The Spring/Summer wedding season is starting and as a country NSW photographer, my first wedding of the season had me traveling up to Boonah, a country town about 1 hour west of Brisbane. As I was going to be heading out into country Queensland, rather than going the usual coast highway, I decided to take the inland country drive up through Singleton, Tamworth, Armidale, Stanthorpe and Warwick.
As I head out of Sydney my first stop is in Singleton at a little shop/cafe I found a few years ago while house-sitting for a friend nearby. Make sure if you are in the Upper Hunter region, stop in at Worn Out Wares – an eclectic space housing a florist, homewares shop and a cafe. The cafe provides a relaxed atmosphere for travellers to take a break with mix-matched tables and chairs, and foliage hanging from the ceiling. While the space is a visual wonder, the food stands up for itself as what could only be described as delicious! Rather than going with my usual coffee order, I had a refreshing peppermint tea out of a teapot! Check out their delicious rustic menu, find there Singleton location and trading hours on their website www.wornoutwares.com.au
Time to get back on the road as Im eager to get to my next destination before they close up for the afternoon. Another great find from a previous trip is Plains Pantry on the New England Highway in Willow Tree. Just in time to grab a coffee and early dinner – lasagna and their divine Quinoa salad. Check out their fresh produce, gourmet groceries, find there Willow Tree location and trading hours on their website www.theplainspantry.com.au
I decided to add an extra day to my itinerary so I had some time to explore before getting to my destination. The first night I stopped-over in Tamworth. When I travel, I either use AirBNB or Booking.com to find cheap accommodation. I don’t like having too many set plans when I travel so I rely on using every traveler’s must-have accommodation booking tool the Booking.com App as its great to find last minute accommodation. If I am booking my accommodation ahead of time I tend to use AirBNB. In Tamworth I stayed at the Tamworth City Motel and for $85 for the night it was your standard motel room, with all the usuals like TV, air-con, the room was modern and clean, the bed was super comfy, and bonus a Continental breakfast was included in the room cost. Free Wifi is a must-have when traveling for business so I can get a little work done at night, but mainly so I don’t miss out on my favourite TV show on replay or I can watch a movie on Netflix because after a day of driving, it’s nice to chill out to a decent movie.
The next morning I headed out of Tamworth and 30km up the road I stopped at Moonbi Lookout. From the Moonbi Lookout there is a spectacular view looking back over the Moonbi Village, Cockburn Valley and beyond. The lookout structure was constructed in 1938 with huge rocks and is said to look like a small replica of Uluru.
Next stop Armidale. I can’t believe Ive never visited Armidale before! How darn cute is this big country town! Even just hearing it described as being located in the New England High Country just makes you want to go exploring the Northern Tablelands. Described as a picturesque city with charming colonial heritage, fine museums and galleries, and delicious food and wine. While I was only passing through to grab a bite for lunch, I discovered the Goldfish Bowl Bakery Cafe – best pie ever thank you! Oh and I did see Ali Barter and her band also grabbing coffee at Goldfish … so it must be the best cafe in town if it attracts a Triple J Unearthed Winner popping in after their Armidale gig the night before.
I drove through to Stanthorpe and stayed in Stanthorpe that night before heading through to my destination in Boonah. I decided to leave taking photos until my return trip.
Australia is experiencing one of the worst droughts in 100 years which is obvious as to how dry it is in these photos. To me, the countryside is still beautiful.
I hadn’t met my couple in person so we had organised to met up ahead of their wedding the next day at the venue, The Old Church Boonah. After that I went to check into my accommodation for the night. The owners of the wedding venue The Old Church also owns the adjoining 60 acre property, Milford Farm, and just happens to have a couple of farm stay rooms on AirBNB so I conveniently stayed next door. After I grabbed a bite to eat in town I wandered around the property with my camera.
As the sunsets over Milford Farm, I get my camera bag ready for the wedding tomorrow. Dinner is pizza and H20 to start hydrating for tomorrow as its suppose to be a hot 30 degrees (and it’s still winter!). A relaxing evening sitting on the verandah and enjoying the peace and quite followed by a movie on Netflix.
The wedding ceremony was a little bit emotional, it was my first same-sex couple wedding, but at the same time heaps of laughs – congratulations Maddy & Emily! You will be able to check out the Old Church Boonah wedding over on https://debboots.com.au/ soon! but I couldn’t tease you with the story of this cute wedding and not show at least one photo, so here is a sneak peek of the girls cuddling two 4-week-old baby goats.
The following morning I headed into Paddington to catch up with one of my couples to update their family photos as they recently welcomed baby number 2 into the world. You will also be able to check out The Connor’s family photos soon on https://debboots.com.au/lifestories/
While the sun was shining this entire road trip it was extremely windy. I just hope the farmers get some rain soon!
Time to start heading home. Honestly I wasn’t ready for this road trip to be over yet.
The Wattle tree is a symbol of an Australian winter. Wattle is ideally suited to withstand Australian droughts, wind and bushfires. They are resilient and represent the spirit of the Australian people, particularly the Australian farming community. What I love about the Wattle tree, is they bring a burst of bright yellow into what can be a drab looking period of the year. They are stunning whether planned alone or a burst of glorious golden wattle when planted on mass lining the road, like this collection of Wattle trees I found on my road trip. Enjoy this lovely golden flora during the winter months.