|Travelling Australia - Journal 2010|
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|23 September 2010 - Mudgee to Dunedoo|
The morning was damp with dew but otherwise pleasant although visibility was reduced in fog for much of the morning. We connected Eurostar and Pathfinder before leaving the caravan park bound for Dunedoo via Gulgong along the Castlereagh Highway.
The road from Mudgee passes through several agricultural activity. Grapes are widely grown around Mudgee, which has a well-established wine industry, but we also passed fruit tree and crops. Livestock were mainly sheep with some cows and one large "horsemanship" establishment. The road was hilly with two lanes of bitumen in reasonable condition. Traffic was very light.
We used the by-pass around Gulgong and continued along the Castlereagh Highway towards Dunedoo. Terrain remained a bit hilly with cropping and pasturing of both sheep and cattle. Towing the caravan up this series of short hills raised fuel consumption a little.
Ten kilometres from Dunedoo the Castlereagh Highway joined the Golden Highway. We had been hearing wide loads reported on the UHF radio for some time and expected to meet one after we turned onto the Golden Highway. One interesting exchange was between drivers of two 4.3 metre wide loads approaching each other from opposite directions; the drivers were very relaxed about finding some way to pass. We pay careful attention to wide loads when towing the caravan which is slightly less than 2.5 metres wide; passing an oncoming load 5.4 metres wide on a road with a 5 metre wide road surface can be difficult.
In the event we had an incident-free run into Dunedoo where we went to the caravan park and selected a vacant site; the office is unmanned and fees are collected late in the afternoon. After unhooking the caravan we drove into the Dunedoo Pie shop for lunchtime pies then went for a look around the township. We've stopped in Dunedoo several times but this is the first time we have had the time to look around. The residential area is larger than we anticipated with a wide range of residence quality; some houses were modern, brick and well-maintained, other were not. The courthouse was a surprisingly formal building in this small town with a population of less than 900 serving passing traffic; the courthouse indicates that Dunedoo had a more important administrative role in the past.
In the afternoon I went to the 25 hectare Dunedoo Woodland Learning Centre two kilometres out of town beside the cemetery. This area of Grassy Box Woodland had been designated a Travelling Stock Reserve more than a hundred years ago; although the need for a stock reserve has gone now that stock are moved by truck, the land had been preserved and represents a vegetative community which was once widespread on the inland slopes of the Great Dividing Range but has been mostly cleared for agricultural activity. I spent several hours wandering around taking plant photographs.
By sunset the caravan park was full. The fee collector said this was unusual.