From one showground to another. Our next stop was at the Maclean Showgrounds. It is a lot smaller than the Mullimbimby ground. To start with I thought it was a lovely location. The park was set beside the river. There was a lovely view of a bridge with ducks swimming around. Nice.   Unfortunately there was also lots of sugarcane trucks crossing the bridge, 24/7. Rattling every wooden plank of the bridge as they past. To start with I wasn’t happy about staying because of the noise. Adrian told me I wouldn’t notice it after a while. I think I stopped hearing the trucks about 3 am then I heard them again about 5am.

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Around the 1850s the area was known as “Rocky Mouth”. The town sits on the Clarence River and nestled at the base of Mt Maclean. Well maybe nestled is not really the right word, more like sits on the rippling wave of the mountain as it continues down to the river. Yep the town is quite hilly. Not good for walking but great for the views. It seemed everywhere you looked there was a great view of the river.

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With a name like Maclean you would guess right if you though the town had a strong connection with Scotland. The town was named after Alexander Grant McLean who was a Surveyor General of NSW and was Scottish. McLean authorized the compilation of a map of New South Wales, to showcase the connection to Scotland there were many different tartans painted on the streetlights. I don’t think I saw one tartan repeated on any of the poles. I didn’t realise there were so many, but I guess when each tartan represents a different clan it makes sense there would be lots of different patterns.

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We drove up to the local lookout. The views of the river and Clarence Peak were amazing.

There is a lovely day bed placed so you can relax while you take in the vista. Adrian tried it and said it wasn’t that comfy but it did look pretty with a tiled map of the area on it.

Not far from the showgrounds were a family of bats. Ok it was a little more than a family. It is thought there are about 250,000 of them. We saw the bats as we drove in so on the second day we walked up to the outskirts of their habitat. I had thought the 250,000 quote may have been a bit enhanced but looking at all the bats hanging from the trees I don’t think so. There are three different species of bats or flying foxes living in the area. The Grey-headed flying fox, the Black flying fox as well as the Little Red flying fox. Me, I couldn’t tell them apart but maybe that was because I didn’t get that close to them.   An adult bat can have a wingspan of a up to a metre. They can fly up to 50km per night looking for food. I gave them plenty of room. Maybe it is a good thing they are the only flying mammals that we have. Of all the fury mammals we have in Australia the bats are not on my list of being cute.

After seeing the bats we walked back through the old cemetery. The cemetery was filled with the first settlers of the area. The headstones were an interesting read, sad but interesting.

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The cemetery sits on the edge of the showgrounds over looking the river. The view was lovely. It was early evening and the sun was just starting to settle for the night.   The first settlers chose well.

The next morning we headed across the bridge to our next stop. (I don’t think I heard the sugarcane trucks the second night.)



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