Central West NSW

To explore the region of NSW between Parkes to the west, Cowra to the south and Orange to the east, we decided to stay in Canowindra, which is centrally located.

From Canberra we drove to Yass for a fast charge, but instead of looking around, we had a chat with another Kona EV driver who was en route from Adelaide to Canberra. Then on to Cowra where the NRMA charger was located right next to the local gallery which had been recommended. Unfortunately the gallery was closed, but we visited the Peace Bell, which is a copy of a Japanese Peacebell made from donated coins and medals from 60 different countries. We walked the main street for some shopping. We could easily have spent more time exploring Cowra, especially the Japanese Garden.

We would have liked to spend more time exploring Yass and Cowra – but the time spent charging just wasn’t long enough. Are we still doing too much travel, and not enough looking around?

It felt moving to sound this beautiful peace bell

We arrived at dusk at the very small Canowindra (we were soon told it is pronounced Can-ow-n-dra) caravan park . We were not far off the main road, next to a large flattish floodplain area alongside a small river. It was still dark the next morning when we heard a small motor running, some voices and then a roaring sound started up. We looked out to see a balloon being launched on the frosty floodplain nearby. Conny took this picture without getting out of bed…

We took a 40 km drive to Nangar National Park where we walked part of Chinamans Garden Walking Track. The track was very steep initially, but led to some great views and bird watching which included grey-crowned babblers and diamond firetail finches. This is definitely a park that would be nice to camp in and spend more time visiting.

Sticky Everlasting (Xerochrysum viscosum)
Common Grass-Blue butterfly (Zizina otis)

Another frosty morning in Canowindra (and noisy dawn balloon launch) …

We squeezed in some time exploring Canowindra before we headed elsewhere for the day. The Age of Fishes Museum is a fabulous display of the world class Devonian fish fossils (around 360 million years old) found on a nearby farm. The detail in these fossils is incredible.

Original fossils below, with a latex imprint above.

Canowindra has a lovely curved main street.

On the left is the Royal Hotel where in October 1863 Ben Hall’s gang held the whole town of Canowindra hostage for three days
The Perenniallle Plants Nursery Emporium is a new business selling good quailty garden and househood knicknacks, as well as pot plants, and does a great coffee and croissant!

Orange is a larger town about 60 km from Canowindra. After lunch there, we visited a couple of small art galleries while we charged the car. If we had had more time, we would have done some wine tastings. The Borenore limestone caves were off the main road on the return trip. There’s a short self-guided walk around the area and into the caves, which are an important site for the Wiradjuri people.

The sun was setting as we drove back to Canowindra. The days are certainly short at this time of year, but we also asked ourselves whether we are trying too fit too much into each day.

Next, we head to the Warrumbungles National Park. On the way we visited Parkes, famous for the CSIRO Radio Telescope, which was crucial in transmitting pictures of the first moon landing and was featured in the Australian film The Dish. We spend more time there than we expected, and hence arrived in the Warrumbungles in the dark!

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