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Dreaming of outdoor adventures

BY TOURISM DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR PAUL THOMPSON

Bird life at Lake Nuga Nuga

IN THESE times when we cannot physically travel, I resort to one of my, favourite pastimes – day dreaming, gazing at maps and photos of past trips in the Central Highlands.

I have had a great couple of years travelling throughout the wonderful and, I must admit, surprisingly diverse national parks, townships and communities.

When I first arrived in the Central Highlands from the west, I went to the Sapphire Gemfields.

Driving through felt like a bit of a movie set from another time.

When I got out of the car and wandered around, the local characters did not dispel this impression.

I was not surprised to hear, while having lunch in the pub, that the area was actually the set of the movie ‘Buddies’.

Virgin Rock at Springsure

This rollicking Aussie favourite won the AFI (Australian Film Awards) for Best Screenplay in 1983, starring Colin Friels and Harold Hopkins. I felt I knew these characters, albeit them being now almost 40 years older.

Just hanging out, heading on an underground mine tour and fossicking are still among our family’s favourite pastimes.

A pleasant diversion from seeking my fortune is a walk in the Sapphire Wetland Reserve, a truly tranquil place after rain.

Springsure and its amazing ‘Virgin Rock’, visible from the road, as striking as it is, did not prepare me for the amazing moonscape masterpiece that unfolds on the many walks on top of the hills.

I have only witnessed the spectacular sunrise from the lookout once, so I am very keen to get back up there again.

Arcadia Valley

Being able to drive to the top is a great bonus and makes the walks, all the more enjoyable, especially for families as all the hard work is done.

Arcadia Valley, nestled between the Expedition and Carnarvon Ranges, lives up to the Greek origins of its name, Ideal Paradise.

Going on a working cattle station tour was a real eye opener for my daughter and I and a great experience.

Lake Nuga Nuga and the bush camping area in Nuga Nuga National Park is a beautiful and tranquil place, and probably my favourite place to camp in the Central Highlands.

The serenity of the lake, the backdrop of the two dominating peaks, the spectacular displays of wildflowers and water birds are a delight.

Keep dreaming of your own favourite places and before too long we will all be racing to the Visitor Information Centre, checking the road conditions, booking campsites, and seeking advice from the local volunteers.

Published in CQ News

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