Outback Road Trips

Brisbane to Barraba

Wednesday 12 May 2021: Brisbane to Warwick 195 km

For our 4th Apollo campervan trip in the year of Coronavirus we are travelling south and west to NSW and Victoria, returning along the coast and hoping that the borders remain open. Here is the map.

Harrisville

An old meathouse – every farm had one to hold freshly killed cattle
Royal Hotel Harrisville Est. 1875

Warwick

After a stop in Boonah (previous photos) to pick up some traditional award winning sausages and in-house smoked bacon from the Elite butcher we continued to Warwick to stay the night at the 1917 Criterion Hotel. There are 32 Heritage listed buildings in Warwick, many constructed from local sandstone.

The 1917 Criterion Hotel …
… has some of the finest decorative iron lace in Australia on the upstairs veranda
The Town Hall (1888) constructed from local sandstone is one of the oldest local authority buildings in Queensland 
Post Office (1891) with Islamic arches on the first floor
 St Mary’s Catholic Church (1920-1926), a fine example of an early 20th century Gothic Revival
Rear of the Warwick Twin Cinema – Artist: Gus Eagleton (2020)
But we really stayed in Warwick for the Bluebird Smokehouse …
… where thick cut breakfast bacon had been smoking all night

Unfortunately as we arrived at Warwick the van displayed ABS and ESP warnings meaning the anti-skid and stability control had failed. RACQ determined the vehicle was not safe to drive so next day a replacement was trucked up from Brisbane and at 2pm away we went.

Our replacement van arrives on a truck from Brisbane

Thursday 13 May 2021: Warwick to Greenup 95 km

To get to Inverell on Friday for Saturday’s parkrun we had to reroute, missing our planned visits to Stanthorpe and Tenterfield. Instead we spent the night at Greenup on the banks of the Bracker Creek, full after recent rain. What a beautiful spot.

We saw two kangaroos swimming in the Creek
Never seen roos swimming before, by the time I grabbed the camera they were gone
Cooking dinner, sausage and fennel one-pan pasta, beside Bracker Creek
Sunrise at Bracker Creek

Friday 14 May 2021: Greenup to Inverell 180 km

Limeville Community Hall is about 20 km north of Texas

Texas

When Texas was first settled it took its name from the Texas pastoral station. Texas station had been the subject of a land dispute and it was named “Texas” because of the famous 1845 land dispute between Mexico and the USA. Or so it is said.

The flood of 1890 wiped out Texas – this store is all that remains of the original town
The town then moved 2 km north to higher ground
A few kilometres south of Texas these unique wooden tobacco drying sheds were built in the 1880s

Ashford

Ashford is a small rural town about 70 km south of Texas. Most of the shops are now closed.

The Commercial Hotel has been shut since 2012, locals want it back
Strand Theatre, once the centre of the town’s social life, no longer operates

Inverell

Inverell is a large country town, population about 12,000, in northern NSW. At an elevation of 500m it can get cold, -2°C is on the forecast for parkrun tomorrow but the days are clear and warm.

Inverell in Autumn
The 1900 Empire Hotel is the only pub in Inverell to retain the iron lace on the upstairs verandah
We didn’t go in for a beer as it is now permanently closed
Inverell Court House, 1886. The clock and bell tower is visible from all around the town
The “new” Uniting Church constructed in 1904 in an unusual Romanesque revival style

Saturday 15 May 2021: Inverell to Barraba 155 km

The Inverell parkrun is a nice course along the McIntyre River
There were 80 starters in spite of the -2°C temperature

Bingara

Bingara is a small, historic, gold and diamond-mining town set in the Gwydir River Valley 70 km west of Inverell. It’s a neat town, the main street lined with old shops dating from the 1880s and 1890s.

The highlight of Bingara is the Roxy Theatre, art deco dating from 1936
Bingara is also popular with bird watchers, we spotted this pretty bird on the footpath

Barraba

Barraba is a town with a population of 1,400 in the New England region of NSW. Many buildings, dating from the turn of the 20th century, still have awnings to protect from the heat of the day. 

Barraba main street, protected by awnings, deserted on a Saturday afternoon
We had a beer at the Commercial Hotel in Barraba which started life in 1878 as Markham’s Hotel

In 2019, with NSW in the grip of one of the worst droughts Australia has ever faced, Sydney artist Fintan Magee was commissioned to paint the town silos. He chose a local water diviner searching for groundwater, using forked sticks. It took him 4 weeks and 280 litres of paint.

Barraba Silos depict a water diviner – Artist: Fintan Magee (2019)
Details on the silos
The endangered Regent Honeyeater is painted almost out of sight and like the real bird hard to spot