Nostalgic Road

A road trip is what we have planned, to explore the open spaces of countryside from Mapleton to Dubbo.

It seems to me that the vast blue sky and stretches of long road lead to a feeling of instant freedom. The car is packed. Bill has his maps handy. I have recharged the phone and our music blares from Maleny onwards.

A bit of Irish Celtic, Jersey Boys, Italian opera and classic piano favourites.

The day is glorious with minimal traffic, in fact there are big trucks to compete with and the grey nomads, but it’s not like driving in the city or suburbs of Brisbane.

Driving towards Esk and on the route to Kilkoy and Moore, to Blackbutt we pause and enjoy a coffee.

These cosy towns are clean and welcoming. At the Bunya Nut Cafe we watch the locals and catch the slower vibe of the town. There’s the Scribbly Creek bakery and tasteful hardware stores in the wide streets.

At Blackbutt, the white picket fence and pretty garden at the Hardware store catches my eye.

The countryside changes in soil colour, vegetation and trees. On our way we pass the Wobbly Boot Hotel, Dog Trap Gully and many big road trains that are oversized rumble along.

Dalby streets are wide with many shops. The best chemist shop I step into impresses me. The antiques store is worth a look too.

For sentimental reasons, we visit Tara, a lovely sounding name but sadly, the town seems empty and devoid of atmosphere. Bill takes me to his first homestead and farm that is out of town with its massive sheds and wired fences surrounding the property. It’s been more than 50 years since he’s been back. GULP!

Our overnight stop sees us at the Goondiwindi Holiday cabins in a spacious room with comfy bed and bathroom. We settle in for the evening and an early night’s sleep. But before this, decide to stroll down the Main Street and see the Goodiwindi Cotton Factory shop. Rich in history and agriculture, there’s nothing artificial in Goondiwindi.

Inside the shop with beautiful sweaters, knitted jumpers of merino and cotton, my eye catches sight of this.

A stunning spread of hand picked garden roses of amazing scent. Mmmm.

And the cotton.

Up early on the second day into the pale pink morning, we drive onto Narrabri, 521 km north west of Sydney.

It sits on the junction of the Kamilaroi Highway and the Newell Highway.

We pause for brekky and a toilet stop. This black cat sits in the morning sun wearing his bumble bee wings.

The old buildings have a beauty especially the Commonwealth and Westpac banks. Even the empty shop spaces have gorgeous windows.

The roads are good bitumen ( a far cry from the dusty dirty roads of horse and cart ) a long stretch and a new DVD story to listen to called Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty. Bill is not keen on the story. Mostly a women’s escapist adventure set on an island in the Bass Strait. We listen to a few chapters as we drive on for many kilometers. I doze and drift off.


DUBBO comes into out vision. This is where we reconnect with his childhood, past, school, farm and more.

Our lovely airbnb awaits us with hospitable owners. A treasured quiet garden at the back with trickling fountain and tea cup china ornaments in the plants. It’s a small world. Someone who knows someone from the past.

Bill and I have arrived safely at our destination ready to explore, be nostalgic and connect with family. We have lots of warm jumpers and a keep spirit of adventure.

Watch out Zoo, here I come. Good morning giraffes and zebras. Good evening cows.

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Julieanne Seymour
May 26, 2021 at 9:58 am

It sounds like a relaxing and interesting journey you and Bill are on. Enjoy every minute of it. Thanks for sharing. Julieanne.

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    May 27, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Tracing the places that Bill remembers and walking around the town in the cold! Popped in to visit the library this afternoon.

May 26, 2021 at 10:43 pm

Well! If you are coming this way you are always welcome to all in!

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    May 27, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Thanks Margot. Probably not coming your way. I did meet a Beth Priest in Mapleton who knows Linda and went to Corinda with us.She’s a singer.

bellswebster Joy
May 28, 2021 at 3:39 am

Sounds like a wonderful trip i would enjoy. Glad Bill has been able to met up with his family. I love to poke around old towns and places. Enjoy the rest of your trip and I look forward to more photos.

M.J. Gibbs
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