WHERE ARE WE NOW
After lunch and shower at the Glen Davis Reserve we decided to move on to the Coorongooba Campground in the Wollemi National Park, great decision, a huge free camp area plenty of grass, a lovely shallow stream, plenty of birds and wombats. Saw 1 wombat in the evening after dark and then what a surprise looked out my window in the morning there was another and as I was getting to know him/her I looked up and there was another passing by OMG such a special moment. This is such a good camping area the only thing missing was walks but you could easily stay a few days and make your own like a couple of other campers we spoke to here and since have done.
On leaving Glen Davis we took the north branch of the road, Glen Alice, and drove through lovely green farms and natural bush before turning off to another section of Wollemi NP. This time it was in to Dunns Swamp no green grass here lots of eucalyptus trees and plenty of space for camping although many of the best sites by the river were marked as tents only leaving caravans etc for the higher areas. We still scored a great site with not too far to carry the kayak to the water. Great location with a long deep river to paddle & swim in and great Australian bush & rocks formations to take walks. We went kayaking 3 times in all and each one was fantastic so hope you enjoy the photos. Also did all the walks in the area nothing too hard just a bit of scrambling to get to the top of the Pagoda but worth it to get phone and internet reception.
Dunns Swamp was so good we stayed 2 nights and were tempted to stay more but with less than a week to go before we finish our year long travels we decided to keep moving. Definitely a place we recommend but probably not weekends as gets very busy. We celebrated our 40th anniversary here and our lovely camping neighbors (Maddy & Mark, Lindy & Peter invited us over for drinks and then when they found out we were celebrating they insisted we stay for dinner too what amazing people we have met in this last year.
Another great surprise as we were driving out about 10 km from camp who should be heading in but Neil & Pauline who we’d last camped with at Jundah and taken their slot crossing the Simpson. Just so much to catch up on and both of us heading in opposite directions but we will join them on the road again before too long we hope.
WHERE ARE WE NOW
Continued up Tableland Way turned left at Black Springs (were going to stop here but although a nice over nighter no water or walks to keep us busy) then on to Burraga Dam. Down a rough clay track, which would be awful in the wet, to the camping area plenty of choices to set up but not many flat spots. Scored a good site right by the water and had a perfect afternoon kayaking (just me) then going for a long evening walk along the track which looped round. A few others here to chat to but big enough that it was like our own private area. Left in the morning driving through the almost ghost town of Burraga which was where the first tin & copper in Australia was found before WWI, found out later the stack from the smelter is still here.
As usual we took the back roads through Mt David and the forestry area of Dog Rocks and yup the road was really very rocky but worth it for the lovely scenery. Arrived in Oberon at lunchtime so enjoyed this down by the unusual granite strewn lake, very windy but this didn’t deter the locals from putting in their kayaks and rowing around in their tinnys (no motor boats permitted). A stop at the friendly info centre and a quick look round town (would be good to house sit round this area) before heading to our overnighter at Flat Rock. This is a very popular spot for the locals being nearly midway between Lithgow and Bathurst, a lovely river tumbling over granite rocks perfect for a paddle/swim then lying on the solar heated rocks – ah bliss.
Found when leaving the next morning we could ford the river just past the campsite and take a back road which twisted and turned alternating between crossing the river and then the railway line with some interesting bridges, some had us concerned that they may not hold but good fun all the same. Passed through Tarana then by Lake & Dam Lyell, there are some beautiful properties here with very large flash houses – well it is less than 2 hours to Sydney.
At Lithgow we went on the atrocious road (didn’t seem like it had seen any attention since being built during the post war depression) to Hassan Wall, great views here and also at Bracey Lookout back over the city, clearly an old industrial town squeezed between the hills. Drove past the old Zigzag Railway to Clarence Station this used to be a tourist stop but now fallen into disrepair however we looked round and went down the 300 meter tunnel which was pretty cool in more ways than one. Carried on up the rough track stopping to look at the old sawmill heading to the glow worm tunnel but Rob decided this track just wasn’t worth the 40 plus kilometres each way so did a left turn at the first junction heading back to town. On the way out we saw the awesome sand and ironstone rock structures known as Lost City and then found a perfect flat spot where we could stop overnight with the most brilliant views.
Woke to water dripping off the awning and when looking out we were enclosed in mist so heavy that even the table under the awning was wet. The birds were loving it many tiny ones including lots of fantails, no pictures seeing as my camera is still malfunctioning when cold grrrrrr.
Drove down into Lithgow stopping for a look around the remains of the blast furnace used when the iron industry was centred here then continued north stopping at Pearson Lookout for amazing views over the 2nd largest canyon in the world yes wider than the Grand Canyon but not as deep. We entered the canyon turning off at Capertee to the almost abandoned town of Glen Davis, there is now only a few people here after being a town of 2500 when the shale mine was in production of petrol and other raw products.
WHERE ARE WE NOW
Prior to leaving Kosciusko National Park we looked at the Tumut 3 Power Station unfortunately the visitors centre is now closed but we could look at the 6 pipes and huge dam and wall up close. Drove along the side of waterways and dams including the large Blowering Dam, with lots of people free camping on the shores, to Tumut. This was the largest town we’ve been in since Bairnsdale nearly a month ago, here we had the choice of Coles and Woolworths both much cheaper than IGA in the smaller towns.
Leaving Tumut we head to Wee Jasper (many people had mentioned coming through here so we couldn’t resist this place with such a cute name). Discovered the reserves at Wee Jasper are $12 a head so instead found a lovely spot on the Bombowlee Creek just 17 km from Tumut. Logging not far up the road and the trucks were busy going by from pre dawn to dusk, interesting to watch and we are used to different noises so not intrusive. Continued on the variable roads to Wee Jasper (tiny township just a store & school since the pub recently burnt down) great scenic drive with natural bush and plenty of pine plantations.
After Wee Jasper it changed to beautiful rolling hills a few rocky areas lots of sheep and some cattle and alpaca. We crossed the Murrumbidgee River on the great 90 year old bridge remembering back to when we’d seen this great river enter the Murray. We had our biggest driving day for ages about 170km but so pretty eventually stopping at Gundaroo (we even had to detour to here due to a planned road being private access and then a 5 ton limit on a bridge).
Gundaroo is a very old town with many buildings now heritage listed dating back to the 1840’s including the pub where we had a nice evening just a short walk from the town reserve where we camped (donation required but so lovely to have a long hot shower).
Took more back roads passing through Collect crossed the Federal Highway over the hills to Taralgo then north to Goulburn loving the back roads not seeing many vehicles and definitely no travellers. Goulburn had a nice feel to it plenty of old buildings, being it is the oldest inland city in Australia, so we did a historic walk checking them out and absorbing the history. Spent a while in the Anglican Cathedral admiring the stonework, the lead light windows and noting that there are still some plain glass windows we guessed waiting for more donations. Found the best butcher ever opposite Woolworths and bought up large and can already vouch for the flavour and quality of the meat.
Took the Tablelands Way north to Abercrombie National Park where we stayed at Bummaroo Ford Campground, plenty of water in the river which may be due to the recent heavy rains and one in a hundred year flooding that had recently hit Canberra. Now we’re back in NSW we could throw in the Opera House Yabbie net and got a good feed when pulling it in the next morning, gave these to the 2 families camped next to us to enjoy.