Being under no time pressure, our departure from Toowoomba on Sunday took us a little longer than was planned. By the time we picked up groceries, said our goodbyes to Bruce and Lyn and made several stops on the road out of Toowoomba to look at different sights, it was well after lunch before we got onto the main road south. The original plan was to make Warwick by nightfall but by 3pm we decided we had had enough for the day so ended up stopping about 40km north of Warwick at a very small place called Spring Creek. We parked up, out came the camp chairs, rum and coke and wine (diet of course) and the ‘captain for the day’ called a management meeting to plan the next day.
We forgot to mention that a small purchase that was made in Toowoomba. When we had the motorhome built we decided that it would be ‘over the top’ to have a washing machine installed. However, since being in Australia and with our preference for freedom camping, we were still having to make weekly visits to either Caravan Parks or laundromats to get our washing done and then having to hang around until it dry. The cost at a laundromat is $5 to $7 per load of washing and $4 for a load of drying. To go to a caravan park is approximately $30 per night and $4 for each load of washing. It’s not often Dearne gets excited over the purchase of a domestic appliance but I would have to say she is excited about her new RV washing machine.
Our advice on this – if you are getting a motorhome built, or are thinking of purchasing one, give some thought as to making a washing machine part of the deal. It will save you money and time in the end. The model that we purchased can either operate off the mains or the inverter, is a compact twin tub and has a carry weight of only 12kg. If you want more information on the machine, flick Dearne a quick email.
On Monday morning we made our way into Warwick and spent a few hours looking around the town. As we go further south we are getting into areas that have had more rain then their northern neighbours. Warwick reminded us very much of many New Zealand provincial towns in the spring.
After lunch, and after a quick visit to the local Information Centre, we drove towards our next overnight destination at Lake Coolmunda on the Coolmunda Dam. Again because we are self-contained we are able to access to the best (and most quiet) parking places around the lake. We were parked about 15 metres from the waters edge. Apart from the tiny midgie-like insects (non biting type) that are attracted by the millions to the motorhome lights at night, it was a stunning place to pause. We ended up stopping over for two nights.
Wednesday morning we made our way to Goondiwindi on the MacIntyre River. The region of Goondiwindi has a population of 10720 and while it is an agricultural region, it is most famous for its cotton growing ability. The regions cotton is highly sought after because of its superior quality. We made a short stopover at Goondiwindi township to pick up fresh fruit and veges and for Dearne undertake a bit of pampering at the local beauty salon.
Once outside of the township of Goondiwindi we crossed the border into New South Wales and made our way towards the township of Moree. It was a novelty driving along the Newell Highway where on both sides of the road there were thousands of hectares of cotton plantations in various stages of growth. At one point we pulled over to pick cotton from some of the rogue plants along the side of the road.
As usual we never quite made it to our intended destination and ended up spending Wednesday night at the Boolooroo Rest Area about 8km out of Moree. We felt quite safe as a few truckies had pulled in for the night and we made ourselves known to them. We never worry about parking up on our own but in saying that we do our best to minimise any risk.
This morning we made our way into Moree for a fill of fresh water, diesel, a few groceries then are continuing our way south towards Narrabri. We know we will not get to Narrabri by 4pm (the time to be off the road) so we will be looking for a nice overnight stop somewhere on the way. We are journeying in this direction as we both want to visit Tamworth – the country music capital of Australia.