Tamworth - Sydney Road Trip

Some thoughts and plans were brewing…. Robin was keen to visit the newish equestrian facility in Tamworth ahead of some upcoming national championships as well as tying in a visit to Sydney to meet with our Macquarie investments advisor face-to-face. And there may have been a Porsche Turbo for sale that I might like a proprietary interest in… I smell a road trip!

We hit the road VERY EARLY to beat the traffic to get to the Hume Highway and on our way. Some toasted sandwiches and beverages at the Nagambie Bakery kept us watered and fed and we continued on our way past Shepparton going north. Inexplicably I now wanted to go to sleep. Very badly. So before the border I had to relinquish the driving duties to my co-pilot and within a couple of kilometres I was fast asleep in the passenger's seat, for a good half hour or so. Morning tea was at Jerilderie when I took over driving again and was fine the rest of the trip. Quite strange. Day one was long and we arrived in Dubbo around 4.30pm-ish with just enough time to unpack, and find a dinner destination.

Night 1 - Dubbo (The Comfort Inn, Dubbo City)

After much discussion and debate, dinner was at The Lions Pride Restaurant, a convenient 50 metre walk from our motel. The food was fine but the wine list left a little to be desired. Anyhow we were well fed after a long day in the car. We chose an after dinner walk down the 'Main Street' which was pretty lively on a Thursday night. Also the architecture and general feel of the town was very positive.

With a night's sleep behind us, we checked out and looked for a breakfast venue. The Grapevine Cafe caught Robin's eye. What got my attention was the temperature (see below). Yikes! Anyhow we ate well and hit the road.

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After an uneventful drive we had a late lunch at Gunnedah. Not expecting any great foodie locations and about to continue on to Tamworth we found the Chatter Chinos Cafe. With a modern look and feel and excellent food it was a great find. My steak sandwich was especially fine. In another hour or so we were in Tamworth.

Nights 2 & 3 - Tamworth (Ashby House Motor Inn)
The usual debate regarding dinner venues started shortly after our arrival in Tamworth. Especially once I found out that there (again) no coverage of the British Open golf on the motel TV system, Bah! Red Embers Italian restaurant was the chosen venue and a good choice it was too. Robin's lamb rack was excellent but the highlight was the churros for dessert. Especially fine!

After arriving at Tamworth we had the 'Check Oil Light' come on on the Cayenne. Hmmmm. After some hand wringing we went to Autobahn early on Saturday morning for advice an hopefully some Porsche diesel appropriate oil. And we got both. but wait there is more. We asked the young guys on the checkout what was good breakfast spot in town. One recommended Hopscotch. They didn't let us down on the oil and they kept their strike rate up with breakfast. It was truly excellent with creamed corn for her and savoury mince for me. And probably our best coffee since we left Melbourne.

Well fed, we started out touring. First was the Oxley Lookout which gave panoramic vista over the town. Then onto the marsupial park where I got to pat a wallaby. Aw shucks! Then a stroll through the Botanical Gardens, followed by a visit to an Art Gallery where Robin bought a couple of framed drawings then a late morning coffee to draw breath. Not sure where to go next we chased to visit the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre for inspiration. Boy was that expensive as one of the brochures we picked up was for The Aussie Bush Leather store in the middle of town. Sounding like a nice place to visit with probable food destinations in close proximity we made a bee-line to Peel Street.

The ABL store had two awesomely restored 'vintage' hard-wood frame lounge chairs recovered in soft 'Cigar' leather in his and her sizes. We were smitten and after a futile break for a light lunch 'to talk about the purchase. Of course we walked straight back to the store and signed up. The chairs should arrive in two weeks via ABL's preferred courier.

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A panorama of the city of Tamworth - 2016
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The entrance of the main equestrian & livestock arena - 2016
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Inside the main arena - 2016
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Fabulous street art - 2016

Nights 4 & 5 - Sydney (Sir Stamford Hotel at Circular Quay)

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Panorama of the Botanic Gardens from our balcony in Circular Quay - 2016
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Gratuitous photos of the Sydney icons - 2016

Night 6 - Albury (Albury Manor House Motel)
I thought the last night of our trip might be a slap-up dinner in high spots of Albury / Wodonga but Robin had other ideas. She figured we should just eat in the motel dining room. Oh dear… Well, she was right and I was wrong. The dining room had a bar with outrageously comfortable Chesterfield chairs that we used for pre-dinner and post dinner drinks. The food was very good and the wine list contained some enjoyable local varieties.It was indeed a fine end to our trip!
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Ah, those chairs - 2016

The run home was largely uneventful. An enjoyable and safe trip duly concluded.

Bye for now, BomberBoy