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Bear and Poppit Take A New South Wales Road Trip

This past weekend Bear and I got went on an adventure – a madcap 2000 km road trip from Queensland to New South Wales and back again to pick up Bear’s car, Duc. We had fully intended to do the wickedly long trip in one straight shot, but after 22 hours of driving, Bear surprised us with a mini-vacation and turned our road trip into a holiday.

It was so much fun!

The cab of our ute was full to bursting with all sorts of healthy snacks to keep us going while we drove through the gorgeous New South Wales countryside. I roasted Brazil nuts with rosemary and sea salt, made venison meat balls, curried eggs and flourless tahini cookies, sliced good strong cheese and nitrate-free sausage, and filled containers with fresh snow peas, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, and Lebanese cucumbers. We were set!

The first half of our trip was spent in total darkness as we drove through the night to arrive in Milperra by 6 a.m., so we entertained ourselves with audio books from the library and I kept Bear awake with numerous cups of raw cocoa mochas.

Once Duc was loaded onto our trailer we headed north again, through the smoke-filled Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley, still hazy from nearby forest fires.

By the time we arrived on the outskirts of Tamworth, we were knackered and very, very happy to pull over to crash in a motel for the rest of the day.

Turns out Tamworth is the Country Music Capital of Australia and when we saw the gigantic gold guitar out front of the Golden Guitar Motor Inn, we embraced our inner dorks and simply had to stay there.

We could’ve stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast or a posh hotel with entertainment options, but sometimes you just want a clean, quiet place where you can stretch out in air-conditioned comfort and do absolutely nothing.

This place did the trick, and they totally won me over when they handed me a bottle of milk for my afternoon tea, and invited us down later for complimentary wine and beer. Yep, that’s my kind of hospitality.

It was early afternoon so we luxuriated in long, hot showers (is there ANYTHING better than a hot shower after umpteen hours in the car?), took naps, and cozied up on the couch with strawberries, tea, and dark chocolate.

Not bad at all.

For dinner we craved cold drinks and comfort food and found both at the local BBQ joint: Bibs and Ribs. Amused by the crocodile decor – including crocodile head toilets that, when opened, revealed the open jaws of a tooth-filled croc mouth – we eased our aching selves onto wooden seats and sipped cold beer (Bear) and an icy mojito (me). The drinks eased our aching joints and stressed muscles and when our food arrived we were so relaxed we could hardly stay awake long enough to eat. But fish and chips and BBQ chicken can tempt even the most tired traveler, and we happily tucked in. We strolled back to our motel and were sound asleep by 7 p.m. and slept a solid 12 hours.

There’s nothing like good food and good sleep to set you to rights, and the next morning we were back to our perky adventurous selves, ready to head out on the open road to see what we would see.

I can’t wait to tell you about our adventures, from stunning lookouts and a cherry tree farm to Australia’s version of Stonehenge.

What is the best road trip you’ve ever taken?




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Ken Powell - Ah, the joys of youth. I have driven Sydney to Brisbane in a day, many years ago. Now we would take at least two, with Tamworth or somewhere on the coast (think Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour or Ballina) as a likely stopovers. Sorry you had to see Sydney with so much smoke around – it’s not always like that.

bellini - Every Sunday I am off on some adventure or other, as long as the weather cooperates. I would love to take a road trip to Oregon one day with stops at all the food haunts.

Krista - I thought of you when we got to Sydney, @ken_powell:disqus 🙂 Next time I hope we can stay longer for we would love to meet you for coffee and a visit somewhere. 🙂 And yes, I would like to see Sydney in a not-so-smoky state one day. It seems like a really beautiful city. 🙂

Krista - That would be a fantastic road trip, @disqus_2LQ5qLN5aY:disqus 🙂 It’s a route I’ve taken many times but always with a deadline. I would love to stop at the food haunts too. 🙂

Maureen | OrgasmicChef - My favorite road trip was a birthday surprise from John. One day he said, “Birthday surprise, pack a bag and be in the car in 35 minutes.” My first trip to Tasmania. We had the best time just taking our time driving around the island. Looks like you had a pretty full on time!

Krista - I’m grinning so big just thinking about your surprise, @OrgasmicChef:disqus ! That is absolutely brilliant. 🙂 John is a treasure for sure!

Cathy - Wow Krista you went to Sydney, albeit rather briefly. What a great road trip. I’m so pleased you stayed at Tamworth on your way back home, you had some great adventures, thank you for sharing them with us.

Krista - Briefly is right, @wanderingsheila:disqus 🙂 But it was so worth it. I loved driving through Paramatta and the other areas, getting to see these places I’ve only heard about on the news. 🙂

LindyLouMac - The trip sounds fun but exhausting. 🙂

Jackie - As I’m originally from the Illawarra, your road trip brought back memories, so Duc came from Milperra? I so remember the Milperra Pub for the infamous bikey war. I also recall the Golden Guitar Motor Inn, a dear friend of mine actually won a Golden Guitar award. Go a further 80km from Milperra and you were in my home town lol So happy to see Tamworth offering some delicious fare. My experience was so much different. So, can’t wait to see pics of “The Duc” 😀

Krista - You are right, @LindyLouMac:disqus 🙂 I slept like a rock when we got home. 🙂

Krista - I’d never heard of Milperra before this trip, @bc700f7a2dff994b6fd7a151d97f18ce:disqus , but I asked Bear about the war you mentioned and he remembered it too. I’ll have to google it. 🙂 I was so glad we found some decent food in Tamworth. It did NOT look promising in the least. 🙂

Jackie Smith - I can’t believe that we were both in New South Wales at the same time! So near and yet so far. . .sounds like you had a great trip (as did we). Your Australia — at least the pin speck we saw of it – is lovely!

Krista - I KNOW, @disqus_WseMqaTPwi:disqus !! I thought of you while we were down there – a whole two hours 🙂 – and wished that I could somehow connect. Sigh. 🙂 Ah well. It WILL happen one day. 🙂

Andi Perullo de Ledesma - Seriously that food looks AMAZING!!!!!! Best road trip with through the Outback for me!

Liz Posmyk - Sounds great… were you close to Canberra?

Velva-Tomatoes on the Vine - The Australian landscape alone captures my attention. I think it would be fun too, to set out ( even if there is a purpose) and enjoy the sights and sounds along the way. No doubt this was fun! Look forward to your next post.

Tandy Sinclair - That looks like the best break in the middle of a long journey!

Krista - It really was, @tandysinclair:disqus 🙂 The break did us worlds of good. 🙂

Krista - Isn’t it amazing and so very different, @4051406338aaef5dd8bf9775f8ab662d:disqus ? The trees alone are a constant delight. 🙂

Krista - Afraid not, @lizposmyk:disqus The furthest south we got was Milperra. 🙂

Krista - Ohhh, that would be AMAZING, @AndiPerullo:disqus 🙂 I would really, really love to do that one day. 🙂

Kitchen Butterfly - I enjoyed our summer road trip to Niagara falls from Rye. The views were stunning and we had some decent food along the way.

Your trip sounds awesome – I love ‘siezing the day!’ Good on you both.

Krista - I would love to visit that area one day, @132fe8be674f43d4508b19c8db8df791:disqus 🙂 It sounds amazing. 🙂

Jeanne Horak - The Garden Route in S Africa is always a winner… but I also loved driving from LA – San Diego – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Phoenix 🙂 Your trip sounds wonderful – I want to go on a road trip with YOU because you pack the best snacks EVER!

Breanne @ This Vintage Moment - Ahh, I love it!! And girl, you pack good snacks! I love places that give you fresh milk for your tea and are just overall soothing. We spent a week in the Blue Mountains and absolutely loved it there.

Krista - Both of those routes sound fantastic, @jeannehorak:disqus 🙂 And I’d happily pack awesome snacks for you any time. 🙂

Krista - The Blue Mountains are SO gorgeous, @breannemosher:disqus ! It was my first time there and I loved it so much. 🙂

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