Red Centre Holiday 2016: Day 1 – Tea Gardens to Nyngan


I have just completed a 17 day holiday to Australia’s red centre, where I visited Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Watarrka National Park and Tjoritja/West Macdonnell National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia. It was a trip I had wanted to make almost every year for the last 5 or 6 years, but was prevented from doing so due to illness, surgery and other reasons associated with those ‘spanners in the works.’ This year I was determined to carry through with my plans, even though I managed to ‘catch’ the flu the day before I left and became quite ill for several days (I still departed as scheduled) during my early travels.

It was an early start from Tea Gardens on the New South Wales east coast (Port Stephens roughly), leaving at 5.15 am on Saturday morning (6 August 2016), the day after I had finished work for my 4 weeks of annual leave. I had originally planned to depart on my holiday on Monday, allowing myself the weekend to pack and get ready. However, I had myself ready in the week prior to my departure, so I decided to get going on Saturday instead. So I was off early, both keen and quite ill.

I decided I was going to do a bit of geocaching along the way, so my first morning involved a bit of this, which slowed my progress considerably. One of the places I found (and had noted previously) was a place known as ‘Split Rock,’ to the east of Dunedoo. This is a very interesting landform just off the road.

Split Rock

ABOVE: Split Rock

Along the way I stopped at Nevertire and visited the Nevertire Cafe, which was quite disappointing. The prices for what they sell are not posted anywhere in the cafe and when I asked for a price list there was none to view. So when I paid for what I ordered I was shocked by the price I was charged – no wonder the prices aren’t displayed. This happened somewhere else on the journey as well and the lesson to take away from this experience is never to order anything without first being told the price. Better still, avoid establishments that hide their prices – it’s a fair bet they intend to price gouge. What really hurt was that the food wasn’t even any good.

ABOVE: Outside Nyngan Riverside Caravan Park

On this first day I travelled a total of 582 km and ended up at Nyngan, New South Wales. Some of the towns that I had briefly stopped at during the day included Merriwa, Dunedoo, Dubbo, Nevertire and then Nyngan.

I stayed the night in a cabin (I originally planned to stay every night in a tent) because I was ill. The cabin was at the Nyngan Riverside Tourist Park, not far from the flooding Bogan River. Having booked into the cabin, I decided to pop down to the local park and take a look at the minor flooding that was then occurring.

ABOVE: The Flooded Bogan River at Nyngan

After settling in for the night, it was time to do some ‘house keeping’ – updating the daily journal, reviewing the holiday budget, checking in on social media, and editing and uploading photos. Then it was off to bed for an early start the next morning.

View the Photos at:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskCo9t1f

Visit the Red Centre Holiday 2016 web page at:
http://kevinswilderness.com/NT/redcentre2016.html