|Travelling Australia - Journal 2012
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|16 August 2012 - Canowindra to Dunedoo|
We had stayed connected overnight so had an easy departure from Canowindra on a bright and sunny morning. We intended to drive along the road to Molong on the Mitchell Highway then turn north with Dunedoo as the destination for today. The road was reasonably good with very light traffic. The ground was a little hilly and heavily devoted to cropping. We had passed this way some months before when stalks of the previous, recently harvested, crop were still in the ground; now those paddocks were green with this year's germinating crop. A few paddocks were used for grazing sheep and cattle but this was predominantly a cropping area and accordingly very green.
We made our way along good secondary roads to Molong where we refuelled before continuing along the Mitchell Highway to Wellington. This was a good, two-lane bitumen road which was nearly deserted. Although it was the main highway into Sydney from north-western New South Wales there was hardly any traffic on it.
From Wellington we continued along the Mitchell Highway towards Dubbo intending to turn off to the north-east (to the right) to cut across to the Golden Highway which would go to Dunedoo, our destination for today. We relied on the GPS' choice of road and turned at the village of Wongarbon onto a narrow road (one and a half bitumen lanes) to take us about 25 kilometres to the Golden Highway. Once we reached the Golden Highway, without incident, we turned east towards Dunedoo.
The Golden Highway runs from Dubbo to join the New England Highway between Maitland and Singleton. It climbs up from the Hunter Valley onto the Tableland but only reaches 700 metres elevation making it one of the lower roads onto the interior tableland from the coast; it is a favoured route for many trucks which do not have to climb as high on some other passes. The road has an easy route with long straight stretches and gentle gradients while it is on the tableland; the surface is generally quite good.
On arriving at Dunedoo we parked in the large vehicle parking area between the shops and the railway station and went to the bakery for lunch. Then to the caravan park where we selected a site away from red gum trees and set up for the night. This park does not have an office; an attendant comes around the occupied sites late in the afternoon to collect parking fees. I unhooked the Pathfinder to visit a woodland area near the cemetery; this had been a travelling stock reserve which had lain unused for decades and had been transformed into a nature reserve. Although previous visits had been productive the area was now too dry for there to be many flowers so I returned to the caravan and connected ready for departure tomorrow.