Each year on the October long weekend, or thereabouts, we like to go to dinner with some friends of ours. They live in Rockhampton, so it is a bit of a trip. This year we decided that Goondiwindi was the ideal venue, a nice halfway point.
We had planned to ride up, but after watching the weather reports ended up taking the car.
Along the way we had time to poke around in places like this.
We stopped in parks for a cuppa and picnic lunch.
We called in at the little country town of Bingara. This is one of those places that we always seem to go through when we are in a hurry to get somewhere, or when everything is shut. For a change we had time to browse. There is some lovely leadlight on the shop fronts.
Around the corner from the main street, Mick spotted a ladder out the front of a shop, so we went to investigate. It was rather well spotted.
Upcycled was a fascinating shop, with lots of people in there browsing and spending their money. I left a bit there too, just quietly. I just haven’t taken photos yet. Don’t you love their bunting.
Next was the craft shop with this rather splendid fellow out the front. He is made entirely from stuff found at the local tip. His feathers are binding twine.
Over the road is the magnificent old Roxy Theatre.
Mick had a peer through the windows.
Just then a lady came up and told us that if you go into the tourist office, a few doors down, they do guided tours. As we weren’t in a rush, we partook.
The theatre is celebrating its 75th birthday this year. It was started by three Greek fellows and they also had the adjoining cafe.
The architecture is stunning, although difficult to photograph. They were setting up for show that night.
The seats and drapes are not original, but the wall finishes and lights are. There are shutters behind the ornate screens, which would have been used for ventilation before air conditioning.
A lot of money has been spent on the theatre, but it was well worth it. Even the loos were in keeping with the style.
Next door, Peter’s Cafe has been restored as well. They use it occasionally for catering, but are looking for someone to run it full time. The timberwork behind the counter actually came from another cafe across the road.
The tables and chairs came from a cafe in Inverell. However, the original booths were found in a shed and have been reinstated.
After we dragged ourselves away from Bingara we went into some fairly stormy weather, so were pleased we ended up travelling by car. The scenery was wonderful. I just love the wide open spaces.
It was still wet when we arrived in Sunny Queensland. The temperature, at 1.30pm was a whole 12 degrees C! Not what we expected, and especially not what our friends from Rocky expected. Fortunately, they had packed a jumper.
We even had some hail, which apparently is quite rare. It didn’t clear up for some time.
We had a lovely evening with our friends and then in the morning started to head south again, this time travelling down the Newell Highway. Mt Kaputar looked spectacular out to the east.
Our next destination was to visit some friends who also went to the Isle of Man on their bike. Part of the reason we took the car was that we had about 30kms of dirt road to drive and it had rained the previous week. Fortunately, it had dried out fairly well, and as long as you followed the tyre tracks it was fine. It would have been a bit interesting on the bike though. Excuse the bugs on the windscreen.
The weather had cleared by now and we spent the evening sitting in front of a lovely fire, eating food cooked in the camp oven and chatting with good friends. You can’t get much better than that. The lovely Chookyblue and her family were even in attendance. I will note that she was busy crafting as well as chatting while there was sufficient light, unlike the rest of us that just chatted.
The next morning we went to a neighbour’s to see his collection of old bits and bobs. The fellows in the Car Club would have been drooling.
Finally, we started to head home again, stopping briefly in Gulargambone to check out the Galahs.
Then in Gilgandra to check out the windmills.
We were both rather tired by the time we got home. We had covered quite a bit of ground and seen so very much. It is amazing what we crammed into such a short time. Now we have to decide where we will meet up next year.