Belt to Granite

31 March 2024 / Judith Hansen

Belt to Granite Run. March 19-21 2024

Browsing the Bowsers.

Pam and Allen, Cath and Graham, Mick and Chris, Cathy and Wayne, Rob and Rhonda, Judith and John, Peter, and John, assembled at the Strawberry Patch at Glen Innes for a run briefing from the leaders, Jen and Kevin.

Then down the road for a surprise museum visit. In a purpose built shed, John and Josie had reassembled their collection of Garaganalia, their word, truly. Everyone, even those who had seen it before, were amazed at the extent of the collection of petrol pumps, original signs, cans, bottles and spark plugs. Everything was sparkling clean, thanks to Josie, who had also prepared a delicious, fresh lunch for us. John was on hand to answer questions and share his knowledge and enjoyment of a lifetime’s collecting. What a great beginning to a run!

The Great Central Hotel in Glen Innes provided a good meal that night and the motel breakfast set us up for our adventures on Wednesday.

Crossing the Border.

Tenterfield is a fascinating town with much to see and do. We visited the Henry Parkes Institute, had morning tea and a short tour, learning about the man who had such an obsession for Federation and an interesting life away from campaigning. We all know about the Tenterfield Saddler, who was immortalised in the autobiographical song by Peter Allen and we visited his Saddlery.

Then off to Queensland. We had been driving through amazing countryside, granite boulders of all shapes and sizes. At Wyberba, we had lunch at the Balancing Heart Vineyard. This place had it all, wonderful views, a Highland cow and great share platters and pizzas. There was fun at Egypt, as photos will show. Continuing in a frivolous mood, we found more fun at the wine tasting at Symphony Wines at Ballandean. Not sure it was possible for the wines to live up to their descriptions. This is one description “This wine will take you to a place that isn’t human and you will actually meow.”

Dinner was at Anna’s Restaurant, where the amount of food on the banquet menu was gargantuan. We left the groaning table and walked groaning back to the motel.

Belts and Braces.

After sampling delights from local bakeries, we set off to visit Kent’s Saddlery and Factory for a comprehensive tour of the works, meeting young staff members as well as family members. Each employee explained the nature of their work. We were shown the techniques, technology and skills necessary to produce the goods in the shop. Peter belted up and braced himself. Purchases were made by others as well.

Then to Sutton Juice Factory, where all things apple delighted the taste buds and onto Bush Rock Gallery, lovely prints and a beautiful bush garden.

Ballandean Estate is a long term family owned vineyard where we had share plates of local produce and a tasting of two different wines in the iconic Barrel Room Wine Lounge. The large barrels, originally containing beer, arrived from Germany, were used by Penfolds and saved from destruction by a family member.

By now the weather was becoming rather chilly but we had been invited to see a kit Model T Ford in a local workshop. The owner had seen the MX5s in town and wanted to make contact and show us all the projects he was working on. Dinner was at Stanley’s Brewhouse.

Our group mixed easily and enjoyed the shared experiences we had on the trip, always aware of the thought and planning that had gone into them. Thanks again Kevin and Jen.