Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Wednesday 28th April 2004 to Friday 30th April 2004

Wednesday 28th April 2004

The choice of activities today was first a re-visit to the National War Memorial, then go somewhere else after we finished there. Well we just didn't finish at the War Memorial!

To give us the energy to get through the day 'one of us' cooked up a large batch of pancakes that were enjoyed by all the others.

Then 'one of us' thought it may be a bit too long on her feet so chose to stay back at the caravan park. Just before the 'others' left, a visitor flew in to join us, landing on the lake. Yes it was a pelican that must have known that 'one of us' really loved pelicans and dropped in to say hello. He stayed around for a short while then continued on his journey.

We left the caravan park at about 10:15am and headed in to the War Memorial, arriving about fifteen minutes later. From this time on our time was taken attempting to cover all we could that we hadn't covered in our previous visit. We paused for lunch at about 1:50pm for a short time before continuing our tour. We covered the wars all the way from the Boar War in South Africa to the Iraq war that is still going today, although most was on the first conflict in Iraq.

There is a section that allows people to do a search of records on computer that provide quite substantial detail about soldiers that served in the First and Second Word Wars. We made use of this section and found details that we had not previously known. This information is all available at the web site address:

Before we knew it we heard the internal speakers telling us that the museum was closing in half an hour, so that meant it was 4:30pm. We managed to re-visit the eternal flame and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, before having to leave as it was closing. This meant we had been in the museum for six and a half hours today, creating a total of over ten hours and still can't say we have seen it all. We could spend another day or two in there and still not see and understand it all. To walk through the War Museum is one thing, but there is so much information to read it takes hours to get through each section.

The visitor

'G' for George
Lancaster Bomber

Thursday 29th April 2004

Alone again.... Today was the end of the visit of Travis and Lana after six great days having them in Canberra with us. As with Kym and Lee's visit to Hobart, we were sorry to see them go but all good things must come to an end sometime.

We had to be up and ready to leave for the airport by about 8:am as the plane departed at 9:15am. The decision was not to have breakfast as Travis and Lana had some time in Melbourne waiting for the connecting flight to Perth and would use that time for important things like eating. They were ready to go on time so after a bit of a chat, we loaded the luggage into the Patrol and headed off for the airport at about 8:15pm. There was a bit of a bank up of traffic at one point and 'one of us' was just starting to get ready with the camel drivers tongue, but fortunately for the other vehicle drivers, the road cleared before she got started.

The airport was not very busy so there was not any waiting in line to check luggage in, but there was a souvenir shop open and that meant there had to be another shopping spree. Then it was time to go through the security check in door and Travis must have looked a bit shifty (or maybe it was because the alarm beeped, but looking shifty sounds better!!!) because they pulled him aside and waved a wand all over him before letting him proceed. We all proceeded through the security checks and went up to the departure lounge where we had a bit longer to say farewell before they had to board the aircraft.

The boarding call was made and although 'one of us' was feeling very sad, she managed to hold back the tears as we watched the aircraft taxi down the runway and finally take to the air.

When we left the airport we took a drive out to Queanbeyan and then through to Tuggeranong before returning to the caravan park via Woden, Western Creek and Canberra City. This was an interesting drive but we didn't find the area of Canberra that was hit by the worst bush fires last year. However we did find a service station selling diesel for 91.9 cents per litre, which was almost ten cents cheaper than some of the service stations so we filled up with fuel in readiness for tomorrows journey.

Once back in the caravan park 'one of us' did the washing whist the 'other one' packed up the chairs, tables portable fridge and BBQ, then prepared the Patrol for moving on in the morning. This sort of thing takes quite some time to do because there are so many other caravanners that stop and talk about their travels and enquire about ours, but it has all been done and the morning will see us moving back up past Yass and heading through Cowra to a destination yet to be decided.

Last minute shopping

Farewell to Travis and Lana

Friday 30th April 2004

On the move again... Today started with the usual chores before hooking up and pulling out of the caravan park at about 9:50am. Our intention was to head toward Parkes.

We set of back to the Hume Highway near Yass where we turned west for a few kilometres before heading north again on the Lachlan Valley Highway and traveled through Boorowa (Suberb Parrot Country - the sign said that) and Morongla before arriving at Cowra. We drove through Cowra and out the road to Sydney for about five kilometres to the 'Fun Museum' which was a War-Railway-Rural museum. This was quite a fascinating place as it was a cross between Steptoe and Son and a really good museum. There was a huge amount of military equipment, both from Allied forces and the enemy. There was also information about the Japanese break out from the prisoner of war centre during the war. It was also packed with railway history and general rural nostalgia. All packed in, just like Steptoe's back yard. (That may be a bit of an exaggeration)

'One of us reminded the other that we were hungry when we left the museum so we stopped and bought some KFC on the way back through the town, then set off in the direction of Forbes, via Gooloogong. From Forbes we headed north along the Newell Highway through Tichborne to Parkes where we took a drive around the town and found that the 'Dish' (This radar dish was the centre piece of the movie 'The Dish') was about twenty seven kilometres to the north of the town. With this knowledge we decided to keep driving and called in to see the Dish, however the visitors centre closed at 4:15 pm and that was the time we arrived there. We took a couple of photographs of the dish and made up our minds to continue on to Dubbo.

We continued along the Newell Highway through Alectown, Peak Hill, Tomingly and arrived in Dubbo at 6pm where we booked in to the Dubbo City Caravan Park for the next two nights.

Tomorrow we intend to visit the Western Plains Zoo and see what else Dubbo holds in store for us.

Army Tank in the 'Fun Museum' Cowra

The Dish - used in the movie of the same name