Roadside Australia - Part II
Day 3 - Coffs Harbour to Ballina
It was a drizzly day so I couldn't enjoy the beaches of Byron as I'd hoped. I did visit the lighthouse and walked out to the easternmost point of mainland Australia. And I browsed through the many interesting shops. If the traffic hadn't slowed me down, I would have ventured further north another 30km to Tropical Fruit World, formerly known as Avocadoland and home to the Big Avocado. Oh well...another time. I went back to Ballina and spent the night at the Ballina Fun N' Sun motel.
I veered from the coast and headed west into the hinterland. I'd return to Sydney along a different route and tour the New England region. I took a winding road through the hills. I have to say it freaked me out a bit to see fall colors on the trees in April. I stopped off at Bald Rock National Park to check out a more natural Big Thing. Bald Rock is the largest granite monolith in Australia. The steep ascent just about kicked my ass but the view from the top was breathtaking. I then picked up the New England Highway in Tenterfield, where I searched in vain for the Big Orange. Perhaps it's been removed, as the web guide to Australia's Big Things mentioned that it had fallen on hard times. I drove south to Tamworth, where I stopped for the night at the Tamworth Motor Inn.
Day 5- Tamworth to Sydney
I visited the Hands of Fame display where the country stars such as Slim Dusty and Tex Morton have left their handprints in cement. I hadn't heard of any of these stars, so I proceeded to the Gallery of Stars wax museum to learn more about them.
Jimmy Little is the Australian equivalent of Charley Pride-a black country singer. I actually saw Jimmy sing at a free concert in Sydney and he has a really nice, smooth voice. He reminded me a bit of Tom Jones at the time because he was middle-aged and plugging a new album which featured hip cover songs including The Church's "Under the Milky Way." I didn't realize he was mostly known for country music.
I forget the name of this yokel on the left but I'm sure he would have been a regular on Hee Haw if he'd been American.
After an entertaining half-day in Tamworth, I hightailed it back to Sydney. As I drifted off to sleep that night, visions of Big Things danced in my head.
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