Day 7 - 1 January 2010 - The Barracks Camping Area, Coolah Tops National Park to Sydney
For the previous part of this trip, click here.
|Day Seven - Coolah Tops is top and Sydney is bottom.
After a very late night on New Year's Eve, we slept in till past 10:30 am. It rained most of the night, although it was never heavy. It is still raining as I drag myself out of bed to make breakfast. Just before we get up, we hear our two neighbours depart.
Once we are up, Ron says that he heard on the radio that the rain is forecast to continue all day. As we had planned to do some walks and sightseeing today, it seems that this will affect our plans. After some discussions, we all decide to go home. Seven days of rain has been enough!
We depart the camping area at 12:45 pm and drive west to the lookout. This has views over the Liverpool Plains. It is quite foggy as we drive the short distance there. On the way we drop in to a rest area that is very nice. When we get to the lookout (it is a short walk from the car I think), it is raining and very foggy. Not much point going there as we will see nothing.
|This is at the end of the road at the lookout
|The bush along the road going to the lookout
This looks like a great spot. There are a number of walks that go from this area. There is a huge cleared and grassed area that would make a great camping area. Looks like we will have to come back to explore this area further.
We head back towards the main access road into the park and just past The Barracks Camping Area we turn off to the site of the old sawmill. Here there is a cleared area with some machinery off to the side. It is still raining as I go for a look. There is a huge boiler that used to power a steam engine as well as an old truck cabin. There is a lot more junk here as well.
|The old boiler at the sawmill
|A Chevolet truck cabin amongst other junk at the sawmill
It is time to go so we head out of the park, leaving Coolah Tops National Park at 1:15 pm. We travel towards Coolah township but when we reach the
Coolah/Cassilis Road we turn left to Cassilis. This is a good tar road for the majority of the way and then a short section of dirt. From there we take the Golden Highway towards Merriwa and Denman. This road eventually joins the New England Highway before Branxton. Apart from a short rest stop outside Denman, we drive through to Branxton here we find a cafe open and stop for a cuppa.
After a break of about 40 minutes, we are back on the road. I stop at my cousin's place at Lochinvar at they are not home. We continue past Maitland and onto the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway and head back towards home.
While there is a bit of traffic, the flow is good. We stop at the Hawkesbury River for a short break and then, at Silverwater, Ron and I decide to go different ways to see which is the quickest. He is going to head through Silverwater, Lidcombe, Bankstown and over the Alfords Point Bridge while we are taking the M4 and then Roberts Road - King Georges Road and Tom Uglys Bridge. The way I am going is about six kilometres shorter but has a lot more traffic lights.
Ron and I kept in touch via the UHF radio. While I streaked away ahead at first, he caught back up by the time he crossed the M5. At 7:45 pm, Kelly and I arrived at home. Ron and Donna arrived at their place (only a few hundred metres from our place) at the exact same time. Therefore, we came to the conclusion, the way Ron went is the best if there is any sort of traffic, as I had a good run and still took the same time.
Kilometres: 473 kilometres
Weather: Raining till 4 pm and then overcast, maximum of 22ÂșC
While we had seven days of rain, with virtually no periods of more than 30 minutes without rain, we had a great time. We caught up with a lot of reading, we relaxed, visited some great spots and spent time with good friends. In addition, we came up with many ideas for future weeks and weekends away to visit the spots that we only glanced over or where the rain affected what we could do.
We will certainly visit Mummel Gulf and Werrikimbe National Parks again, as well as Apsley Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. At Easter 2010, we will probably go back to Coolah Tops National Park to see the rest of the park and to do some bushwalking.
The cost of the trip was limited to the food and drink as well as $296.53 for 247.6 litres of petrol (includes approximately 60 kilometres before and after the trip). A very cheap one week away.
Petrol average: 14.3 litres per 100 kilometres