There are eight states and territories in Australia and as of today I have now been to all 8! This was never really a goal of mine but it just happened. The Australian states and territories are Victoria (where we live), Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territories, Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, where we are tonight!
This morning our breakfast was delivered, hot and on time through our little dumb waiter door! Here is a before and after photo!
We were on the road before 8 AM, heading east under clear, blue skies! Our plan was to drive east to Cann River and then take the road north to Canberra. We added a small road that took us closer to the ocean for about 20k. Along this road we stopped to see where the Snowy River met the ocean and walked a couple of time at the Cape Conran area.
It was a beautiful day to be along the ocean and we enjoyed seeing the different kinds of rocks that sat at this coastline. It has been interesting to see the how the coastline changes around the country. Sometimes there are steep, impenetrable cliffs, other times sand dunes that give way to lovely beaches and then again there are coastlines with a variety of sandstone or limestone rocks in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It’s been a while, so here are some small crashing wave photos!
Once we headed north, we left the coast and traveled through verdant fields filled with cows and sheep. The surrounding mountains reminded us of the Adirondack mountains, not too tall, but covered with trees. Once we crossed into New South Wales, the landscape changed, becoming more arid, which means less green and more brown. The sheep were still thriving, but at times they seemed to be the same color of beige as the fields in which they were grazing.
As we drove through the town of Bombala, we noticed the very unusual way the cars were parked along their main street. Many of these small towns have very wide streets and the cars pull in, nose-first, diagonally to the curb. In Bombala, you drive past the parking spot you want, throw it into reverse, and back into your parking spot, boot-first! We have never seen anything like this, but we thought that maybe it keeps drivers from backing out of their parking spot, into the main flow of traffic.
Jim drove for a couple of hours today, which was a nice break for me. I enjoyed being about to look around without worrying about my speed, what side of the road I was on, or the rest of the traffic. We stopped for lunch in Cooma and I resumed driving.
Then we noticed that there were more dead kangaroos along the side of the road than we’ve ever seen before. While Jim was driving I counted 3 dead kangaroos and 1 dead wombat. When I took over, we must have been passing through an area of high kangaroo activity because after about 50k our numbers were up to 38 dead kangaroos, 3 dead wombats and one dead fox! I was glad I was not having to drive that road at dusk!
As we approached Canberra, our first stop was at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, an attraction in which Jim was most interested. This is the place where huge radio telescopes communicate with satellites and planetary probes, such as the Mars rover. This is also the place that received Neil Armstrong’s first audio and video recordings from the moon. It is a NASA project and the Visitor’s Center was very informative and included a small moon rock.
Since it was such a nice day here, we decided to drive up to the Black Mountain Tower, where for $7.50 each, we could see wonderful views of Canberra and the surrounding countryside. It was money well spent and we got a good overview of the city.
Our motel is in the suburb of Kingston, close to a nice choice of restaurants. I chose an Italian place and we had a very delicious meal. Jim gets to choose tomorrow night.
Our motel also has an excellent internet service so I posted yesterday’s entry before dinner.
Tomorrow we plan to visit some of the national museums and get to know this city.
I have a bit of bad news about our car. This morning when I was backing out of our parking spot at the motel, I scraped the front corner of the car on a raised bed around a tree! It dented in the corner of the front fender a bit and scraped off some of the paint. Shortly after we started driving we heard a funny noise from that part of the car and stopped to discover that a plastic piece had been dislodged and was bouncing and rubbing against the tire. Jim was able to push out the dent and with some duct tape he secured the plastic piece to the fender so it drives normally. Jim says we have coverage with the rental car company, but I still feel bad about it.
That’s all for now. Hope all is well with all of you faithful readers!