Armidale, Captain Thunderbolt and a Golden Guitar

From Tenterfield we travelled south to Uralla in the hope of staying at the Wooldridge Recreation & Fossicking Reserve.  When we arrived however, we couldn’t find a level site and we didn’t have any wheel levellers, so we decided to head north again to Armidale‘s Dumaresq Dam.  Pronounced (unobviously) as “due – mare – eek”.

On route to the Dam the battery warning light came on.  We couldn’t believe it because we had a new battery installed in Canberra before we’d left for the trip.  When I read the manual, it instructed us to pull over immediately and call for help.  Needless to say, this was not welcome news.  NRMA did a stand up job of arriving promptly and was very helpful (if you overlook the fact that they couldn’t find anything wrong, or a reason for the warning light being on!).  NRMA followed us up to the road for our camping spot, and then told us to book into the Mitsubishi mechanic for the next day.  As it turned out, it was just a blown fuse!  This isn’t our first blown fuse and so we’ll have to take the whole rig to an auto-electrician in the near future to find where the short is.  Another little thing to add to the growing list of things to do.


When we got to the Dumaresq Dam, we couldn’t be happier that we’d moved on from the spot at Uralla.  This place was magical, especially at sunset and sunrise.

From this camp, we explored part of the Waterfall Way – doing a 5.5km hike at the Gara Gorge in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and visiting the (unfortunately dry) Wollomombi Falls.

The Threlfall walking track we took was a great work out.  I would definitely recommend people take it clockwise, because anti-clockwise is quite a bit more uphill.  There isn’t a great deal to look at on the 5.5km hike, really.  The shorter trek, just between the Threlfall and the Blue Hole picnic areas, is the most picturesque part of the journey.  But we were happy for a bit of exercise, so didn’t mind that you don’t get a great view of the Gara Gorge on the trek.

Captain Thunderbolt

We drove down to Uralla on 26 October for their Captain Thunderbolt Festival.  What is not to love about an Australian small town’s celebration of a long dead criminal bushranger?  There was a parade, including lots of motorcycles, many old ‘hot-rod’ cars and a couple of bushrangers rustling some horses.


Heading further south, we spent a couple of quiet days in Tamworth.  Highlights included a fabulous Sunday lunch at the Longyard Hotel (I can highly recommend the chook parmy and the Sunday arvey live music), a trip up to the Oxley Scenic Lookout (with the Jacarandas in spectacular full bloom), and some awkward air-guitar photos in front of the Golden Guitar.

In Tamworth, I had some suspicions about my lovely husband confirmed – he can not frame a photograph.  When ever we travel, and I ask him to take a picture of me in front of some famous site, it ends badly.  You’ll see that when I photograph him, you get to see the whole Golden Guitar and a flattering angle of him playing an imaginary guitar.  Then you’ll see what came when it was his go with the camera.  He took about 10 shots.  None included the whole Golden Guitar.  Most included a large proportion of the tarmac between him and the guitar.  I’ve cropped and included two that he took, simply for comic relief.  Turns out that my secret air-guitar weapon move is vomiting coloured balls.   

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s further south we go!



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  1. Fantastic you are both so lucky to be able to do this long trip. I love the update reports, the great photos it’s almost like being there with you both. Australia is a great place. One people should explore before seeking travel over seas. The grass is always greener on the other side. How
    silly are we Australians. :)

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