17th October 2019–Red Cliffs

Distance: 246 Km

A cold, sunny, windy morning, all the rain has departed, we are on the move today but only a couple of hours north west to Red Cliffs (near Mildura). No rush having breakfast, showering and packing up. The gazebo was already packed so it was really only the chairs, table and TV aerial to be stowed. Ran out of things to do by 9.30am so set off, cutting across country on minor roads. Stopped twice – once to stretch our legs and once at the Quarantine Bin to dump an uneaten banana.

The Red Cliffs Caravan Park is on the highway so it wasn’t hard to find, checked in and set up on a quite nice site away from the road next to a vineyard.

Red Cliffs Caravan Park

According to the local tourist guide there is an interpretive walk near the pumping station on the river and a board walk to view the red cliffs on/of the river bank which gave to town its name. Found neither… Did find the pumping station which was behind high, locked fences and the car park where the board walk was supposed to commence. In the end I scrambled along a difficult track and did get a glimpse of the cliffs (I think) but it looked as if the whole area was neglected and only used by dirt bikes.

Red CliffsRed CliffsRed CliffsRed CliffsRed Cliffs walkRed CliffsRed Cliffs Murray RiverRed Cliffs Murray RiverRed Cliffs Murray River

After this fiasco drove back to Red Cliffs shopping centre to see the mural on the water tower and Big Lizzie. The latter is an amazing 100 year old engine used to clear the Mallee scrub for agriculture, it had a single cylinder, 60hp oil engine, was enormous and moved at 2mph!

Big LizzieBig Lizzie191017 037 Red Cliffs Big LizzieBig LizzieBig LizzieBig LizzieBarclay Square Red CliffsRed Cliffs Water Tower MuralRed Cliffs Water Tower Mural

BTW there is a dog show on locally so there are lots of posh looking thoroughbred dogs around the park.

16th October 2019–Sea Lake

Distance: 200 km
Fuel: 22 L

Nearly the worst travelling weather I have experienced since I bought the camper (the worst was definitely on my way to Port Lincoln in 2017).

It was a bit overcast when I got up about 6.40am but it went downhill once travelling. After breakfast set off for Sea Lake with the intention of exploring the area but it started raining half way there and this continued on and off until after returning to the caravan park in the late afternoon.

It stopped raining in Sea Lake briefly which gave an opportunity to walk about for a little while.

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Once the rain started again it was decided to head north to Lake Tyrrell to see if it was pink (unlikely in this weather), in the event it was just wet.

Lake TyrrellLake Tyrrell

After this washout the day was really over so it was a trip back to Swan Hill to buy milk and have a late lunch, before returning to Lake Boga. Even lunch was a a bit of a failure – ended up with a Macca’s Fish burger, chips and a seniors’ coffee – Swan Hill is another of these towns that charges to park in the main street.

In the caravan park the rain eventually stopped and a fairly brisk wind dried things out, at about 7pm took the opportunity to dismantle the, now dry, gazebo ready for leaving tomorrow.

Not the best day of this trip.

15th October 2019–Swan Hill

Distance: 71 km
Fuel: 36 L

Up early for my shower and after breakfast put up the gazebo because today was supposed to be sunny.

Set off late for a trip to Swan Hill which is only about 25km away. First order of business was to fill up with fuel and buy groceries. While in town bought tickets for the afternoon cruise on the paddle wheeler Pyap.

Swan HillSwan HillSwan HillSwan Hill

Then it was back to Lake Boga to drop off the groceries and visit the Catalina Museum.

Lake Boga was the repair base for flying boats during World War II. It was selected after the Japanese air raids on Darwin and Broome when the Australian Military realised they needed somewhere far from the action to keep and maintain the remaining aircraft. Lake Boga was considered ideal because the lake is circular so wind direction was never a problem, it was far south and it was well inland, it was top secret until very late in the war.

Lake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina MuseumLake Boga Catalina Museum

Returned to Swan Hill for lunch at Spoons Restaurant right on the river where we caught a glimpse of our transport as we ate a very nice lunch over looking Little Murray River (the Murray River splits forming a very large island called Pental Island).

View from Spoons RestaurantView from Spoons Restaurant

Ater lunch it was a short walk to the Pioneer Village to catch the boat for a trip on the Murray River (and consequently a visit to NSW because the border is on the Victorian river bank not the middle of the river).

Swan HillPyap River Cruise Paddle WheelerSwan Hill Murray River CruiseSwan Hill Murray River CruiseSwan Hill Murray River CruiseSwan Hill Murray River CruiseSwan Hill Murray River CruiseSwan Hill Murray River Cruise191015 083 Swan Hill191015 096 Swan HillSwan Hill Murray River CruiseSwan Hill Murray River CruiseSwan Hill Murray River CruiseSwan Hill Murray River CruiseMurray River Cruise Darling Downs StationPioneer Settlement Village

Like every boat journey I have been on it was too long – I don’t know what it is but being on a boat soon bores the pants off me, I enjoy the novelty at first but eventually can’t wait to get off.

Then it was back to camp at about 4pm just in time for the weather to change from sunny to completely overcast, putting up the gazebo turned out to be a waste of time but with rain possible tomorrow it might still prove its worth.

14th October 2019–Lake Boga

Distance: 358 km

It was another long drive today. With the weather further south near Phillip Island looking less than promising for the rest of the week it was decided to go west and try Lake Boga in the Swan Hill area near the NSW border.

The weather at first was grey and cloudy with light rain falling occasionally. We were travelling along C roads apart from a brief stint on the Hume near Glenrowan so there were limited opportunities to stop. It was not until a small town of Gunbower that we stopped for lunch, it is probably a town of 500 people but they provided a nice enough park to stop and eat next to the creek.

Gunbower CreekGunbower Creek

We have stayed at Lake Boga a few years ago when we first visited the Art Silo Trail. The sky was clear blue when we arrived and it was warm if a little windy, the park owner said that yesterday the lake had white caps because of the wind.

191014 012 Lake Boga

191014 011 Lake Boga

Was quite happy once the camper was set up to sit in the shade and read a book. The view across the lake is always relaxing.

13th October 2019–Bright

Distance: 119 Km
Fuel: 13 L

Got a load of washing done before breakfast because today has only limited chance of rain according to BOM apart from the top of Mt Buffalo it was slightly warmer today though still jumper weather.

Mt Buffalo

According to the Bright area guide the Mount Buffalo lookout was worth a visit to that was our first stop. It was 20km of winding mountain road until we reached the lookout.

Mt Buffalo RdMt Buffalo Rd

The road markings were yellow so I presume we were above the snow line. It has to be said that it was worth the drive, there were several lookouts and the views were spectacular.

Mt Buffalo Lookout

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Mt Buffalo Lookout

Bright

Bright is a nice little town without the history of Beechworth. We had our lunch at the Gum Tree Pies, their pies were excellent.

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12th October 2019–Beechworth

Distance: 58 km
Fuel: 46 L

Beechworth is an old Gold Rush era town from the 1860s. It has a number of colonial era buildings including its Gaol and its Court House.

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In the centre of town the old Post Office is for sale.

BeechworthBeechworth

The Gaol was built between 1858 and 1864 and in use until it was closed in 2004. It was heritage listed (complete with heritage razor wire) and unable to be developed so it was eventually bought by a consortium of local people. During its life as a prison it has held some notable prisoners including Ned Kelly and Carl Williams. Eight convicts were hanged here.

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11th October 2019 – Heading South

Distance: 443 km

A Spring trip to south of the border. No precise plans other than a visit to Phillip Island and Ballarat.

After a couple of day spent in Canberra visiting family headed off on a fairly long drive to Myrtleford in Victoria mostly along the Hume Highway.

Camper Canberra

Stopped at Holbrook for lunch and the obligatory look at their submarine.

HolbrookHolbrook

Crossed the Murray into Victoria about four hours after leaving Canberra.

Victoria

Arrived in Myrtleford at about 3.30pm and discovered the caravan park was only a few hundred metres from the town centre. Also for the first (and probably last) time had an ensuite site with its own toilet and shower. It was actually a very nice quiet park.

Myrtleford Holiday Park

Went for a walk to look at the town followed signs to a memorial but only found a horse trough.

Myrtleford

It is definitely not warm, I think the maximum temperature today was about 19C. If this keeps up it will be a very short trip.