29th November 2020–Beat the Heat

Distance: 329km
Fuel: 32L

Finally decided to abort my trip with the heatwave in NSW continuing. The weather forecast was terrible for next week. I can cope with temperatures up to about 32/3’ but over that is starting to get too hot for comfort.

As I was only just over 300km from home decided to set off across the Blue Mountains and make for Wollongong, the traffic was not too bad on a Sunday. It was extremely hot and windy most of the way but fortunately I did not run into any fires.

In the end I was home about 1pm after a not too bad trip. A bit disappointed about shortening my get away but them’s the breaks it is nearly summer and very late in the season for the inland.

I have got a few ideas from this trip, I was very pleased with my awning, so much lighter than the gazebo and with the addition of a couple of simple ties it is so easy to put up. I the only problem I can see is getting the car facing the right way to use it on some sites.

The one thing that really needs solving is for the rare nights when it rains, I hate sleeping in the camper with both outer doors shut so that is something I need to work on. It is not urgent but I would like a solution.

Statistics for this short trip.

Total Distance: 1424Km
Total Fuel: 152L
Average Price/L: $1.17

I think the pandemic has raised the overnight price of caravan parks because there was nothing under $30 a night.

28th November 2020–Wandering Orange

Distance: 23Km
Fuel: 38L

The temperature was 35’C today but nothing like those temperatures at Lake Cargelligo, Broken Hill or even Sydney where it got into the mid 40s. As I write this in the evening there are three severe weather warnings for Orange. Thunderstorms and hail, high winds and extreme fire danger.

Anyway back to this morning…

Just after 9am I drove to the tourist information office to obtain some brochures, one was called Orange Heritage Walk so decided to try that as it started nearby. It was quite interesting, personally I thought it included far too many Federation style houses of the important citizens for my taste. Orange has a lot of federation style houses. Anyway here is some of what I saw.

OrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrange

Sat in the park for a while watching people walk by. Afterwards I drove a few km out of town to see the memorial to the birthplace of Banjo Patterson.

Banjo Paterson Birthplace MemorialBanjo Paterson Birthplace Memorial

It is not often that power poles get mentioned in a tourist guide but this one did:

Orange

That is not just any pole,  this is the first pole put up for the new fangled electricity when it came to Orange. This is not a reproduction nor a replica pole, this is it! How’s that for heritage?

Went back to the caravan park for lunch and a chance to sit in the shade as the day was getting very hot.

Mid/late afternoon drove to get fuel, the cheapest since leaving home at only $1.07 a litre! Looked for a coffee place but Saturday afternoon seems to fill up all the parking places. So returned to the caravan park again and made tea.

There was a Foodworks Supermarket just over half a km from the park so went for a walk to that. I bought mushrooms, tomato and soy sauce to add to my evening meal.

According to the ABC News many temperature records were broken and it is not even summer yet. Next week is looking hot too so it is a bit disappointing. I am good up to abut 32’ but once it gets over that I am not a happy bunny.

27th November 2020–A Bit of Colour

Distance: 299Km

Not much to report today. Up at 6am, showered and breakfasted by 7am, read my book for a while before packing every thing up and yet more reading before connecting up the camper. Didn’t leave until 9.30 am otherwise I would arrive at the next park too early too early.

Headed north to Condobolin where I stopped to admire the “Utes in a Paddock” exhibit. Boy was it hot!

Utes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock Condobolin

The rest of the journey was just driving east with no hold ups.

Between Condo and ParkesBetween Condo and Parkes

Even got into a traffic jam as I got nearer to Orange.

Between Parkes and Orrange

It was a bit of a shock when the gearbox changed down going up hill because the central west is so flat and I was approaching the Great Dividing Range. It was noticeably cooler in Orange though that is relative it was still 30’

I have been to this park before under very different conditions when I was returning from Queensland – it was cold and wet on that occasion.

Colour City Caravan Park Orange

26th November 2020–Taking the Waters

Distance: 154km
Fuel: 42L

It was going to be hot today, in the event it got to over 37’C and looking at the forecast it is not going to get any better next week – 42’ on the weekend.

The morning was fine, about 21’ while I was having breakfast, the trees in the park are alive with birds every morning and evening, Magpies, parrots, honey eaters and Pee Wees in abundance. A pair of these parrots watched me eat breakfast.

Lakeview Caravan Park Lake Cargelligo

First drive of the day was to the supermarket to buy milk but as the morning started to heat up decided to look for water so it was off to Lake Cargelligo Weir about 20km outside town.

Lake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo Weir

In typical Australian fashion the weir and the water control area was fenced and sign posted to warn of the perils. Unfortunately the ends of the fence were wrapped round a tree near the creek banks and you could just walk round it.

This weir is a regulator that controls the amount of water going to Lake Cargelligo or allows it to flow to the Lachlan River (as I understand it). There seems to be no water shortage here.

Lake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo Weir

Next stop was Curlew Waters, I must admit the water was very inviting so I had a paddle.

Curlew WatersCurlew Waters

The entry road to Curlew Waters was lined with a cluster of letter boxes, common in rural areas where the postman only visits the end of the track.

Deliverance Country

I decided to follow the dirt road to where these properties were.

vlcsnap-2020-11-27-07h12m26s742Curlew Waters

Real Deliverance country. Smile

Back to the caravan park for lunch after which I decided to visit Deadmans Point on the outskirts of town.

Deadmans PointDeadmans Point

This was the site of an Aboriginal Midden and a Sheep Wash – basically the sheep were driven into the water, submerged and made to swim ashore to clean their fleece.

Lake Cargelligo Deadmans PointLake Cargelligo Deadmans Point

The next trip was a complete washout. I had been told that Booberoi Weir was worth a visit so I drove to Euabalong but I just couldn’t find the weir at all.

In the late afternoon re-erected my awning which was done much more efficiently this time.

Lakeview Caravan Park Lake Cargelligo

I think I might start leaving the gazebo at home when I am travelling by myself, this is much lighter and, with practice, easier to put up and take down.

In the evening a branch decided to fall off the tree next to my camp site – a good reason not to have gum trees in your garden they have a habit of shedding branches.

Fallen Branch

I had originally few plans for this trip other than to get out of the house for a bit. I don’t think I have ever travelled this late in the spring. I had intended to go west but the heat coming in from northern and central Australia is likely to continue so tomorrow I am going to Orange where it is a little cooler from there I can decide if I will continue – it will all depend on the weather forecast but that is not looking good.

25th November 2020–Lake Cargelligo

Distance: 286Km

I hadn’t intended to leave Young before 10am (chucking out time) but after breakfast started to pack things away and it literally took me 15 minutes so  set off ridiculously early at 8.30am.

Virtually no traffic on the roads, mostly minor roads cutting across country. First stop was West Wyalong where I had coffee. Was able to park in the main street taking up two spaces. I wonder what happened to make West Wyalong bigger than Wyalong? Wyalong you would blink and miss. (Answer – it was probably gold!)

West WyalongWest Wyalong

Continued on after filling up with a flat white and carrot cake.

An otherwise non descript small town of Ungarie provided the next surprise. The town sign said “Ungarie – Home of Australia’s Biggest Football” and sure enough on a street of mostly empty and/or derelict shops was an AFL footie on a pole. (That description of the town is probably unfair it is no worse than many small towns I pass through)

The Big Football Ungarie

Arrived at Lake Cargelligo just after midday and checked in. The spaces were large but not much shade – I squashed up into some shade but needn’t he bothered because by md afternoon it had all moved to the next site.

After setting up drove to the town centre to do some shopping and have a brief look round.

Lake CargelligoLake CargelligoLake Cargelligo

I suppose November is the end of the “season” for tourism as it is starting to get warm (42’ is forecast for the weekend) but it is quite a nice spot for those interested in boating, fishing and bird watching. I must admit that my only reason for visiting was that I have never been here before. The lady in charge of the park pointed out all the attractions the town has to offer and marked them on a map so I will look at them tomorrow.

Lake Cargelligo

Just for a change I set up the awning I had made for my car rather than the gazebo. Embarrassingly it took longer to set up than the gazebo but that was entirely due to my inexperience ie I kept having to retrieve forgotten pegs, hammer  etc which virtually set me back to the start. In the end it turned out very well. The only problem with it is that the car is stuck in one position while it is up.

By evening the campground was not even half full.

25th November 2020–Exploring Young

Distance: 12.5Km
Fuel: 39L

Surprisingly misty this morning but pleasantly warm, no rush to do anything so had a leisurely breakfast after my shower.

Was in two minds whether to walk into town but decided to drive to the furthest end of the Heritage Walk – a brochure provided by the Tourist Office in the rain yesterday. I parked appropriately near the Senior Citizens Centre before setting off.

Young FootbridgeCaptain Cook WeirLambing Flats Riot Act Old CourthouseRotundaChurchLambing Flats MuseumLambing Flats Museum

I have been to Young several times before but apart from visiting the Chinese Tribute Gardens haven’t really explored the town. Most of its heritage is centred about the gold rush and the Lambing Flats Riots which eventually led to the White Australia Policy.

Chinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute Garden

After extensively walking about town drove to the Chinese Tribute Gardens a few kilometres outside town.

Drove back to the caravan park to have some lunch and look at the town centre.

YoungYoungYoungYoungYoungYoung

Cooked some rice, bacon and potato for dinner before finding that I lost the bottle of Tabasco Sauce that  I was sure I had – pepper had to be a poor substitute. It’s a cruel world.

After dinner dismantled and packed away the gazebo, then a trip to the petrol station for fuel because I am leaving tomorrow.

23rd November 2020–Back on the Road!

Distance: 346 Km

It has been a year since I last used the camper! All the trips planned for earlier in the year had to be cancelled because of the pandemic and travel restrictions.

Have absolutely no idea where I am going but it is just so good to be moving again. Limited to NSW as the Queensland border is still closed, not sure what the status of SA is but I think the Victorian border has just been opened however this is just a try out to see what the Covid restrictions are like.

This morning set off from home at about 9.20am in wet and miserable conditions with the possibility of thunderstorms along the way. I suppose I could have waited another day but I just wanted to get moving.

Not an exciting first day, up Mount Ousley then down the Hume Highway until the Boorowa turn off then headed for Young. The weather was too miserable to stop so I did only make one stop to stretch my legs.

Young

Have been to Young many times before but it is a nice place to stop and the weather tomorrow looks promising.

Arrived just after 1pm, even set up the gazebo to provide shelter. One of the things that is immediately obvious is the absence of working holiday backpackers, the park is full of grey nomads with the notable exception of one family with a three  kids that arrived later in the afternoon.

Young Tourist Park

After a cup of tea, and despite the threatening clouds, decided to go for a walk into Young more for the exercise than anything else.  The town centre isn’t far away.

Rocky FM

But I didn’t make it that far

Tourist Office - Old Railway Station201123 013 Young Sign and Tourist Office Railway

Only got as far as the tourist office situated in the old railway station. As I arrived the heavens opened with thunder accompaniment it so I had no choice but to sit on one of the railway benches until it passed which it did after about ten minutes.

Young - Cherry SignYoung - Cherry Sign

Decided  the wisest thing was to stroll back to the caravan park.

YoungYoung

When I returned to my camp I found that the gazebo had collected a lot of water in the roof (easily fixed) however from then on the weather started to clear up, later  the sun actually appeared and stayed until it disappeared behind the trees.

Not the best day to start a trip but I didn’t care, at least I wasn’t stuck at home and it should only get better.

24th October 2019–A Long Drive

Distance: 978 km
Fuel: 99 L

A lovely morning but time to go home. The original intention was to make two overnight stops on the way home at Benalla and Gundagai, then it was decided to make only one stop at Holbrook. The drive through Melbourne’s motorway network had proved uneventful, even the short stretch of normal roads to get onto the Hume Highway had been pretty easy (only took a couple of wrong turns).

We had stopped every couple of hours to stretch our legs so that when we got near Holbrook I felt quite alright to drive on to see how far we got and by the time we passed the Canberra turn offs it seemed silly not to continue on to Wollongong.

Arrived home at 8.30pm, in fact the worst bit of the journey was the night roadworks on the F6 near Northcliffe Drive. I haven’t driven that far in one day since I drove from Brisbane to Sydney in one day in the 1960s (no multilane roads then).

Bugs

Statistics

Distance Travelled: 3795 km
Fuel Used: 384 L
Average Fuel Price: $1.48/L
Accommodation Cost: $440

Not a bad holiday and we eventually saw everything that we set out to see. Some of the travelling was avoiding the cold weather which set in over SE Victoria hence the rather strange route.

18th October 2019–Mildura

Distance: 52 km

It was cool last night I woke up at one stage and thought my thermometer was reading 0’C (in fact it was 8’C). After my shower I got a load of washing done – That might last me until I get home.

There was no wind early on but that changed during the day. Drove to Mildura to do some shopping and visit the Tourist Information Office, the latter was in a terrific council facility which housed the library, cafe, tourist bureau and an aquatic centre.

Mildura Civic & Aquatic CentreMildura Civic & Aquatic Centre

Drove across the Murray river into NSW to visit a Holden Museum, it was probably smaller than the Motorlife Museum at Kembla Grange but the cars gleamed and they were Holdens. Not every model was represented, for example they didn’t have an HK or HJ Kingswood but they had an FB – those are the Holdens I have owned – but I did enjoy the museum and it was only $10 entry. Stayed for a coffee afterwards.

Mildura Holden Motor MuseumMildura Holden Motor MuseumMildura Holden Motor MuseumMildura Holden Motor MuseumMildura Holden Motor MuseumMildura Holden Motor Museum

Returned to the caravan park for a late lunch then went off to re explore the sights of Red Cliffs – found the lookout which looked out on virtually nothing unless you ignored the, ‘Unstable Cliffs” sign and climbed the fence. also found a dirt track which led to the cliff edge but the views from that were disappointing too.

Red CliffsRed CliffsRed CliffsRed CliffsRed CliffsRed Cliffs

Near the  Red Cliffs shopping centre found and walked along the Peace Walk which was not particularly exciting but it did have some interesting information about the town. The area was originally settled after WWI when the land was cleared to provide soldier/settler blocks for returned servicemen and the town only really got going by 1925 when the post office was built.

Red Cliffs Peace WalkRed Cliffs Post Office

Returned again to the caravan park about 3.30pm to find the wind gusting and brown dust clouds on the horizon. The dust arrived shortly after 4pm – not a thick dust storm, just enough to cover everything with a thin layer of red soil.

Red Cliffs Dust Storm

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.