DAY 2. Town 3: After visiting Kurri Kurri it is time to hit the road again and head towards my second destination for the day, Gunnedah. The route from Kurri Kurri to Gunnedah takes me through the hunter valley where I notice a lot of coal mining activity and a lot of protesting signs about the coal mining activity – all rather topical given the governments ETS being so prominent in the news at the moment. The mines themselves tend to be hidden from the roads with just signposts alluring to their existence.
As the road goes on I get nearer to Quirindi where the land become flat but surrounded by the Liverpool ranges in the distance. Everything is starting to look more outback. The grass is taking on a burnt brown colouring, everywhere looks dusty, cows take shade under trees and farm windmills struggle to find a breeze to make them turn. The sky is clear blue except for one loan cloud that is about to evaporate.
Having left the New England Highway some miles back, the traffic is easing considerably and I have the road to myself – that is except for a few hundred head of cattle which are merrily grazing the roadside and sometimes venturing across the tarmac. It’s all quite pleasant and reminiscent of my childhood on the family farm.
After about four hours I reach the town of Gunnedah and check in my motel for the night – the Alyn Motel on Conadilly Street, the main street in town. I take this opportunity to find out the “Must See” activities in town which I am advised given the town is ” Koala Capital of the World” I must see a Koala. Apparently there are two choices, one is to head up Porcupine Lookout and see them in the wild or head to the Waterways Wildlife Park. I decide to head up Porcupine Hill to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.
Porcupine Lookout is one of those hills that is ideally positioned to get a good view of the whole town and its surrounds. Its from here you appreciate just how flat this part of the world is particularly when compared to the Liverpool ranges in the distance. However, I am disappointed to report that Porcupine Lookout is not always the best place to see Koalas. Sadly I did not spot one. However, given my inability to spot the murals in Kurri Kurri this perhaps comes as no surprise.
Disappointed at my lack of sighting of a Koala I head back down the hill to search out some food over which I can reminisce over the times I have seen Koalas in captivity. Thankfully this part of the mission was more successful.
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