Friday, 8th September 2017
|Heading towards Cunningham Gap|
|Roadway through the Gap|
|Pretending he is still in Queensland|
|Standing Stones at Glen Innes|
|These stones didn't "sing"|
Wednesday in Brisbane was spent with Jenny and Brian. We met them at their house before being taken to Sandgate for lunch at a little restaurant that was very special to Jenny. We enjoyed a very nice meal and some very nice socialising – we haven’t met up with them for a couple of years, so there was plenty to talk about. Following lunch, Brian took us for a tour of the Redcliffe peninsula before we returned to their house. The weather continued to be superb and it was our final day (sort of) to wear our Queensland clothes.
Thursday we headed south once again, negotiating the motorways and tolls of Brisbane before joining the Cunningham Highway as far as Warwick. Once again, the skies were very clear and it was a pleasure driving through the farms, vegetable crops and the flowering wattle, before climbing 700 metres through the Cunningham Gap. The drop in the outside air temperature seemed to match exactly the rise in fuel consumption as we slowly climbed to the top of the Great Dividing Range. We had a short stop at Warwick before continuing south on the New England Highway, which did leave a lot to be desired north of the New South Wales border. We stopped for lunch at the border before the final leg (on a much improved road) to our overnight stop at Glen Innes. After settling into the Fossickers Caravan Park, we visited the Information Centre before finding the standing stones (no Jamie or Claire appeared). At 1157 metres above sea level, the air is much more bracing and an overnight temperature of -4 is forecast. Time to once again swap the wardrobe and bring out the woollies – and the heater!
Fortunately, the overnight temperature didn’t quite reach the anticipated minimum, but it was still a very chilly start to the day, with the windchill much lower than the reported temperature. Today we headed west towards Moree, dropping down from the New England Range to the Western Plains. The Gwydir Highway was very good and easy driving, especially after yesterday, and there wasn’t a great deal of traffic. Once again, the weather continues fine and sunny, although the bracing wind was also once again a head wind. We passed through the pretty town of Inverell (making a note it would be a nice place to spend a night) before continuing through cattle farms to Moree before turning south for Narrabri. The cattle farms gave way to wheat farms, with some canola, all the way to Narrabri and our overnight stop at the Highway Tourist Village, just south of the Namoi River. A nice little park, probably a bit too shady at this time of the year, but we look out over a very pleasant little garden with petunias and a large grassy area.