To get to Orange, we had to take the train. 5 hours it bloody took, to go 250 Kms. Look at the map here, But its an amazing train journey. Over the Blue Mountains into rolling NSW countryside. Its great farming country (what can be classed as good in Australia anyway), and into the city of Orange.
As soon as we arrived we went to see Helen in her new shop, Patchwork Orange, and then headed around town for a walk. I really wanted to get myself a hat before we left Australia. I was after a Indiana Jones hat, but they don't sell the exact one over here, so I settled with a Queenslander Hat instead (see Flickr) IT'S GREAT!! I proceeded to wear it all weekend, and its gonna be my beach hat for ever more :)
We headed back to Helen and Charlies farm after Helen closed up shop, which like the rest of Orange was at 12:00. Its set in the middle of 3000 acres of Farm Country near the Cadia Gold Mine. Charlie farms mostly Sheep and Cattle, with a few crops, and is constantly busy. Hes also Vice Captain of his Bush Fire Service. With all the Bush Fires in Australia, each community has volunteer fire brigades.
It was no different to my Grandads farm. The difference is that the nearest neighbours are about 10 kms away!! They had arranged for us to go Water Skiing with Jeff and Vannessa (Their son and dughter in law) that afternoon, and me and Zena had a great couple of hours trying to stand up!! Bloody Hard work.. The donut proved easier.
This was after our hunt for Kangaroos though.. Yep, After 5 months in Oz, I finally got to see some wild Kanagroos. There are no Kanagaroo farms in Australia, so if you eat any Kangaroo Steaks, the chances are it was shot. Its perfectly legal. They are not a pest, but there are regular culls to reduce the population. It was pretty difficult to get close to one, but I did see a fair few, including one bounding across the road when we went to the pub that night!!
The next day, was a bit of a chilled out day, with Helen cooking an amazing roast, but also we went to the Old Woolshed. This was a fantastic look at History in NSW. Its over 100 years old, and used to have 40 Shearers working. Head over to my flickr Site for the Photo set... My Uncle Geoff has a pretty modern Shearing section on his farm, but this look at something that is still used today (only for show) was fantastic!
Just before we finished our quick trip, we headed up Mount Canobolas, to have a look at the stunning views of the local countryside. You could see for miles.. The train journey home nearly turned into a nightmare when we got put into Kids Class with a drunk sitting opposite us, but a quick complaint actually got us moved to better seats.. British Rail take note!