See the Running of the Sheep, the Blessing of the Fleece, sheep shearing, boutique markets and more at this annual celebration in the town of Boorowa. Along the way we’ll visit Siding Spring Observatory, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Cowra’s Japanese Gardens, Wellington Caves and DAG Sheep Station as we travel through Goondiwindi, Dubbo, Cowra, Mudgee and Armidale.
30th September 2020
Board our luxury ‘Gold Class’ coach at Brisbane Transit Centre where we make our way via the rich fertile crop growing region of the Lockyer Valley. On arrival at Warwick we take a brief tour of this pretty country town before breaking at the historic Abbey of the Roses ex convent. Enjoy a guided tour followed by lunch, then we are back on the road where our afternoon travels take us to Goondiwindi.
1 Night Stay: Best Western Ascot Lodge, Goondiwindi
This morning we venture though Moree and Narrabri, breaking for a cuppa along the way. We head to the township of Coonabarabran where we take time to visit Australia’s premier optical and infrared observatory – Siding Spring Observatory, situated in the Warrumbungle National Park. Enjoy a 1 hour guided tour and lunch before our afternoon takes us to
Dubbo. 1 Night Stay: Quality Hotel, Dubbo
First up, while it’s cooler, spend the morning at Taronga Western Plains Zoo experiencing a guided wildlife zoofari. The zoo is an open-range design, with walls and fences replaced by concealed moats which divide the animals from the visitors. This creates the impression of actually being with the animals in the wild. This afternoon following lunch at the zoo, we make our way to Cowra via a short visit at The Dish at Parkes.
3 Night Stay: Cowra Services Club Motel
We explore Cowra’s past today collecting our local guide from the Cowra Visitors Centre for an informative tour of the town made famous by the POW Camp located here during WWII. See the hologram in the P.O.W. Theatre that tells the story of the Cowra Breakout in 1944. We continue on visiting the Australian World Peace Bell and the Australian & Japanese War Cemeteries, containing the graves of the Japanese involved in the POW Breakout during World War II. From here we visit the spectacular Cowra Japanese Gardens and Cultural Centre for lunch followed by time to explore the magnificent gardens where this time of year its blooming beautiful – particularly the cherry trees.
Today we drive south to Boorowa for the annual Irish Woolfest. Everyone’s heard of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, but much closer to home in Boorowa we witness the spectacle of the “Running of the Sheep”. There are no bulls or Spaniards (well real ones that is) in sight as 150 sheep barrel down the main street of town as part of an annual sheep stampede. There is no danger here. The sheep are cute and cuddly and visually exciting. You will love the sheepdog component watching the trusty Kelpies leaping on and off the sheep’s backs as they race down the street. There is plenty of other action such as the Blessing of the Fleece – an old tradition where a sheep is shorn with old time shears on the shearing shack and the fleece is thrown on the stage to receive a spiritual thanksgiving. Other key events include; food and wool stores, colourful street parade, whip cracking championships, sheep shearing displays, growers & boutique markets, flyball – drag racing for dogs, Celtic pipe bands and Irish dancers. This afternoon, after the main activities, we head back to Cowra for dinner. **Lunch own expense today.
This morning we hit the highway arriving at Wellington Caves in time for a quick cuppa before joining local guides for a 1 hour tour of the Cathedral Cave, famous for its huge stalagmite known as Altar Rock which stands at a height of 15 metres. Also discover Thunder Cave, Headache Rock and The Well. There are 150 steps in the Cathedral Cave, so comfortable footwear is recommended. Enjoy lunch at the Cave Café before we continue on, arriving at Gooree Park Mudgee for a Stud & Wine Tour.
1 Night Stay: Parklands Resort, Mudgee
Departing Mudgee, we make our way to Scone, breaking here for a cuppa. We continue on to Nundle where we visit the DAG Sheep Station. Set on 70 acres in the ‘Hills of Gold’, it is originally part of Wombramurra Station. The DAG still retains the station’s original historic wool shed (no longer operational), shearers’ quarters, and mess hall. We enjoy country style cooking and hospitality before travelling via Tamworth and Uralla to Armidale.
1 Night Stay: Cotswold Gardens, Armidale
Leaving Armidale, we travel north to Glen Innes and take a pause at the Standing Stones, a symbol of the Celtic heritage in this region. Then it’s on through Tenterfield to cross the border to Stanthorpe and breaking here for lunch at the College of Wine and Tourism. Our afternoon takes us via Warwick returning back into Brisbane where our holiday concludes.
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