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Wagga Wagga: A Slice of Home

Wagga Wagga: A Slice of Home

Our stay in Wagga was like coming home again. We stayed with Ash's parents for nearly a week, and they were so generous opening their home, including us in their day-to-day. Wagga Wagga is roughly halfway between Sydney and Melbourne in New South Wales. With a population nearing 60,000 people it's the state's largest inland city. 

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Ash graciously drove us to her folk's place in Sydney. On the way, we stopped in Jugiong at The Sir George.

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The historic venue was built in 1852, but now known for their boutique restaurant and artisan bakery.

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Also briefly stopped at a nearby overlook of the Australian Bush.

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Once we arrived Wagga, we were welcome with bubbly and a wonderful dinner. Ash's father is a master on the grill, and it was the first of many Australian barbecues--called barbies here. Lamb, burgers, rump steak. A favorite was chicken schnitzel, referred to as Schnitty. We realized it's basically a chicken cutlet. When we weren't enjoying the company and the barbies, we still spent majority of our time on the back patio, reading, working, relaxing.

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Mid-week Ash took us to the Boggy Creek Bush Show. The show was a demonstration of choreographed horsemanship, mustering working dogs, and an animated window into life on a farm. 

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Boggy Creek is a fourth generation working farm in Tumbarumba--a mountainous area known for a history of timber and cattle farming. The show itself was part comedy, part educational. I'd never before been given a tutorial on how to sheer sheep.

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After, we drove into Tumbarumba's downtown to supplement a packed picnic, at Tumbarumba Bakery. We continued on to the Sugar Pine Forest. Located in Batlow, the trees lining the short walk were planted in 1928. I likened them to the Pacific Northwest in The States.

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Once the trees cleared, we were given a brief glimpse into the more traditional Australian Bush. When I think of stereotypes of Australian terrain, I think of red earth. However, we didn't last long, for fear of running into snakes

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Other than a day trip here or there, we found there was plenty to do in Wagga. One evening, Ash took us to the Wagga Wagga Boat Club for a drink on Lake Albert. It was a beautiful sunset, and we couldn't understand why more people weren't there. It was so serene. The following day, we went back to jog around the lake, a 5.5km loop.

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We checked out the Wagga Zoo and Aviary, given that Ash's mom assured us we couldn't leave Australia without seeing a Kangaroo. The only we've seen thus far had been roadkill, which surely didn't count.

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The colorful birds were beautiful, but we were more interested in the wombat--a bizarre creature.

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On Saturday we took a lovely walk along the Murrumbidgee River.

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We're learning more about Australia's past, and the river has a rich history. Murrumbidgee is the Aboriginal word for β€œPlenty Water,” and a source of nourishment for the people of the Wiradjuri nation. Today, the river is enjoyed for the beach with tables and barbecues and for floating down portions of the river.

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We ended at the Marrambidya Wetland before looping back to explore the downtown. 

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That evening, we were treated to yet another  barbecue after drinks and snacks. 

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Will gained a strong, questionally mutual,  affection for their pups.

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Wagga is a wonderful community. It has nearly everything you're looking for in a town. We have a while to decide where we ultimately want to settle, but it's reassuring to know that such places exist. 

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