Saturday, 12 July 2008

Yamba - Casino - Kyogle - Border Ranges - Toowoomba

Crossing the NSW/Qld border
Yamba - Casino - Kyogle -Toowoomba 393(764)kms 

Left Yamba in the morning and stopped for morning tea at New Italy, just south of Woodburn. A community of Italians from Verona, set out in the late 1880's for Australia. They were sold a pup on their passage by a shyster with an eye for the Pacific Solution and ended up in Northern Borneo, with a third of them dead from the passage in their unseaworthy ship. Somehow they struggled on to Noumea, where their vessel was condemned. Sir Henry Parkes stepped up and arranged travel for them the rest of the way to Sydney, where they arrived with more dead and most of the rest of them very ill. Despite this, within seven years, they had left Sydney and taken up this small part of the country where they established a bakery, wine shops and other enterprises to interact with the community.

After our cuppa, we left the coast at Woodburn and on through Casino and Kyogle before taking a detour through the Border Ranges. Our lunch stop was at Border Loop Lookout which showed us two things. First, engineers can sometimes be very clever and in this case designed a great loop in the passage of the rail track so it could gain height over a shorter distance. Below us at the lookout was the Border Loop, in the main line between Sydney and Brisbane.

The second was that it doesn't matter how far you go from civilisation, bogans will still turn up and wreck your lunch!

After lunch, we climbed higher and higher - to be fair, the car did most of the climbing - until we reached the NSW/Qld border at the very top of the ranges. The photo shows us about to drop over the edge into Qld. It was a steep and winding climb and a sudden and brutal descent. Once down the other side, we followed Running Creek (yes, I'm serious) through twists and turns and many creek crossings until the valleys widened and found the road to Toowoomba.

We had a slow tea because the gas stove has packed it in and we went for a walk after dinner which included a few bevies in the Federal Hotel. The evening was chilly but we were snug in the back of the Forester.

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