ANZAC Trip 2015 – southbound section
April 2015 is 100 years since the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landing on the beaches at Gallipoli, Turkey.
To mark this occasion a large commemoration service was planned to be held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, the nations capital.
We first heard of the service on a previous visit to Canberra in 2010 and decided we would attend. We left home in late March for this trip, we planned to travel via Sydney to see the family and grand kids there along the way…the photos below are of the ‘down’ part of the trip. Brisbane to Sydney). Our visit to Canberra will be a seperate section. Click on the map to the right and you will see the approximate route we followed.
Our first stopover was at Laidley Showgrounds…just 80 odd km from home. One reason for stopping here is that we will get everything out and get fully set-up…if we have forgotten anything now is the time to find out. At Laidley we will also fill up with water. The showgrounds are large, plenty of room to spread out, the site fee is reasonable at $20 per night with power. There is a dump point in town too. From Laidley its a short drive to Heifer Creek free camp, Heifer Ck is on the Gatton to Clifton Rd. Its a big area and used by many grey nomads traveling north and south, the Gatton to Clifton road actually bypasses the steep pull over the Gt Dividing Range, it does have a couple of narrow windy sections but is quite ok for caravans. Our third stop was Nobby, a small Darling Downs town. Nobby is significant for two reasons, firstly Steel Rudd is supposed to have written many of his ‘Dad and Dave’ stories here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steele_Rudd and secondly Sister Kenny the world renowned polio cure nurse lived near here, she is buried in the Nobby cemetery and there is a memorial to honour her here. Moving south west along the Cunningham Highway, approx half way between Inglewood and Goondiwindi we arrived at Yelarbon, (pop 450) this small whistle-stop grain silo town has just s couple of shops, a servo and a hotel, it also has a recreation reserve where caravans can camp, with power for $15 per night. One added attraction at Yelarbon is the nightly show the local kangaroos put on…large numbers of them come from out of the bush to feed on the grass on the oval. After Yelarbon we continued west via Goondiwindi to do shopping and then crossed the state border into NSW. We followed the Bruxner highway in a south easterly direction to the small township of Yetman. (pop 350) Yetman has a caravan park and a free camp but as the caravan pk is just $10 per night and a free washing machine we stayed there rather then free camping. Yetman is a clean but pretty much dead town. The Macintyre River flows through Yetman. South of Yetman is Warialda, a progressive town of around 1200 people. It sits at the top of the ‘Fossickers Way’ a name given to a highway that runs parallel to the truck infested Newell Highway and runs due south all the way to Tamworth. The caravan park is neat and clean and cost $25 per night, a dump point is nearby. (1.5km) The old butcher shop in Warialda, a rough stone building, compare this to the brick courthouse in the next photo, the courthouse is of about the same age. Warialda was once a rich town, large sheep runs all around, today it is not so great but has a lot of evidence to show the booming days, the Courthouse, quite distinctive with its ‘stepped corbels’ brickwork. This photo looks quite depressing, in fact it wasn’t…the fog cleared very quickly and a warm clear day followed. We stayed in Warialda Caravan Pk for 4 days, over Easter. A couple of those days were very, very wet and prevented us from seeing much of the area…we shall return. A short distance down Fossickers Way we came to the Gwydir River near Bingara. Free camping is available for quite some distance along the river..there is no chance of flooding here as the river comes from Copeton Dam, currently at just 17%. (Apr 15) We had a great two days alongside the Gwydir….a lovely place to camp.There are no facilities at all for campers, the nearest amenities (and shops) are at Bingara (pop 1000) some 6km away. Campers need to be fully self-sufficient.There is a dump point at the Bingara Showgrounds, about 7 km away. Still on the Fossickers Way some 70km south we came to Glen Riddle camp, sitting on the edge of Split Rock Dam (5.9%!!) it is a great place to stay, a huge grassy area, serviced long drop toilet, tons of firewood its another place we will return to for sure. The toilet at Glen Riddle was cleaned while we were there and the rubbish was collected!. There is water available here but signs state that it is non-potable, not sure why this is however. Around 100km further south, and a bit to the west we came to Gunnedah, we needed to catch up on washing and supplies here so we stayed for a couple of days. It cost $25 per night at Gunnedah. its called and RV park but in reality its the showgrounds, with amenities to match, very basic but ok, a dump point too. This view, from Porcupine Lookout Gunnedah looks out across the fertile Livingstone Plains. A view of Gunnedah (pop 8000) from Pensioner Hill, so named because during the depression years many homeless people set up camp here. The grain silos left of centre are next to the RV park, each afternoon flocks of suplhur crested Cockatoos feed noisily. Gunnedah is surrounded by many grain properties. On the New England Highway a little south of Tamworth finds the little town of Wallabadah (pop abt 700). This little town has an impressive memorial to the First and Second fleets that arrived in Sydney. Why the memorial is located here is not clear except that nowhere else apparently wanted it! The camp here is great, a $10 ‘donation’ is asked, toilets and water are available, large grassy area. The total number of passengers and crew on the 1st and 2nd fleet ships totaled over 1000, each ships compliment is displayed on tombstone-like plaques. We thought it was weird, spooky given that ALL the names were listed with the surname first followed by the initial of the christian name…all that is except one; Davidson, Mary…Pam’s unmarried surname was Davidson!!! Further south along the NE Highway and a little west of Singleton sits the tiny community of Jerrys Plains, a hotel and service station pretty well sum it up. The hotel is a bit sad, a half-hearted attempt to modernize it has failed miserably. The free-camp however is good, large grassy area, water, toilets and free bbq, a great place for an overnighter. The van behind us belongs to Brian and Gloria, we met these two over a year ago in Qld and again at Wallabadah. Just 100km north of Sydney and just off the M1 motorway lies Morisset, we usually will stop here at the showgrounds on the way to Sydney, its a good spot to catch up with any washing and get supplies, when we get to Sydney we will want to get to see the grandkids asap so its good to get everything done beforehand. The showgrounds are typical, basic facilities and often difficult to locate a level site with both water and power, we had to join two 240v leads. $25 pn. A dump point too. The Lane Cove River Tourist Park remains our favourite caravan park, situated just a stones throw from the Harbour Bridge and a short drive to our family here it is unique in that it sits in a national park, this site #136 is one we have had before, we think it is on of the best, no big trees nearby and due to a building to our left, no close neighbours. To the left is a carport for a cabin ‘hidden’ in the bush, Glamping I think they call it. See link below. During our stay in Sydney we experienced a very bad few days of wind and rain, a low developed off the coast and sat around for days, the saturated ground saw a number of trees downed, no one was injured. Often when camping we stay clear of ‘old man’ gum tree but here we see seemingly healthy trees dropped, certainly something to keep in our minds. As experienced caravaners we know that the first thing to do when a blow is forecast is roll up the awning, in the photo above it seems that the residents left their van with the awning extended, it likely filled with rain and with the wind buffeting it broke in the middle, unfortuantly this van was sited right down the back, others would have rolled the awning in had it been noticed. Our two grand kids, Brayden 4 and Caitlin 8 are sleeping soundly, fortuantly we had them stay with us prior to the storms. We had thee excellent days with them actually. The storm resulted in approx 200’000 homes losing power, we didn’t have any issues except some inconvenience. After our short stop in Sydney it was time to hit the road again…to Canberra. Click the link below to see our photos of Canberra.
Click the photo below for a slide show…navigate via the arrows.
Something new!!…some of the photos in the slide show will have ‘Go to Link’ under the caption, clicking here will give additional information…try them.
ANZAC Trip 2015…
‘the Down Trip’
2015 marked the 100 year point since the Australian and New Zealand armed forces landed on the beaches of Gallipoli in Turkey in an ill prepared attempt to secure acess to the Dardenelles. Due to ineptness of the British commanders many thousands of ANZACS died there…when the futility was finally realized the remaining troops were evacuated…the evacuation was engineered by Australian military personnel and this was the only sucessuful thing about Gallipoli, each year since that day ANZAC Day, April 25th, commemorates with rememberance services around both Australia and New Zealand…one of the largest services is at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, we went there for that purpose.
Due to the length of this trip I have divided it into two sections…the ‘down trip’ and the ‘home trip’. Click on the map for a larger version..this is the down trip. Click too on the photo below to start a slide show…use the arrows to navigate.