This year we travelled from our home on the Gold Coast to Cowra to spend Christmas with our family. Cowra is located in Central West N.S.W. It is about an hours drove from either Bathurst or Orange and two and half hours drive from Canberra. Or an 1100 kilometre drive from our home on the Gold Coast. After Christmas we will head off for two weeks in the Snowy Mountains.
After leaving the Gold Coast late on Thursday afternoon we thought it would be wise to go via Beaudesert and Boonah to avoid the afternoon traffic that can bank up on the Logan Motorway. This proved to be a good idea until we drove into some extremely heavy storms between Warwick and Goondawindi. Luckily we drove out of them by the time we hit the border.
Once we hit the Newell Highway we decided to drive until about 10.30pm and then find a spot to camp for the night. We ended up getting as far as Bellata where we ‘free-camped’ on the side of the road. It took no time at all to set our camper up, including the kids camp stretchers. The only down side was that we were woken the next morning by two very loud blasts from a train whistle. I’m sure it was on purpose! But it did prompt us to get up and continue on our way.
After a quick breakfast in Narrabri we headed out onto ‘The Pillaga’ which is a long straight stretch of road that runs between Narrabri and Coonabarabran. It is about 90 kilometres between these two towns. We were pleased to see that there are now some new rest areas along the way. Some have picnic facilities and toilets. Previously there was only a rest area at either end of The Pillaga. What disappointed me greatly was the amount of rubbish piled up in some of these rest areas including piles of tyres. They all needed a really good clean up.
After going through Coonabarabran we headed on towards Dubbo. Dubbo is a large in land city and provides many vital services, including Health Services to smaller towns further west. Dubbo is perhaps best known for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo – an open range zoo which covers over 3sqklms. We have visited Western Plains a couple of times now and can highly recommend it as a ‘must see’ if you are out that way.
We stopped briefly in the little town of Eugowra to lament the loss of it’s historic pub, ‘The Fat Lamb’ to fire a few months ago. It was a real blow to the local community. But a welcome addition to the town that has an interesting history with bushrangers in the late 1800’s are 2 wonderful murals celebrating that part of the towns history.
We were very pleased to finally pull into Cowra later that afternoon. We have thoroughly enjoyed catching up with family and friends. Our family live a short distance out of town on a couple of acres and have a beautiful garden with masses of birds and a wonderful fish pond. It has been very peaceful and relaxing.