Jenolan Caves to Brisbane, via Dubboi

Whenever you go away, there comes that inevitable time, to head home. After our drive to Bathurst, we eventually needed to return to Brisbane. Dubbo is a short drive, of under 4 hours from Jenolan Caves.

Heading through all sorts of changing landscapes, we could be forgiven for thinking we had ended up in the wrong country! But, through Wellington we went, as we headed to Dubbo.

We had a late start on this day, only due to an unexpected breakfast delay. This meant the planned stop was shortened to 10 minute breaks a rest area. Interesting to pass through Orange and many other country areas. Each unique in their own way. Orange itself a lot more spread out than I had imagined.

After lunch, we arrived in Dubbo where we stopped by the Zoo. On this occasion we personally didn’t do the rounds of the zoo, choosing instead to settle in for a bite to eat at the cafe. Quite an interesting spot to sit, while you watch the monkeys on their nearby island, and view the bird life just casually, swimming or strolling around the area. One of these was this magnificent peacock.Not too concerned about visitors, he was happy to meander around the tables, checking to see what might be on offer before heading out to the wide open space for a bit of lunch.Monkeys are always fascinating to watch. They don’t stop, constantly moving around their island, interacting, playing, just generally entertaining the public. You could easily wile away the hours out the front of the cafe, relaxing and receiving the free entertainment on offer.

Should you decide to go into the zoo, which if you havent done, you should, then dont forget you can take your own vehicle round or hire one of the golf buggies. Great idea if you are short on time or simply not really up to the walk.

With a lot of accommodation choices on offer, it can be hard to decide where to stay. On this occasion we were booked into the Abel Tasman Motor Inn which is conveniently located near the zoo, and even more conveniently located across the road from Club Dubbo. Awesome venue if you’re after some hearty bistro meal, quiet drink or even a dabble on the pokies. Great way to finish the day!The following day, was a short drive to Narrabri. However, after passing through Gilgandra, we headed up to Siding Spring observatory at Coonabarabran, for an informative experience, before continuing on to Narrabri.

Once you leave the main road to head up to the observatory, the road is rougher in places and a little isolated. Still fine for cars plus the diversion is well worth it, when you can view with you own eyes, not only a stunning view, but Australia’s biggest telescope.Housed inside the huge white 6 storey high dome, you can see from miles away, the telescope is quite fascinating.

Theres a cafe on site, plus a gallery costing a mere couple of dollars to enter, which gives some amazing history on the universe and this entire set up. Check out the weights of those milk cartons throughout the universe! It’s incredibly addictive!

Now stick your head through the gap and become a part of the universe…

The vistas from here are amazing. Looking out over the Warrumbungle National Park is quite heartstopping. For as far as the eye can see theres an incredible array of Australian trees, rocks and infamous red dirt. If you haven’t dropped in here in the past (as we hadn’t), then I strongly suggest you take the time to stop in. We had storm clouds rolling in and yet the scenery was still breathtaking. In some way, those storm clouds really fitted into the area, giving a subdued moody look.Keep your eyes peeled too, there are some totally awesome art creations as you head up the short hill to the observatory.

Our last overnight stop was Narrabri. Totally surprising to find we were booked in to a very unique hotel, named the Crossroads Hotel. Looking pretty slick with a modernised look, the rooms surprised, not only in spaciousness, but in the clean modern feel.

But, the icing on the cake, well there were a couple of things. Check out the in house bowling alley, how cool is this!Not only a two lane bowling alley, there are video games, machines and your own bar. Sweet!!

Or perhaps you just want to chill in the tasteful garden area,Another option, book a private room if you have a group. That way you can all eat together, or just sit back and have a conversation away from the general public. Whatever you choose, this country hotel is ready to provide. Enjoy!

Our last stop on the final day, was the truck stop in Goondiwindi. What a hearty lunch for only $12, and this was the small plate! No cooking when we get home!

Thank you for joining me on this road trip, it was truely enjoyable and so interesting to see a bit more of this massive continent we live in. Cheers!

Brisbane Convoy for Kids

After 9 years, Brisbane’s convoy for kids has really started to make its mark on Queensland’s Calendar. Raising a gobsmacking 25 million in the first 8 years, this charity has started from humble beginnings to now become a much looked forward to event.

This year 547 trucks joined the convoy from Brisbane’s Forest Lake on the Southside to Redcliffe Showgrounds on the Northside of Brisbane. That’s not just 547 trucks, there were the drivers, their support crews, employers and families.

Truckies finish off an already full work week, polishing and cleaning their rigs ready for the convoy. Some working into the night to bring out every last bit of shine possible.Barnes Auto Co were one of the companies to send a number of trucks, their total was 8. Assisting a little with the clean up, I then rode along on the convoy.

The day was to prove interesting, exciting and, in places, humorous. Although I’m left wondering if the truckie, who whilst sitting waiting in his truck, amongst the many rows of rigs for the event to start, announced over the radio he was going to order Uber eats, would have ever received his meal! Certainly gave us all a laugh!

What an incredibly heartwarming experience the day was. Everywhere the public could, they lined the streets and sought vantage points to view this incredible spectacle. Cheering, waving and clapping those trucks and their drivers on.

Parents were showing the little ones how to pump their arms so the drivers would pull on those air horns. Kids faces were lit up with the sheer glory of seeing this rumbling, honking mass of sparkling steel on wheels bypass them.

Listening to drivers talking on their radios, we heard some saying how they were blown away with the sight of so many people supporting them in the cause they in turn were supporting. It was incredible.

More so when we live in a time and age where so many run the trucking industry down. And yet, here were these hardworking guys, giving up what for most of them was a precious weekend day off, to support this worthy cause and becoming the heroes of the day. Many had their own families along, with a number of excited kids happy to be riding in their parents rig.

The Showgrounds was a place of wonderment for the kids. There was a petting zoo, rides, big sandpit, all of which were free for those children today, as well as an array of food and general purchase choices. Around every corner there was something different, even displays by the Pine Rivers historical society..Many companies had donated goods to the auction. Some going for a very cheap price compared to their actual worth. However all funds were donated to the kids. Today was all about preserving our future.

The logistics behind the successful organisation of this event, would be the result of hard work and effort. Not an easy job. This year the increase in the trucks from just over 400 for 2017 made it harder for everyone to co-ordinate. Many trucks had left the Showgrounds by the time the trophy ceremony began in early evening. Only because those drivers had completed a long couple of days and needed to have those trucks safely back in yards for the night. Some would be preparing for a new work day,

I believe everyone involved from organisers to sponsors, participants, families, supporters, employers, employees and simply anyone who gave a piece of themselves or something to this event deserves a big thank you. It is truely an impressive day for a wonderful cause.

See you there next year!

For more on Brisbane and surrounds check:

https://snaptravelblog.com/brisbane-city-hall-clock-tower-tour/