Thought I might update this. Our plans to go to Melb got cancelled as the friends we were visiting were all sick. Plus the 2 x 7 day quarantines would have made it an expensive trip, so we gave that leg the flick. So we went SE Qld - Moree - Dubbo - Parkes - Canberra - Mt Selwyn. On the way back, we went along the coast but only stopped for toilet breaks, food and petrol (what a long drive that was! 17hrs all up, 2hrs of that spent sitting in road works between Karuah and Bulahdelah if memory serves).
The drive from Beerwah to Esk was magnificent! What views! My kingdom for a Lamborghini on some of those hills. We made it to Moree about 4pm. It took me almost an hour to put up the tent. The kids couldn't help bang pegs in as the ground was very hard. I was so pleased to have packed a mallet. We got a powered site but I left the long extension cord at home and took the short one (never again). A lovely couple from 2 doors down lent us one. Thank you strangers! My children enjoyed watching a dvd on the laptop before bed.
The thermal pools in Moree were heavenly. I really didn't want to get out but the kids were whinging for food. Found out around about 10pm and again at 1am that the site was near a railway line. No prizes for guessing how we found out. Had a rotten nights sleep and the girls were cranky too. The 4am toilet trip by my eldest was not welcomed by me nor was I impressed how she woke her sisters up and noone could get back to sleep. At 6am I started packing the car. It is very hard to take down a tent and feed 3 children while trying to remain quiet so as not to disturb others. All in all, not too bad for a first night.
Next stop was Dubbo. It rained the whole drive there. We had just missed the rain when packing the tent. Literally! As soon as the fly was folded and into the bag, the heavens opened up. I decided that I needed to sleep that night or I wouldn't be able to drive the next day, so I altered our booking for a cabin. Holy cow! $180 a night. Initially I said no but after an hour decided that maybe it was worth the money to have a private loo and a bed to sleep in. I asked about the blown out cost. School holidays I was told. Hmmm yes it the states either side of NSW but not in NSW itself. Note to self - never again. For $180 a night I would have liked to have had hot water to shower us all but apparently that was asking too much. 120L (maybe 160L) tank between 2 family cabins? Come on!
The kids liked the zoo but it was a damp day and the ground was soggy. The animals weren't all that active. They thought the tiger was tops. We all learnt about new animals. My poor children realised they have a dumb as a plank mother as they kept asking me what sort of animal such-and-such was. My answer was usually "I don't know, lets find out". My favourites were the giraffes.
We had planned to go back to the zoo the next day but when we arrived at the gates, there were lines and lines of cars. We waited for 15 mins and then we made the decision to head for Parkes. I loved the observatory. Where else in Australia can you get a movie for 4 people for $20? I wish we were allowed in the telescope itself. How cool would that be! Instead we sat outside, looking up at the telescope and ate our vegemite sandwiches (aussie aussie aussie).
From there we headed to our friends house in southern nsw. I might be one of 6 people in Australia but I really like Canberra. Well from the small part of it I saw as we drove through it. It reminds me of Darwin. One minute we were driving along, the next minute we see Parliament House right infront of us. 3 seconds later The Lodge. My children were more excited about that than seeing black rhinos. How sad is that! I was nearly tempted to ring the intercom "G'day is Kev there? could ya tell him to pull his finger out. Gazza's torana's leaking oil"
We went to Mt Selwyn on our second last day. Not the best conditions but snow is snow and we went. What a gorgeous drive. The countryside was breathtaking. I have never seen snow before. Turns out, I'm not a fan of it
My car froze nicely. Nature's bling. When I got back home, no less than a week later one of the pipes in the engine cracked. $300 later kaching! Thank goodness it happened once we were home.
We left ahead of schedule. A touch after 9am. My youngest was starting to get sick. I wasn't feeling 100% either. Decided we'd go to coffs, stay overnight and head home the next day. That didn't happen. The new direct (ish) route is great but everything is off the highway, very few towns are on it anymore. When we got to coffs, everything was shut, so I made the decision to head for home. Thank you to all the truckies with QLD license plates. I followed a couple of you for a while. It rained so heavy I wouldn't see the bonnet. I love driving and am pretty confident in most on-road conditions but I really hate driving in torrential rain on unfamiliar roads. Also not a fan of kangaroo for the next 20kms sings when I can't see the bonnet. But we made it through.
At 2am the next morning, we were in our own beds. We had a great holiday and my children are fantastic travellers but gee it is wonderful to be home. We will go away again. I was hoping to go these school holidays but alas I am working. Maybe in December.