Monday, February 20, 2012

Northern Rivers and Beyond...

We headed up the New England highway, a big day of driving but not many tourist sights to see other than beautiful farmland, which was pretty exciting for the likes of us. We hit Tenterfield and I literally saw a saddler's shop and couldn't stop singing... "Time is a traveller...Tenterfield saddler!" Too bad for Matt they were the only words I knew...

Getting a bit delirious on the road!
Winding our way from Tenterfield to Lismore (we didn't really realise there were a few massive hills and valleys in our way!) My childhood holidays were spent in the NSW northern rivers region visiting our cousins in Murwillumbah - as soon as the country opened up to sugarcane, macadamia trees, those big wide rivers and warm coastal air it was familiar. After stocking up on fancy cheese and some alcohol to bring to dinner at Gus and Hayley's...we realised Hayley is a non-drinking vegan. Faux paus much?! Oh well, it was great to see them again - we really haven't caught up since we finished uni in Melbourne four years ago. Hayley is originally from the Northern Rivers and completed her uni study there, Gus followed after he finished Ag Science with Matt, and now works as an agronomist in the area. For a boy of a dry and dusty sheep farm in Naracoorte, humid sub-tropical Lismore has been a culture shock! Matt enjoyed chewing his ear off about all things 'agro' in the area and even things back home in Naracoorte. Hayley is an artist - mainly working in printmaking and linocuts so us creatives skimmed over the farm talk.

Our great friends who we used to live over the hill from (and I nannied for) back in our Ythanbrae days had friends in Warialda who were keen to have me take some family happy snaps, as well as show Matt around their Angus stud. We jumped at the chance and drove the four and a half hours due west the next day from Lismore.

Wendy and Ben Mayne's at Warialda
The Mayne family were beautifully welcoming and warm. Despite it being young Will's birthday, the family heading off on holidays the next day and the kids swimming carnival being that day - Wendy still made us dinner and shared a wine with me whilst Ben gave Matt a farm tour and (again) talked all things agro.

Rosie and Will
Drinks on the deck with the Mayne family
We pitched our camper on the lawn in their beautiful gardens. Warialda was green and undulating - we would've liked to stay! The cattle were happy, the grass abundant.

Cattle at Texas Angus, Warialda
But the Mayne family were off to the beach, and we had another appointment with another beautiful family in Goondiwindi. Between Warialda and Goondiwindi we came across a lot of cropping country - sorghum as far as the eye could see! Also a lot of cotton. 

Sorghum coming into Goondiwindi from Warialda
Our friends Nic and Amy, who I recently took family photos for back in Gippsland, used to live in Gundy, and had some friends who had seen their photos and wanted some of their own. Tracey, Richard and their three were so much fun to work with and again another warm and welcoming family.

The Stewart children: Lachlan, Izzy and Elsie
But again we were due to hit the road, headed north out of Goondiwindi to Roma and then beyond to Injune. We pulled into the Injune Caravan Park to find we were sharing it with a few hundred miners, only one other 'tourist' couple (grey nomads in their caravan) so I figured I was one of only two females there!

Up early again the next morning and on the road again heading north...

Until next time, The Happy Campers xxx


  1. Looks like you have seen some beautiful country and people Emma, safe travels, until next time :)

  2. wow you've really made your way north quickly! getting closer to my neck of the woods (we are at Prairie, find THAT on your map!) :-) wonder if you have run into any rain, and how did you go navigating through the recently flooded areas?

  3. Loving your journey - so many simple wonders and happy things to do in our own backyards. You capture this beautifully! Travel safe and can't wait to read your next installment.

  4. Great catching up on your travels Em xx Keep posting - am lovig the story, photo's and memories of 'our'. travels many many years ago - you will have a great diary and photo's to look back on. Keep safe both of you xx