Travelling Australia - Journal 2014b
|10 November 2014
Glen Innes (Beardy Creek) to Oxleys Crossing
The night was quiet and fairly warm. Unusually, we were among the first to leave this rest area; this may have been because many caravans looked as if they planned on not moving at all today. We stopped for fuel and MacDonalds Coffee in Glen Innes then continued south. Weather remained good for travelling although the outside air temperature was soon in the high 20s.
Traffic on the New England Highway remained light until we passes Armadale when volume increased; we have noted this change in traffic at Armadale on previous trips. The road climbs from Glen Innes to reach about 1400 metres at Ben Lomond then goes down; the most obvious descent is down Moonbi 2 and Moonbi 1 just before Tamworth. This is predominantly grazing country with sheep and cattle in evidence.
At Tamworth we turned onto the Oxley Highway across the Liverpool Plains then into the foothills of the Warrambungle Ranges. The Oxley joins the Newell Highway near Coonabarabran but we intended to stop for the night at Oxleys Crossing rest area short of Coonabarabran. By the time we left Tamworth the outside air temperature was 35° to 36° and the sun shone brightly.
The Oxley Highway has had a lot of work done on it in the past years. It remains a two-lane road with no overtaking sections but the surface has been progressively improved to a reasonable standard. There are no civil engineering works such as culverts or cuttings; the road is in long straight sections laid directly on the ground and nearly flat on the Liverpool Plain but down valleys and up hills nearer to the Warrambungles. Much of the Liverpool Plains is devoted to agriculture but the hillier land towards Coonabarabran is mostly covered in trees including at least one national park. Although gum trees dominate the bush there were a lot of cypress visible, especially along the road.
We stopped at Oxleys Crossing rest area for the night. This area had been burnt out just before a previous visit earlier this year when the undergrowth had all been burnt and gum tree trunks were blackened.
10 November 2014 - page 2
Previously burnt parts were well into recovery now but the undergrowth was still less than 30 centimetres high; gum trees had epicormic leaves growing from blackened trunks and the upper canopy was beginning to recover. Time will tell whether the cypress trees will recover, they showed no signs of new growth yet.