Great things are done when men and mountains meet . . .

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Our three week holiday break managed to exceed world speed records for time passing. Each day no sooner did I get out of bed seduced by thoughts of a quiet early morning cup of coffee on the verandah than it seemed like 3 pm, or later swiftly came around.

Eleven days raced by as we steered our way through tidying, gardening, houseguests, Christmas preparations-day-visitors, house projects before we came up for air and paused on New Year’s Day. It wasn’t until the first Saturday of 2015 we managed a day-trip, just the two of us.

It’s become a bit of a tradition, that first Saturday, for us to go to Dorrigo Country Market. Even though it’s not at its best during the holiday period, it’s a great excuse for us to drive and spend a day up the mountain at one of our favourite places.

Dorrigo is a small rural town located on a plateau in the Northern Tablelands a 100 km drive from Taylors Arm via Bellingen at the top of the stunning [steep, windy] Waterfall Way. It’s known for potatoes & beef. We like the old-time country feel the town has retained. We traditionally stroll a circuit of the streets around the central Main Square but our must-visits are Dorrigo Antiques for browsing, Juan’s Cafe Del Fuego The World’s Smallest Motorcycle Museum for a chocolate milkshake and Dorrigo Bakery for a loaf of old-fashioned soft white bread.

Nearby are Dorrigo National Park & Rainforest Centre + Skywalk, part of Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, and Dangar Falls.

But, thanks to Kate, this time we had a new place on our day-trip agenda. Kate’s directions “To find Griffiths Lookout turn sharp left onto Maynards Plains Road when you reach Mountain Top on the Waterfall Way, then take a left turn onto Mountain Top Road after about 1 km. Go all the way to the end” were spot on. Despite her description of its amazingness, we were amazed.

Griffiths Lookout, Dorrigo NSW Australia... the Whip Mountain near Taylors Arm is in the middle far distance.
Griffiths Lookout, Dorrigo NSW Australia… the Whip Mountain near Taylors Arm is in the middle far distance.

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.” William Blake

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38 thoughts on “Great things are done when men and mountains meet . . .

    katechiconi said:
    January 13, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I’m so glad I could share my Happy Place with you!
    We will be coming down again in March; down from Mackay on Miss Scarlett, about days in Coffs, then across to Toowoomba for a rally, then home again, by which time the outside of me will be very well acquainted with the outside of the bike… Let’s see if we can’t arrange a face to face?

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Not only did you share your Happy Place with us, we’ve been waxing lyrcial about it to everyone we talk to 🙂 Our next scheduled trips are at the end of this month, early and late April corresponding to the public holidays but never say never…

      Like

    davidprosser said:
    January 13, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    The pictures are lovely though spectacular is he word for the Griffith’s Lookout one. That’s a stunning view.
    I’m sorry time flew by so quickly but glad you seem to have had a good time with no health problems.
    The time when you can be at Taylor’s Arms permanently is getting closer now……
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Thank you 🙂 We happily got lucky with the photo taking as we were mucking around with our phones and the settings. No time to be under the weather on holidays!

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    memoirsofahusk said:
    January 14, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Wow – I see what you mean! Happy New Year Elladee. So hard to believe (gale force winds, rain etc) that it’s sunny over (down?) there!

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 10:02 am

      Thank you 🙂 Weather has been fairly typical for us locally (some flooding elsewhere but also typical) and acceptable for summer!

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    mybrightlife said:
    January 14, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Isn’t it amazing how holiday time feels so free from a distance but when the reality hits can be so darn busy!!! Glad you finally managed to get a breather. What beautiful landscape. Market looks fabulous too!

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 10:05 am

      That’s exactly what happens: we think aaahhh 3 weeks… we’ll do this, this and that… and sometimes we manage about half if we’re lucky.
      We love that area and had a glorious day out 🙂

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    Glenda said:
    January 14, 2015 at 2:45 am

    What a fantastic view Ella. That is postcard material.

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Thank you. Our photo taking was random to say the least so it was a pleasant surprise it turned out so well 🙂

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    Francesca said:
    January 14, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Some of my youth was misspent around Bellingen and Dorigo, rival capitals in those days to Nimbin and Mullimbimby of Hippydom. A market in Dorigo would be a lovely drive: looks like all vestiges of hippydom have been erased.

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      katechiconi said:
      January 14, 2015 at 8:03 am

      Gone in Dorrigo, still alive and well in Bello, although that’s gone upmarket these days…

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 10:10 am

      We did note slight vestiges of Hippydom in Dorrigo… on the day it was the most and most eclectic mix of people I’ve ever encountered during a visit – was good to see it so busy. More so in Bellingen but as Kate says, it has quite a trendy, touristy element now. However, we’re always happy to spend time in and around both 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    Francesca said:
    January 14, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Would love a little drive up there, into those warm, dark tropical spaces.

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 10:26 am

      When I was a kid we holidayed from time to time in the Coffs area, and drove over to the coast via Dorrigo and down the Waterfall Way. I often remark to the G.O. that it has the same country-coast-tropical-holiday feel after all these years… and makes me a little tingly with that old sense of anticipation 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        Francesca said:
        January 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

        That’s it. I’m scheduling a visit this year. You have captured that feeling that I used to get as a kid, dropping down from cold Armadale into the slow, tropical warmth of Grafton, big old rivers, too full and dark,gliding by.

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          EllaDee responded:
          January 14, 2015 at 10:36 am

          So easy, and not necessarily expensive to fly to Coffs now and hire a car. Which is what we’re doing for the Australia Day long weekend.
          Speaking of cold… you reminded me of a trip to the Coffs coast we took via an alternate route from Murrurundi over Barrington Tops where Dad’s great idea was for us to camp in the car overnight enroute… it was freezing!

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          Francesca said:
          January 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

          I can imagine!!!Yes, it is a cheaper and faster way to get around. Will investigate.

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    ardysez said:
    January 14, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Love those kinds of markets and that scenery!! Your quote is great, now I know why I love living where I can see mountains. I never tire of it. Glad you had a good break, now to rest from it! xx

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

      I like the small local markets best. I came away with an esky full of fruit & vege so I was happy, followed by a garage sale when we snagged a few bargain finds.
      We’re the same, and are very fortunate in our valley location at Taylors Arm. We love the coast but the rural location I think centres us. We can see the Whip Mountain from our backyard. Which is especially great for the G.O. as that’s where he spent his earliest days 🙂

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    Safia said:
    January 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I know what you mean about time flying past – am convinced it goes quicker after the age of 40! Thank you for taking us along on your journey to all these fascinating places – like a ‘hidden’ Australia for me, and the photo of the mountain range is truly breath-taking. ‘What fills the eye, fills the heart’ (Irish proverb).

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 14, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you 🙂
      A somewhat scary thought… we spent time during our break with quite a few family members and friends from the generation before ours, and they all proposed, quite seriously, that as you get older -your time left on earth shorter- time proportionately speeds up. When recalling some very long afternoons in school, or impatiently waiting for a special event, it certainly seemed time passed more slowly. However, just as now, busy-exciting-fun times flew by.
      I think of the places I share as ‘everyday Australia’, often juxtaposed with the Face of Australia many visitors experience that I do regularly too simply by virtue of their proximity, Sydney Harbour and the CBD, but I feel their charm is indeed ‘hidden’ unless you have time to spend or some connection with those other places.
      That said, I have been visiting the Dorrigo area since I was a kid and it took the recommendation of an English born woman to get me to Griffiths Lookout.

      Liked by 1 person

        Safia said:
        January 14, 2015 at 4:36 pm

        Yep – so easy to get caught up in the everyday business of living, putting exploring of the gems under our noses on the back burner! Apologies for mixing metaphors 🙂

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    acflory said:
    January 14, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Those are the nicest sorts of holidays. You sound so relaxed! I won’t welcome you back to the workaday world just yet. 🙂

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 15, 2015 at 6:59 am

      Any holiday is a good holiday… And I love a day-trip because at the end, it’s home for a nice glass of vino on the verandah and sleep our own bed 🙂

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        acflory said:
        January 15, 2015 at 9:05 am

        Yes, that’s what I love too. No place is ever as comfortable as home. 🙂

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    Gerlinde said:
    January 15, 2015 at 1:30 am

    I love the scenery with the mountains in the background and I’m always a sucker for small markets. You make Australia looks so beautiful that I want to go.
    Time indeed goes by faster as we get older. When you are six, one year of your life is one sixth of you entire lifetime, when you are 60, one year of your life is one sixtieth of your life time and so it goes. I was told that by an old teacher long time ago.

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 15, 2015 at 7:09 am

      I’m pleased there is some science behind the time thing… and knowing it helps me not wish the days away.
      We went to a slightly bigger market a week later, but only bigger with commercial stallholders so not better.
      Thank you 🙂 We are very fortunate to have these beautiful places in the vicinity of our local area but even for us sometimes, and more especially for visitors, it takes time to get around and enjoy them. We look forward to doing it for many years to come.

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    Lori D said:
    January 15, 2015 at 3:13 am

    Breathtaking. My husband and I haven’t had a getaway in a long, long time, and don’t have any planned. I pray that I’ll get to live near mountains some day. Glad you got to enjoy that lovely day trip and view.

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 15, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Thank you 🙂 We had a busy holiday but even this one day with different scenery and a slower pace revived us. I hope in the shorter term that getaway happens, and not too much longer term a home near mountains comes around for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    diannegray said:
    January 15, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Those mountains are magnificent! Note to self – visit there next time I’m down that way. I’m glad your break was great (even though it seems to have flashed by!)

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 15, 2015 at 7:42 am

      I’ve seen the turn-off to Griffiths Lookout so many times… now I think we’ll never drive past again without stopping. Oh yes, the break went far too quickly but I’m pleased that out of all the things we didn’t get to do, going to Dorrigo wasn’t one of them 🙂

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    roughseasinthemed said:
    January 18, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Driving home, I felt our two weeks had passed so quickly and I could easily have stayed another two weeks, and yet, back into city life, it’s no longer an issue. Life and time are what they are. Live for the moment and all that.

    I like the last pic, panorama setting on phone?

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 18, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      When we arrive back in the city/office after being away it’s like we’d only just stepped away… and vice versa… seamless.
      Yes, first time we’ve tried the panorama settings on our phones 🙂

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    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    January 20, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I think you’ve picked a perfect spot to settle. Sigh ( and must try that panorama setting – cool!

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 20, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      There’s no place like home! Although there’s alway a job that could be done, a day can take you out and about or be pleasantly relaxed…
      Wherever we encounter a lovely vista we’ll be now playing around with panorama too 🙂

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    Kourtney Heintz said:
    January 30, 2015 at 4:46 am

    What a gorgeous view! So glad Kate shared the spot with you.I’ve developed a love of beets lately. Not sure where it came from but that farmer’s market sounds like a delightful day trip. 🙂

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      EllaDee responded:
      January 30, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Beets from the farmers market are best! Amazing the difference in taste. Dorrigo will continue to be a regular day-trip for us whenever possible 🙂

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