St George – Gunnedah
10.25 Left St George
11.15 Drove through Thalon.
11.40 Fuelled up at Mungindi border town on the Barwon River: 59 L @ $1.319 per litre – $77.82
11.55 Crossed the QLD / NSW border into New England.
12.40 Passed through Garah; 13.00 Ashley; to Moree where we stopped and ate lunch. at 13.10. The weather was cold although the sun was shining.
13.40 Left Moree and drove on through Gurley at 14.05.
14.59 Narrabri and the Kalmilaroi Highway where we took the Kaputar Road turnoff.
15.15 Reached the base of Mt Kaputar and engaged four-wheel drive for the 20 km dirt and bitumen track to the summit. We were greeted at the top by a large grey kangaroo which was still there when we returned from climbing the stairs to the lookout – nice view but a bit dull at that time of the afternoon. The rest of his family came to check us out. A female with a joey in her pouch and a juvenile in tow came right up to the vehicle. Cyclists were using the track for racing and we passed a few on the way back down.
16.40 Got to the base and disengaged the four-wheel drive.
18.00 Arrived at Gunnedah and checked into a cabin at the Top Tourist Park – $89 – too cold to camp.
Had a choice of three major supermarkets to shop for dinner: Aldi, Coles and Woolies, where we got some pork with native spices and had that with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans for dinner.
The cabin we stayed in was clean, warm and spacious and adequately equipped for our needs.
We started catching glimpses of wildflowers after we left Blackall yesterday: small patches of purple clumps, paler smaller purples forming roadside carpets in places, yellow sprays, thicker yellow bunches and prickly pear – not an infestation, just individual stands – and bottle-shaped trees like the boab trees in Western Australia.
Today, as well as the purples, yellows and prickly pear, we saw yellow daisies, wild cotton and canola that had escaped from the fields, sunflowers around Moree, a little white flower and lots of yellow wattle.