HANGING IN THE HIGHLANDS

15 Dec 2020

Glen Innes seemed like a good town to take a day off from driving before the final leg into Brisbane and the bosom of the family.  

At the intersection of the New England and Gwydir Highways, this town has proud Celtic heritage. Looking at the map of the New England Tablelands region, towns and features have familiar names: Ben Lomond; Glencoe; Llangothlin Lagoon; Dundee… 

With no real plan in mind we decided to mooch along the high street, admiring the colonial architecture. 

“A book store- let’s go in!” I pointed to the overhanging sign ahead. Nope. ‘Closed on Tuesday’ said the hand written card tucked into the front door. Yesterday, the cafés in Bingara were closed on Monday. “Imagine if the next town is closed on Wednesday…” 

“We could ride the ‘closed’ wave all the way to Brisbane…” joked Dave.

“I’m going in here!” I turned back to Dave as he pulled open the front door of The Rock Shop and stepped inside. This is fossicking country, so I followed him in.

This quaint old store was a mix of crystal-healing meets rock-collector. Hundreds of mineral crystals and fossils categorised by type and colour on narrow shelves lined the store.  We couldn’t resist pulling together a small collection of mineral crystals.  

It was too hot to walk up to the ‘Australian Standing Stones’ so we jumped in the car for a quick look. It’s got an interesting backstory: Based on the Ring of Brodgar in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, this is a working calendar like those used of the ancient Celts’s to decide when to sow and harvest. It was built as a national monument to honour all Celtic peoples who helped pioneer Australia. 

The rest of the day was spent reading and lazing around the Glasshouse Guesthouse, listening to the wind pick up and the birds in the garden. For tomorrow will be a long drive ‘home’ to Brisbane. 

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