Saturday, July 15, 2017

NSW loop drive Sydney - Wagga, Wagga - Snowy Mountains - South Coast

Sunrise in the Snowy Mountains. Photo by Alison Plummer©
Leaving Sydney late on Saturday afternoon, we reach Goulburn around 7pm. The city is less than an hour from Canberra, Australia's capital in the ACT, so is a popular stopover.  Goulburn's wide main street is a real mix of old and new – this was a great Victorian rural city, its historic buildings dating from the glory days of gold and becoming a major centre of the booming wool trade.

We're not starving but can do with something to eat; the Pizza Kitchen, Auburn Street, is still open and I am beside myself when I spy anchovies on the menu in the Capricciosa, thin base. It's delicious. (Anchovies seem to have disappeared from pizza toppings!)

Next day we drive via Canberra to Wagga Wagga. Here we stay at the very comfortable Best Western Plus Charles Sturt Suites & Apartments, a couple of blocks from the main street with the Roundabout Restaurant, one of the  best in town. Many eateries are closed on Mondays but our niece is working at the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital and knows we'll enjoy the Indian Tavern Tandoori, a palace of a place with reliably delicious food we remember from a previous visit - Fish Malabar, Saag Gosht.

On the way back to the Best Western we discover a quiet cafe tucked away at 10 Blake Street – we can see over the walling the enclosed courtyard of The Pot 'n' Kettle Coffee House and know this is where we'll be next morning.  We only make it for a great coffee and selections from the delicious breakfast menu which includes yummy turmeric and sage pumpkin fritters with avocado, haloumi and minted yoghurt and an avocado  brekkie with goats cheese, roast tomato, rocket and lemon; pancakes.

Enough of eating – now for the drive over the Snowy Mountains to the coast on a glorious day with intense blue skies and golden sunshine. We choose the quiet roads via Tumbarumba, Goat Ridge Road, Link Road, a switchback route with spectacular views. Breathtaking on our early autumn day. (*It's winter now and snow and ski season in the Snowy Mountains, so this is a trip to plan ahead for late spring/early summer.  Roads can be closed due to weather conditions, so check ahead.)

We join the Snowy Mountains Highway/B72, driving through undulating countryside that's quite mesmerising before dropping down to Bega (famous for its cheese) on the coast.

North now to lovely Bermagui and then Narooma for a video interview with a very special lady. No time to explore, unfortunately, and it's late to drive to Sydney so we overnight at Kiama and speed back to Sydney next day at the crack of dawn.

Choosing the route we did turned the trip into a delightful, impromptu taste of rural New South Wales. Work and travel – the best of both worlds.

Best Western Charles Sturt Suites & Apartments
Best Western Charles Sturt Suites & Apartments

Pot n' Kettle Coffee House

*The NSW ski season is officially from June until the first weekend of October. However there can be snowfalls from April to as late as November and even December, so always check road conditions in the Snowy Mountains.

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