Today was  one of our longer drives at approximately 420kms so we had an  early breakfast, packed up the car and we were on the road by 7:30 

Heading south along the New England Hwy we were saddened to see how dry the country was.  This area has been in drought for quite some time.  We have spent a fair few holidays in the Granite Belt so we really noticed the difference. 

Coming into Stanthorpe we noticed a lot of traffic ahead and wondered what was going on. As we got closer we could see that the service station on the Highway was a collection point for water.  There were two big double water tankers and many cars, trucks and utes with a 1000 litre caged water tank.  I had read that the Qld Govt was giving some water to Stanthorpe residents, so we hoped that the water was free.

Further south, we stopped at Wallangarra on the Qld /NSW border.   The old train station here has a quirky story.  When it was being built, the Qld and NSW “powers that be” could not come to an agreement as to the design of the station building.  As a compromise, the building was built in each state’s traditional style.  So the Qld side has a rolled bullnose verandah roof and the NSW a flat sloped roof.

As this is the state border there is a sign marking the fact.   

 Queensland, however, has gone slight one up and erected a HUGE sign to remind the “Blues” where they are.

Travelling south our next stop was the Information Centre at Tenterfield, I picked up a few brochures and guide books for our forward travels.    We have been to Tenterfield a number of times before so did not look around town.

On to Glen Innes.  We had not been here for many years, so we did take some time to drive around this pretty tow.  The main street is lined with lovely heritage buildings that reflect the past prosperity of the area.  

In 1872 tin was found nearby and the town grew from a population of just 350 to around 1500 by 1875.  In 1884 a rail service from Sydney arrived and this further contributed to the prosperity of the town.

I did have to laugh at one very large building on the main street… Kwong Sings Merchants.   As an importer/seller of Chinese goods myself, it is funny to see the practice was profitable way back in the 1800’s  ?

Travelling out of Glen Innes toward Armidale, we saw more evidence of recent bush fires, including one that had crossed the highway. 

We stopped at a roadhouse at Guyra for lunch.  We have found that when you see a road house full of trucks, you know the food has to be good.   As usual, we were not disappointed.   We shared a “works” burger meal deal. – Burger, chips and a drink for $13.99    The burger was huge and came with a dinner plate full of chips and we chose a “Solo Lemon” can of drink.    It was more than enough for the two of us.   On our way out, we noticed there was a bin to put any empty bottles and cans in. The roadhouse was saving all the 10c refunds to donate to the drought appeal, so of course, that is where our empty soft drink can went.

After lunch, we went for a drive around town.  There was a picture in the guide book of a local attraction called “Mother of Ducks Lagoon”   We guessed that, in these drought conditions, it would not look as lush as the pictures, but we were shocked to see that there was almost no water at all in it.

Back on the road toward Armidale.   The guide book said that this area is renowned for its Beef and Lamb.  Looking out over bone dry empty paddocks as far as the eye could see, it is no wonder our meat prices are high at the moment.

At one point we noticed a very large farm under cover off to the left.  We wondered what it was.  The guide book told us that this area is also a very large grower of glasshouse tomatoes and we are sure that is what we had seen.   A bit of “googling” found this article on the project.

Guyra’s Costa tomato farm starts $67m expansion

Our next stop was Armidale.  It was again too hot to get out of the car and walk around too much ( the car told us we have been at 40 degrees for most of the day. The hottest it read was 41.5)
So we drove around Armidale and thought it reminded us a lot of Toowoomba, with lovely wide tree lined streets.   Armidale has many cathedrals and large buildings that again reflect the prosperity of the New England area.   I knew that Armidale is a University town, and there are a number of prestigious schools with lovely heritage buildings.

We reached our final destination of Tamworth at around 3:30pm.   

Tamworth is well known as the centre of Country music in Australia and hosts the huge Country Music Festival each January.  Driving around town we saw the Hall of Fame and the Golden Guitar.  Not being country music fans much, we did not stop at these attractions.

We found the Woolworths to buy a few provisions for dinner and found our AirBnB accommodation in a quiet suburban street.

Our home for the night is “Magnolia on Oak”  The home is a well renovated home and we had a comfortable night, but as an AirBnB there were not the inclusions we normally have. To be fair though we got exactly what is outlined in the AirBnB listing.  Extra  bedrooms, the laundry, the garage and the back door to the yard were all locked off.  There was a small fridge with nothing in it except 2 small tetra packs of milk.   
One thing that was missing was a coffee table to put our drinks on, so I used a “hotel hack” I had recently seen online.  Use the ironing board ?  It worked perfectly.