October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Coolah to Bushcamp to Gunnedah

Coolah to bush camp 5km south of Mullaley = 85km
Cummulative total = 1738km
Bushcamp to Gunnedah = 44km
Cummulative total = 1782km
Coolah to bush camp day -
I am sure it was colder last night than any other night as Kouta decided to sleep between us and his new blanket just couldn't cut it! So we think it was around minus 3 degrees (Neils temperature guage doesn't go below zero!). So below is a photo of what Poor Neil has to wake up to each morning!

Yep that is me - look at my hair! it is just all over the place in the morning and all I can do to calm it down is put the beanie on! At least I am smiling though!
When Neil got out of the tent which was only frozen on the front flap of the fly this is what the camping field looked like!

The frost was very 'crunchy' to walk on! So lucky we put the tent under the tree as it prevented alot of the frost settling on the fly.
Since today was supposedly meant to be a short day we got a later start at 9am when it was nice and warm. The first 6km is a gradual hill climb and then up and down to Black Stump Rest Area which is at 10km. It is a good rest area with toilets and water but I don't think it was in camp 5 so it must be new. From there is it still up and down but by 18km we were out of the ranges. But still the road condition is absolutely awful to ride on with the huge cracks and pot holes, even when caravaners over take us we can see the van itself is bobbing up and down over the dips and craters!
There seem to be alot of these signs along this road!

When ever I saw these signs all I could say was "you reckon!"
I felt as though we were going more down hill than up hill today and the down was really long and gradual so you could pick up speed very easily but we had to be careful because the road is so rough that we didn't hit a hole or wide crack and go 'ass over tit' so to speak and I have to admit I did have thoughts of Canada on my mind with these road conditions!
At the Premer turn off we decided to continue north since the wind was good and so there would be less to do tomorrow. We were hoping to do an extra 15km today instead of tomorrow and so we would stop at about 65km ... well we picked up Water at Tambar Springs and there was plenty of camping before there and once loaded up with water we continued on ... and we continued on ... and on ... and on ....! There was nowhere to bushcamp! Can you believe that! It was all plains and pastural land with no tracks to get off the road! We even found an okay spot that was on the corner of someones land so we went to the farmhouse to ask if it was okay to camp but no one was home so we had no other choice but to continue. Lucky there was a tailwind so we could make good time and distance ... then eventually at 85km (35km further than what we originally were going to camp at!) we found a memorial spot and decided to camp there, a bit out in the open but it will do.

Neil is all smiles once we found the spot, you can see the road in the background but no one really looked and there was hardly any traffic at night.
Bush camp to Gunnedah -
Well it was only another 5km before we got to Mullaley and the Oxley highway which would take us to Gunnedah. The legs were a little weary but they got us here.
We left the camp at 8.30am and at Mullaley there was a roadhouse that sort of had camping but we didn't know this existed and besides we think our campspot was far better than the road house!
Once on the Oxley high way we could look back to see where we bushcamped last night.

It was at the base of this hill and at the far left corner of the hill.
The Oxley highway is busy but okay mainly with local traffic going to Gunnedah today since it is a Saturday. It is mainly up and down with some really steep parts which cars didn't like with us as theoretically they cannot overtake us at the top of the crest because they cannot see oncoming traffic but that didn't stop some cars and some really take rists. We did notice however that country 'p' platers really have a severe lack of road driving skills - they are absolutely dumb! and quite a few can get agro with us - I had one today pull up alongside of me and asked if I knew where peacock grove was and I said no and then she said do I know anywhere around here and I looked at her (while still cycling along) and thought now is she getting agro with me because she is lost and I don't know where places are and I was about to yell at her something along the lines of "do I look like I am a local with all this gear?" and then she asks before I could say it "are we in Gunnedah?" and all I said that it was another 15km ahead and she said thanks and was off! I couldn't believe just how dumb this girl was! Does she not know what the little green signs every 5km with a letter of the next major town mean?
Anyway we were glad to get to Gunnedah and the campground is okay - typical of a big town one - all price and no facilities! Since I didn't get a shower last night I had a very loooooooooooong hot shower today. There are plenty of people here tonight at the campground and heaps of kids, I suppose because it is the weekend and there must be something going on with old cars as everyone seems to know everyone else and they are all hanging around people with these cars.
We will stay here tomorrow so Mum I will ring you tomorrow afternoon just after lunch Australian time - so 2.30ish NZ time if that is okay - if not no worries I will try later.
I almost forgot - 10km from Mullaley we stopped at the 150 east time Meridian rest area.

what was some important about it I don't know but Neil was very excited about it!
There was also a sundial there and as you can see we were there just on 10am and it was relatively accurate or more realistically my speedo clock was only 5mins out compared to this sundial!


  1. Janet,
    I'm a journalist with the local paper in Gunnedah and would like to do a story on your trip. What is the best way to contact you?

  2. hi Jasmine
    unfortunately I have only just seen this comment as we haven't had internet for the past 4 days and we are now about 200km north of gunnedah (we are at Warialda for a day or 2) so if you still want to get in contact with us just leave an email address for us to correspond to. Thanks Janet