Thursday, October 17, 2013


Maitland Gaol

First tourist stop in Maitland was the Gaol which I wandered around while Fred was playing bowls as it was only a short walk from the club. It was used up until the 1970's before being decommissioned and then turned into a Historic area and Museum, was very similar to gaols we have visited in other areas but I have to say they had the best self tour audio system I have used and believe me over the years I have used a few

Walka Waterworks

 Next place we visited was the  Walka Recreation and Wildlife Reserve a large area of parks, lake and bushland surrounding the Walka Water Works. The Waterworks building are what is left of what was Newcastle's first waterworks. We had a really nice rambling walk thru the bushland and around the lake. Had a nice picnic lunch in the park then had to pack up in a hurry before we got caught in a deluge from the storm that blew up. Hurried home as we had left the windows and hatches open in the van and also had a load of washing on line. Didn't make it in time so washing was wet but inside the van was dry thankfully.
The rest of the day was cold windy and miserable so spent it in the van.


Morpeth was our next day out. Its a heritage town about 10 minutes from Maitland, there is a really nice heritage walk around the town looking at the old buildings most on the main street have businesses in them. Generally coffee shops and little boutique gift and clothing shops.

 One was called Campbell's Store which was a treasure trove of nooks and crannies a combination of Museum and shops selling a diverse range of goods from cheap and cheerful to extremely expensive. 

My favorite was the Porcelain Doll shop where you could buy the most realistic baby dolls and the food hall where you could taste a wide array of gourmet foods. Had to buy some of course.


-->Fred had me up bright and eaarly this morning, we caught the train into Newcastle. What a bargain $2.50 each and we could use it all day on buses, trains and ferry's.

When we got to Newcastle we walked around the Foreshore to Nobbys Beach and walked out to the Breakwater, as we walked the sky got very dark and stormy. Just as we got to the point the sky's opened and down teemed the rain, we were a pair of drowned rats by the time we got back, stopped at the Surf Club and had a coffee while we dried off a little.

We then walked up to Fort Scratchley Historic Site and explored, they had a Museum telling the history of the fort and stories of people that were involved in the site over the years. It was built in the early 1800's to defend Newcastle from invasion, it was used by the defence forces until 1972.

The views from here were stunning and as bonus we were able to watch a mother and baby whale playing in the bay.
By the time we were finished the sun was shining and we were dry. 

From the Fort we walked back down to the CBD area and had a nice lunch before walking around looking at the old buildings. Then crossed back over to the foreshore and climbed the Observation Tower 180 steps up and thus 180 back down (insert the sound of creaking knees).

 We then made our way back to the station and the train back to Maitland.
 And thus ended our visit to Maitland

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hunter Valley

From Moree we headed for the Hunter Vally our first nights stop was at a free camp at Wallabadah about 10 kms from Quirindi, its a overnight rest area that is situated beside a park that celebrates the ships of the 1st Fleet and the people that sailed on them

Next morning we hit the road and first stop was Murrundi for Lunch at Paradise Park where we did a bush walk called  the Eye of the Needle, an up hill climb thru a deep narrow crack in the cliff  so tight you can barely turn around then to a lookout over the town and valley.

Back down and lunch and a small rest then on the road again thru Blandford to Burning Mountain Reserve where we did another walk. The Burning mountains is the result of a underground coal seam that has been on fire for about 5500 years. 

We are camped at the reserve with 6 other campers and are quite tired after our big ay of walking

Today we drove to Towarri National Park, its really lovely, walked up to the Washpools at Middlebrook Creek from the camping area, had the place mostly to ourselves only had 2 cars drive in and have a look.
Lit a fire and cooked chicken for dinner in the camp oven, was delicious.
After dark we went out for a look and found a wombat, but we weren't able to get too close as he was frightened and ran back down his hole.
Has been a wonderful day, the sort I love,just poking around in the bush.

Scone was our next stop did nothing exciting just spending the weekend here so I an catch up on the washing and Fred can play bowls.

Monday we were on the move again to Broke and  have decided to base ourselves here for the week as it a really nice free camp spot, its a really nice,a big grassy area with plenty of trees for shade and a creek running past at the back. It is surposed to be a 3 night limit but have chattered to the locals and there is no drama if you want to stay longer. Broke is only tiny a population of 400, so very laid back and easy going.
Went out on day trips most days explored the area around Wollemi mostly looking at old buildings and scenery and wineries another day we went and looked at Aboriginal Art at Biame Cave and more scenic driving and wineries did get some yummy olives and cheese.

Moved into Cessnock on Saturday so Fred could have another game of bowls and more importantly watch the Football as there was no telly at Broke