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Glen Innes Celtic Heritage

Glen Innes Celtic Heritage

Draped in a quilt of green meadows and lush forests, the rolling hills stretch to the horizon where they join with the clear blue sky to create a contrast of colours as interesting as the history of this lush region. This is the countryside on the northern tablelands of New South Wales in Australia, a place of beauty and of intrigue, a place where the Celtic heritage of the people of Glen Innes is celebrated and revered, and a place that offers up innumerable treasures to be explored on your campervan holiday.

 

With a population of just over 6000 people, Glen Innes and its surrounding Severn Shire are a fairly average sized country town. In fact you would find many things you would expect of country towns- the friendly faces, the pretty scenery and the outdoorsy lifestyle. The different thing about Glen Innes is that it is the Celtic Capital of Australia, a heritage they have fostered here since the first Scottish settlers arrived 50 years after Australia was first settled. In tribute to this heritage the Australian Standing Stones were built, a solar aligned array of 40 granite rocks Modelled on the Ring of Brodgar in the Orkneys and similar to the ones ancient Celtic festivals were held around.

 

These Standing Stones are unique in a number of ways – for a start they are the only ones of their kind built in the world in the last 3500 years. What makes them especially unique is the Crofters Cottage next door, a cafe crossed with a giftshop that serves up traditional Celtic fare… very tasty and highly recommended! Around the stones every year over the May Day Public Holiday weekend Glen Innes has a Celtic Festival of its own. The Australian Celtic Festival is a celebration of the Celtic heritage of the region, and it has become renowned for its colourful exhibits, non stop entertainment and general all round appeal. Celtic artists from Australia and overseas play traditional music and everyone gets involved in a bit of traditional dancing. Theres stuff for the kids, theres stuff for the parents, theres market stalls, theres strongman events… theres everything really. Its a festival thats getting bigger and bigger, and if you can make your visit to Glen Innes coincide with it you will not be disappointed.

 

But there is more to Glen Innes and the Severn Shire than just the Celtic heritage. This is ‘big sky’ and there is lots of amazing places to visit in your motorhome. A high rainfall region with a generally cool climate combined with fertile soils makes this prime wine producing country, and there are over 50 wineries between here and the Queensland border. The Wright Robertson Winery lies 20 km south of town, and was one of the first to be established in the area. This family owned winery relies on organic farming methods, and a visit to their cellar door is an enlightening opportunity to taste and buy some very respectable wine.

 

Luckily a lot of this countryside is protected by National Park, and there are a number of Parks you can reach from Glen Innes that make for a good days outing, or longer if you wish to stay longer. If thick, lush rainforests are your thing then head east for 78 kilometres along the Gwydir Highway’s World Heritage Way and you will reach Washpool National Park, which is the last remaining wilderness rainforest in NSW. Steep gorges are criss crossed by crystal clear creeks, and you are able to experience the worlds largest stand of coachwood trees. There are two camping grounds in the park, so you can stay as long as you like, and there are other designated picnic areas as well.

 

Fishermen too will be in their element in Glen Innes, with the local waters famed for harbouring the elusive Murray Cod. Other species such as rainbow trout, yellow belly and silver perch will keep the discerning angler content. A great thing about a campervan holiday to Glen Innes is that its an easily accessible destination, and whichever direction you drive to it from there is lots to see. Four hours from Brisbane and seven hours from Sydney, you can pick up your motorhome in either of these spots and enjoy seeing the sights and sounds of the Australian countryside on your drive to Glen Innes.

 

Gavin Wyatt is a journalist with a passion for travel. originally from Zambia he has traveled around the world to end up on the sunny shores of Australia. For more of his articles visit Discovery Campervans

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A Day at Wonder Inn

A Day at Wonder Inn

Welcome To A Wonder Inn!

A retreat for people to come for a day a weekend or a week. You can take classes, seminars or workshops or just play, relax, take nature walks in the beautiful forest preserve that is lush with smell of greenery and wildflowers, enjoy the scenery, pet a gentle horse, walk with a few dogs. Enjoy lush accommodations and wonderful nutritional cuisine!

As you awaken the golden morning light glows in your room. You rise to look out and see the yellow golden orange and red breach the morning sky as the sun begins the rise. The mountains still dark with the night sky and a few stars twinkle as they fade in the light. The meadow glistens with the morning dew, an eagle soars in the distance beginning her morning search of bounty for her nest. All is quiet at the INN. The first rays of sun are beginning to breach the mountain range far in the distance.

A NEW DAY! You gaze out your window and see the ranch hand is busy in the barn bailing the morning hay. It is breakfast time for the horses. The barn cat sits and gazes from the base of the opening to the barn occasionally grooming himself, he believes this is his ranch.

The main dining hall is bustling with the placements of juice, fruit, fresh pastries, yogurt, coffee and tea, You hear the Bacon sizzle in the kitchen and the sweet aroma of Maple Syrup harkens the call for buttermilk pancakes! After breakfast, a morning walk is in order. Outside on the porch the two golden labs are at the threshold of the steps as they await for someone to walk with, so you step off the porch and they follow. Down the path to the paddock where the horses are grazing on the dew covered grass. The retired thoroughbred mare raises her majestic head as if she is greeting you and she watches as you pass as her colt stands closely by her side grazing.

You travel the path down to the small river and walk west towards the mountain ranges The dense morning air fills your lungs and your body feels great The earth feels soft beneath your feet…in the distance the bench upon the hill is ideal for the morning meditation. The labs romp in the meadow beside you they are joyful. Mother nature is lush as you are aware of all the intricate elements of her glory, all the aspects working like a majestic symphony,it is perfect! She surrounds you in beauty and grace and you feel at one with it all!

The Sun warms your face as you notice the landscape bursts with color, colors are changing all around you. The mountains become green, gold and brown the river shifts from black to a dark blue and green. The cry of an eagle in the distance penetrates your core…

Up the hill you continue, as you reaching the bench,you turn,the sight is heavenly! The vista of the valley is magnificent, as you melt into the bench. The dogs settle at your feet. They have been here many times before; as if they are the guides and have accompanied many travelers on this same path with each traveler experiencing a different song. The dogs are aware of your breathlessness. One sets his head on your foot; as if to ground you as you feel your spirit soar. An awareness of your body reminds you are but a spirit having an human experience. In the distance you see two children bound from the porch of the Inn racing to the playground….remember when?

(Excerpt from A Day At Wonder Inn, Terrie Crowley 2009)

Terrie Crowley
http://www.aprudentway.com