Moree-Narrabri-Bingara

Photos taken on a two day visit to Moree, Narrabri and Bingara areas 27-28 May, 2010.

The town of Moree lies on a wide expnse of flat plains in northern New South Wales near the Queensland border. The region is a major grain growing area (mainly wheat) with water irrigatioon from artesian boreholes. The towns main tourist attraction is the Spa Baths that were established in 1895. Visitors come to bath in the warm water of the baths that are believed to have therapeutic benefits. The oringina Spa Bath was based on an artesian borehole sunk in 1895 to a depth of 2,792 feet and which producerd an artesian flow of 3,000,000 gallons per day at a temperature of 114 degrees fahrenheit (45.56 Celcius).


The original borehead at Moree Spa Baths, 1895.


The Moree Spa Baths 2010.

The princvipal reason for travel to Moree was for Amarjit Kaur to present a lecture at a University of New England education fare co-organised with Moree Plains Shire Council:


Amarjit Kaur delivering het talk on Overseas born workers and migrants in regional settings.


A UNE stand at the Education Fare

Whislt in Moree, apart from the Spa, Ian took the opportunity to visit the Moree Railway station. Trains do still run throiugh Moree, including goods (mainly grain) trains and a once daily passengetr Country Link service to/from Sydney.


Moree Railway Staion, 2010.

The railway line is used to move bulk grain from the region for export and there are many huge grain storage silos and railway loading depos along the railway line


Grain Silo and railway loading point near Moree

On the return to Armidale from Moree, we decided to drive back via Narrabri and Bingara in order to stop off and see two famous geological sites. Narrabri is the cotton growing capital of Australia. The town is rather uninspiring but it was nice to see fields of cotton typical of the region.


Cotton fields near Narrabri


Close up of cotton plant

After leaving Narrabri, we made our way along the road towards Bingara and headed for the Mt Kaputar National Park in the Nandewar Range hills. The Nandewar Range is mainly volcanic and composed of basalts erupted about 20 million years ago over a deep seated "hot spot" in the Earth's mantle as Australia drifted slowly northwards. Some of the roughly horizontal volcanic basalt lava flows were many meters thick and when they solidified and cooled, vertical contraction cracks or joints were formed within the basalt flow to produce polygonal columns. A spectacular example of this, with in places near perfect hexagonal colums, is found at Sawn Rocks in the park, just a few nundred meters off the Narrabri-Bingara road. The basalt columns here rival the world's most famous example at the Giant's Causway in Ireland!


Sawn Rocks, Mt Kaputar National Park. A singhle thick basalt lava flow with verticle polygonal columns


Close-up of some of the polygonal columns


An example of near perfect hexagonal columns that have collapsed into the valley


Amarjit Kaur standing on some huge fallen basalt columns


Ian Metcalfe with Sawn Rocks in the background

Further along the road towards Bingara, another much older geological site was visited. About 300 million years ago, the Australian continent was covered in ice sheets during a major glaciation. The glaciers and ice sheets carried eroded rocks up to boulder size with them and when they melted they deposited a coarse conglomerate of pebbles and boulders know as tillite. These rocks are nicely exposed in a valley just off the Narrabri-Bingara road


River valley exposing 300 million year old glacial tillite conglomerates


A close-up of the glacial deposits

The weather during our trip had been mixed with some sun biut also showers and rain squalls. As we drove home in the late afternoon, the stting sun and a rain shower produced a spectacular rainbow for us to enjoy:

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