Mush's farm in northern NSW
15.04.2012 - 18.04.2012 24 °C
We have been at Dad's mate Mush's farm since Saturday night. It took us 7 hours to get here from Orange. The token name for the farm given by 'the boys' is "Rancho Relaxo" and like Orange, it lives up to it's name. It has been a peaceful and relaxing few days on the farm.
When we first arrived and said hello to our friendly host Russell, we walked out onto the big verandah of the early 1900's farmhouse and almost immediately spotted a green tree frog, which, it turns out, are not an uncommon site on the farm. It was a bit ironic as last year when we visited Andrew in Broome we were pleasantly suprised by the discovery of the same in his toilet on our first night there. Much to our horror, Pop stepped on the frog and totally squished him within moments of our spotting him. However, although slightly dazed and confused, the frog survived and became our friend for the next 40 mins or so.
On Sunday we relaxed on the verandah and soaked in the warmth of the sun, starkly in comparison to Orange.The farm is beautiful and comprises of 600ha of undulating land dotted with natural bushland. The air was still on Sunday, other than the sounds of birds and nature and the sky was a brilliant blue with billowing clouds. In the background silently lies an ancient volcano which has ensured that the local soils are rich and fertile. The farm hosts merino sheep and is also home to four kelpie's who do the rounding up. Izaak has been super excited to have an opportunity to ride the quad bike every day! The first time he got on it with Russell he started it himself, and did the driving. Every other time I have taken him out and although Ive tried, I still havent mastered all its functions and am a little too heavy handed when first accelerating, however Izaak is showing me how to use it and is already an expert rider. He accellerated smoothly when taking off and riding and remembers all the start up and shut down procedures (I still dont have a handle on them!). It could help that it is the same model his grandparents own which he often rode with his Dad a couple of years back.
Besides enjoying time on the farm, we have checked out the local township of Warialda, which is extremely quiet but has nice features. The local bakery was our favourite place. We also took a trip yesterday out to a nearby fishing spot, Copeton Waters, which is much larger than our Bendigo spot, Lake Eppalock (it is huge). It was a beautiful spot with a cafe and kids waterpark, similar to that in Broome, when you first enter the parklands, along with a giant jumping pillow. The food and service was pretty poor but it served its purpose in feeding us. The park was literally packed with small kangaroos, which sat quietly grazing alongside families camping and fishing. Unfortunately we didnt catch a fish and failed an attempt at starting a fire ( in a fire pit of course!) but it was an enjoyable day and a beautiful place all the same.
The other thing we have begun while here is homeschooling. We started yesterday to coincide with the beginning of the Victorian school term. Izaak completes a bit of maths, spelling and phonics and then has been working on his scrapbook of the trip. Izaak has taken to it quite well and Im enjoying spending time helping him with his schoolwork.
We were hoping to visit a nearby fun park that has been highly recommended called "Green Valley Farm", which we planned to visit today but the weather has been too wet. We head off tomorrow to our next stop on the trip, somewhere on NSW north coast. Hopefully the weather will permit us to visit Green Valley on the way........(later in week) We ended up staying an extra day and did visit Green Valley Farm, just out of Inverell. It was well worth the trip! It was like a step back in time to a 1950's amusement park. All the rides were handmade, solid in construction and manually operated. There were giant metal rocking horses, giant see-saws that were spring loaded, a manually operated roller coaster, a GIANT slide and what seemed to be a manually operated version of the round-up (90s carnival ride). It also had a great cafe and was home to a wildlife park and water park, although the weather didnt permit us to check them out. Amazing place though! We were also priveleged to be taken to see the famous 'Cranky Rock' by Pop. Not sure why the name, but it was a beautiful place. Looks like a good fishing spot for future reference too! We then stayed one last night and headed off to our next destination on the North Coast....