We were woken by the sounds of bush being trampled by a herd of cows that wandered by on the other side of the fence. A quick glance revealed the time to be 9.22. Hmm slept in a bit then.
After packing up we drove a short distance out to the trout hatchery that we had spotted on the drive in. It's run by the NSW government and provides over 2 million fish each year for the stocking of rivers and dams in northern NSW. There is a self guided tour and a video to explain the operation. Whilst wandering through the fingerling tanks we chatted to to a couple of the staff.
It's been warm so far and promises to be a hot summer which is not good for the trout. They had one fish die the other day and it's was around 20 lbs if that means something to the fish-folk out there.
Resuming our run down the sealed road we turned off into Wollomombi Falls. This is a huge gorge that has cut its way through New England. It's most suprising to come across these huge valleys out here in the plains.
The smoke from bush fires increased as we got closer to Armidale. It's a very green and pretty town which would have looked even better without the grey haze covering it.
A quick supply stop at Woolies, a left turn, and we headed southwest towards Uralla and Walcha. Both of these small towns looked great and a bit of green makes them much more appealing than the dry dusty places of the Queensland outback.
We have stopped for the night at another gorge on the Apsley River (!).
Today has been the coldest overall that we have experienced since the Grampians in May! We are at a fairly high elevation and getting further south so that accounts for the chilly temperature! Tomorrow it's a bit further south, probably into Barrington Tops NP and then onto Newcastle.