Given the recent bushfires in the Blue Mountains and Hunter regions, we thought best to head inland and take the New England Highway south. From Bundjalung National Park, we went a bit north to Evans Head for a couple of nights before making our way over land through Casino to Tenterfield.
Evans Head was a lovely place to say goodbye to the beach for a while. Many people had recommended we stay at Evans Head and we were happy we did.
You may have noticed a new album feature on the blog – If you click on one of the photos, it will open a bigger slide show album of pics! I think it’s neat. Hope you do too.
It’s a sleepy town, with a huge caravan park. Oddly, the caravan park includes land on a reserve. We parked there and had great views of Evans River. We were situated just next door to the Riverfront Kiosk, where we enjoyed a couple of good meals of crispy (hooray) fish and chips. I’m pleased to report they also had a great range of ice-creams!
We really enjoyed our long walks on the beach here each day. It is certainly something missing from the New England track for us. At Evens Head, it seamed like anything went on that beach – cars, dogs and horses. Generally, I’m not a lover of dog beaches and was a bit scared of some of the dogs, to be honest. I don’t really like being in eyeshot of a Doberman. Having said that, we did enjoy watching one Border Collie go ballistic over a bit of drift wood that he’d obviously previously buried in the beach and had miraculously found again. He was getting social with the other puppies, but was fierce of anyone going near his digging patch, and his precious drift wood. It looked like it was all going to end badly when the Doberman took a fancy to the drift wood. Fortunately, the owners had good control of these leashless dogs and intervened before any damage was done.
Casino was a good spot for an overnighter on the trek west. We stayed in what appeared to be a retirement village come caravan park. It was a massive and clinically neat caravan park. We stayed hitched up and the park was too far from town to do a walk around, so sadly, we didn’t explore much. I did read whilst there that Chopper Read had just done his final interview and confessed to murdering someone in Casino. A bit of a spooky coinkidink.
Tenterfield, the birthplace of our nation, was a much more relaxed place to pull up the reigns. We stayed at the Tenterfield Showgrounds for a couple of days in a spot backing on to a little creek. It was pleasant and a nice walk to the main street. We had a lovely meal at the Courtyard Cafe. This cafe is in the School of Arts building where Sir Henry Parks called for federation of the colonies in 1889. The food was standout. I’m kicking myself for not buying a jar of their tomato relish because it was delicious.
If you visit Tenterfield and are keen on getting good photos of the main historic buildings in town, I would recommend going in the afternoon sun – as this will hit the correct side of the street. I took pictures in the morning, which meant the good buildings were all back light (not ideal).
This is beef country. So a good steak was called for. I stopped in at Premier Meats, across High Street from the Tenterfield Saddler, in search of the perfect steak and there they were… ”Tenderfield Prime Rib Steaks”. Tenderfield was not mere puffery in advertising. These babies were the most tender and delicious steaks imaginable. Cooked to perfection, if I do say so myself. I preheated the Weber to medium-high and waited until the temperature gauge was just past 200°C before putting the steaks (oiled, seasoned and at room temperature) on. I did four minutes on one side and three on the other (with the lid down, naturally).
A fitting way to enjoy some of New England’s finest.