Australia diaries: Goondiwindi road trip


By Michi R.

This should really be called a road trip within a road trip since while traveling up the east coast in my Holden Commodore, about 2,000 km from Sydney I suddenly got a call from a friend who had just started her farm work in a small town called Goondiwindi, asking if I wanted to go visit her since she had the weekend off. Being only a 5 hour drive away, which for Australian standards is basically walking distance, I decided to get off the beaten track and pick her up in that little town in the middle of nowhere.


Arriving at the farm she and her friend worked on late in the evening, and after realizing that the local nightlife scene may not be the best of choices for taking two young ladies out to we went home and instead decided to leave town for the weekend. The next morning, after a 20 min google search we had our two destinations pinpointed and left Goondiwindi.

Pindari Dam was the first place we reached. Stunningly beautiful, and well isolated from civilization and tourists. We parked on the edge of the lake, and since our car was basically also our accommodation I'm pretty sure we had the best bedroom view one could imagine. We prepared something to eat and had a nice swim in the warm water.


With the sunset a storm came and trust me when I tell u that sleeping in the back of your car with lightning all around you is one of the coolest experiences you'll experience.

Next morning, and without the luxury of curtains, we were awoken by the rising sun at the crack of dawn. Since it tends to get really hot quite fast, we opted for the obvious: have bacon and eggs for breakfast and then leave.

After 3 hours of driving along deserted roads we reached the main entrance to our second destination, Girraween National Park. The road from there onwards was actually a scene from a mellow dream come true, embedded in mind by a friend of mine back in Sydney when he told me that on the way up the coast I would find more kangaroos dead than alive ones. And as he said, we saw dead kangs and wallabies every 100m, and then there was this guy, who was probably meditating about the purpose of his life and still thinking which group he should belong to.


Luckily though he eventually got a call from his mates for free beer and a barbecue and hopped away.

We finally reached the national park information center, where a kind ranger told us to go on a short walk since it was getting pretty late and leave the longer hike for next morning. Not a bad choice since our first walk took us around the base of something called the pyramids, which are basically massive rocks in the middle of a stunning forest.


We hiked through Bald Rock Creek and enjoyed the sunset lying in refreshing knee deep water.
The next morning the long walk entailed actually climbing up the pyramids. It's not a long hike but very steep. Well worth all the sweat though! Took us about an hour to reach the top, which offered breathtaking views over the surrounding valleys.


With the weekend slowly drawing to an end, it soon was time to take the same desert roads back to Goondiwindi. Needless to say, when entertaining the idea of a weekend road trip in Europe, desert roads, kangaroos and camping in a Holden isn't exactly what would first come to one's mind... But hey, we do seem to like being unconventional some time.

Stay tuned for the next part of my road trip diary across Australia!

Michi R.