Our visit to the Pilliga Artesian Bore Baths, while very relaxing, wasn’t quite what we were expecting. I think we set off to the Bore visualising it would be something like our ‘hot pools’ around New Zealand. It turned out however to be a swimming pool very similar to the size of an in ground domestic pool with a continual flow of warm artesian water running through it. Our parking area was an open ‘paddock’ with the odd tree thrown in for shade. In saying all that, the pool was very relaxing, the people we met were lovely and there was no road or traffic noise. It was what it was and we were privileged to be able to be there.
We got away from the Bore quite early on Monday morning as we were not sure how far we were going to have to drive that day. We returned to Wee Waa to grab a coffee, and then back onto Narrabri, down through Turrawan, Baan Baa, Boggabri and into Gunnedah. It is incredible how quickly landscapes change in Australia. In a matter of 150km we went from a dry harsh red dust environment to an almost lush green pastoral environment. What a difference a few drops of rain and a slightly cooler temperature makes.
We decided not to stay in Gunnedah for the night but drove 12km east of the town and settled at the Red Bank Rest Area. The area was typical of many of Australia’s rest areas – about two hectares of grass and plenty shade trees. We were the second motorhome on the site at 4pm but by 6pm there were 15 other motorhomes or caravans staying the night. We are not quite sure what the food source was at the stop but crested cockatoos were wandering around in their hundreds.
The overnight stop was quiet and without dramas. Tuesday morning, and as normal, we were the last van to leave the overnight stop. We seem to have this ‘no pressure’ life well worked out.
On Monday night we received an ‘alert’ to say that Tuesday would bring high winds and storm conditions towards the end of the day. How right the advice was. Our journey from the Red Bank Rest to Tamworth was a little challenging. The high winds made driving the motorhome a little similar to sailing a yacht – the wind sheer had us all over the place.
We made a decision before getting to Tamworth that we would stay at a caravan park for the night just in case the storm got a out of hand. Another good decision!! As we complete this update it is bucketing down, the winds are howling and there does not seem to be any letting up soon. At least we are a little sheltered with all the other buildings around.
We are hoping the weather improves overnight so we can have a look around the town tomorrow. Tamworth has established itself as Australia’s Country Music Capital so there is heaps to see. Our plan is to leave Tamworth tomorrow sometime and head up the New England Highway towards Armidale. There are a number of recommended stops, weather dependant, we would like to make.