Dorrigo weekend

11 April 2019

MX5 Club Mid North Coast Trip March 2019

Here’s a brain teaser: 5 MX 5’s and 10 people have driven from the Donut – that’s the Service Centre on the way in to Port Macquarie – to Wollomombi Falls which is a plunge waterfall on the Wollomombi River in the New England region. After finding that the falls - are not falling - we all walk back to our cars to drive to our accommodation But - one of the MX 5s won’t start as we decide head off to Dorrigo. What to do?

Well that’s what happened to Peter and Robyj. So Peter phoned the NRMA at around 3.52pm and then on finally arriving at 5.20pm only for Peter to be told that the problem is the fuel pump. We all stayed together at the lookout chatting, walking around, one of us knitting a baby blanket for a new family arrival, until the NRMA arrived, despite Peter suggesting that we go on without them, which of course we wouldn’t do. It was decided that the car had to be towed to Armidale. Peter and Robyj  also went to stay overnight in Armidale, and then had to be picked up the next day by Peter’s son Kieran while the rest of us drove on to Dorrigo.

In recounting the rest of our trip, the same one which we had also completed last year, I’ve tried to record some different features along the way. We left on a cool, crisp sunny morning, driving through Wauchope through the new main street renovations, past the Anzac Memorial clock chiming 9am and past the new Ambulance Station to regroup at Timbertown. Then it was past the Cemetery, over Yippin Creek and further along across the narrow bridge over the Thone River and then through Long Flat. Then the winding and curving drive up through the hills with not a caravan in sight up to Ginger’s Café. Lots pleasant chat about – well – hash browns, Nimbin and then a serious reflection on Dementia and Margaret recommending a book she has read titled “Before I Forget” for all of us. So off we head to Walcha, with a caravan and Yarrowitch road works to hold us up. About 20 kms from Walcha the country is so dry, and we found ourselves slowing down for cows on the roadside eating the available roadside grass. After a brief stop at Walcha for petrol it’s off to the Walcha Road Pub for lunch. The back verandah is a great spot for eating chatting and reminiscing. We also found out more about the fire at the hotel and how the new owners have restored it and are maintaining the pub for the local community. So then it’s off to Thunderbolts Country, through Kentucky village and then Uralla. Next on to Waterfall Way and through the centre of Armidale and on to Wollomombi Falls which is an Aboriginal word meaning 'meeting of the waters'.

After accepting what Peter and Robje had to do with regards to their MX 5, the rest of us headed off to Dorrigo. We all booked in to our rooms at the Heritage Hotel Motel. It is a classic example of Australian hotel architecture of the 1920s and, on reflection, probably, particularly the motel rooms, now in need of some serious renovations. So, we all relaxed, had a few drinks, enjoyed dinner and our usual laid-back conversation and chat. Next morning, we were all up bright and early for breakfast after which we then took the lovely scenic drive from Dorrigo to Bellingen before going our separate ways.

Text Jill McDonnell

Photos to follow.