Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
1 April 2009 - Cassilis Park to West Wyalong
There was a millimetre of rain overnight with a bit of wind; it was fairly cool but not too cold. We drove out of the rest area onto the Golden Highway and completed the climb up to the Tableland at 692 metres then continued on to Dunedoo. On the Tableland the road runs through a pastoral region with mainly beef cattle and some sheep (Merino studs were advertised). As we got closer to Dunedoo there was more cropping.

We had a pie and coffee at the Dunedoo Pie Shop. These are among the best pies we have eaten and we always plan our trips so we pass through Dunedoo while the pie-shop is open.

From Dunedoo we continued along the Golden Highway to Dubbo. The region was pastoral, mainly cattle, with some cropping. There are no residences or other buildings visible from the road which varies from quite good to not so good in patches.

Dunedoo railway station Dunedoo railway station is typical of a platform and building design widely used in the great nineteenth century expansion of the railway system inland of Sydney.

Grain silo at Dunedoo Grain silos and siding at Dunedoo.

We left Dubbo on the Newell Highway heading south. This road is a major route between Melbourne and Queensland and the number of heavy transports can be a bit of an eye-opener. It looked like we were seeing the peak of traffic which had left Melbourne early this morning. For half an hour after midday we passed an average of three trucks or B-doubles going the other way (i.e. towards Queensland) every two minutes. A few hours later, after the peak had passed, we were passing one every three minutes.

Between Dubbo and Forbes (via Parkes) road elevation was generally between 300 and 400 metres. Gusty wind was always present making the van move a bit although the road condition had a lot to do with the van moving around.

From Forbes the terrain changed substantially to be flatter and more open. Road elevation varied from about 200 to 240 metres; saltbush and other arid land plants were present confirming we had entered a different biogeographical region. The area was also much drier than further north.

South of Forbes we caught up with a herd of cattle making their way along the highway and had to slow down while we moved through the herd which was mostly ambling along on either side of the bitumen with only one animal crossing the road in front of us. Whenever I meet a herd of cattle on a major highway I ponder a little on how many other countries require interstate traffic on a major highway to give way to grazing cattle. The sight of a fully laden B-double heavy truck carrying thousands of dollars worth of goods slowing to a crawl to pass grazing cattle on or beside the highway strikes me as unusual to say the least.

70km north of Parkes Cropland about 70 km north of Parkes.

70km north of Parkes Harvested wheat land about 70 km north of Parkes

At West Wyalong we made our way to a caravan park at the junction of the Newell and Midland Highways. The wind remained strong and gusty; the rain had now gone and the temperature was comfortable to higher than really comfortable.
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