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Wednesday 2nd August:
Spent the morning on a tour with Outback Opal Tours. Our very talkative driver took us through the old mining area and told us the history and stories of the characters that live there.
One stop was a working Opal mine where we went under ground via one very long and dizzy spiral stair case. We saw an Opal vein in the roof of a working area.
The last stop was an Opal polishing workshop. A lady polisher took a chip of Opal and in 15 minutes she had a beautiful little Opal all polished up.
On the way back to our cabins he showed us the hot springs and the Amigo’s castle (built by a local character).
After lunch at the Bowling Club we went exploring. Went and saw the Cactus Gardens and saw some very old Cacti.
Following a nana nap we made our way to Nettleton’s First Shaft Lookout 5km out of town and watched a glorious sunset.
Thursday 3rd August:
A little side road trip today to Grawin. We headed 65km out west to “The Club in the Scrub”. The last 5km in are on rough dusty dirt road. The poor little Mazda 323 was almost rattled to pieces. This is a registered NSW club that doesn’t have any gambling (Pokies free). It is built out of Cypress Pine logs, as the white ants don’t like it.
We had a great steak sandwich with the lot for lunch. As the rain clouds built up, we made our way back to Lightning Ridge before it hit. Rained steadily for most of the afternonn.
We spent a quiet afternoon doing the washing and rest for a big drive tomorrow.
Friday 4th August:
Left Lightning Ridge on our way to Moree at 9:00am.
Just outside Lightning Ridge we visited Stanley the Emu who is made up of old VW shells, old satellite dishes and other steel. He took two years to build. All the materials were donated along with labor. There is also an “Egg” inside Stanley that will be opened in 2063.
Found a very lovely little café in the middle of nowhere (Bullarah). Great food and we were the only customers while we were there.
Arrive in Moree early afternoon. Did some shopping, explored the town then back to our cabin and the thermal hot pools in the park. Very very relaxed now.
Saturday 5th August:
Left Moree and headed for Glen Innes via Inverell. We made a short detour to see the Cranky Rock reserve. The story goes that a cranky china man murdered his wife here. As he was being pursued he jumped from the Granite cliffs and was found in the river below. Local legend has it that he didn’t jump but was pushed. Regardless, still a beautiful spot.
Made Glen Innes round 1:00pm ish so went exploring round the town. Visited the old hospital museum that had a huge display of early years equipment and photos of years gone by.
Glen Innes also has a strong Celtic heritage. They have The Australian Standing Stones Park that is basically a mini Stone Stonehenge. Very impressive.
Sunday 6th August:
Left Glen Innes and made our way to Tenterfield which is only 90km so a leisurely drive.
Before we left Glen Innes we did the town heritage walk looking at all the old buildings. This town boasts that 80% of all the buildings in the main street are original. When you look closely you can see they are old but I must they are meticulously looked after.
Arrived at Tenterfield at midday and as our cabin was ready we dumped our gear and headed to the Boonoo Boonoo national park for a look at Bald Rock and the waterfall. The map failed to tell us that to see Bald Rock it is 3 hour round trip walk to see it. As we weren’t kitted out for hiking and it was getting on in the afternoon, we passed on the hike.
Next were the waterfalls. After a 600m hike in we made it to the falls. Quite impressive. Then a dusty drive back to the cabin and settled in for a relaxing evening.
Monday 7th August:
Leisurely drive from Tenterfield to Toowoomba as it was only 90km. We arrived at midday to find our cabin wasn’t ready yet (It is after 2:00pm check in so a bit early).
So we wandered downtown for a yummy lunch followed by a visit to the Cobb & Co museum. Very interesting as they have a vast collection of old coaches and horse drawn vehicles.
Back to our cabin at 2:00pm and all ready for us.
We also found a gourmet meat store that had real German Garlic Mettwurst just like we used to get back in Cummins growing up. And it tastes just as good….
The lady in the gourmet butcher shop said the recipe comes from the 80 year old owner who comes in everyday to check that the salami and Mettwurst are made to his high standards.
Time for another slice….
Tuesday 8th August:
Very nice sleep-in this morning as we didn’t get up till 10:30am. After a leisurely breakfast of raisin toast we went for a drive to Crows Nest about 50km north of Toowoomba. Lovely little town.
On the way home we called in to the Crows Nest National Park, as there were waterfalls there. As we are discovering the NPs have these great attractions but all require a bit of a hike to get to them. Once again we weren’t prepared for hike so had to give the falls a miss.
Back to Toowoobma and The Spotted Cow for the best steaks in town and they weren’t bad either.
A quick detour to get some more mettwurst, then a walk round Queens Park botanical gardens. Back to the cabin and relax for the evening.
Wednesday 9th August:
Left Toowoomba and after a 1.5 hour leisurely drive we made it to Guy’s sisters place in Waterford (half hour south of Brisbane). Staying here for 2 nights before heading into the city for 3 nights in an Airbnb down town.
The GPS got us there in quick time. How did we ever get anywhere before GPS….. Guy’s sister, Nida, cooked some pork sinigang (Filipino dish) for lunch and our first home cooked meal since leaving Canberra, then a buffet dinner at her favourite RSL, yummy.
Thursday 10th August:
Off to Broadbeach today to catch-up with a couple of Guy’s old work mates (Jane and Carol). Great catch-up and lots of very important information exchanged along with some yummy food.
Friday 11th August:
Had a nice sleep-in this morning till 10:30am.
After saying our goodbyes to Guy’s sister and family it was off to Brisbane. We only have a 40-minute drive into Brisbane to get to our Airbnb apartment so arrived just after 2:00pm. Some quick shopping for supplies, we settled into planning our next two months travel. Three hours later we had a plan.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy