Michael and Pam's Travels Our European Motorhome Adventures and other Travels

The Jayco, New South Wales ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ 2021

Date: 8th February 2021

Travelled: 170 kms from Taren Point to Wallerawang in NSW 

Visited: Hartley and Lake Wallace

Stayed: Lake Wallace Recreational Area. Free with basic services.ย S33.41488, W150.07363


We were both glad to see the last of 2020 but unfortunately we have not seen the last of Covid 19. As the year drew to a close it became obvious that we will be unable to return to England, our Hymer and touring Europe in 2021.

Our thoughts once again turn to continuing our travels in Australia. Jenny and Dave had kindly lent us their Winnebago last year but we really cannot go on imposing on them. We had planned to buy a motorhome in Australia some time in the future, once we had completed our European travels and sold the Hymer.

Over dinner with our friends Julia and Greg one evening we discuss our travel frustrations and buying a second hand motorhome in partnership. A month or so later we jointly purchase a 2013 Jayco Optimum. Anyway as we continue our travels, the differences between our beloved Hymer and this house on wheels will become evident. To get started, we head off on a get to know you drive, to Mudgee.

After an overnight stop to visit Indiana and Cooper we continue west making a coffee stop at Hartley.

Hartley Cemetery is just off the highway with plenty of turning space.

Map of Hartley

After enjoying our first (Nespresso Virtuo) road trip coffee we walk, or in my case hobble around the cemetery for 20 minutes.

Itโ€™s only a couple of kilometres further west to Hartley village. Hartley has a long history, it was once the centre of government and judicial power on the central tablelands from the 1820-1870โ€™s before being overtaken by Bathurst. Many years later during the 1930-1950โ€™s Hartley again became a popular stopover spot for tourist planning a visit to Jenolan Caves.

This information panel tells the story.

Hartley Courthouse was completed in 1837. Apparently the 800 convicts working on local roads kept the Magistrate busy.

A short walk later we point the Jayco west once again and continue on to Lake Wallace after a quick stop at the supermarket and a servo in Lithgow. The Wallace Lake Recreation Area is only a few kms off the Great Western Hwy.

Map of Lake Wallace and Wallerawang, showing our free stop.

We make ourselves at home on the lakeโ€™s edge with several other motorhomes and caravans. Pam has gone for a walk around the lakes edge. My partial tear of the achilles has me plodding around the Jayco in a plastic boot, so there wonโ€™t be any long walks for me on this trip. The weather has turned quite chilly as the shadows lengthen. We chat with our neighbours for a time, before calling it a day and getting ready for dinner. Pam decided itโ€™s not to cold for a BBQ so I get it started.

The built in BBQ works a treat and thereโ€˜s even a shelf for your beer. Mind you, the shelf is big enough for 20 beers so the designer probably had something else in mind. The lamb rumps (mark-downs from Coles) made for a delicious dinner plus leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Our first overnight wild camping was comfortable if not a little chilly. I turn the diesel heater on about 5.30am and the Jayco is soon toasty.

We stop for a quick look at this lovely old church (St John the Evangalist) on the outskirts of Wallerawang.


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