Leaving Mildura, we continued 7 kms along the Sturt Highway to cross the border into NSW. After a walk in Robinvale and lunch in Balranald, we headed for Hay. Got a big shock when a car in front of us braked suddenly, and reversed straight back into a diagonal street park. Presumably this particular NSW law is based on some kind of safety research but it’s scary!
On to TEMORA to fulfill one of Ian’s bucket list items! This town is full of aviation history and LOTS of people flying LOTS of old planes. The flyover during the ANZAC Day ceremony included a Tiger Moth, a Spitfire, a Cessna 337 and a Wirraway.
We stayed four days out at the ‘airpark’, designed for building your home with a hangar opening to the airstrip, along with space for caravans. A very friendly town so we were in hog heaven and a special blog will follow in due course for other aviation buffs.
Heading east we drove through beautiful scenery and good farm land to YOUNG, home of the Big Cherries – not ripe till mid November so we compromised with a jar of cherry and ginger jam. Then on past the Weddin National Park to Grenfell, the birthplace of Henry Lawson, author of brilliant short stories – our favourite is ‘The Loaded Dog‘. We were glad we chose this route rather than the Newell Highway…. mind you, none of the roads are great.
After lunch in Forbes, we camped in PARKES – no sign of Elvis anywhere (they have a predilection for him here with an annual party night, costume displays and regular concerts!) Off to visit THE DISH as in the movie of the same name – and yes, we bought the commemorative DVD edition! This CSIRO project came to fame during the first moon landing in 1969 as it was the vital communication point between the Apollo 11 astronauts and Houston National Control Centre.
It is also free to visit – that’s a first for a while! – and the 3D movie and photography exhibition were excellent. As the new SKA (Square Kilometre Array) develops in the remote part of the Murchison region in WA, no doubt many links will be made between these two ‘astronomical’ spots.
Next stop was 3 days in Narromine to explore this small town with aviation links, and also Trangie and the Macqaurie River area where we saw cotton flying all over the road for the first time. On our day trip to Dubbo we were impressed with the Shoyoen garden – a beautiful Japanese ‘strolling’ garden complete with a small home, and also a sensory garden with plants and flowers to see, smell and touch.
Our intention was to visit the Taronga Park zoo, however it is very large and can’t be seen on foot in one day. As we ‘jointly’ have a dodgy hip and knee, we would need to hire a $69 buggy for the day, on top of a $46 entrance fee each. We thought that was a bit OTT for two people who aren’t into zoos that much, so we proceeded to the lovely Red Earth vineyard instead!
Heading northeast now!