Thursday, May 31, 2012

High Country diversion 2 Day trip

 Bright was very busy when we arrived and we were glad we planned to stay at Freeburg about 13 klms south of Bright . This lovely park has lots of permanents and is very shaded with lots of trees and is beside the Ovens River. We were given a site on the "green" which we had to ourselves.
 When we were planning this part of our trip we thought we might do a camping trip, but after talking to the staff at the Info Centre we took the instructions for a day trip to Falls Creek and back to Bright via Omeo and Mt Hotham. We were glad we changed our minds as the weather that day turned really nasty.

 From Lookout ,looking towards Mt Beauty township
 From Bright the road is very winding as it goes over the range to Mt Beauty, this is an old Hydro town where we stopped for a bit of a look around . There was a very interesting model of the Hydro scheme in the area at the Information Centre. By the time we arrived here it was raining and quite cool.

 As we headed out of town the road got steeper and windier, and continued like this nearly all the way back to Bright. Not far down the road we stopped ar an underground power station which unfortunately no longer runs tours of the facility.

 Bogong Village was another stop on the way where we drove down a steep road to the lakeside . Again it was an old Hydro town which is mainly just some accommodation for tourists and an outdoor education centre.

 At Fainter Falls we took the time to walk up to get better views of the falls. the walk wasn't too far for Lynn and was easy going . 

 Fainter Falls

  We were  very lucky that the sun was out when we walked to the falls as by the time we reached Falls Creek that weather was really closing in and not long after it started to rain quite heavily. We were very disappointed in Falls Creek as we thought there might have been more places open for summer visitors but it is all geared to the winter activities  so only a bistro was open for lunch. the staff were very nice there and when we went to leave they provided us with garbags  so we could get to the vehicle wihtout getting too wet.

Main hotel at Falls Creek
As we drove across the plains on top of the mountain there was low cold and with the rain the visibility was very poor, so we didn;t stop and walk to the huts that are strategically placed across the top. It was strange driving across this area as there were almost no trees except for some stunted snow gums .
 By the time we got to Omeo it was getting late and still raining a bit so we decided to push on .
Mt Hotham was another wind swept place and we were driving along the road above the clouds at times.
 Our last stop along the way was at Dinner Plains. This is an artificial place with all the lodges of similar design. We didn't get back to the van till 6pm although we left about 8.30 am so it was quite a long day and nearly dark when we got home.

High Country diversion 1

 From Yarrawonga we travelled to Wangaratta and then turned right away from the Murray and down towards Beechworth, Myrtleford and Bright.
 We were looking forward to seeing some of the autumn clours that Bright is famous for as the seasons were about to change.
At Beechworth we booked into the caravan park near the lake. It was the first park we had been inot since leaving Adelaide. The shops here are quite old and full of fascinating things, including an old fashioned Lolly shop.
 From Beechworth we did a day trip to Woolshed Falls and Chiltern. We also stopped at Mt Pilot national park whihch had wonderful views over a large area.

 The trip to Chiltern started with a trip around the outskirts of Beechworth where we stopped at the Powder Magazine and also saw some falls which we crossed over when we first drove into town.

 Woolshed Falls

 Beechworth Falls

 Heading out of town we first visited the Woolshed Falls where  we stopped for smoko and realized that we had forgotten the thermos so boiled the billy using the gas ring that fits on top of the small gas botttle.
 We then continued on to  Mt Pilot national park  and I climbed up to the top of the mountain. It wasn't far and was a fairly easy walk but as Lynn's legs have been sore latley he hasn't been doing much walking.

 Continuing on to Chiltern we found it was much smaller than Beechworth but being another old gold mining town had some lovely old shops.
 So that we didn't retrace our steps we returned to Beechworht via Yackandandah which again is an old minimg town but a bit bigger and had lots of trendy old shops like Beechworth. We had lunch in the park  before checking out the shops.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Murray River Ramble part 3

 From Nyah we moved onto Echuca and after enquiries at the Information Centre we went out of town  about 8 klms east to a place on the Murray which wasn't really suitable for the big van so we ended up back a bit further and again on the Murray.  There were a few house boats moored near us but access to the water wasn't very easy.

 Night time on the Murray near Echuca

 Machinery at the Wharf Precinct Echuca

 Paddlesteamers and Houseboats at Echuca

 The next day we wandered into town to check out the sites and just as we were leaving the Wharf area we ran into friends from Darwin who were about to go on the lunchtime paddle boat cruise so we arranged to meet them on their return. It was great to catch up over a beer. They were only there for the day and moving on to Yarrawonga that afternoon.

After the 2 nights at Echuca we went to Tocumwal where we again caught up with Diane and Bruce who were staying at Apex Beach but we opted to stay at Town beach as we needed the water to catch up on the washing. The border hopping was getting to us a bit as we were sometimes not sure which state we were in however no change in the time zones made it easier.

 Our riverside camp at Tocumwal

 We had a nice relaxing week at Tocumwal and I walked up to town most days  to get the paper as it was a nice walk from the camp. We also had morning tea with Diane and Bruce who excelled themselves with Devonshire tea complete with jam and cream.

 while we were at Tocumwal we did a day trip to Findly and Jerilderie and back via Berrigan and Cobham.  It was a nice day out and we had morning tea at Jerilderie in a park near a unique windmill which apparently is only one of 2 in existence .

 Lake at Finley

 Unique windmill at Jerilderie

 Some poeple may remeber that Jerilderie is famous for a Ned Kelly raid and a letter that he wrote. there was to be a reenactment of that incident about a week after we were there.

 On our way back we came across  "The Drop" which was where 2 irrigation canals intersected but one was lower than the other hence the drop. After wandering in NSW most of the day we crossed the river at Cobham and stopped at the Big Strawberry farm  but were very dissapointed on their offerings. Just got some jam befroe crossing back into NSW and home.

 Our next leg along the river was to be the last fro a little while. We found Forges beach about 8 klm from Yarrawonga to be a nice setting and really wnjoyed our few days there.

 Billabong Creek at Jerilderie- longest creek in Australia

 The Drop Irrigation Canal where 2 canals intersect