Travelling Australia - Journal 2015b
|29 April 2015
Narrabri to Casino
We decided to use the road from Narrabri to Bingara which we had investigated last week: there had been no rain for many days or weeks and we were confident that floodways crossing the road would be dry or, at least, have very little water in them. In fact, all the floodways were completely dry.
Knowing the road was all bitumen, and most of it good quality, we could concentrate on noting the countryside.
Leaving Narrabri heading north on the Newell Highway we soon turned left along the road to the Sawn Rock Reserve in Kaputar National Park. The road ran through flat cropping paddocks until entering the foothills of the Nandewar Range then into Kaputar National Park (including the entry to the Sawn Rock car park). The road goes through hair-pin bends climbing up the Narrabri side of the mountain range and down the other side.
After leaving the mountains and the national park the road ran across wide open grazing land in long, nearly straight and nearly flat, stretches which were a pleasure to drive on. One or two very small villages were signed or marked on the map but they were closer to historical place markers than thriving settlements. Cattle, mostly black Angus, were widespread in paddocks along the road. Traffic was negligible.
Apart from a brief period passing through hills around a site of geological interest (glacial deposits) the grazing land continues until the road enters hills 15 to 20 kilometres before Bingara. This is the second slow part of the Narribri to Bingara road with some steep hills (up and down) before entering the town.
We stopped in Bingara to have a look around and for a cup of coffee. Leaving Bingara on the road from Bingara to Delungra on the Gwyder Highway. This was a generally good road with some roadworks in progress replacing degraded surface. In Delungra we turned right (east) towards Inverell which we passed through without incident. Then up hills to Glen Innes and the New England Highway which took us to Tenterfield.
From Tenterfield we took the Bruxner Highway on a well-known drive downhill to Casino. Ironically we found the cheapest petrol (unleaded 91 octane) of the trip (Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales) in Casino.
One of the goals of this shorter than usual trip, and one reason for not flying to Hobart, had been to see what travelling without the caravan was like and we were certainly now much wiser. On balance the advantages of having the caravan were fairly well balanced by the disadvantages; but that conclusion applied very much to a trip in well-settled parts of Australia, in more remote regions the caravan has considerable advantages.