River bridgeDonald decided he liked the look of a dirt track a bit further down the road, and since we were in a 4WD, why not! It was gorgeous bush we drove through and encountered nobody at all! The air smelt sweet with all the flowering plants. Lovely!

along Baxters Ridge Track in Brettis Nature Reserve

along Baxters Ridge Track in Brettis Nature Reserve

along Baxters Ridge Track in Brettis Nature ReserveAfter almost an hour in the bush and not knowing where the track would take us, we decided to turn around and go back the way we came. Back on Thunderbolts Way, this led us past Carson’s Pioneer Lookout, with its spectacular views across the hills.

Carson's Pioneer Lookout along Thunderbolts WayI just had to photograph this pastoral scene, too.

along Thunderbolts WayAnd this mansion, Langford, just outside Walcha is beautiful. Apparently, it’s used for weddings and functions. I loved its gate and driveway, too.

Langford at Walcha

Langford at WalchaI’d been trying to get a really good capture of the trees on the peak of the hills, but I just couldn’t capture them. It was pretty hazy, extremely so in some areas. I’d be interested to know why. This little scene of a creek and its willows and ducks was a nice compensation though. Donald had to try out the 4WD again while I was photographing.

along Thunderbolts Way

along Thunderbolts Way

along Thunderbolts WayNext stop was in Armidale. There’s some beautiful architecture here, too, like this old church. It was quite cool here, but that is explained by this being the highest city in Australia.

ArmidaleWe then headed east along Waterfalls Way (Grafton Road), where I had to photograph this outcrop of boulders just outside of Armidale.

Along Grafton RoadAnd this idyll.

Along Grafton RoadOur next stop was at Ebor, for fuel – we’d been worried – really should have fueled up in Armidale! It was soooooo cold in Ebor!! We decided that we’d better get a cup of tea (we were sick of the horrible coffee we’d been getting on our trip) before going to the falls. At $6 a cup, it’s a rort, but it’s not like there’s much competition in that town.

The falls are just before town (we drove in and fueled up first) and not far from the car park. We were the envy of a couple who were admiring the falls, with our hot tea in the freezing cold. Even though there’s not much water at the moment, Ebor Falls are very pretty. There are upper falls and lower falls, and a pretty valley they look over. The path to the lookout over the valley from the lower falls had a lot of lichen covered trees. Quite beautiful. Unfortunately, the valley was extremely hazy, so the photos can’t do it justice.

Ebor Falls

Ebor Falls

Ebor Falls

Ebor Falls

Ebor Falls

Ebor FallsIt was getting late by the time we left Ebor and we were looking forward to getting to Grafton and accommodation and a good dinner, since we’d not had dinner the night before because we were just too exhausted.

Tripadvisor to the rescue, once I got a signal outside of town, I was able to look for accommodation ‘around me’ and I chose Bed and Breakfast. The price range is right there in the app, so we could make a choice straight away. Unfortunately, there’s no phone number listed in the app, so we just used its ‘get me there’ option to drive there, which worked very well with Google maps. Once we were in the front yard of The Rosary and didn’t see any lights on, I googled the phone number and rang them. Barb came and opened the door and we were welcomed to their lovely B&B. We settled in and were given a cup of tea and advice on finding our dinner at the Village Green pub. Great advice for the reasonably priced steak offered there. Donald didn’t enjoy his seafood basket as much, but then he wasn’t as hungry as I was.

On our way into Grafton centre we drove over a bridge and I thought then that it would make a great picture, so we drove around after dinner until I could get a good vantage point for my attempt to photograph the bridge by night.

Bridge in Grafton by nightJohn told me a little more of his and his family’s history and showed me his bottle and other collections after we got back, while Donald went to bed. He’d done most of the driving, so was tired.

We made our own breakfast in the morning and ate it out on the front porch. Very nice. John and Barb came out to see us off and I couldn’t resist photographing the house before leaving.

Rosary B & B, GraftonWe left Grafton, heading up to Casino and then heading west for a little bit along the Bruxner Highway, stopping for a look from Mallanganee Lookout. It was extremely rundown and overgrown with weeds, but there was a bit of view.

Mallanganee Lookout, along Bruxner Highway

Mallanganee Lookout, along Bruxner HighwayWe headed north, on the home stretch now, along Woodenbong Road. I was driving and not in a hurry and was being tailgated by a fellow in a Falcon. I waved him by but he wanted a word. I thought the brakes on my car were burning because he could smell it. Turns out, it was the brakes on his car that were on fire. We pulled over to help in case he didn’t have any tools with him. Donald chatted to him, while I took advantage of the situation and took some photos of more rolling green hills.

Along Woodenbong RoadI saw a sign for a waterfall, so we stopped and checked it out. This was Bean Creek Falls. It was a nice little hidden away place – though there were tourists camping there. We only saw the evidence of them, not the actual tourists, though.

Bean Creek Falls

Bean Creek FallsNext stop was the beautiful Yabbra State Forest. The beautiful tall gum trees on both sides of the road just couldn’t be captured by my camera.

Yabbra State ForestWe stopped for pictures of the mountains along Donalbo-Urbenville Road, as well as Mt Lindesay Highway, a few times. I didn’t know these beautiful views existed so close to home.

along Donalbo-Urbenville Road

along Donalbo-Urbenville Road

along Donalbo-Urbenville Road

along Mount Lindesay Highway

along Mount Lindesay Highway

along Mount Lindesay Highway

along Mount Lindesay Highway

along Mount Lindesay HighwayAnd that was the end of the trip! Short but scenic!And that was the last photo-opp of the trip. I heard that sigh of relief! 😉

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