Google is being difficult so I have to spilt my posts.
Our trip continued on through the Pioneer town of Gulgong and a visit to its Museum full of interesting paraphenalia, knicknacks and stagecoaches.
Then to a night at Zoofari lodge in Dubbo. A Zoo-full of animals this time, with 2 guided tours, a wonderful three-course meal, great accomodation in a 'Safari' tent and handfeeding Black Rhinos and Giraffes.
The early dawn tour through the Zoo meant we had an unplanned stop at Wellington as we were both too tired to safely drive the 300km back home. This meant that we were able to see the Caves and spend a very quiet New Year's night at the salubrious Wellington Caves Holiday Complex. I would describe the unit as 1970's shabby chic.
New Year's Eve celebrations were held at the local RSL Chinese restaurant with the dulcet tones of the Lucky Door Prize draw in the background.
Next morning, after a quick tour through Cathedral Cave we dropped into Burrendong Arboretum. This huge Botanic Garden is full of Native Australian plant species. Unfortunately midday in January is not the best time to see them so we made do with the Fern Grove and Harris Lookout.
I definitely intend returning in early spring to see everything in bloom. We saw several Kangaroos, some with joeys, bounding along the pathways ahead of us and a wallaby snacking in the Fern Grove.
Lunch was had in Orange - one of the greenest and prettiest towns in Central NSW. The civic gardens remind me a lot of New Zealand with their emphasis on plants and trees from the 'old country'. The lush foliage was a stark contrast to the dry grounds of Burrendong, only a short drive to the North.
As we drove through Lithgow and up Victoria Pass the rain came down. We were driving into the clouds sitting on the Mountains. Down in the Bathurst Plains the ground was brown and dry while a few hundred meters up and along the highway it was misty and wet.