Tamworth and Gunnedah / by Ethan Astall

After passing through inland NSW on the way south from Queensland and meeting more colourful characters then red dirt, surreal sunsets and quirky op shops we put in an application to score some work In the quirkiest place of them all - Lightning ridge or “the ridge” as the locals shorten it. With the news I had gotten a job at the local hospital there we couldn’t pass up the opportunity - a quick stop in back to see Ethan’s parents in port Macquarie and we turned left to head out passed the stump of NSW and towards the nothingness. 

The first night saw us camped up outside Gunnedah in a truck rest area (cannot say the name also without wanting to sing the ode to Canada but instead “oh GUN-EH-DAAH), but not without first passing through bendemeer - in ode to Ethan’s dad Trev Astall who tried to twist Elo into believing that “ the banana grow straight in Coffs Harbour - but they BENDEMEER .” From there we made sure our route inland passed through the GOLDEN GUITAR of Tamworth NSW (if it’s good enough for John Williamson to write a song about, we’re in) - we were bummed it was nighttime when we went through (mainly for country op shop open hours), but none the less this quirky country loving, yodling city is like something I’d imagine in country Texas (unfortunately no John Williamson’s we’re spotted in town.) 

Pulling into a free rest are on the outskirts of Gunnedah we heard ongoing screeching going to bed, only to realise it was a koala and we had parked ourselves in the most koala populated area of NSW! we woke before the bushies alarm clock and headed for the lookout to watch the sunrise over the plains, and make a breakfast smoothie, the country sun was a good sign of the great things to come inland (roadside wild sunflowers and silo art works Included).

- Elo

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