Free camping at Wingadee

This is not such a great spot that I would normally write about it as a camp site. It does have a toilet, some rubbish bins and some picnic tables with a roof. My main reason for posting is that I just had to show you some lovely photos of the sunset and one of the moon and some of its craters.


 I don't used filters or such as I wouldn't know how. I just use a point and click Canon camera - sometimes I am lucky and others - well... lets say my computer rubbish bin needs emptying frequently. ;)



It had been raining for a couple of days right across the country prior to our arrival, which was absolutely great as the land needed it so bad. As we all know that clouds really enhance any sunset and sunrise.


In this one the trees look like they are on fire!
This is the first time I had ever tried to take a photo of the moon. (I think our recent visit to the Parkes Observatory had inspired me to at least try!) I don't think I have seen the craters on the moon without a telescope before!!! It might not win prizes but I am tickled pink with it!



Free camping at Bogan Weir

The reason we went off road and thus got bogged was that we missed the driveway into the Bogan Weir. It is just 7km from Peak Hill not the 15 we had been told. (Just 150m past the causeway).



This lovely spot is so quiet (other than the birds) that I think it must be a well kept secret. We had only 4 other campers there the entire time we were there and one of those was our good friends, Steve and Lorraine.




Peak Hill


Peak Hill is just a small town many people just past on through. There is a small supermarket, and a few little cafes. We enjoyed looking at the craft shop and the 'antique' shop which also houses many other bits and pieces including this fabulous hand beaded sheer dress at the bargain price of $400. It would be a dress that would looked fabulous on someone like Cher.

Mostly though we were at the weir just to have some time out to veg and spend some time crafting and chatting.




On the way out of Peak Hill we just had to stop by the open cut Gold Mine in Peak Hill.

Parkes Observatory

One shouldn't ever go past Parkes without visiting the Parkes Observatory. It is free to visitors and so very interesting.



I loved the photographic gallery inside. There are some amazing photos of night skies and phenomena in the gallery.  This universe is just amazing.

I was fascinated to learn about the information on the moon, and particularly about the role that Parkes played in the world event of the first manned moon landing.



I also enjoyed the movie 'The Dish' when it came out years ago and I was fascinated with comparing the facts and the few liberties that the script writers added to get a story across.


Allow at least 90 minutes to visit here. It is so worth it. The telescope was continually turning the whole time we were there.



We couldn't leave without having a go at the whispering discs either! Rob went to one disc and I stood at the other one and we spoke sweet nothings to each other. It was corny but great fun. Aww Sweet, I know! LOL Sadly we didn't think to get a photo of one to show you.


Orange, Blayney and Carcoar

Whilst free camping at the excellent Carcoar Dam site, we had lots of opportunities to visit surrounding areas by car.

Sunrise at Carcoar Dam

Orange


We did a trip down memory lane when we spent a day in Orange as both Rob and I used to live here at different stages of our childhood. We found we knew some of the same people. For example Rob's sister was best friends with Mariska whom became my best friend for the few years I spent at Canobolas High School. Some things have changed especially in the shopping heart of Summer Street, yet the iconic lookout at Mt Canobolas is still a rough old gravel road nearly all the way to the top. The road to the summit is about 5kms. The road is sealed at the bottom and also at the top, but there is an rough unsealed gravel section for most of the way. You'd think that the local council would have done this up by now.

Lousy gravel road to Mt Canobolas

From Mt. Canobolas we made our way to Lake Canobolas, a local boating recreation area. The grounds around the lake contain lovely picnic areas, BBQ settings and childrens playgrounds. The area also contains a number of large vineyards, many of which having open cellars and few with cafes or restaurants attached. My husband was 'shocked' to find that I used to go skinny dipping in the lake in my tear away teenage years. LOL

Lake Canobolas

Carcoar


Another day we went sightseeing around the historic town of Carcoar. I quaint town that time has left behind. Sadly not much was open during the weekday we visited but we are assured it has more ot offer visitors on the weekends. Anyway we drove around and loved seeing the old architecture such as the courthouse, the railway station and of course the beautiful old churches.

Carcoar Catholic Church

Carcoar Anglican Church

Blayney


This was our main shopping area for our stay, so we popped in a few times, whether it be to do some actual grocery shopping, buy some excellent fish and chips, visit the op shops or do the laundry etc. We also took our time getting a good look at the historic churches here. My favourite one being this tiny church in the main street but back a little and that I think many people would miss.

Blayney Presbyterian Church

Spring Hill


One place we didn't stop by was Spring Hill. We were returning back from Orange via a different route and it was late in the day. It looks like it is definitely worth a visit all on its own.

Spring Hill Uniting Church

Glorious Autumn


Being autumn at the time of our visit, the trees were putting out their most colourful display in all the towns and country side.

Autumn colours in Blayney

Japanese Gardens at Cowra

It has been 20 or so years since we last visited the beautiful lush gardens and cascading streams of Cowra Japanese Gardens.


Cowra Japanese Garden was designed by Ken Nakajima as a strolling garden. It is near the POW camp where Japanese Prisoners of War and other internees were kept during the Second World War. From this awkward beginning, Cowra now has strong cultural and friendship links with Japan, and this beautiful garden is an on going expression of this.


However before we venture outside, there's is a wonderful  display area where one can see war lord helmets, swords, magnificent pottery, kimonos etc.

Samurai



Model of the Torii Gate

There are 5 hectares of garden, but the most intensive planting is around the purpose built pond and then many cascading waterfalls on the rocky hillside. As Rob is not capable of managing lots of hilly walking we hired a buggy to get us around.




Most plants are trimmed and shaped, only a few plants are left to grow into their natural shapes. This creates a lot of visual interests on many levels. It is definitely a high maintenance garden and one that the vast majority of us could only enjoy by walking through it rather than having such a garden in our own place. Still I loved the way the plants which are ones we see commonly in our own gardens have been carefully sculptured almost to the point of not being able to recognize them.

One view from the top
Stone sculpture that commemorate the days of the week

Every where you look is a scenic picture waiting to be captured.




It was well worth the return visit.

Getting bogged

On our way to Bogan Weir just 7km from Peak Hill, we missed the turn off and decided to pull over to the shoulder in preparation to make a U turn. However as soon as we left the hard top, the soft clay soil took over and the bus wheels kept on sliding further and further over and down into a shallow depression. We were not only well and truly bogged, we were tilted at a crazy angle and we could not get ourselves out of the ditch without outside help.



Thankfully that was not long in coming as a local council worker was shortly driving past on his way to knocking off for the day. He told us that the area had 2.5 inches of rain a few days before and though the ground looked OK it was just under the surface.



Our helpful buddy tried to summon up a tractor to not avail but with repeated calls he was able to summon up a truck who came.


Within 45 minutes we were pulled out much to the amusement of the local council workers who came to look and offer assistance. It is easy to grin and take it on the chin once the drama has ended and the bus did not tip over as was feared.



So we now know never to pull over on soft shoulder. We are all safe thanks to the wonderful country helpfulness of the local folk, council workers, etc.



With the wisdom of hindsight we now know that one should never venture on to the soft shoulder especially with a bus/motorhome. Still it is the first time we have ever gotten bogged and hopefully it will be the last.

Free camping in Forbes

Wheogo Park, right in the heart of Forbes is a free 48 hour campsite. It is just off the Newell Highway making it a very convenient place to spend the night on your travels through the area. It is on the southern bank of the Lachlan River as it runs through Forbes and is only about 500m from the centre of town via a walkway across the river.

Part of the view from Wheogo Park
The campsite is a large relatively flat semi grassed area with trees providing some shade if you like with a few rarer sunny spots for the solar seekers. It is large enough for big rigs. There are no amenities here other than rubbish bins but there are toilets in Lions Park which is right next door about 600m from our van. There is also good mobile phone and television reception here for both Optus and Telstra.

Camped at Wheogo Park

Take a walk around the lake, it is flat and there's a concrete path around most of it. There's a sports field opposite the river and there are many bridges so the walk can be tailored to suite. As I mentioned earlier, the shopping centre is just on the other side of the river so it too is within easy walking distance with IGA being conveniently the closest!

Another beautiful morning dawns at Wheogo Park
It was here that we met up with Dawn and Spencer again and later Lorraine and Steve. Rob & Spencer walked to the McFeeter's Motor Museum and enjoyed a couple of hours there whilst Dawn and I walked into town and did mostly window shopping whilst picking up some minor supplies & checking out the local op shop I bought 5 pairs of brand new still in the package, hot pink football socks for my sock doll making! Watch and see what I make with them.

Yindi on the left wearing a dress made from a hot pink football sock

Mc Feeter's Motor Museum is in a purpose built shed used for displaying a vast collection of meticulously restored motor cars. The cars range from vintage to custom cars and many in between, including some real odd bods! The boys really enjoyed themselves.

McFeeter's Motor Museum

McFeeter's Motor Museum