Thursday, September 27, 2012

Warrumbungles Ahoy!

We set out for our final school holiday road trip at the auspicious time of 3:40am.  With our neighbors having a loud party until the wee hours of the night, Sam and I slept for but a wee bit ourselves before our alarm rang.  It sounds torturous, but believe me--waking up up at an ungodly hour to begin a road trip is far, far more enjoyable than spending any more than 4 hours in the car with three children.  With 7.5 hours of ground to cover, waking up super early and putting three sleepy kids in the car who would sleep for another 4 hours was a no-brainer.

Our first stop was the teeny but cute town of Mudgee, where we had an awesome breakfast and a run around the park.

One of us--I'm not naming any names (although I did take a picture), had some post-breakfast grump to work through.

The rest of the drive was no big deal thanks to a book on tape, and before we knew it we were pulling into Warrumbungle National Park. We chose a great spot that would be our home for the next three nights, and met our new neighbors.

We camped next to a dry creek bed, nestled amongst the trees but with a nice meadow.

The Warrumbungle region is known for amazing stargazing, but although we had clear skies the moon was bright enough to hamper any memorable experience with distant galaxies.  Instead, we kept our activities to the daytime and went on a couple great hikes.

this tree stump was made of gorgeous waves

we found a sweet little abandoned bird's nest

This first hike took us to Tara Cave, where we could see grinding grooves in the stone from earlier Aboriginal occupants.

The second hike was only 3.6km but contained 2000 steps...and my calves are feeling it.

The views at the top were worth it, as well as the nice couple we met up there.  They said that seeing us was like a time warp, as they also had three boys spaced apart exactly as our boys (although they were now 35, 33, and 30).  They were both educators and it was great to chat with them about family and teaching before heading back down.

I was slightly bummed that we didn't get the stargazing delight that I had imagined, but we did have an unexpected surprise that was a clear highlight.  As we began driving out of the park, an mother emu and her babies crossed the road right in front of us.
If you look closely you can see a few babies around her as well as the plucky little straggler still crossing...totally awesome!

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