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Published: April 12th 2010
Day 332 - Orange to Kangaroo Valley
We’re back on the road again! Thanks must go to Tony & Jane for inviting us to their lovely home. We’ve had a great time exploring Orange and its surrounds and of course it was lovely to catch up with them for one last time. The days are slipping away from us now and its not long before the doors of reality will be flung wide open, so with no further ado we get on our way.
The map has been out several times over the last few days and yet we’re still not 100% sure where we’ll end up tonight! We’ve narrowed the options down to ‘somewhere between here and Melbourne’! Out of the window went Broken Hill & Coonabarabran - we would have had to rush things to do either so instead they are on the list for next time! The list actually does exist … we’ll publish it at the end of this trip!
We are very keen to meet up with Donna, Ross and Jackson one last time (for this trip) too which means staying reasonably close to the Mt Annan (Cambelltown, Sydney) area if we stand
half a chance. Wollemi National Park is a possibility, there are free camps there, or even a night or two at Lithgow so we could check out the Zig-Zag railway. The trouble is there’s so much choice, although obviously we’re not complaining.
Unable to make a decision for ourselves we put Tom Tom in charge of our destiny! We at least need to give it a clue so tapped in Batemans Bay as the destination although agreed it was highly unlikely that we’d actually get there today.
Tom Tom did a blinder of a job and took us through the pretty towns of Millthorpe, Blayney and then via the gravel/bitumen road past Trunkey Creek, Abercrombie, Binda and Tuena! My how we laughed, all this time we’ve been so careful to avoid and limit the kms we’ve travelled with the caravan along gravel roads - she’s an old girl and we’ve been a bit scared that she’ll just collapse and fall apart! There were no such dramas today although we were glad not to meet any trucks, especially on the gravel corners of which there were plenty. By the time we arrived at pretty Crookwell it was time for
lunch and for me to reveal my plan of where we would spend tonight - Kangaroo Valley which meant a left turn at Goulburn to put us right on track.
Following the leads in our faithful Lonely Planet guide hasn’t always taken us to the most uninhabited spots but it has taken us to some of the most beautiful. Credit where credit is due, the write up for Kangaroo Valley is inviting to say the least. “As you head south from Fizroy Falls the world disappears over the edge of a steep escarpment and the road descends alarmingly to deposit you in the unbelievably picturesque Kangaroo Valley. Pegged in a fortress of rainforest-steeped cliffs, the valley floor is carpeted by cow-dotted pasturelands, river gums and gurgling creeks.” What with my passion for taking the caravan up and down the steepest of roads in all the land we couldn’t miss it could we, especially as there’s free camping close by.
We exchanged a couple of looks as the world disappeared over the edge of the escarpment as promised but the views were tremendous. The twists and turns in the road kept Darryl on the edge of his seat as
Goulburn Visitors Centre
If you perform at the Goulburn Blues Festival then you get to scrawl on the toilet doors and walls!
we navigated our way down to the valley floor. We didn’t make it to Kangaroo Valley itself but instead headed out to Bendeela Reserve, the free camp spot on the Shoalhaven River. It looks like the sort of area that would be over run with campers during the holidays but today there is plenty of space for us to park up the caravan.
The neighbours didn’t come rushing over to greet us and it was a bit ‘caravan park esque’ when we drove in with people watching our every move but we checked and we definitely only had one head each so gave them a jolly wave and a cheery smile!
We were quite excited when we spotted a stack of canoes thinking that perhaps we’d be able to hire a couple in the morning to explore the river but sadly a chap came by about an hour later to collect them. Darn! Next trip we’ll definitely have a canoe with us!
A bit of a wander through the grounds revealed the beautiful Shoalhaven River and multiple wombat burrows! We quickly spotted two beautiful short, fat, hairy wombats and on the walk after dinner we found another
20 or so. They are gorgeous creatures and seem quite content with mowing the lawn for a living! As the light fades they’re harder to spot and one has us laughing when he sticks his face into a bundle of grass but leaves his great, big bottom sticking out. What the eye can’t see and all that!
There were some strange noises coming from over yonder this evening, we weren’t sure who decided to yell out then groan loudly in the night but after that they erupted into short bars of singing too! We entertained ourselves with a couple of games of Rummikub which Mr Howells took the winners sash for, then we tucked ourselves in for the night.
Dar and Sar
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