Travelling Australia - Journal 2012b
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27 December 2012

Canberra to Black Stump rest area near Coolah
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Weather for our departure from Canberra was cool and sunny. The temperature had been low enough in the van early in the morning (16°C) to try out our newly installed gas heater; it worked well and means that free-camping on cold nights will be more comfortable in future.

We left Canberra on the Barton Highway in fairly light traffic for this main artery. The land was sheep and cattle country all the way to the Hume Freeway. After a few kilometres on the Freeway we turned north along the Lachlan Valley Way to Boorowa, continuing on to Cowra, then Canowindra, Cudal and Molong. About 10 kilometres north of Boorowa we past the remains of a large grass fire which had burnt out more than 4000 hectares of grazing land in mid-December; it had moved so fast that graziers were not able to move all their sheep out of the way and many sheep were burnt to death. This grass fire has been taken as evidence that this summer looks likely to be bad for fires.

The land had been gradually rising as we moved north towards Molong, elevation 535 metres. We refuelled at Molong and continued north along the Mitchell Highway. Traffic was light on this moderately hilly highway. After passing through Wellington and approaching Dubbo we turned at Wongarbon onto a short side-road to take us to the Golden Highway without going through Dubbo.

We drove along the Golden Highway through Dunnedoo to the turn-off to Coolah. The Golden Highway is quite a good road connecting the Hunter Valley with Dubbo and is well used although traffic was not heavy today. Passing through Coolah we stopped at the Black Stump Rest Area north of the township for the night. The bitumen area is a little small for an overnight stop but some edging boulders had been dragged aside in the past leaving space for vehicles to reach a flat grassy area behind the toilet block. After we went there two other vehicles followed us and setup for the night. Over the fence from the rest area was a stubble paddock with sheep grazing on the stubble and a variety of birds (mainly rosellas and parrots) in the large gum trees remaining in the paddock.
The Black Stump Reproduction of the Black Stump in the Black Stump Rest Area 11 kilometres north of Coolah.

Tree Gum trees on sheep-grazing paddock at the Black Stump.

Tree Eastern Rosella was one of several bird species around the Black Stump Rest Area.

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