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2013 – A Year In Review

Well as 2013 closes and 2014 opens it’s time to take a look back through the archives and see what they year that was 2013 looked like through my camera lens.

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Tenterfield Saddler

Today we were headed from Goondi back across the border to Tenterfield. We took a few back roads as the trip is pretty short and stopped at Sundown National Park, which has a nice little camp area (tent only) along the Severn River and has a permanent water hole.

_DSC2334_1 ACR (Small)The river was still flowing nicely and we had a bit of wander around before stopping to snap a few pics of the locals – the hopping variety.

_DSC2343_1 ACR (Small)Arriving in Tenterfield we had a bit to eat and checked in, got the weather report as the clouds had started to come over a little bit and we had hoped to climb Bald Rock that afternoon. Weather report all good we headed out to Bald Rock and made the very steep heart pumping climb up the bald face rock of Bald Rock (funnily enough). Bald Rock is apparently the largest granite exposed rock in Australia. The dome is 750m long, 500m wide and from the top you are 1277m above sea level. There are two tracks to the top the easier way and the hard way – you either go around or straight up. We decided to go straight up about 700+m 30deg vertical ascent on the bald rock, no chains no ropes just straight up! It’s a bloody hard walk and each time you look up you keep thinking we must be there but nope still a few more white dots to follow just yet, and turning around if you aren’t keen on heights is a definite no no! The view is pretty spectacular though. We made it to the top – possibly missing a lung or part thereof and then continued across the top to the summit marker.

_DSC2351_1 ACR (Small) _DSC2361_1 ACR (Small) _DSC2435_1 ACR (Small)We took the easier route down as I wasn’t keen on the steep descent straight down the rock face – we were a long way from anything (and phone signal) one mis-step would have you on your backside and at the bottom of the rock pretty darn quickly I reckon. The walk down was pretty cool as you navigate your way through little tunnels where the rocks of split or fallen and the path now winds through them.

From bald rock we headed to Boonoo Boonoo National Park to see Boonoo Boonoo Falls. I was quite surprised at the amount of water coming over the falls as well as the size of the canyon that they fall away into. The Boonoo Boonoo River settles into a cascading chain of pools before plunging 210 metres over a gorge into the canyon/valley below. We scrambled around the rockpools for a little while and checked out the lookout before it was time to hit the road and back to town so that we didn’t have to avoid too many little hoppys along that way as dusk was settling in.

_DSC2482_1 ACR (Small) _DSC2549_1 ACR (Small)All was very quite in the little town of Tenterfield when we arrived back so we opted for a cook our meal, a few beers and carols by candlelight on the TV for our Xmas eve. Tonight is the last nite of our little road adventure, tomorrow we head over the range to Lismore/tweed to spend xmas and a few days with my family.

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Goondiwindi bound

Today we were headed just up the road to Goondiwindi via Moree where we decided to take a nice refreshing – well given the outside temperature was about 37 deg and the two pools were between 30 – degree im not sure refreshing is the word but they were lovely and relaxing.

We arrived in Goondiwindi and again hit the tourist info centre, which is also the museum for the famous horse Gunsynd – Goondi is literally a one horse town J ..Gunsynd was a champion thoroughbred race horse that won 29 races. In seven starts over 1 mile he was only beaten once and is the only horse to have one the four major one mile races in the same season (still to this date) – the Epsom, Toorak, George Adams and Doncaster. He is said to have had a personality bigger than his winning record only entering the track when the crowd cheer was loud enough and would return to the crowd and again when the cheers were loud enough he would bow his head to the crowd.

_DSC2275_1 ACR (Small)From the museum we headed over the Customs House museum which unfortunately was closed (even though the hours were Wed – Mon and it was Monday !) possibly due to the fact it was Christmas week. The QLD / NSW border is the MacIntyre River and as prior to federation crossing the river/border was like entering another country so customs had to be cleared.

_DSC2262_1 ACR (Small)We wandered around here for a little while crossing the river on the old bridge and checking out the statue dedicated to Gunsynd (named Gun=Goondiwindi, Synd=Syndicate – he purchased for next to nothing by four bushies hoping to win a Group 1 race at Goondi races!)).

_DSC2271_1 ACR (Small)Then it was out to the caravan park and the botanic gardens to scout out a sunset spot, which ended up being the little billabong at the end of the road in the park we were staying at!

_DSC2315_1 ACR (Small)Dinner tonight was the railway hotel, which wasn’t too bad.

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Kapatur National Park

We hit the tourist info to grab some local maps and info about the national park before heading up into the Sawn Rocks area, where took a nice stroll out to the organ like pipes of Sawn Rocks.

_DSC2107_1 ACR (Small)After wandering in here for a while we headed down to the other section of the park and started to the climb (driving) to the Summit of Mt Kapatur, stopping at the vantage points along the way. With the temps climbing we didn’t venture onto the longer walks and opted for a few shorter walks at a few different points along the way before we made it to the top. The view is quite spectacular and it was a bit of shame that some of the smoke and haze from the fires further out west near Pillago had created a hazy horizon as on a clear day you can see up to (apparently) about 30% of NSW.

_DSC2214_1 ACR (Small)We lunched at a lovely little picnic spot – Dawsons Spring just down from the summit and then headed back down the mountain and out to the CSIRO Compact Array telescopes about 25km out of town. Coming back down the mountain and heading west saw the temperature climb to 40+ degrees with a lovely westerly hot breeze to boot. Unfortunately the visitor centre at the telescopes were closed but you still get a great view of the scopes and the information boards are very informative.

_DSC2229_1 ACR (Small)The scopes are part of a larger array including the Coonabarabran, Canberra, Parkes and Sydney. As like the Parkes scope some of the work they do helps to stay in contact with the astronauts on the ISS.

From the scopes we headed out to Yarrie Lake, which due to the water levels had been closed to boating activities and a few days prior had had an outbreak of blue green algae so swimming wasn’t recommended either. The whole camp area was virtually deserted.

_DSC2251_1 ACR (Small)Sunday night in town was pretty quiet with few places open for dinner so we had thai just down the road from the campground which was well lets say nothing to write home about at all!!

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Hitting the pavement once again

Well its time for us to hit the pavement and go another adventure. This time we are leaving poor Thomas at home. We are heading north to family for xmas so we decided to take a road trip to get there but for four nights out of about 11 we decided to leave Thomas at home and gulp stay in cabins along the way.

After way to much tetris/rubix cubing trying to get everything in the boot the way I liked it we were finally on our way with a quick detour via my folks to drop some things off.

We headed west out through Singleton and Muswellbrook making tracks to Quirindi where we stopped for a quick lookout stop at the “Who’d da thought it” lookout which has some nice views back over the town and back to the Great Dividing Range._DSC2057_1 (Small)We continued on through the wheat belt where the golden colours of harvested wheat fields lined the roads. _DSC2062_1 ACR (Small)I love the old style seed/grain mills.

_DSC2060_1 ACR (Small)We grabbed some fuel at Gunnedah, and kept on moving, passing through Boggabri and BaanBaa where i saw this really cool dam with 6 pelicans all lined up along one edge. I did the stop the car chuck a u-turn manoeuvre and just as we pull up (which I did do slowly) the little &^%$# flew off, so needless to say I have a picture of a dam !

_DSC2064_1 ACR (Small)We arrived in Narrabri later in the afternoon, checked into the cabin and took a cruise around town to see what was what – which didn’t take long. Im getting dinner ready and I look out the window and see a pretty decent sunset developing. Now for the past few weeks ive been a bit out of sorts with photography and haven’t really picked up the camera or edited anything very much at all, so the fact I actually wanted to take a pic was a good thing, so we jumped in the car and headed west until we found Narrabri lake – yep its an actual thing and does actually have water in it. Hopefully I managed to grab a few nice sunset shots before we headed back to camp hoping that the breeze would kick in soon as it really hadn’t dipped below 35 and it was half eight already._DSC2075_1 ACR (Small)