James Cracknell from Windsong Travel in Bellingen offers some travelling inspiration for those of us with itchy feet…….
The question on everyone’s lips is “when will the world be back to some sort of normality so we can again broaden our horizons.” Well unfortunately, like the rest of Australia, we are no more in the know than the rest of you. Whilst many state and international borders are closed, there as some little Gems on our back doorsteps which are definitely worth visiting. They may not be in all the glossy tourist brochures but definitely deserve your presence.
I grew up inland and would love to invite you to visit my old backyard and share with you some of my hidden places. All of these communities have been ravaged by drought and even some by fire and deserve a visit and a boost to the local economy.
Moree area to me is great for the simple fact that its totally different to what we are used to on the East coast. Its dead flat to start with and there basically are no hills for the next 4000 kms other than a big rock about halfway across. The birdlife is different, the sky is huge and the stars can almost cast a shadow at night. It’s situated on the Artesian basin so you can soak in hot mineral baths and enjoy all the therapeutic benefits.
If you venture further west you drive through all the cotton fields until you hit places like Lightning ridge which is as eclectic a place as you can find and you can also have a great hot soak in the baths out there too!
On the way back east from Moree a very different must-visit for “art lovers” or dinosaurs is Ceramic Break Park near the village of Warialda Rail. Check it’s open first, then if you can find Kerry to take you around it will be an unforgettable experience…… Cranky Rock reserve near the town of Warialda is worth a visit and be aware of the inquisitive emu’s that frequent that area.
The next town you will pass through is Inverell “The Sapphire city”. Its my home town and worth a few days. The tourist information centre there is great and pop into Billabong Blue to check out the famous Inverell Sapphires on display. If fossicking interests you ask Rhonda or John at Billabong blue and they will point you in the right direction to find one of these amazing stones.
Further east of Inverell in the “Paradise Area” made famous by Artist Tom Roberts and you can actually stop along the road to where the famous Australian artwork “Bailed Up” was painted and stand beside the same grass tree as the painting.
Tingha is also a must-visit and the Wing Hing Long Museum and Green Valley Farm are so different to anything you will find anywhere, you won’t forget your experience.
Up over the hill and into the sunset should be on everyone’s radar at the moment, it’s the right time of year to go now and currently my best travel advice to cure those itchy feet.