Saturday, 20th of April 2013. Thanks to last night’s preparations, we managed to get away by 8:30am. I sure was glad we had hooked up the previous night, although it wasn’t that cold this morning. We were heading for Sofala, the oldest still existing gold mining town in Australia. We had debated whether the road up to Sofala was suitable for caravans. I thought we should be equipped for that kind of road and was looking forward to the scenery in this mountainous area.
Our GPS guided us around Bathurst, never entering the city. Lesley spotted Mount Panorama on the famous race circuit. I was too busy concentrating on the roads. I was not disappointed with the scenery – spectacular mountains in the distance and valleys we were passing through. The road is in excellent condition considering the little traffic passing through here. There are steep sections, both uphill and downhill. I let the automatic choose the best gear on the uphill sections and selected the appropriate gear on the downhill runs myself. Some sections were so steep that my preference was first gear. When in first gear there was no need to apply the brakes making me feel safe as in an emergency I could apply the brakes and stop in a short distance.
Arriving in Sofala, signs warned of narrow streets and suggested parking outside the village. There was ample parking area outside the village for buses and caravans so we parked our rig and walked into the former gold mining town. I am not sure what I expected, but somehow I was disappointed. Perhaps the town is too close to it’s origin – many buildings almost seem to be falling down.
Having considered staying here for a night or two, that plan was quickly abandoned. We continued on towards Illford. The hilly country continued and after a particularly steep incline, there was a pull-off area, giving me an opportunity to take some photos while the faster cars could pass us.
We continued on to Mudgee, passing lake Windamere on the way. I would rate the drive from Bathurst to Mudgee the best scenery we came across on this trip so far. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
We stopped in Mudgee and had lunch at the Butcher Shop Cafe. Interesting menu and really good coffee.
We thought we would stop for the night at a recreational area near Denman – but the area was right on the highway and offered little amenities. We headed on to Lake Liddell and found a very pleasant setting right beside the lake shore. By the time we arrived at the camp area, it was raining and we hurried to get set up. We woke in the morning to glorious view of the lake. (Lesley’s photo)
Having paid only for one night on our arrival, we decided to stay an additional night in this pleasant spot. Lesley went to the office to pay for the additional night and was greeted by a menagerie.
Geese were also parading throughout the camping area.