Monday 30th September 2013
Day 160 - Glen Innes to Moree - 210kms.

It was another cool night, we were awake at 7:00am and up and into it, we left at 8:43am and headed to the public dump point in Glen Innes which was blocked, but we managed to empty all our black water and most of our grey water. As usual for us, there was bugger all traffic, our first stop was at Inverell about 68kms, up and down hills. Next stop was Warialda about 62kms, and finally arrived at Gwydir CP at 11:46am.
We are on site 19 and here for 2 nights, so we can go fossicking tomorrow at Bellata. After we setup, we walked to the pools and fell in to the big pool, we spent nearly 2 hours there, it was so refreshing. The big pool is normal temperature, where the other 4 pools are 34°, 35°, 37° and 39°. After showering we sat outside in the shade, while Marg played her Candy Crush and I went on my laptop.

We did have our Air Cond on today, the fist time since Normanton. As it was so hot, we decided against pies for dinner, so we had cereal. It was yumma.

Tomorrow we driving to Bellata looking for agate on their gravel roads.

Our route from Glen Innes to Moree - 210kms.

It started off as a foggy morning.

Rest stop at Warialda.

Rest stop at Warialda.

Tuesday 1st October 2013
Day 161 - Fossicking for Agate at Bellata.

It was a bloody awful night, our coolest time was just after midnight then it warmed up, consequently, we only had a sheet on. Marg got up at 5:30am and I arose about 6:15am. We buggered about on the internet and watched Sunrise (Kochie is on leave), had brekky and left camp at 8:53am.

We have heard that there maybe some agate at Bellata about 50kms south of Moree on the Newell Hwy, that's why we are staying 2 nights at this caravan park. On the way out, I asked at the Office about agate at Bellata, the girls didn't know and said our best bet was to ask the locals. I'm sure that I am not the first person to ask about fossicking at Bellata, anyway, he drove out the CP and headed south along the Newell, there was a constant stream of trucks sitting on 95 - 100kph, so I sat behind a truck and enjoyed the drive for the 51kms to Bellata.

On the way, I thought Plan A would be to visit the Caravan park and ask them where we could fossick. We arrived in downtown Bellata and pulled up in front of the Caravan Park (Co-Ords -29.912818, 149.792542). It appears a tad worse for wear, it is overgrown, you can just make out the awning slabs, the gate is chained up and it looks crap. I don't think that it has seen a caravan for awhile. Plan A just went out the window.

We quickly came up with Plan B, drive out to the quarry on the East side of town. As we were driving there, a car approached us from behind, so I pulled over to let it pass, it promptly turned into the golf club, so we followed it. As the lady got out, I asked her about fossicking, she said that look for red gravel, that will be your best bet. She also said, check out the road leading into Palmerston Quarry (opposite the cemetery), but do not go over the fence it's private property, as previous fossickers have left gates open etc.

We drove up the road to the gates of Palmerston Quarry (Co-Ords -29.919685, 149.822503) (it also looks disused), parked and did an 'emu parade' along the road towards the main road. We ended up with a 'woollies bag' full of stones. Some of the stones are broken, but should be cuttable and some need cutting to see if they are any good. We thought as we are in Bellata, to visit the other quarry (Co-Ords -29.891755, 149.736445) on the west side of town. We did a quick look, they appeared a lot smaller than what we already have, as we were happy with our haul from Palmerston Quarry, we headed back to camp in Moree, but on the way we topped up with fuel, arriving at 12:05pm and it was hot (30.8°).

We turned on the Air Cond and sat inside and played on our computers. About 2pm, we changed into our togs and walked over to the Artesian pools. We went straight to the cool big (30meters) pool, it took a few seconds to acclimatise, but it was enjoyable. As we frolicked in the pool, we watched the thunderstorm approach, it was a big black front, so after the big pool we went into the 34° pool and eventually walked back to the fiver, just before the rains arrived. The winds blew gusting to 83kph at 3:30pm, we are located next door to the Moree Airport. Currently, the main front has blown over and it is raining and the temperature has dropped to 17.5°.

Dinner will be pies followed by watching Big Brother.

Tomorrow we are off to Peak Hill about 447kms. A big day by our standards.

Bellata,NSW - Agate.

Little Gem Van Park, Bellata appears CLOSED.

Little Gem Van Park, Bellata appears CLOSED.

Little Gem Van Park, Bellata appears CLOSED.

Palmerston Quarry - No Entry.

The gravel road from the Quarry to the Berrigal Creek Road.

Our haul, sorted, but unknown until we cut them.

Wednesday 2nd October 2013
Day 162 - Moree to Peak Hill - 446kms.

Well the thuderstorm arrived about 4pm and the temperature dropped from 34° to 17° within an hour and thankfully, the winds died down
It was another cool night, I awoke at 5:30am, while Marg awoke at 6am, we had brekky and packed up and hit the road at 7:22 for the 446kms. We stopped at Bellata as I forgot to take my camera with us in the mighty Navara, then about a kilometer out of town, we stopped at roadworks for 4 min 48 secs, then stopped at 9:16am at a rest area, then after 105kms at 10:42am we stopped just in front of the Lindsay Bros truck. For something to do while travelling we spot and count Lindsay Bros trucks, because when our boys were very young, they competed against Peter Lindsay, one of the Lindsay Bros kids. Next stop was for fuel in Dubbo at 12:07pm and finally arriving at Peak Hill at 1:06pm. I checked in and spoke to Carol (new owner), paid $23.40 with discount.
Parked ourselves on site 18, it feels funny without Leighton directing us onto the site and stopping for a chat. We do miss him, we hope that he and Pauline are enjoying their life, he had his park on the market for 4.5 years.

We left camp at 4:30pm and walked to the Peak Hill RSL for dinner. We get there early, so Marg can play the pokies and I can have a chilled refresher or two. Cec is a legend in Peak Hill, he runs the Barber shop and has been a barber for over 75 years, he is in his 90s and still fit as a bull, He goes to the RSL every night from 5 - 5:30pm, as his wife is in ill health, he has to be home at 5:30pm. Before he left and after I went and spoke to him, he walked over and spoke to Marg. He is such a lovely man. He said "He hopes to see us next year".
At 6pm, Marg left the pokies and we went into the bistro, Marg had fish and chips and I had schnitzel and chips. It was yumma. We walked back to camp, just in time to watch Big Brother.

Tomorrow we drive to Shepparton about 560 kms.

Our route from Moree to Peak Hill - 446kms.

Gowan Rest Area with Lindsay Bros truck.

Thursday 3rd October 2013
Day 163 - Peak Hill to Shepparton - 573kms.

Overnight, there were a few drops of rain but nothing serious. I awoke at 5:30am and went and had a shower, Marg woke at 6:00am, we got ourselves and hit the road at 6:55am and headed towards Parkes for brekky at Maccas. Arrived at maccas at 7:33am, there were about 10 utes there, who were on their way to the Deni Ute Muster. Next stop was at West Wyalong for fuel arriving at 9:21am, we stopped at the Fruit Fly Disposal bin at 11:03am, then arrived at Jerilderie bakery for lunch at 12:37pm, stopped for our last rest stop at Strathmerton at 2:05pm, before arriving at Parklands CP, Shepparton at 3:00pm.
We spent the remainder of the arvo just relaxing after our 8 hour drive. The temperature is already dropping, currently it is 10.5° and dropping to a forecast min of 2°, consequently, my sleepingbag has made an appearance for tonight.

Dinner was a scratch tea, I had cruskits and cheese, while Marg had jam sangas, followed by watching Big Brother.

Tomorrow we drive the 217kms to home.

Our route from Peak Hill to Shepparton - 573kms.

Parked at the rear of the Jerilderie Bakery.


The mighty Navara is with the BIG Boys.

Friday 4th October 2013
Day 164 - Shepparton to Home - 227kms.

We awoke at 6:00am and laid in bed watching Sunrise, as we didn't want to leave until 8:30am, so that we would miss the peak hour traffic. There was only a little bit of packing up and then we left at 8:21am. Heading south from Shepparton, with our only stop at the Seymour Service Centre about 82kms away. The traffic flowed well until we entered the Western Ring road. Welcome home to Melbourne, as we were surrounded by trucks on the Tulla freeway, over Bolte Bridge and then along CityLink, then onto the Monash freeway, and finally onto Eastlink and we turned off at Cheltenham road exit and headed home, arriving there at 11:23am.

Over the next couple of days, we will unpack and clean the van, wash bedding etc.

Our route from Shepparton to Home - 227kms.

Going over the Bolte Bridge.

We were surrounded by trucks. Welcoming us back to Melbourne.

Our lawn needs a mow, I told our housesitter not to mow it. bad idea.

*2013 - Index page*