Road-trip: Sydney to Armidale


I like a good road-trip, but not all road-trips are created equal…I’ve had some shockers- mostly as a result of Mr T insisting on doing the Sydney- Mooloolaba (or return) run in one long 12-14 hour day. I’m surprised our marriage lasted through a few of those.

At the outset, it should be disclosed that I don’t do much of the driving- Mr T has no respect at all for my talents behind the wheel. Luckily my road-trip talents lie elsewhere- in my ability to keep him awake and alert with bad singing, witty repartee and a well timed argument when necessary.

It goes without saying that a good road-trip requires careful planning. As co-pilot, this is my job:

  • The road-trip playlist needs to be planned to allow for variety without repetition. It should have songs that you can sing loudly and badly to, some that you can
  • The route needs to be planned to allow for regular stops at interesting places. It helps if the route avoids known traffic hassles, and takes you a way you haven’t been before.
  • Road-trip snacks should be as healthy as possible, and able to be eaten with one hand and no drips.
  • If it’s a multi day drive, the days schedule should be long enough to break the back of the journey, but not so long that tiredness sets in. If possible, if you know there’s a really boring or difficult bit, this is best tackled first thing in the morning when you’re fresh, and not when you’re tired. As an example, we know from experience that the hour out of Coffs Harbour is boring, and best done in the morning. Likewise the run through Tenterfield on the inland route. Sadly, there’s no avoiding the sheer boredom of the Bruce Highway without the assistance of very loud and daggy pop music.

We’re on our way up to Mooloolaba, but today’s route is one we haven’t done before.


Sydney- Armidale via Gloucester.


Our morning tea stop was at Gloucester. Great park, lovely town, and real country sausage rolls. And a suspension bridge in the park. What more could you want?


Then came the real treat of the trip- Thunderbolt Way.

taken from the car window…


Thunderbolt was one of those bushrangers that Australian history seemed to do particularly well. You can read a little about him here.


The views were quite simply spectacular, giving way to good sheep and cattle country.

the craft shop in Walcha
the craft shop in Walcha

Lunch was attempted at Walcha, but having arrived at 1.30pm on a Saturday, the bakery was closed and the take-away had sold out of the pork roll special, and was asking $15 for a steak sandwich. Ouch. There were a couple of great looking pubs in town, but we really wanted something we could have in the park. We drove on…but not before taking a couple of photos.

one of many sculptures in Walcha
one of many sculptures in Walcha

Armidale, and our stop for the night was just up the road…




Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

3 thoughts

  1. Ah the joys of a good road trip, love them and haven’t been out that way for quite some time so will enjoy coming along with you.

  2. I’ve not done many road trips. I hate driving and the biggest problem with being single is that there’s no one to share it. Since I’ve moved closer to my mother and we often travel to Brisbane together, the trip down is a breeze. I realised that much of my dislike of travel is that I’ve had to drive and had to drive alone! So… (long-winded way of saying) don’t fret you don’t get to drive. You get to absorb the surrounds. And sing, of course….

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