A Travellerspoint blog

Wurrumbungle National Park

Kangaroo Heaven

semi-overcast 20 °C

November 12 ~ November 14, 2010

Work Dubbo is finished, we're off to do a bush walk again. The Wurrumbungle National Park is located a couple hours north of Dubbo, or a few hours inland between Sydney and Brisbane. It has beautiful gorges, deep valleys, and wonderful rock formations left over from 17 million years of an eroded volcano - according to the guide.

So far, I (Erica) have seen about four Kangaroos the entire time I've been here. The Wurrumbungles were a heaven of Kangaroos. Within minutes of being in the park, we were greeted by different packs of kangas!

mama and her joey

mama and her joey


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We planned to do a 3 day, 2 night hike. We started and finished at the Pincham carpark.

After a few hours of hot and hard hiking, we weren't especially impressed.... though there were a few beautiful lookouts!

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Can you spot James?

Can you spot James?


James asking the great rock for wisdom

James asking the great rock for wisdom


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The best part of the trip was our camp spot at the Nuada Campsite. The spot was right on the creek and encircled by trees. As soon as we got there, we set up our tent, and had a extremely cold water sponge bath by the river. We gathered firewood and made our camp dinner, though after dinner we were both too exhausted to make the fire.

We woke up the next day to a solemn sky.

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We decided to cut our hike short and head back before the cats and dogs come pouring down.

On our way back, I had the honor of being within a couple meters of dinning kangaroos!

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The rain clouds hung on for the rest of our hike, until the end, the sun came back out... so we finished our trip with a dip in the water.

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Posted by etthuang 16:50 Archived in Australia Tagged hiking trekking camping kangaroos bushwalking wurrumbungle_national_park camp_nuada Comments (0)

Dubbo

Peach and Nectarine Thinning

sunny 20 °C

October 11, 2010 ~ November 9, 2010

Dubbo (pronounced “Dub-O"), New South Wales- our new home for a little over a month. We have a job thinning peaches at Sunnyside Orchard.

In our month here, we made ourselves a little home on the Terramungamine Reserve. It’s a free camping spot by the Macquarie river., and it’s only about 10km north of Dubbo. Our first impression of this freebie wasn’t the greatest. It is a large park reserve, though camping is only allowed in the carpark area, and it’s usually filled with more than a dozen caravans. As time passed by and we got used to it, we could kind of refer to it as “home.”

After long sweaty days at work, we started showering in a free truck stop toilet/shower room. Only the men’s side has the shower facility, so Erica sneaks in behind my signal that the coast is clear. It’s as clean as you could imagine a truck stop shower to be, but the water is hot and welcoming after a hard day’s work. One day, we saw another couple pull the “check and signal” routine- just minutes before were about to go in ourselves, so we had to blow some time until the showers were free. We came back half an hour later, and we could hear that they were almost done- belt buckles fastening, feet shuffling. We waited outside when a man in a Caltex (the station’s name) shirt angrily and abruptly asked us if we were waiting for the showers. We automatically replied a drawn out, ‘Australian,’ “yea,” before we had any time to think. He snapped back that the showers were for truckers only or else it’s $4 each!. Taken aback, we retreated to the car with our shower supplies unsure of what to do next. We really didn’t want to pay for showers…$4 per person is $8...that adds up to over $50 a week for showers, and we still had about 3 more weeks of work… Eeek!!
It ’s a long day at work, and we’re itching from peach fuzz and sweat under the beating sun… let’s just pay up and worry about ‘free’ tomorrow. During our fully legit, un-sneaky, paid shower, I came up with an idea. As I soaped myself down and stared at the cobwebs hanging from above, the grime on the walls, and the dirt and bugs on the ground, it hit me.

“Erica!”
“Yeah?”
“What do you think… if we offered to clean these showers and toilets once a week in exchange for free showers?”
Erica squinted at me to see if I was joking- I was not. A moment of silence passed by as Erica took the time to consider it.
“Will they do it?”
“Nothing ventured nothing gained” I clichéd aloud.

We cleaned up, I trimmed my beard, and we sorted ourselves out. We both pictured how our conversation with this hostile man could possibly go. Rehearsed and ready, we walked into the store and waited in line to talk to him. I sized him up, he didn’t look so mean anymore, but I mean, we did pay and all., so…

We started chatting with the man and we explained we were backpackers, and we didn’t want to pay for showers, but we were keen to clean. He didn’t understand at first what we were trying to say, he goes on to mention something offensive like “this shower is not for people your type,” we could only assume that means non-truckers. But once we reached a mutual understanding that we would clean the truck stop toilet and showers, without hesitation he replied “deal!”

We successfully traded clean for clean!
Though we must admit, the first couple of cleans took much hard work, but now that Caltex truck stop could probably win the clean toilet/shower award.

Village Pies- Best pie in Australia! They've won the National Best Pie Award twice

Village Pies- Best pie in Australia! They've won the National Best Pie Award twice

Posted by etthuang 01:23 Archived in Australia Tagged australia new_south_wales funny experience nsw dubbo peach nectarine thinning peach_and_nectarine_thinning meat_pies village_pies Comments (0)

Blue Mountains

Our one week bush walking adventure

rain 18 °C

September 28, 2010~ October 8, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away! Please come back another day. We spent a rainy week in the Blue Mountains area.
The area is absolutely beautiful and is well-known for its blue-ish haze.

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We’re officially camping out of our car now. We’ve spent a few days camping by a park in Katoomba. Our favourite spot is a camp site in Blackheath called Evan’s Lookout. There are toilets, fire pits, tables and benches, and it’s free! We also have our Shower Days at the Blue Mountains YHA for $2 per person.

The sun played hide and seek with us the whole week. In between the rainy days, we did a few bushwalks. Our first attempt was to the Red Hand Cave's, but we ended up finding a swimming hole and just hanging out there.

The second was the Under cliff Over cliff trek at Wentworth falls in Katoomba. It was stunning! We saw two waterfalls- Wentworth falls and Empress Falls- nestled in between the cliffs and trees. Throughout the trek, we could see the sun poking through the clouds and lighting up the green valley of eucalyptus trees.

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Peek-a-Boo, can you spot Erica?

Peek-a-Boo, can you spot Erica?

Empress Falls

Empress Falls

The third walk we did was the Giant Stair’s, also in Katoomba, trying to see the Three Sisters rock formation. The Giant Stairs truly lives up to its name. A ranger back in the day carved a set of stairs winding down the side of the cliff Three Sister’s sit upon - about 100 meters down and over 900 steps. We walked down the stairs hoping to get a perfect picture moment of the three majestic sister rocks. Not thinking, we ended up walking down the stairs to realize we weren’t prepared with enough food and water to do the hike, AND that there was no view of the rocks at all! We hiked up the steep stairs- though it felt much much more than 100 meters up.

We also hiked the Grand Canyon of the Blue Mountains near Evan’s Look Out in Blackheath. It was insane! Probably the best hike we’ve been on so far. Winding and carving through the canyon, the chipped stone stairs, tree roots, and rock paved our passage. The walls of the Canyon enclosed around us. As we hiked deeper into the canyon, the thick moss and deep lush ferns and greenery closed around us, jungle-like. It was truly a Jurrasic Park moment!

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Peek-a-boo, where's chameleon James?

Peek-a-boo, where's chameleon James?


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Lastly, we drove to the Pulpitt Rock Lookout in Blackheath. It’s a long unpaved road to the carpark, but a short leisurely walk to the lookout. The view is stunning. It’s a 280 degree panoramic view of the canyon. From the lookout, we inhaled the fresh green air and looked out at Mother Nature’s masterpiece of a canyon! Millions of years worth of layered rocks were covered in rich greens, and within the dense forest, sheer waterfalls hid, trickling down the sides of the canyon like a lacy bride’s veil.

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Now, the time has come for us to move to our next stop- Dubbo. We got a job there starting on October 11th thinning peaches. It’s about time to stop traveling broke (we had to live off of $20 for a week) and start making some cash!

Posted by etthuang 01:14 Archived in Australia Tagged mountains hiking new blue three south falls sisters katoomba wentworth wales nsw bushwalking blackheath Comments (0)

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