North West Roving Rally 2020


Deb, Col, Bev, Ralph, Pam and Rob met up again on the 23rd September at Jerry's Plains where we stayed our first night. A great free camp and we were not alone with approx 16 caravans there. As usual lots of chatter and a long happy hour was enjoyed. Next day, without rushing, we moved on calling into Denman and Merriwa for a walk about at each and then stayed at Cassilis. The Canola in full bloom next to the campsite was spectacular, particularly with the sun shining on it. Very, Very cold over night. Deb left her dishcloth out overnight and was frozen in the morning.

On the move for a short drive to Gulgong Showground where we set up camp for 2 nights. We thought it was freezing at Cassilis however worse weather came quickly....wind....rain and low temperatures. Before the weather changed we walked the streets of Gulgong and YES visited "Stacks" where purchases we made of things hard to find elsewhere. Thankfully we had power so heating was really appreciated. Saturday 26th went for a drive to view the Silo's at Dunedoo and the main street. Oh yes "Hot Chips" were the order for lunch and they were excellent.

Sunday we drove to Parkes via Yeoval and Molong. Along this road are "Animals On Bikes" Sculptures made of corrigated iron, tractor parts, tyres or anything the farmers can get their hands on. We saw pink elephants (no we hadn't had a drink) emus, dinosours, turtles and heaps of bikes. So good. Also the  countryside was revived and the crops splendid after the drought. Stayed 2 nights at Spicer's Caravan Park with a fabulous camp kitchen complete with fire pit. Had a camp cook up of hamburgers for dinner enjoyed by all, but we did forget the Marshmellows.

Tuesday moved onto Narromine staying over night. Next morning, Wednesday moved onto Gilgandra driving through heavy rain where we met up with Sue, Trevor and Kathy who joined the group. Walked the town on Thursday and found a Bakery/Cafe. Our sunny days returned. Friday, a group visited the Flora Reserve. Only small but was very interesting to see different plants and the blackboys were all funny shapes. Then onto Tooraweenah where we stopped at a fantastic lookout for morning tea. We could see The Warrumbungles in the distance. We started to have a walk around the town, when a shop keeper asked if we wanted the Heritage Walk brochure. Glad we did as saw so many interesting places. Picnic lunch in the park but 2 members decided to check out what the pub had. Glad we did as the hamburgers were beautiful and the chips to die for.

Our stay at Coonamble Caravan Park was a pleasant surprise, brand new amenities, so clean and the laundry too. No trouble drying the and windy. Sunday morning bacon and eggs for breaky before embarking on our town walk. Being a long week end most shops closed, but locals told us where to find a coffee shop for morning tea. Next day went for a drive to Quambone and the owner of the General Store made our outing worthwhile. She had everything one needed stacked in her shop and she was very pleasant.

The drive to Wee Waa was as expected. Again many acres of crops namely wheat could be seen. Mt Katapur National Park could be seen in the distance. Great to see the many crops growing after the severe drought conditions of previous years. Wee Waa a small town but very friendly people. Walked the town however not many origional buildings. Enjoyed morning coffee at the nursery. A friendly local had told us great place.

Thursday saw us leaving Wee Waa for Narrabri, but visited the museum first -- great memories of yesteryear. Countryside all planted with crops. Great town. Took a half day trip to Sawn Rocks. Beautiful 750 metre walk with spring flowers out and spectacular views of rocks and could walk down to base. Photos tell full story.

Left Narrabri for Moree this morning and stopped for morning tea at Bellata. Certainly a lot of old homes with so much junk around outside -- No Council Collection here. All amazed to see HUGE caravan pulled by a Prada.... 8 wheels, 35feet long.... Set up camp at Moree Showground with very clean amenities, sealed roads and good security and particularly pleasant caretakers. Spent the afternoon relaxing as it was a very hot day and as usual had a long happy hour. After we all had dinner, sat outside chatting and the ladies decided to have a bra free night.....Moree had a great feel about it. Clean and heaps of parks well maintained. Deb, Col and Bev went to the Artesian Aquatic Centre for a dip. Our first dip was in a smal pool ( Olympic Pool being refurbished ) temp 24...refreshing. Next Artesian pool at 36.5...not bad. Last Artesian pool 40.5....we went in looked at each other and said "I'm getting out" Boy was it hot and uncomfortable. So back in 24 degrees pool. Finished the swim with an ice cream. That night we had a combined tea of hamburgers finished off with Apple Pie and Ice this caravan life.

Next day off to Warialda first stopping at Pallamallawa for morning tea. As we were driving around town and stopping to take photo's a local stopped and ask if we were lost. "No" we said, "Just sightseeing." She did give us a bit of history plus told us where Caravan Park and pub where. Such a tidy town with great neat the small towns. On the road again and after stopping at the Info Centre in Warialda went out to Cranky Rock Nature Reserve. What a find. Great big sights to park. Clean toots and a huge hot shower block. Also fire pit plus chooks of every breed running around and Mr Peacock strutting around plus a couple horses roaming the grounds. Belonged to Caretaker.  After setting up camp took a walk to the were balancing somehow on each other and looking down to the creek there were a couple of turtles. Brilliant. We then went down to water level....WOW..... looking up at the rocks and along the creek...well words carn't describe it. I found Panaroma on my phone and lets say I took heaps of shots. That afternoon during Happy Hour the clouds became black and we could hear thunder getting closer. As Deb & Col have to cook outside they left to cook & as the bacon was nearly ready Deb put in the eggs to fry when...down she came...rain...but this did not deter Deb...NO... she found her umbrella and kept cooking...what a trooper. Warialda is a nice small town. Has cartoon murials of farming life....some very funny. 3 ladies were sitting outside Carinda House doing craft. Told us it was built in 1880, a grand place and was going to be demolished in 1970 when the town got together and bought it. They are so proud of it.

The drive from Inverell to Glen Innes was amazing and so changing. You'd climb a hill then wide in front of you was crops of different colour. Then flat, bush and trees then rocks jutting up. That night at the showground Deb bought out her IPad which has a Star Gazer App on it. Makes it easy to find Jupiter, Saturn and Mars plus other star names. We even saw The Space Station for a couple minutes move across the sky. So much fun.

We stayed 2 nights at Uralla Caravan Park. Caretaker told us that the top pub has fantastic meals and best of all they deliver. Chicken and mushroom Crepes for good is this. Next day a drive out to Gostwyck Church. Elm trees lined the road. Back into town and the Heritage Walk. Info Centre had given us a fabulous book describing the buildings. As slowly walking a lady says to us "Are you tourists ?" Yes we say then "Welcome to Uralla " Thanks we say it's a beautiful town and friendly. Tells us the museum is a must. Ok so we head there next. She was not wrong. Told the story of Thunderbolt, had a gold mine with the Chinese influence and a sporting and lifestyle section. Very well done. 

From Uralla took a detour to Nundle. We thought the scenery could not get better but, so WHOA...WHOA (Deb had asked me to think of another description but I couldn't and WHOA just sums it up.) Was Sunday when there and very busy but a great tidy town. Well worth the drive. That night was staying at Wallabadah First Fleet free camp. Bugger get there and it's closed. Ok the Marshall MacMahon pub has camping out the back for the cost of a drink or meal. Owner is so nice, directs us to where we can park. She says Liverpool Plains Shire Council has closed all free camps and it has cost their business so they decided to open up the back and it has helped. At 4.00 we go to the pub which was built in 1870. WOW they have Tooheys New and Tooheys Old on tap. Beautiful. This free camp might cost me a few dollars. We decide to have breakfast in the morning instead of dinner. That night we sat outside where it was very mild. Relaxing. Breakfast was bacon and eggs with toast for Deb and me. Col had the big breakfast or should I say HUGE. Was very nurishing. Would recomend staying here, very friendly owners and staff.

Off again this time to Lake Glenbawn. Was drizzling and cool, what happened to the nice weather. Upon arrival there was people and boats every where. A fishing comp the girl in reception told us. They are leaving shortly. What a beautiful place, huge area, water views. Sunset was... WHOA....through the trees was this bright big light. No photo as we just sat there mesmerized. In the morning we didn't have to leave till 10.00 pm (Yes correct ) so took a drive around the dam. So many great camping spots and heaps of " Skippy's "

Then we drive out and onto the New England Highway........Where did all this traffic come from. No sooner a dozen cars pass us on overtaking lanes when another dozen are behind. Finally find a toilet stop (few and far between ) at Ritz Rest Area. Out came the map....we can turn off at Singleton down the Putty Road and then head to Broke. Good plan and such a relaxing drive. Turn into caravan park at Nulkaba and heaps of vans in. Tracie greets us, good to see you again. She says to Deb, sorry someone is on your spot. (Deb didn't know she had a spot, stay in same spot for 2 years and it's yours) We are placed under the trees, glad to be in. Next day is washing and giving the van's a clean in those annoying places. Pizza for tea that night and reminiscing over our trip. In the morning we slowly pack up, no race this time. Deb then suggests we have morning tea at the Nursery just up the road. Good idea and good finish to a great trip.

Reported by Pam & Bev