After a lovely night at Mount Morgan we packed up and set off for our next stop, Goondiwindi. We were hoping to visit a couple there of which the husband is also a Congregational church minister. The only reason we went inland was to visit them. It was hot, inland Queensland is a hot place and we were thankful for air conditioning in our car. As we went further inland we started to see a few boab trees which was for us a real treat.
We also went through a town which has an unusual name, Banana. It turns out that Banana is not named so because they grown bananas in that area (way too dry) but after a bull that was called Banana and loved locally.
One place we stopped for a toilet break was Condamine. A few years ago there were extreme floods in this area and we found this flood marker remembering all the floods that town had experienced. Blows you away to see how high the waters went. Behind us in this photo is the river, a fair way down. The black writing (2011) at the top is where the water was at.
We arrived at our destination late in the afternoon and the girls were pretty excited that Paul and Joy-Anne had a pool and were swimming within 10 minutes. We enjoyed our night there getting to know this couple better. Goondiwindi is a long way from Sydney and usually we see Paul once a year at our Pastors and Families camp.
After a night in Goondiwindi we enjoyed breakfast with our hosts (a big pile of pancakes!) before heading off towards Tamworth where we would get to see another friend, Julie.
About two minutes into our journey we crossed back into New South Wales after weeks of being in Queensland.
When we initially planned to visit Julie in Tamworth we had no idea that the Tamworth Country Music Festival was on. Of course this meant that finding a caravan park without booking would be almost impossible so Julie offered for us to stay at her house. After catching up with Julie and her kids at her home she took us to see one of the icons of northern New South Wales, the Golden Guitar!
I was expecting it to be in the centre of town not in the centre of McDonalds and KFC but it was pretty impressive! Speaking of McDonalds we also managed to see the Giant Big Mac that was touring around starting in Tamworth.
Julie took us around Tamworth at night while the festival was in full swing and even though neither of us are country music fans it was amazing to see it in person. There was a huge live stage with constant performances from a range of famous country music artists which was free for everyone. The walk down the main street was so interesting with all the buskers and stalls. I even got to see one Christian country artists I recognised performing, Steve Grace:
The kids had a great time, trying out bumper cars for the first time (not sure if they really liked them!) and then going on the giant ferris wheel with Julie’s girls. Lots and lots of screaming ensued!
The whole thing finished off with a fireworks display:
The next morning we packed up the van and set off again, stopping briefly at the Oxley lookout so we could get a better view of Tamworth:
Our visits to Goondiwindi and Tamworth were very memorable parts of our trip. Its always more fun to spend time with friends and locals. I’d love to take my good friend Karen to the festival one day as she’s a big country music fan! Just one more blog post to go about our trip, if you are still here reading along, thank you…not long till we get home now.