Australia, NSW, Nambucca Heads, 18 – 27 May 2021

The drive from Armidale to Nambucca Heads is down the aptly named Waterfall Way. It is a narrow winding road through a National Park, one way in parts. This is a beautiful drive with many places to stop and go for walks.

Nambucca Heads – a seaside holiday town with no traffic lights. I visited the surrounding area from Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour. There are many beaches and resorts along this stretch of coast which has grown significantly in the past 10 years.

Port Macquarie – a fairly big place.

Coffs Harbour – another growing town

Sawtell – where you go to retire

Woolgoolga Sikh Temple

Macksville – a small town where I was surprised to find murals.

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Australia, NSW, Armidale, 15 – 17 May 2021

Bathurst to Armidale was on the back roads, no traffic through scenic farm country. I passed through Coolah which claims to be the “Black Stump” town as does Blackall further north in Queensland hahaha. I stopped in Tamworth to fill up and take a photo of the Golden Guitar.

Armidale – this is a University town and there are also some expensive private boarding schools here and a few Cathedrals. It is 1000m above sea level and freezing at night. There are no fewer than 5 craft brewerys in the area and there was a Beer and BBQ festival on the weekend. The Visitors Centre offers a free half day bus tour of the city, very good.

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Australia, NSW, Bathurst, 12 – 14 May 2021

Woolongong to Bathurst is a 3 hour drive so I decided to stop in Katoomba and visit the Three Sisters. There are many walks in this area.

The main reason for my visiting Bathurst was to drive around the Mount Panorama Race track. This Race track is a public road and anyone can drive on it anytime when its not being used for racing and its free. The speed limit is 60 kph and at that speed its scary hahaha. Since my last visit they have added a chicane to Conrod Straight to slow cars down in the name of safety.

There is an excellent museum at the entrance to the track with some legendary winning cars on display.

This area had a Gold rush once upon a time and I visited Hill End and Sofala Villages which survive as tourist attractions.

There is an unusual Museum built by one man which at first glance looks like a junkyard but is worth a visit

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Australia, NSW, Woolongong, 09 – 11 May 2021

Jindabyne to Woolongong – I stopped at the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre at Cooma, here they give you an overview of an amazing engineering project that was constructed between 1949 and 1974 and is currently undergoing an expansion. It consists of a series of lakes at various levels that feed water through tunnels to Hydro Electric Power Stations. During times of low power demand the turbines can be reversed and used to pump water back up to the lakes which then act as a storage battery and the water is released to provide power at peak times. The scheme also encompasses solar and wind power farms. It is free and there are 2 films.

When I visited Port Adelaide to see the street murals I became aware of the Wonder Walls Festival which started in Woolongong and this is the reason I am here. Port Kembla also has some murals. Let the walls do the talking.

“The Wonderwalls exhibition explores the various artistic styles, techniques and processes practised by self taught artists from various urban environments and sub-culture backgrounds.”

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Australia, NSW, Jindabyne, 05 – 08 May 2021

Launceston, Tasmania to Jindabyne, New South Wales. The first step is to drive from Launceston to Devonport, about an hours drive and then while away the time until Ferry boarding starts at 1630. I visited Rooke Street Mall and sat there for a while in the sunshine, next stop Molly Malones for a pint of the local drop and finally to the Spirit of the Sea Lookout to wait until it was time to move.

The Ferry boarding and transit across Bass Strait went without a hitch and I drove off the ferry the next morning at 0705. Heading out of Melbourne took about 45 min to get away from the traffic and then it was a fine drive upto Bairnsdale. From there I turned away from the coast and into the mountains and Google Maps decided to let me have some fun on the C608. This is a narrow winding road which was gravel in parts and finally through Kozciuszko National Park where the roads were very bad having been damaged in the recent heavy rains.

I visited Jindabye in February 2004 on my bike and it has grown since then, more than doubled in size I was told but still a small town and very nice. It drizzled for the first two days and then fine for the next two. I was planning to walk to the top of Mount Kosciuszko 2,228m as I did in 2004 (13 km return) but for various reasons I finished up only walking to the Lookout (5.5km return).

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Australia, Tasmania, Launceston, 30 April – 03 May 2021

Launceston – population 110,000 about half the size of Hobart and the second largest city in Tasmania. Since leaving Hobart I have had no rain at all, a welcome change. From Launceston I explored the surrounding area.

Platypus House – This is my first time seeing a Platypus and they were smaller than I expected, a very strange and interesting creature. They also had Echidnas, they have tongues 18cm long. This place is 47 km North of Launceston, on the way back I had a look at the Batman Bridge and stopped at the Brady Lookout which gives a good view of the Tamar Valley.

I visited the Synmmons Plains Raceway 31 km South of Launceston but it was unattended and locked up probably only open when there is an event. In the same area there are three historic small towns Evandale, Longford which at one time had a racing circuit that hosted F1 races and Perth. This is the third and smallest Perth I have visited, it had a Post Office, Pizza shop and two Churches but nothing else not even a supermarket or a Hotel hahaha.

Perth, Tasmania

Evandale, Tasmania

Longford – The Longford Country Club Hotel is where I took the Photos.

Launceston Gorge is in the heart of the City, there are some good walks in the area.

Boags Brewery

Launceston has some very nice old buildings

Tasmania Zoo – this is a private zoo, cost $28 to enter, I only visited this place to see the Tasmanian Devil, they have other animals as well but most of them were hiding. While I was there two ducks were having a private moment and when I got near them they flew at me and attacked by grabbing my pants leg and I had to fend them off several times before they went away hahaha.

Turn the volume up for the Tasmanian Devil videos

National Automobile Museum of Tasmania – One of the highlights in Launceston, not very big but it has some iconic cars and motorcycles all immaculately restored and presented.