Clan tartans on poles
After our trip up the Richmond River (see blog River of Lifting Bridges ) we continued our trip south. The next river on our list was the Clarence River. We first wanted to spend a few days on shore so we headed to Maclean.
We had heard it was a lovely historical town with more than a touch of Scottish flavour to it and we found it certainly has. All along the main road on the approach and through town the electricity poles have been decorated in different clan tartans with the name of the clan at the top of the design. The local bottle shop streamed Scottish music for the enjoyment of anyone passing and the best time to visit we discovered was Easter. That’s when the town holds their Highland Gathering and Games.
As we travelled through and saw the stone police station, courthouse, other civic buildings and churches the town was appearing to be a candidate for the inspiration for the graphics to a children’s story toy town.
Image Credit: nswcourts.com.au
The local store boasted to being one of the oldest in continuous use in Australia which was easy to believe from the historical architecture of the store.
Apart from the architecture one of the best things about Maclean is that it welcomes visitors and cruisers with open arms. You can stay at the showgrounds for $10 per night. This is where we based ourselves for a few days. We had a view of the river and old timber bridge and at dusk sat mesmerised as thousands of bats left their colony in the trees near the showground.
For the cruisers the local council have put in two large pontoons with water, pump out station, toilets and shower. You can stay on the pontoon for 24 hours and they are superbly located on the main river frontage in the centre of town with everything within easy walking distance.
We were also fortunate that a good friend put us in touch with her dad and step-mum who live in Maclean and they very kindly offered for us to leave our Landrover and boat trailer in their back garden. This was a huge weight off our minds as we wanted to cruise for a week or more on the river. So, after a few nights sleeping without rocking, we were well rested and keen to launch and start exploring the Clarence.