Off to our second week of golf, this time at the Kew Country Club in Camden Haven, about 50 Kms south of Port Macquarie. Four days of golf was enjoyed at an extremely good country golf course. Modesty prevents the mention of Bob winning the A grade on the second day. We were adopted by a very friendly and sociable group of golfers who were mainly from Redland Bay. Lots of apres golf ‘happy hours’ !
From Singleton, it is a short hop to Nelson Bay on Port Stephens for a quick visit to good friends Tom and Julie. On the way a MAJOR milestone (literally) was passed – our ever reliable Toyota Landcruiser passed the 200,000 Km mark.
Singleton, our base for the Hunter Valley is 200 Kms north west of Sydney. One of its claims to fame is the number of churches it contains dating back to the 1800’s.
One other of Singleton’s claims to fame is that it boasts the largest sundial in the world as recognised by the Guinness Book of Records. It is 8 metres high and 12 metres long.
Quick view of the famous Golden Guitar in Tamworth on our way to the Hunter Valley. Singleton is a large country town that is a great base for visiting the Hunter Valley Wine Region. We camp for 3 nights at the local showground. The Hunter Valley (surprisingly) only supplies 2 % of Australia’s wine output. Even so, there are numerous small wineries, far too many to visit, especially if tasting at each one. We visit a couple of our favourites, Tulloch and McGuigan, to top up on our supplies of port, rose and sparkling wine. Could not drive past the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company.
Take a look at the tree photo below – we came across a colony of fruit bats or flying foxes right in the centre of town.
John and Keryn Smith joined us at the caravan park for the week of golf. Mon and Tues are single competitions and the main mixed competition is a team event over Thurs and Fri. Of course a shilling was wagered on the side and it pains me to report that the Smiths had a free lotto ticket to look forward to. Our only claim to fame is that we actually played with the winners on Friday.
Wednesday is a break from golf so off to Bald Rock National Park approx. 35 Kms from Tenterfield on the QLD border. The rock itself is a large granite outcrop rising 200 metres above the surrounding landscape. It is the largest granite monolith in Australia. We take the long (but easier gradient) walk through bushland around the back of the rock and find ourselves on the summit of the rock. So we decide to take the shorter option down the exposed face. BIG MISTAKE. At times we were close to using our backsides as the main contact point with the rock !
Tenterfield is located in the New England region of New South Wales. The town sits in a valley astride the Great Dividing Range at 850 metres above sea level with a population of 9,000.
The town has 2 main claims to fame.
1 – it was the site where Sir Henry Parkes delivered a famous Federation Speech in Oct 1889 which is credited with reigniting the debate which ultimately led to Federation and the creation of a united Australia on Jan 1 1901. We visited the actual room where the speech was given.
2 – the well known singer / composer / entertainer Peter Allen was born and spent much of his childhood in Tenterfield where he lived with his grandfather George Woolnough, the subject of the song Tenterfield Saddler. Peter Allen was married to Lisa Minelli, penned many hit songs including I Still Call Australia Home. Take a look at the red shoes.
Back to nature with a free camp for 2 nights in the stunning world heritage listed Gibraltar National Park. Lovely walks through (uniquely) both rainforest and dry forests. Lots of granite, waterfalls and flowing rivers. The local rangers even supply firewood for campfires. And you can see from the photos how back to nature we got.
First couple of stops are Showgrounds in Mullumbimby and Lismore. Showgrounds tend to be very cheap and normally there is lots of space and usually power and water are available.
So … Sister and Hubby been and gone … visited all rellies in Ireland and UK … quick week’s holiday in Spain … been back home for 3 weeks … must be time to hit the road again with the caravan ? … You Bet !
First challenge is to make sure the caravan is roadworthy – had a couple of problems with a fire and a hailstorm on our last big trip – but thanks to Greg and the boys the caravan was pretty much rebuilt and roadworthy ready for the off. An honourable mention to the insurance company as well !
We park the caravan at the unit to pack and set out on Monday Oct 5. The first objective of this trip is a week of golf at the Tenterfield Golf Club with some other travellers from our golf club. We have a week to get to Tenterfield. South down the Bruce Highway, over the Gateway Bridge and off into north NSW.