Sunday, 17 May 2015

On the road to ...Wangaratta and Home...our last day on the road

After the blokes had a very long look around the Dredge, we headed to Wangaratta for our stay in the Painters Island Caravan Park.

Painters Island Caravan Park

 We were particularly impressed by this caravan park and the friendly staff were happy for our caravan to stay hooked up as we were only staying 1 night and this would be our last night with our friends.  Of course the first thing Jeannie and I did was to inspect the Amenities, and to our delight they were exceptionally clean and modern and even had fresh flowers on the hand basins.  This sounds like we have an obsession, but to be honest, some of the Amenities on this trip have left a bit to be desired, so it was great to find facilities as good as these, especially for Jeannie as their van does not have shower/toilet and they were staying 3 extra nights here at Wangaratta.

We decided to have an "End of Trip" night out and after making ourselves look respectable, set off for the Pinsent Hotel.  We had a great meal and we all agreed we had had a great trip and we're starting to think about another one.

Wednesday 6th May 2015

 We said our goodbyes and  headed for home, which would probably take 2 days,  while Jeannie and David had their day planned including catching up with friends and a game of golf.

Our first stop was at Shepparton where I did some Aldi shopping, as I wanted to get some chocolate for the grandchildren and a few other goodies that I can't get in Adelaide supermarkets. 

We then headed to Nyah for our overnight stop. 

Nyah campsite at the Race Course
We have stayed here before so we knew exactly where we wanted to camp, and found a good spot which was clear of the trees.  There were quite a few vans in the area but we were still able to be a reasonable distance from each other.

Thursday 7th May 2015
After a good overnight stop, with no traffic noise, just a horse or two going around the track nearby.  We stopped at Robinvale for a look around the town which we have not done before, although we have stayed in the caravan park, but it was good to see the town. 

We headed for our overnight stop at Lake Cullulleraine, Lock 9 on the River Murray, another area that we have stayed in before, so we knew what to expect. 

Lock 9

View from our van

Beautiful views
When we arrived, the Park Ranger was in the area and we stopped and had a chat and he showed us a good spot to camp, so we were soon set up and had our "choofer" going and settled in for a drink before dinner which I cooked in the camp oven.   
Ron soon got the "choofer" going

This was the last night of our trip and we have had such a good time with our friends, but all good things must come to an end.


On the road to ...Eldorado

Tuesday 5th May 2015

We left the lovely Omeo Caravan Park, and headed out on the Great Alpine Road.  The weather was cold and drizzly and as we got higher up the fog increased.  We stopped at Dinner Plain Ski Resort for a quick look around but decided to keep going and have a coffee break when we got to Mt Hotham.

  As we continued the fog got worse and then it started raining and then hail and to make it worse the road was very winding and the visibility was only about 5 meters and at times it seemed even less.  We contacted Jeannie & David on the CB to see how they were going and we decided to stop at Mt Hotham, but the fog was so thick that we couldn't find the entrance so we had to keep going until we found somewhere to pull off. 

After we  pulled over, David told us he was having a bit of trouble towing his van because of visibility but we all decided it was best to keep going slowly and get off the mountain as it appeared that the weather wasn't going to get any better for some time.
Very low visibility - a bit scary

Glad I wasn't driving!

We arrived in Harrietville and we were all very relieved to be out of the fog and continued on to Bright for some lunch.

Beautiful autumn trees in Bright
 After lunch we headed to Eldorado to see The Cock's Dredge.

The Cocks' Dredge, Eldorado

An endless belt with about 110 steel buckets did

the actual dredging. The buckets, carried on a

moveable arm called the bucket ladder, cut

into the alluvium (gold and tin bearing earth) with

an action similar to a slow moving chainsaw.


Eldorado was named after the legend of El Dorado in 1840 by William Baker, the name he used for his run. Even though the name refers to a land abounding in gold there was no gold found in Eldorado until the 1850s when it became a thriving gold rush town. Eldorado Post Office opened on 1 August 1861.

We had been to Eldorado before but somehow missed seeing the Dredge so when David & Jeannie told us about it Ron was determined to see it, and it was amazing, such a huge piece of machinery,].

The Dredge

Friday, 15 May 2015

On the road to ... Omeo


Sunday 3rd May 2015

We left the Lake Tyers caravan park for our next destination of Omeo in the Victorian High Country.  We had our first stop at the little town of Nowa Nowa

One of the sculptures at Nowa Nowa

 where we refuelled and then did a detour to see some sculptures and then continued on  the Great Alpine Road to Little River.  This little town is where The Little River Band got its name, so we had to stop and have a look around. 

We continued on through Swifts Creek, a really pretty area around the town,  and then onto Omeo where we stopped for a coffee and then  found the caravan park and booked in for a couple of nights

Swifts Creek

Another coffee stop - in Omeo before setting up in the caravan park. 
All set up for our campfire
Omeo caravan park

Another view of Omeo caravan park
We enjoyed the lovely Omeo caravan park and the managers were very helpful and friendly, the only downside was the Amenities block near where our sites were located which were very old and a bit rundown, but we were warned that they were old but we were surprised that they weren't cleaned every day.  If we had chosen sites in another part of the park we would have been able to use the new amenities so that would have been better. 

Monday 4th May 2015

We had an enjoyable night by our campfire, with a great bbq dinner to make it a really good night with our friends.  In the morning we went for a short walk around the park, although Jeannie did the marathon again, but she is the fittest.  After breakfast we drove into Omeo to have a look around and found the Museum open so spent a bit of time there and the information we received helped us plan our afternoon drive around the area.  I'm not always that interested in Museums but Ron likes to have a look at the old machinery etc. so I have got a bit more interested now and this one was very good.  After a great lunch at one of the cafe's in Omeo, we headed off to see some of the local attractions.

The Tractor shed

The Blacksmith Shed

Court House & Museum

Water Wheel

A major project for the society is the full restoration of the Zulu Creek
water wheel driving a 5 head stamper, (rock crusher) along with the
landscaping of Commisioners Gully
in which it stands within the
Historic Park

Museum at Omeo - log prison
We drove out on the Great Alpine Road and to McMillan's lookout where we got great views to Mt Kosciuzko.

View to Mt Kosciuzko from McMillans Lookout

View from McMillans Lookout

McMillans Lookout
From the lookout we continued on to Benambra and drove around the dry Lake Omeo.

Dry Lake Omeo
 We actually drove around a few times as we missed the turnoff to Hinnomunjie Bridge but we finally managed to find the road out and stopped near the bridge over the Mitta Mitta River for some photos and afternoon cuppa.  As you will see from the photos, it is a very picturesque area.

Time for a cuppa at the Mitta Mitta River
Mitta Mitta River

Mitta Mitta River


Finally found the road to Hinnomunjie

Benambra Hotel

View from Mt Blowhard
From the Mitta Mitta River we drove back towards Omeo to the Oriental Claims.

Suspension Bridge at the Oriental Claims

Suspension Bridge plaque

Suspension Bridge, Oriental Claims, Omeo

Walking Trail at Oriental Claims

Spotted this little bird at the Oriental Claims
After a very enjoyable day of driving and sightseeing we arrived back at our caravans and got the campfire going while we had a well earned drink and decided what we would have for tea.  Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

On the road to .. Lakes Entrance

Friday 1st May 2015
We packed up the van and left our cosy spot at Rawson and headed on to Traralgon and then Rosedale where we stopped for a coffee and to refuel.  We headed off again and stopped at Stratford for lunch, and then on to our destination of Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers which is about 10 km out of Lakes Entrance.

lunch at Stratford

Totems in Stratford Park

Elephant in Stratford park


   We booked in to the Lake Tyers Caravan Park and found our sites. 
Our site at Lake Tyers
 My first impression was not the best as our site was right next to the Chapel (this was a caravan park run by the Uniting Church) and backed on to the scrub and seemed very dark, but once we got set up we sat outside with our friends under their awning.  For dinner we had a bbq and although it was cold, the men added a side to the awning and we were able to enjoy sitting outside without the wind blowing on us.  There were signs up saying that alcohol could not be used in the public areas but we thought it would be ok to have our usual happy hour behind our closed in awning.  Apparently there was an AA conference on at the park so we were very discreet with our happy hour.

Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance

Saturday 2nd May 2015
We drove into Lakes Entrance and looked around the town, walked across the bridge and then continued out of the town and headed to the small little village of Metung.  We  had lunch at the hotel with lovely views of the marina and some great boats.  There were some beautiful apartments right on the foreshore and we thought these would be great for a family holiday some other time.   
Nice boats at Metung



Parrots at Metung
 Jeannie and I had a quick look through some of the shops and then we all met up again for another coffee, then it was time to head off back to our campsite at Lake Tyers.

Lakes Entrance from lookout

Lakes Entrance