Week 3 September 2005: Rain = 21 mm
This week we embarked on a trip to western New South Wales .
Firstly we travelled south to Tamworth, stayed overnight and next morning did our talk-back garden programme from the ABC studio. This is a lot easier than doing the programme over the phone but we are fortunate that the ABC allows us to spread the word about natives every fortnight via the telephone.
From Tamworth we headed west to Coonabarabran, the gateway to the Warrumbungle National Park . We stayed two nights here and did several trips looking at the local scenery and flora.
Our first trip was through the Pilliga Scrub, an area of diverse native plants. We drove along a 30 kilometre fire trail. There were so many plants that it took three hours to travel this distance. The vegetation changes along the length of the fire trail. We saw Boronias, Westringias, Acacias, Mallee Eucalypts, Grevilleas, Calotis and many more interesting plants.
The next day we travelled to the Warrumbungle National Park . We have fond memories of this beautiful Park. We were Park Rangers there over 30 years ago. On the way in we stopped at the White Gum Lookout. This gives the visitor a panoramic view of the Park's volcanic landscape. This is probably unique in Australia. The Lookout name refers to the Eucalyptus rossii that grows in the vicinity. Our next port of call was the Visitors Information Centre. We had a much more primitive Centre in the old days. Now there are lots of displays and maps.
We took a walk to Tara Cave, an Aboriginal Rock shelter. Tara was the name of the property where we lived and the cave was in this vicinity. Tara was a property that had been added to the Park prior to our arrival.
Lots of interesting plants in this walk, including a magnificent Phebalium covered in bright yellow flowers.
The next day we left Coonabarabran and heading a short distance south to Binnaway, a town that used to be a railway maintenance depot in the days of steam. We had picked up an interesting brochure called Wild about Binnaway that listed a couple of self-drive nature trails. Included in the brochure were comprehensive plant and bird lists. We took the shortest one and were rewarded with a range of interesting plants including a Correa, Grevilleas, Allocasuarina, Persoonia and Acacias to name a few. We also had views of the volcanic landscape of the Warrumbungles.  
From here we drove west to Cobar, a mining town that is surrounded by interesting native plants. We spent two nights here and spent our time driving along the highways, to all points of the compass, from Cobar. We had a very rewarding time and came across many delightful native plants.
On the way home we stopped at the Gilgandra Flora Reserve. This small Reserve protects a number of rare native plants. A form of Grevillea arenaria and the attractive Phebalium nottii are both protected in the Reserve.
On the trip we saw large numbers of White-winged Choughs and near the Flora Reserve we sighted one of their mud nests in a Eucalypt.
On the trip we took 250 digital photos and collected about 500 cuttings. In the fullness of time many of the photos will appear on the web site and hopefully many struck cuttings will appear in our gardens.

Garden Diary