Visited cities and towns during the trip: Goulburn, Yass Valley, Temora, Griffith, Darlington Point, Yenda, Narrandera, Leeton, Yanco, Wagga Wagga, Gundagai
Griffith is one of the cities located in south western New South Wales. It hosts the Annual Griffith Festival of Gardens featuring The Real Juice Company Annual Citrus Sculptures, a unique exhibition in Australia and recognised as a Destination NSW Flagship event that attracts both local and foreign tourists.
When we were at the information centre of Temora (another town before reaching Griffith), we saw busload of tourists on their way to that event. This shows that the event has been running for quite sometime and has been embraced by the local and state tourism to be part of the interesting events that are “must see” in these places.
The event has good reviews in the web and it is because of this that we embarked a week’s holiday last summer 2015 targeting Griffith and other places in that region.
Griffith is about six hours drive from Sydney and so during our trip to that place we made brief stops at every two hours to stretch out or relax for a few minutes.
Our first stop was in Goulburn, then at Yass Valley, and the last one was in Temora. These are townships with significant attractions to travellers, but there are also some suburbs in them that attracts visitors.
Just like in Barrelan, a suburb between Temora and Griffith where a landmark was built in honour of Evone Goolagong, a famous world tennis champion who was born in this place. The landmark is a huge tennis racket and a big ball with the inscription of Evonne’s name. It is an interesting landmark from which we took some photos for souvenirs.
We had our two night slept over at The Lake Talbot Tourist Park in Narrandera, 555 km south west of Sydney or six hours drive by car.
The Park is overlooking the majestic and pristine Lake Talbot. Its beauty is awesome and I had the chance to walk on a trail meandering around sandstone boulders and rocks overlooking the lake. I had more than enough stunning photos taken here during sunrise and sunset and during a foggy or misty morning as well as during my morning bush walk up to the north eastern section of the lake.
Narrandera is another beautiful town rich with historical importance, old buildings still intact and also have interesting attractions like the huge fig tree, about 200 years old and no one is quite sure how it got there because fig trees are not native to this part of the country.
We arrived in Griffith at about half passed one in the afternoon and we missed out the colourful parade, people were already taking some snap shots of the citrus fruit sculptures. The whole array of sculpture display were laid throughout the whole stretch of the Banna Avenue.
Here are some of the sculptures displayed, every piece of work were wrapped around with oranges and lemons. So many lemons and oranges indeed! The sculptures were erected by Sing Australia Griffith (Piano), Bertoldo’s Bakery (cup and a mug), NSW Rural Fire Service (fie truck), Collier & Miller (mini castle), 99.7 Star FM (radio), 2nd Griffith Scout Group (tent), Lions International (Letter L), Ginette Guidolin Photography (huge camera), Griffith Foot Clinic (big foot), Hungry Jack (big hamburger), Bunnings Warehouse Griffith (hammer logo), Rabobank (pig), Real Juice Company (sliced orange), Biada Steggles (chicken), Casella Family Brands (Kangaroo), Griffith Pioneer Park Museum (lamp), owen Toyota (car), and many more.
On the day we head home, we got up early and drove back to Griffith and into some adjoining parks, beautiful parks like the Willow Park, Venetian Park, and Burley Griffith Community Gardens, just around the Main Canal. We also toured the city and into nearby huge vineyards. It was in here that we saw boys aged about in their early teens diligently drove tractors which I reckon are supposed to be only driven by big boys or adults.
The following day after the Griffith Festival, we toured the Altina Wildlife Safari Park located at Darlington Point, 615 km south west of Sydney or six and a half hours drive by car.
Our tour group at that time was just enough for a one cart tour and we all came from different parts of New South Wales.
The park is huge, and most of the animals were imported majority of them from Africa and Southeast Asia. I posted some of the photos I took of the exotic animals on the sidebar titled “Park Safari” and in my blog named “Exotic Animals an Encounter”.
Our tour guide was a nice fellow with good sense of humour and knows his subject very well. He kept us abreast with some jokes in between subject matters relating to every animals they keep there, too.
After the tour while we were buying some souvenirs, I had the chance to meet the owner and CEO of the Wildlife Safari which was introduced to us by our tour guide.
From Griffith we started our journey back home, we stopped at Leeton, passed by Yanco then in Wagga Wagga, also in Gundagai, and later in Goulburn.
Leeton is Australia’s Rice Capital as it is home to the SunRice headquarters. Other large industry includes Berri Juices and Rockdale Beef which are both among the largest producers in their respective fields of juice and meat products in Australia.
While in Wagga Wagga, we strolled to the Botanica Garden and the Memorial Garden both of them are huge attractions and contributors to the tourism effort of the city. We had our lunch at the city centre’s Hog’s Breath Cafe.
The town of Gundagai is a popular topic for writers and has become a representative icon of a typical Australian country town. There are some wonderful attractions here but we only managed to visit the Timber Railway Bridge and the Prince Alfred Bridge, Australia’s longest timber viaduct built in 1866, because we were running home late.
We also got a view of the Marble Masterpiece which was created by the dexterous hands of the late Frank Rusconi and represents 28 years of work by this master craftsman. We also watched the video associated with this art and we were amazed at how patiently and painstakingly done, really suburb!
We arrived in Goulburn at around four in the afternoon and had our coffee break at the Trappers Bakery before we head home to Sydney which is another three hour drive.