Day 46 – The New England Highway

Trip Start Jan 11, 2012
Trip End Apr 14, 2012

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Where I stayed
Tenterfield Motor Lodge

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Saturday, February 25, 2012

We had left a bunch of stuff at Daphne and Trevor's while we went over to Heron Island so we had to repack and get organized this morning. Our goal was to leave around 9:30 and start the drive back towards Lesley’s house in Umina Beach.  We left pretty much on time but not before Trevor took Eric and I to the garage to give us some cool rocks you can only find in Australia.

Our travel route to today was mostly on the New England Highway which makes Eric and I laugh.  This scenic route starts in the town of Yarraman with a big totem carved into a tree trunk that reminded us all off a similar tree in St Croix.  For those of you that don’t know we met Lesley when we were all living in St Croix in 2006-2007.  The drive was beautiful, through rolling hills, farmland, vineyards and small mountains.  We also passed "The Big Apple" and stopped for a picture.

We ate lunch at a club in a small town along the way, mostly because we were hungry and it was the only choice for miles.  In Australia they have Clubs and Pubs.  Pubs are like our bars in America.  They serve food, have local music on the weekends, watch sports, serve drinks and have a good time.  Clubs are an entirely different experience.  If you live within 10 miles of a club you must be a member to go in.  Memberships cost something like $5 per year.  If you live outside the 10 mile range you can visit for free.  Everything in a club has two prices, member prices and guest prices.  Usually the difference is 10–15% more for guests.  Clubs have dress codes that include no hats or flip flops or tank tops for men and no tattered or holey clothes.  They are trying to class up the place but it doesn’t really work.  You have to sign in when you get to the club, usually with some stuffy, arrogant person which sets the mood for the establishment.  Once you are in the club they mostly feel like a cross between a casino and a high school cafeteria.  They have pokie machines (Australian for slots and poker machines), keno and off track betting.  The food is usually mediocre and you sit in a big square room with tables lined up to serve 200 people, even though there are never more than eight people in the entire place.  If you ask me the whole thing is silly but maybe I just haven’t been to a fun locals club yet.

After lunch we drove on through the rain and patches of fog.  We pulled into the town of Tenterfield around 6:30 and chose one of the many motor inns to stay the night.  Tenterfield is famous in Australia due to a song that was written in the 70’s about the town.  It also has 10 national parks within one hour.  Too bad we don’t have more time to spend here and explore.  We are at an altitude of 898 meters or around 2700 feet and the air has that cool, fresh mountain feel to it.  Lesley is freezing but Eric and I are in heaven.  We managed to get about half way today which was 600K. 
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