Thursday 31st of August
Tenterfield to Tamworth
No Photos today as it is a travel day.
Last night was surprisingly mild, we didn’t need to have the Tangey heater on in the morning. As usual for the last few days, the morning was clear with a bright blue sky ( What other colour is there?), with no wind, and soon warmed up to a very pleasant 20 deg. We had packed the camper and were leaving Tenterfield at around 10.20 am heading southward towards Tamworth, 300 Km further on. The country south of Tenterfield is hilly granite country with the highway twisting and turning through valleys with tree covered hills on each side. The traffic on the road was not particularly dense, and we only saw a few caravans approaching heading north. Compared to the east coast highways, there is very little caravan traffic on the New England Highway, the road we were following south.
After a little over an hour of travelling we arrived at Glen Innes, and as it was about 11.30, we stopped beside a park in the town for a coffee and cake break. After this break Linda took over driving as we continued on to the next major town on the highway, Armidale. As we were just leaving Glenn Innes we noticed a large flashing sign beside the road announcing a serious accident somewhere further south. The sign was flashing too quickly regarding warnings about route changes due to the highway being closed to avoid the accident for us to read, we had no real chance to interpret the sign before we passed it, so we hoped that we would receive directions later on our journey.
Lots of steep hills and twisting road to traverse from Glen Innes onward, so the journey was not particularly fast. Very pretty scenery otherwise with the rolling hills and forest covered peaks, with sheep country in the valleys. Finally we came to the town of Uralla where we decided to stop for lunch. Linda and I had been to Uralla some years ago and stayed in a motel there. Nice town with some lovely restaurants as we remembered.
Uralla is in a valley, and as we rose up from the valley on the edge of town we came across the same warning sign as at Glen Innes re the serious accident closing the highway. A few hundred metres further on we were stopped at a barrier across the highway and directed to a detour to avoid the accident. The detour was about 50 Km in total length taking us south east to the town of Walcha on the Oxley Highway. Here we finally headed 80 Km due west to Tamworth along, again a very twisting and undulating road through quite scenic sheep county.
Linda had checked out tourist parks a day ago, and we decided on one that was highly recommended about 7 Km short of Tamworth city centre. We were able to obtain a nice powered and grassed site for our camper, and so set ourselves of for the next 2 nights at Tamworth. Having set up camp Linda and I drove into Tamworth for some essential, as usual, shopping for for for the next 2 days.
On return to camp we decided to join a group of fellow travellers (not of the Communist variety) for a few drinks around a warming fireplace at the park. Whilst chatting to our fellow travellers, one of the travellers spoke of the accident on the highway that had necessitated our detour via Walcha. Apparently a stolen car had crashed into a fuel truck. The driver of the stolen car was killed, and the fuel truck incinerated. As I understand, the driver of the truck survived. No wonder the highway was closed to traffic.
It was now time for dinner as the temperature here at Tamworth is plummeting towards zero. Another cold evening ahead in the New England Tablelands area of NSW. By the way, it is called ‘New England’, because the area has some, minor, resemblance to the countryside in old England. Lots of European trees around the place.