When I was a child we used to travel to the Upper Hunter Valley to visit my grandmother in a small country town. Many hours were spent looking out of the car window at the landscape passing by. It was a mixture of trees and open paddocks, some cows, sheep and horses, not to mention the kangaroos and even some vineyards.
I recently returned there for the first time in around 30 years. While there are still plenty of trees, paddocks and animals between Sydney and the Upper Hunter, I was surprised at just how many mines there are as well. A chain of mines all along the Hunter River load coal onto trains which then deliver it to the port in Newcastle.