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The Victoria Hotel.

This weekend was our first full weekend off with nothing to do since we arrived in Moree. No going to work, unpacking boxes or setting up house. What did we do? We went to Queensland. Because we could.

We didn’t do anything outrageous like go to Surfers Paradise or Brisvegas, as the hopelessly parochial Queenslanders refer to their capital city.  We just drove an hour north, which is 125kms of dead straight dead flat road to check out Goondiwindi. While it lacks the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast we weren’t disappointed by the size of the main street or the selection of cafes, fashion boutiques and cinema!

Not that we’ll ever go to the movies; we never did in Canberra. We’re hardly likely to get our act together and go interstate for a quick flick and a choc top now. Opposite the cinema was the Victoria Hotel which looked like a grand old pub with classic country rooms opening out onto the 1st floor verandah. A trip to the movies with a night in town seemed suddenly to be more appealing here than ever it was in Canberra. But what to watch?

The choice of movies at Goondiwindi is good, but for the sake of another 60 minutes driving you can head south to Tamworth and have double the selection. And while there you can pick up all those things you need from Office Works, Bunnings, a full sized Target and K-mart!  Mind you, if you want the John Deere S690 S-Series combine with a 45’ header, then Moree is the place to be.

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“Oh look honey, we’ve been accepted as locals now.”

And Moree is alright. It has a reputation to be sure, so does Queanbeyan, but we lived there happily for 10 years before someone dumped and burned a car in our front yard. Reputation aside it seems like a nice enough town and the locals are friendly. Sure it’s going to get hot, like heatwave is normal hot and the mozzies are out in force due to all the rain we’ve had. But the scenery is something else.

I can stand on the front porch and look at a view that makes Canberra feel claustrophobic. This is the Moree Plains and the landscape goes on and on, totally flat and uninterrupted all the way to SA border and beyond.  When they talk about big sky out here they mean it.  If flat isn’t your thing, then travel east through Warialda towards Inverell and you get into undulating grazing country.  Word is they even get snow up on the ranges.  It’s little wonder then that the area is so popular with the grey nomads.

That’ll be  our weekend occupation now. Tourists. With ballooning on the back burner for summer we’ll have to spend our time hitting all the local hot spots. Finding those little gems of places that had we stayed in Queanbeyan would remain undiscovered. If Goondiwindi is anything to go by then our time here will be OK.

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It’s not as bad as it looks.
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Popular with the crop dusters.
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