On the 31st of August, I will be heading off on a trip around NSW and a little bit of Queensland. My family and I have got a Camper Trailer so I will be doing a bit of blogging as I go off on my 6 week journey! Some of the places we are going to are . . .
- Minindi Lakes
- Broken Hill
- White Cliffs
- Glen Innes
- Sea World
- Port Douglas (flying on a plane)
- Byron Bay
- Coffs Harbour
- Port Macquarie
- Port Stephans
here we go. . . . .
Today I woke up and I was too excited to get back to sleep. We are heading off on our road trip soon! Everyone else was already up, packing last minute things, putting everything in the car, feeding the sheep, filling up the buckets of water for our chickens or, in Fintan’s case, annoying everyone. We decided over breakfast that we would leave at 9:30, but as 9:30 came and went, we left at quarter past eleven. Finally, we hit the road and started the nine hour drive to Adelaide. Our first stop was Ararat, because everyone needed to stretch their legs. We got back in the car and I saw a hill full of wind turbines, two extinct volcanoes and lots of roads being built. We also passed the Grampians, which are massive rock formations. They were really cool, and there were lots of different coloured rocks. Our next stop was Dadswell Bridge, and we saw the ‘Big Koala’. It is really big, and apparently it was built in 1988, and the shop owner stirred all the buckets of bronze and fibre glass by herself. Here is a photo that I took:
The old lady who worked at the souvenir shop was very grumpy. When I said “hello”, she merely grunted and turned her back to me. The shop was full of really awesome key rings, post cards, stuffed teddies, and lots of other things.
After that, every thing got really really really really really boring. Mum finally let us open the packet of lollies that we brought, and we shared them. We passed fields of bright yellow canola, and billions of cute little lambs. It is soooo sunny and warm up here!
It started to get dark when we go on the highway to Adelaide. We drove down a very steep hill and after that we could smell the brakes because they were very hot. (They had to brake the camper trailer as well as the car). That’s when we saw a sign that read ‘Glenelg’ which is where we are staying. It started to rain a bit, so we decided to stay in a hotel instead. Fintan and I shared a massive room including an ensuite, and tomorrow morning we are going to wake up extra early (which can’t be too difficult, SA is half an hour behind us!) and go to the pool.
Guess what! We only got to stay for two nights in Adelaide! Yesterday I woke up really early and couldn’t get back to sleep. (The hotel beds are soooo uncomfortable.) Fintan woke up as well so we left a note for mum and went down to the pool. We walked straight past the sign the read: no children under fifteen years of age are allowed unsupervised. Luckily, we didn’t get caught. There were really big glass windows everywhere, and full length mirrors. These got very annoying, because you kept on thinking that someone was going to walk in. Fintan and I took in turns dipping into the plunge pool (a really cold pool) and then the spa. When Fintan pushed the little red button that turned the bubbles on, he sat in front of it and his shorts inflated. It was so funny, and we didn’t realise the cleaner had just walked in. I quickly stopped laughing, because we thought he’d heard us. However, he either completely ignored us, or he was deaf. We picked up our towels and decided to go back to our room for breakfast. When we tried to scan our key in the lift though, it wouldn’t work. We ended up using someone else’s, and we finally got back to our room.
Now, I am in the car again heading to Broken Hill. We debated going to Peterborough and staying there, or going straight to the Minindi Lakes and set up. We didn’t want to be setting up our tent in the dark though, so we chose to stop in Broken Hill. We have been through so many rolling hills, full of bright green crops such as wheat and beans. When the sun shines on the canola, it looks so so bright yellow it almost blinds you!
The sky has turned grey and the white clouds have turned into thunder clouds. We have just stopped at Burra, which is a big mining town. They mine copper, and years and years ago people used to live in the side of the riverbank. Then, other people told them that it wasn’t safe, and offered to build them all houses. That was when the first building companies opened up. Burra is full of old houses made from stone and mud brick. It reminds me a bit of Sovereign Hill.
Out of the window, I can see huge, rolling green hills full of dozens of wind turbines. I think it’s amazing how they spin like that and actually generate power. What do you think? Should we have them or not? I have seen about a thousand emus already and we are only on day three of our trip. Every time I go and take a photo of them, I can’t. It is getting really annoying.
Finally we pull into Broken Hill, out of the window I see a mass of black that looks like a really big lake. It looks like a sea, but when we read the sign, it says “the biggest solar plant in Australia”. How cool!
We have been in Broken Hill for two days now. Last night it rained so heavily that we thought the tent was going to blow away. I didn’t get much sleep because of the storm outside, and when I got up in the morning there was water in the tent. “Oaaah”, mum groaned. Dad told us that we had to stay another night so that it could dry off before we packed it up. So we went down the street, exploring. The first thing I wanted to do was go to the mineral museum. It sounded interesting and sure enough, it was. I watched a movie. On how they first formed, and apparently the sky was red and the sea was green. Did you know that BHP stands for Broken Hill Proprietary? Or that Broken Hill mines silver, lead and zinc? At the counter on the way out, the had peacock stones for sale. They were awesome, and they had blue, purple and green sparkles in them.
It took about an hour to get from the start of the national park to the campsite. There were about five others there with caravans, all looking at a group of emus wondering about. I soon learnt that this was quite common at Mutawintji. The next day we went for a five hour walk through the George. It was spectacular, and the scenery was amazing.
It took ten and a half hours for us to get to Dubbo. Along the way we stopped at Wilcannia, Cobar and Never Tire. (Funny name isn’t it!) in Dubbo we started at a motel for two nights, and on the second day we went to the Dubbo Zoo! It was really fun and fintan and I wanted to hire a buggy to go around and look at the animals. Unfortunately, everything was really expensive so we ended up hiring bikes. Some of my favourite animals were the lions, Sumatran tiger, monkeys, giant tortoises, giraffes and elephants. There were also White Rinos.
Now we are in the Warrumbungles, and this is the place where they have the largest telescope in the world! After we set up the tent, we went to see it. It is amazing!
It is 40 years old, and they had some photos on display. Tonight we are going to use another telescope (this one is not for public use). I can’t wait.
Guess what! Tonight was absolutely amazing! The guy running the telescoped was really cool, too. Believe it or not, his name was Peter Starr, (no kidding!) and he had a number of telescopes set up in different angles. One was pointing to the jewel box, a constellation of stars above the southern cross, another to one that looked like a butterfly, and a star that they think might have already blown ip, but since it take 400 light years to get here, we see it as still a star. But he had one big telescope, that he pointed at Saturn. You could see it so clearly, I gasped. It was so amazing, and you could see the rings so clearly. Unfortunately a group of school kids came in at that point, so we had to leave.