The Great British institution of going for a ‘Sunday walk’ was one of those cultural norms that I wholeheartedly embraced when I was living in England. If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know I’m an avid fan of a good old ramble and since I’ve returned to Australia, it’s something I’ve been meaning to continue.
Wagga Wagga was blessed with an exceptionally mild summer’s weekend not that long ago, so Adam and I decided to take advantage of the sub 30 degree celsius weather and go for a walk…
We decided to take a drive out to Galore Hill, a reserve about 40 minutes drive west of Wagga. It was a place the both of us had driven past dozens of time, but never explored.
The dirt road up to the top of the hill was a little rough, but nothing that our hatchback couldn’t handle.
It was absolutely beautiful day: clear blue skies, a gentle breeze and that stark Australian sun blazing overhead. The view from the hill is amazing – you can see for miles. Come spring when the area’s cereal crops are bright green and there are paddocks full of yellow canola flowers it must look like a painting.
Despite the comfortable temperatures and it being the school holidays, we had the reserve to ourselves and happily spent a few hours wandering around the various walking tracks that traverse the reserve.
There are a great series of caves on the north-west side of the hill, which used to be a favourite hangout of Australian bushranger, Mad Dog Morgan, who spent a fair bit of his time in the Riverina region. We didn’t spot any bushrangers, but you can see the caves’ appeal as a good hiding place!
Even though the native Australian landscape is generally quite muted in nature, when you look carefully you can see splashes of colour, even in the height of summer. Adam and I saw hundreds of clumps of little flowers and these yellow ones were my favourite – so bright and cheery.
I have to confess though, my fear of snakes has heightened considerably over the last 15 months or so. I so enjoyed being able to walk without fear of running into snakes while I was in England but now I’m super paranoid that I’ll see one! Snakes are a fact of life when you live in regional Australia and generally if you don’t disturb them, they won’t worry you, but that’s not much comfort at the moment.
Adam and I enjoyed a picnic lunch atop the hill and came home most pleased we made the effort to get outside. I’d forgotten how lovely smelling the bush is and that wonderful dusty crunch you hear walking over dead twigs, dry bark and orange coloured dirt.
There are dozens of other small reserves all around the region and Adam and I want to make a real concerted effort to go and visit some of our lesser known walking spots.
Here’s to Sunday exploring! Have a wonderful week. x