Tag Archives: new england

Down to the Coast

After exploring the Granite Belt, we backtracked to Tenterfield, and then down the Bruxner Highway towards the Far North Coast. The first hour or two were doozies, with the road twisting this way and that down the plateau. This is one of the straighter bits.

Bruxner Highway

After the village of Drake, the road straightened a little bit as it wound its way down the foothills, and the temperature was at least 5C warmer than the tablelands. Past Mallanganee, we saw the icon of the region, Mount Warning, on the horizon.

Bruxner Highway

We travelled through the Northern Rivers towns of Casino, Lismore, and Bangalow, to the tourist mecca beach town of Byron Bay. Luckily, we had this little oasis to ourselves.

Genie House

Tenterfield

We passed through a lot of lovely New England towns north of Armidale, and stopped at Tenterfield for lunch. It’s the hometown of Peter Allen, only a fraction the size of Armidale, but is lovely in its own way. The weekend bikers certainly think so. They were out in force.

Downtown Tenterfield

Once again, a lot of turn-of-the-century buildings were preserved, particularly since this town was where Henry Parkes gave his Federation speech, that kick-started the founding of Australia as a nation.

Downtown Tenterfield

Armidale – Part 4

Nearby the farm was Dangar Canyon and Falls, part of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Here you realise how high up the New England plateau truly is. From here, water makes its way down to the Pacific Ocean, winding its way down to Kempsey and South West Rocks.

Dangar Canyon and Falls

But it had been so dry in recent months that the water fall and the creek that fed it was completely dry!

Dangar Canyon and Falls

Next, we’ll make our way up the New England highway.

Armidale – Part 3

We explored the paddock beyond the pony yard. There’s plenty of cattle poo but no cattle.

Poppy's Cottage

The hillock here has been described as an extinct volcano or a volcano plug, but Hubby thinks it’s lava flow that met a bit of an obsticle. Over time it’s hardened into basalt. There’s certainly evidence of a lot of prehistoric volcanic activity all over the New England area. The gold and gems found in the rivers are evidence of that.

Bridie however was more interested in smells – rabbits and roos in particular.

Poppy's Cottage

She certainly needed her coat as it was frigid on the mornings we were there.

Poppy's Cottage

From the farm, the undulating landscape seemed to go on forever. Even though the wind was icy cold and the sky overcast, I loved the way the muted light played on the hills. It’s almost European.

Poppy's Cottage

Armidale – Part 2

On the property, there was an assortment of outbuildings, some like this barn, very rustic indeed.

Poppy's Cottage

The entire farmstead was fenced – to stop the dogs and poultry wandering off and the cattle wandering in!

Poppy's Cottage

The trees were winter-bare, and the air was certainly more crisp than that down the coast. Lucky we brought a lot of winter woollies. We certainly needed it.

Poppy's Cottage

Armidale – Part 1

We spent the next few days in the Northern Tablelands town of Armidale. It’s a big town, but its historic buildings gave it character, and the student population from the University of New England gave it life.

We stayed a bit out of town at Poppy’s Cottage B&B. It’s set on a small farm with an old farmhouse with a separate cottage for guests. Hosts Poppy and Jack were very welcoming, providing great breakfasts and even more sumptuous dinners.

Poppy's Cottage

Being a farm, they had an obligatory dog or two.

Poppy's Cottage

Lots of gardens, as well as a pet Shetland pony in the paddock.

Poppy's Cottage

We’ll have a good ramble around the property in the next post.

Nundle

We’ve just returned from our road trip north, and over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about it. We decided early on that we wanted to take our beagle Bridie with us, and so I did quite a bit of research on dog-friendly accommodation along the New England and Pacific Highways.

After an overnight stop in Singleton, we made our way north along the New England Highway, diverting for lunch at village of Nundle. It’s a sleepy village that was previously a gold mining town. You can still fossick for gold and gems in its river, but being mid-winter it was way too cold for that. Instead, we visited the Nundle Woollen Mill, a working wool mill.

Nundle Woollen Mill

It had a good range of yarns and wool wear, as well as working pieces of wool making machinery.

Nundle Woollen Mill

I didn’t buy any yarn then, but I’m thinking about it.