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We spent this weekend exploring the area around Tumut, New South Wales. We started the trip with the annual Tumut show. This was our children’s first country show and I had fond memories of the show in the town near where I grew up so I was keen to expose my children to a show and give all of us the opportunity to get to know Tumut at the same time.
We enjoyed seeing the cows, sheep, and poultry, and learning about how the sheep are judged to determine the winners. Our children loved holding young animals in the patting zoo, learning how to use fire hoses, and being invited to sit in a couple of different vintage cars. We enjoyed seeing the pavilion with vegetables, photographs, art, and embroidery on display. We had a pretty good time there (about 3 hours in total) and enjoyed chatting with a few different friendly people including the sheep judge and the fire brigade community outreach officer. We were a bit disappointed by the types of grain-, bad fat- and sugar-laden food that were on offer at the show. Perhaps the grain and sugar-free revolution is slower to make a mark on such country shows.
We stayed in a nice cottage on a tranquil farm next to the crystal-clear and fast moving Tumut River. It was a lovely place to stay and we spent time by the river in the evening and morning looking for trout and platypi. For brunch this morning we went to a Lebanese cafe called Phoenix and were delighted to enjoy a grain-free meal full of fresh vegetables and delicious spices.
We had a few ‘Bandung‘ experiences on the trip (a running family joke for something that doesn’t turn out how we had planned – named after a day on our Indonesian family holiday when nothing went to plan), including attempting to visit a vineyard rated well on Trip Advisor but no longer exists, driving a long way along a road to a dam only to find out that the last section of road is closed, driving to a hydroelectric plant that was recommended to us by Tourist Information but was closed, and walking to follow a sign to the birthplace of author Miles Franklin but finding no trace of a house at all.
We took the picturesque Snowy Mountain Highway from Tumut towards Cooma and enjoyed the beautiful alpine vistas along the way. Most of the infrastructure in the region is due to the hydroelectric scheme that was started in 1949. On completion in 1974, the Scheme consisted of seven power stations, 16 major dams, 145 kilometres of inter-connected tunnels and 80 kilometres of aqueducts.
Along the way we saw two wild emus. We stopped at Yorrangabilly Caves to take a refreshing dip in the thermal pool. These pools are fed by natural spring water that is a stable temperature of 27C all year round. It’s a steep 700m walk down to the pools and back up again but well worth it! We had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed glorious weather. It was a fabulous way to end the summer.