A Yarn Around the Camp Fire

Camping in Australia

There is something very satisfying about heading down the driveway, out of the “rat-race” and into the heart and soul of this great country of ours.

And it was time to do just that, the day to head off to the deserts of Western Australia had finally arrived…

Rest assured I was eager, departing before the kookaburras’ were stirring, the neighbours no doubt awoken by the familiar sound of “The Landy” edging down the driveway..

Mind you there is the mundane of actually getting out of the city, but before long “The Landy” was pulling the TVAN up and over the Blue Mountains, along the Bells Line of Road and through the small apple growing community of Bilpin, on what was a cold start to the day.

I elected to take the TVAN Camper Trailer on part of this trip to give some comfort on the journey to Central Australia and back again, especially as Mrs Landy will be joining me when it is time to point “The Landy” homewards. Otherwise it will be a swag roll to sleep under the stars whilst in the desert…

Nyngan Camp Similar to recent trips to Australia’s centre I headed west on the roads less travelled visiting the small rural towns of Tullamore and Tottenham, in the New South Wales central west. And central it is, as the route passes close by to the geo-graphical centre of New South Wales not too far from Tottenham.

At the risk of being called anti-social, it is quite pleasant driving along by yourself and it is something I greatly appreciate from time-to-time as it provides a welcome escape from the close working quarters on the currency trading floor of a major Australian bank – my usual haunt in between the weekends.

I even got to argue and debate with myself, and win a few of those exchanges during the day!

The sun was starting to head towards the western horizon as I reached the outskirts of Nyngan and a camp, the first of the trip, by the Bogan River. Before long I had the camp established, pulled out a chair, sat back, and relaxed!

Here I was, finally released from the shackles of urban living in Australia’s largest city, Sydney and the phone rang!

No way, it couldn’t be work, surely?

Although a call on a Saturday is not unheard of, it was Mrs Landy and the Crown Prince ringing to see how the first day Out and About was!

Perfect, thanks!

Baz – The Landy

Narromine (A town of champions)

Trangie, AustraliaYesterday we bid Liz and Gary farewell and headed to Narromine, passing through the townships of Cobar and Nyngan along the way.

Located in the Macquarie Valley, Narromine is often referred to as the town of Champions being the birthplace of Olympian Melinda Gainsford-Smith and cricketer Glenn McGrath.

Narromine Aeroclub

Our camp was on the airfield at the Narromine Holiday Park.

The airfield was established after World War 1 and is home to the oldest rural aero club in Australia and was used as a training ground for RAAF pilots in World War 2. Over the years it has counted Charles Kingsford-Smith, Charles Ulm, Chuck Yeager, Nancy Bird Walton, and Baz, The Landy as visiting aviators.

 Click here to see where Baz, “The Landy” is today…

Photos: Baz, The Landy

The Australian Outback Beckons (Go West, Young Man)

Tullamore, Australia

Today we pointed “The Landy” down the driveway and bid farewell to Sydney for a couple of weeks.

Making our way west over the Blue Mountains via the Bell’s Line in a modern four-wheel drive vehicle we did give some thought to the early explorers’ who headed this way, journeying on foot, horseback and bullock dray. 

Our drive took us through the larger rural towns of Bathurst and Orange before diverting from the usual route west, the Great Western Highway, to travel through the township of Parkes and the smaller rural towns of Trundle and Tottenham.

Trundle Hotel

Situated 55-kilometres north of Parkes, Trundle is at the centre of a wheat, sheep and cattle farming area.  Of interest is the Trundle Hotel, a majestic building in the town’s main street, which is National Estate, listed and has the longest verandah in New South Wales, coming in at a long 87.6 metres. The town’s main street is also the widest in New South Wales measuring 60 metres.

Leaving Trundle behind we passed through the closest town to the geographical centre in New South Wales, Tottenham. We varied our route to visit the geographical centre, which is located 34 kilometres west of the town along the Cockies Road.

Tottenham is also at the centre of large scale agriculture cropping and sheep grazing and boosts a large hotel, The Tottenham Hotel, which overlooks the main street.

We arrived at Nyngan to a tranquil camp next to the Bogan River at the Riverside Van Park.

Bogan River, Nyngan

In 1835, explorer, Major Mitchell was the first European to document a journey along the Bogan River, describing the area around Nyngan as ‘a long pond, with many birds, ducks, and brolgas’. The local aboriginal word ‘Nyingan’ is said to mean ‘long pond of water’. In 1882 the town’s site was surveyed and buildings from an earlier settlement at Canonba 30- kilometres away were moved to the present Nyngan Township.

 Click here to find out where Baz, “The Landy” is today…

Photos: Baz, The Landy