Once again we woke to a rather chilly morning which evolved into a beautiful clear and sunny day with temperatures in the mid-to-high teens.
After a slow start we packed up Bertha and went for a quick walk down to the river. The pelicans look so regal!
We then headed into Nyngan for another walk around and stopped for coffee at the Daily Grind coffee shop. Sitting outside in the sun with our coffees we were briefly joined by Bob and Anne, who were also having a walk around town.
It was soon time for us to make a move so we headed back to the Mitchell Highway and crossed over the railway line that went through town. There was another side to Nyngan that we hadn’t seen before.
Soon we were out in the country-side, and it was not long before we were confronted by roadworks. Traffic was actually stopped in both directions for a while and was eventually let through one lane at a time.
Once through the roadworks we came to the interestingly named town of ‘Nevertire’. By now we were clearly in grain country with the major features in Nevertire being grain silos and grain handling equipment. It appeared that a very long string of railway cars were being filled with grain as we passed.
Trangie was the next town along the highway so we pulled off the highway to have a look around and decided that it must be lunch time. Trangie is a small country town which has a quaint bakery – we bought rolls and takeaway coffees and ate our lunch in the Bicentennial Park opposite the Bakery. The streets are very wide and there is a good assortment of shops including, of course, several old hotels. There are some very nice community areas and gardens around the town.
From Trangie it was back on the Mitchell Highway and through more grain country and also some indications of water irrigation channels and water spraying equipment. A large complex of buildings turned out to be a cotton processing facility, further confirming our idea that we are in irrigation country (we didn’t watch 4 Corners last night but I wonder if this area was discussed?).
Narromine was our next stop. This is another nice country town with a great mix of heritage buildings, and it’s a lot bigger than we expected. There are also indications that this is something of a citrus area.
Perhaps not surprisingly Ann found a craft shop and spent a bit of time exploring.
During that time I found a statue of Australian cricketer Glen McGrath, who was born in Narromine and is obviously regarded as a local hero. Reading the plaques on the statue he definitely had a very distinguished cricketing career. When he retired in 2007 he held the world record for the highest number of test wickets by a fast bowler (I’m not a great cricket fan so this did come as a bit of a surprise to me).
I also found a War Memorial honouring Narromine’s war dead, and there were a lot of names on the list. Very sad.
From Narromine we diverted from the highway and took a lesser road towards Parkes. Road quality was actually quite good and we drove down very nice tree lined sections of road. There were signs of irrigated crops at times, and cattle grazing at other times.
Some 40 kilometres along the road we drove through Tomingley. There’s not much here other than the historic Cross Roads Hotel which was apparently established in 1880. However there is some huge mining activity in Tomingley. A quick search on Google tells us that the Tomingley Gold Project consists of 4 exploration licenses covering some 270 square kilometres from Tomingley down to Parkes in the South. The project includes the Peak Hill Gold Mine. Population at the 2011 census was 330.
At Tomingley we turned onto the Newell Highway and it was less than 20 kilometres to our destination – Peak Hill Caravan Park.
We have stopped in Peak Hill for coffee or lunch on several occasions, but had never actually stayed here. Caravan park owner Leighton showed us to our site and gave us a sheaf of information about the town. Frosty – Leighton says Hi! When we first arrived there were only a couple of other vans and motorhomes here, but once we set up there was a continuous stream of new arrivals. There are 34 sites here and I don’t think that many will be vacant overnight.
We got Bertha organized and then went for a walk around town. According to Leighton it is 324 steps from the caravan park to the services club, and that seemed about right. We walked from one end of town to the other but will come back for a better look in the morning. Peak Hill hasn’t survived quite as well as other small country towns we have visited and there are far too many empty shops. Never-the-less the community is certainly working hard to keep the town clean and tidy, and welcoming to visitors.
Back at the caravan park Ann sussed out the camp kitchen and later cooked our dinner out there.
It does get dark very quickly and quite early, so we were soon settled in Bertha for the night.
Still living the dream!