KRC Travels: From Dubbo to Bourke
We have lived in the Central West for over a decade now and until last year, I hadn’t ventured west of Narromine.
Abe had to visit a client in Bourke so I suggested we make a weekend of it and have our first family getaway for 2020 (in September…).
We left Dubbo and made our way to Trangie (about 50 minutes away) where Abe had scheduled a client visit. If you have never been to Trangie, you need to put The Studio – Trangie at the top of your list. Lottie McCutcheon operates a gorgeous store full of homewares, clothing and art. The vibe at the coffee window at 8 am is buzzing. It is obviously a local favourite and Lottie knows everyone by name and coffee order. With coffee in hand, we headed back towards Argonaut Park until Abe had finished working.
Ladies, if you have time (and unicorn kids who sit still while you browse), you definitely need to visit Ewe Two – a lovely boutique stocking cowhide and leather products, homewares, fashion and footwear – they even stock Avarcas!!
When our employees head out to Trangie for work, they tend not to stay overnight because of proximity to Dubbo however, we met the lovely owners of Faraway River Guesthouse at Gin Gin and we think their conversion of a shed to a farmstay on the banks of the Macquarie River looks beaut! Check it out on Airbnb or Stay in the bush.
The afternoon that we arrived in Bourke, Abe visited another client for a final check measure (to ensure that all measurements matched his originals prior to installation of their new kitchen) and I took the children to the Bourke Skate Park and the adjacent playground where they met and played with some local kids.
For dinner, we sauntered down the road to the Bowling Club Chinese Restaurant. It has some of the most delicious Chinese cuisine we have eaten west of the Blue Mountains!
We stayed at the Back o’ Bourke Motel, which was fairly basic but we were able to snag a room with a queen and two single beds, bathroom and kitchenette, plus there is a tennis court and a pool which we enjoyed when the sun briefly appeared!
On our must-see list, we had the Back o’ Bourke Exhibition Centre – an interactive experience around the indigenous heritage of the area, European exploration and settlement, riverboats and the pastoral industry. It was informative and interesting however, we felt that our family may have benefitted if there were more exhibits geared towards young children.
At the Bourke Tourist information centre (on-site with the exhibition centre) we had purchased tickets to ride on the Jandra – a one-hour paddle boat tour of the Darling River which came highly recommended by a number of Bourke ex-pats who now reside in Dubbo. The Captain was very engaging with our children and as we rode, he provided a commentary about the history of the boat, the Darling River Run and flora and fauna along the river banks.
We also visited the Bourke Historic Cemetery to view the grave of Fred Hollows, the ophthalmologist and philanthropist who dedicated much of his working life to ensuring that Indigenous communities were receiving appropriate eye care and treatments as well as his efforts in Third World Countries to counter cataract-blindness. The monument, designed by Andreas Buisman, is a granite sculpture that looks like an eye when viewed from above.
We had hoped to visit Gundabooka National Park and do a walk or head to Mt Oxley with a picnic to watch the sunset. Sadly, the roads were closed due to the recent downpours but you best believe we will be back!
For more information about Bourke click here!