Sydney Road Trip: Day 8 Katoomba to Dubbo

On paper, there’s not much to excite about the three and a half hour drive between Katoomba and Dubbo.  There’s the surprisingly quaint town of Orange but other than that there’s just a lot of country-side.

However, Stephen, ever on the lookout for a good photo op, had found two places en-route which, if not super-exciting, were at least a place to stretch our legs.

Not far into our drive, we stopped at Lithgow, or most specifically, the Lithgow blast furnace.  The furnace opened in 1886, and operated until 1928 but now just the skeletons of some buildings including the pump house remain.  Like the Catherine Hill Bay jetty, it was also apparently voted one of the best photographic spots in Australia.  Honestly, I’m not sure about this survey!  Maybe at night with some creative lighting perhaps.  But in the daylight, it reminded me a lot of Lydia’s house in Beetlejuice.  Openly accessible until they cordoned it for public safety last year, unless you by-pass a fence, all viewing is from the fenceline.

Western New South Wales had just experienced a massive weather event.  Parts of the state were still in flood and we were careful to make sure our route was still above water.  Stephen had read that Lake Burrendong, a large reservoir between Orange and Dubbo, had its water level rise from 15% to 130% in just a few months.  As we were driving past, he suggested we stop and visit the spillway as it was rare to see it actually spill.

Other people obviously had the same idea, as the closest carpark to the spillway was pretty full.  But when I say closest, I still mean a 3.25km walk!  Double it for the round-trip!  I’m not sure the final point was quite worth the walk but it did prove to me just how resilient our kids are.

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Worth the 6.5km walk?

While we passed many an older child whinging or being carried, our two boys plodded stoically on.  Perhaps they realise that when Daddy wants to see a spillway, there’s not much point in arguing.  Although long, the walk was pleasant enough, and the kids got to see a dead kangaroo for their troubles – joy of joys!

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