Friday, 19 May 2017

Short Trip to Northern NSW - 2017 Road Trip 2

Back in mid March, after the cruise, we had a phone call from a friend who was going to Pottsville, N.S.W. For a weekend, and we were ready for another trip, be it only short. We would go to Pottsville often when the kids were younger, but the last time was about 4 years ago – where has the time gone?
We like Pottsville North Caravan Park, even though it is a little further from the beach, it has a lovely pool and is next door to the Pottsville Bowls Club. Pottsville is in the Tweed Shire, not too far from the NSW / QLD border. 
Bill Potts owned the first house in the area around 1930 and the area was initially named Potts Point. It was renamed Pottsville, so as not to confuse it with Potts Point in Sydney.
We had a site just across from the pool and the weather was good, despite there being a little rain overnight on the Saturday night, and a drizzle on the Monday. We went to the Sunday markets, and op shops and didn't buy a thing. I liked the Koala Zone markings on the road, as we had never seen these before.
Pottsville use to be a sleepy little town with a few houses, a couple of cafe's, a pub and a little general supermarket store. Now it is still a sleepy little town, but has so many houses, yet it still has it's country town charm. We had a great weekend with Elaine and John, and we all said we must do it again soon.
On Monday we said our goodbyes and they went back to Brissy and we continued west. We had not planned to go to far, just a short road trip to visit some campsites. First stop was requested by Jonnie. Jonnie decided to come on this trip as we told him it was only going to be a short trip. He wanted to visit Mooball, so off we went.
Mooball is a little village inland from Pottsville, probably about 20 minutes drive. There is not much there, but Jonnie likes the cow painted power poles and the general store. The general store is a bit quirky with lots of cow-type memorabilia plus so much more, including this old sewing machine.
We had a look at a farm stay, for $15/night – no power or water, but it was very muddy, so we continued on. We drove through Lismore, which I have never been to before. It looked ok, and rather a large town to what we had been visiting. Next was the town of Mallanganee. A lovely little village, but not a lot there. We had a look at the free camp, which was fine, but decided to continue on as it was still early in the day, and still raining.
We stopped at a few other free camps that were right beside the highway, that I thought were ok, but Peter didn't like. So we ended up at Crooked Creek. It is a little way from the highway, on a dirt road, and was a lovely large area.
We set up on the top level, but there were many flat spots on a lower level closer to Crooked Creek. It was still raining and we didn't want to camp close to the creek just in case the rain continued heavier. We didn't know it then, but a week later the bottom area was underwater, and Lismore was flooded. If it hadn't been raining, and Jonnie was not with us (no internet), we would have stayed another night or two.
From Crooked Creek to Tenterfield wasn't that far – about 40 km. We needed to fill up, and Jonnie and I went for a walk. I love the architecture in these old towns. Tenterfield is steeped in history and we barely touched the surface. Tenterfield is known as the Birthplace of our Nation, as it was here that Sir Henry Parkes delivered his famous Federation Speech. The town is named after Tenterfield Station, which was named by Stuart Donaldson after his family home in Scotland. We visited the Tenterfield Saddler, an old granite and bluestone building on what was once the High Street. The building was built in 1870 and was the town's saddlery. The building became famous when Peter Allen wrote a song about his grandfather, George Woolnough, called 'Tenterfield Saddler'. George was the saddler from 1908 until he died in 1960. It is also believed that Banjo Patterson lived here for a short time in 1903. It was closed when we were there, but it is still used as a saddlery today.
After filling up, we headed the 20km to Wallangarra Rest Stop for overnight. We have stayed here before and it is wonderful. The next morning we stopped at Stanthorpe, Applethorpe for a milkshake, 8/10, and then a few nights at old reliable Clifton Showgrounds.
We had a day trip to Toowoomba, which was good, but sadly I accidentally deleted all the photos - oops!!!! 😞 
We travelled about 730km, and we were away for 8 days. A lovely break.