Jumping The Border?

It's a bit awkward when an in state New South Wales road trip takes you across a state boundary into Queensland…

From Coffs Harbour we couldn't quite decide what direction to continue in… I heed a wise friend's words and sit and stare at a map. Armidale just a bit further west inland of the eastern coastal Coffs Harbour wins this game… We decide to do a northern loop round the highway to get there. A little town on the Coast called Red Rock is the first place we find. Neither red or with many prominent rocks, it is a beautiful little spot. Some kids swinging into the water, two girls sitting on a long tree trunk in the water, very much feeling like we were in the movie 'stand by me', very peaceful and chilled, we sat and watched the world go by for a while :-).

We didn't get much further before some drama was thrown our way… Now don't ask why we did, but Ben asked if I wanted to talk to a trucker and switched his CB radio on. We've driven over a thousand kilometres alternating between our quite disparate music tastes but this was the first time we switched it on. We heard two truckers talking about the trailer. Saying it was 'rooted'. Australian slang for fucked I believe ;-). One had tried to let us know. We pulled in on the side of the road and found a bit of a messy problem with a bearing. It is entirely a weird situation that we turned it on and had a trucker help us out in that moment… Thank you. Happening at 4pm on a saturday, Ben fixing it momentarily, we spent the weekend in Grafton awaiting a mechanic's opinion on monday morning.

With his verdict that the current bearings were 'about as much use as a hip pocket in a singlet', with some brand new bearings and nuts we rejoined the road. Heading west, on the Gwydin Highway, it was quite a contrast to the coastal highway. Through the Gibraltar Range mountains, passing rivers, valleys and plains, the Mann River offered a good picture opportunity as did Heffron and Raspberry lookouts.

Further west, onto Glen Innes, with Scotland flags, Scottish names on shops and passing a sign informing us that Dundee was only eleven kilometres away, I very much had a home away from home moment. Ben had no idea what I was talking about… ;-). Wide roads, spacious and with a lot of character we found a nice little campsite and the Australian standing stones…

Whilst here, speaking to a farm just over the border into Queensland where Ben had previously worked, offered work for a while we decided to head north and just see what happens… Heading on our way, passing through a town called Gravesend marked by a skull and crossbones, no phone reception and some headless statues, it certainly plays on its name. Encountering cows on the road, sign banter and with a nice message about peace, we crossed the border into Queensland in Goondiwinni. Gaining an hour due to Queensland not observing daylight savings, met by some ridiculous flashing Christmas lights, warmth and significantly more bugs than the cold night we spent in Glen Innes, we shall see what a change of state has to offer…

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