We took a small detour to Gulargambone – why wouldn’t you go to a place with a name like that?
Once again we had to cross the Castlereagh, but up here it was still dry – the rivers come and go so quickly here! We stopped to watch a mob of cattle being driven across the river, and had a chat to the drover on his quad bike with his dog by his side.
Then we drove past corrugated iron galahs on the roadside, and into a very pretty country town, and stopped at the 2828 Café & Gallery for coffee. Built by community spirit and working bees in this town of 500 people, the 2828 rose to take out an Australian Tourism Award in 2006 – and many other awards before and since.
Not only is it a truly inspiring story, but it has great coffee!
We also learned that it might be possible to get into the Warrambungles and it was only a short 50k from town. So off we went.
The Warrambungles is a National Park that was the site of some of the worst bushfires in NSW only a couple of weeks ago. Then when the fires were finally brought under control it rained – and rained, and rained. The result was devastation.
The still dangerous conditions mean that the park is closed, but you can get to the edge of it at least.
The initial sadness at the sight of the devastation is slowly tempered by emerging sights of new life. Animals, birds and green shoots are coming back. There were even frogs in the creek. And the sound of them all! It’s truly amazing.
I guess Australian native flora and fauna is well adapted to the harsh and extreme conditions. I’m still sorting the photos and will put some up soon.
Back in Gulargambone (or Gular as the locals call it, hence all the corrugated iron galahs by the roadside) we stopped at the pub for a quick drink and were immediately regaled with stories by an old drover. He told us of the time he was droving a mob of cattle and a kangaroo came out of the scrub, jumped up and kicked him off his horse. The young bloke droving with him didn’t believe him, and he can’t understand why nobody else does either. Oh well, it was a good story.
Tonight will be our first time out camping. There should be a lot to write about tomorrow!