We took a short break in the Blue Mountains and bush to the west of Sydney. Dad wanted to try out some four wheel drive tracks. We stayed at the fantastic Turon Gates bush hideaway. This is the place to stay if you want to be in the middle of nowhere. No internet or phone signal. No other buildings to be seen, and wildlife on the doorstep. We stayed in the Loft cabin, which has everything you need including a log fire.
|The view from our cabin|
|Kangaroos right outside|
|Sunset from our cabin|
|Long exposure starry sky|
The first thing the children learnt was how to collect fallen wood and make a camp-fire, here we cooked our toast supper.
On our first day we decided to follow the Upper Turon gates Road 4WD track to the gold rush towns of Sofala and Hill End. We visited the museum (in the former hospital) at Hill End and saw some very scary looking medical instruments among other items. Luckily I didn't get any awkward questions about them from the children. R was more concerned with finding a gold nugget.
|Read the caption!|
|Old school spanking stand|
So with R moaning about finding gold we headed off to Golden Gully, an area formally mined during the gold rush. Unfortunately we didn't strike it lucky. The sandstone formations were pretty interesting anyway.
On our second day we decide to stay on the Turon Gates property, which covers a vast area, and do some wildlife watching. During the trip we spotted many creatures including kangaroos and wallabys, rabbits, lizards, red belly black snake, toads, parrots, herons, kookaburras, birds of prey, termites, water mini-beasts, bees, goats, cows, sheep, and horses. We spent the day on the Turon river, fishing, sketching, dam building, collecting rocks and paddling.
|Only Mum was crazy enough to swim in the chilly mountain river|
|L drawing flowers|
|R collecting rocks|
|A swarm of bees|
On our third day we decided to take another four wheel drive into Wollemi and Gardens of Stone national parks. We drove along Blackfellows Hand track visiting the Blackfellows hand Cave on the way. Here we took a bush walk to the cave to see the Aboriginal hand paintings.
|Blackfellows Hand Cave|
Next on our itinerary was the glow worm tunnel, an old railway tunnel which has been colonised by glow worms. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the worms because they only glow in the pitch black dark - just imagine blue fairy lights and you will get the idea. We had a 2km return trek to the tunnel but both children walked brilliantly with only a little moaning. At the tunnel we had to be really quiet not to disturb the worms. Once in the middle section, where no light from the entrances reached, we turned off our torch to see the worms glow. Amazing!
|Entering the glow worm tunnel|
Next it was off along another very bumpy track to the "Lost City", a striking rock formation (sandstone and ironstone) which resembles a city.
|The Lost City|
The next day on our return trip to back home we decided to stop for a picnic at Lake Lyell. This is a lake created by the damming of a river. We saw a fisherman hook out a huge trout.
Further on we stopped at Wentworth Falls to take the round trip trek to the top of the falls. Again the children did really well climbing up and down the hundreds of steps.
|Wentworth falls viewed from the top - see the path over the falls, that's where we walked to.|
|On the top of the falls|
Along the final stretch back home we visited Selwood Science and Puzzles shop at Hazelbrook. This is a fab shop for your puzzles, and science experiments. It had lots of the products on display for the children to try.
Finally we made our way home and out for Dad's birthday meal. Two very exhausted children slept really well last night!