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

Mt Buffalo LookoutMt Buffalo LookoutMt Buffalo LookoutMt Buffalo LookoutMt Buffalo LookoutMt Buffalo Lookout

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.

BrightBrightBrightBright Ovens RiverBright Ovens RiverBright

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.

BeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworthBeechworth

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.

Beechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth GaolBeechworth Gaol

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.

Home again.

9th March 2019

Distance: 643km
Fuel: 63L

Set off about 9am, like yesterday not an inspiring drive being mostly on the Hume Highway.

Sheparton to Wollongong - Hume Highway

Stopped at Holbrook for lunch, tried the bakery first but it was packed so crossed the road to a cafe/restaurant and had a very nice lunch.

HolbrookHolbrook

Afterwards wandered up to the submarine just to stretch the legs.

HolbrookHolbrookHolbrookHolbrookHolbrookHolbrook

The original plan was to stop overnight at somewhere like Junee but at the turn off for Junee decided to press on for home.

The final stop was at Gundagai at the Dog on the Tuckerbox again just to stretch the legs, it was a long drive, far longer than I like to do these days but eventually arrived home in the late afternoon.

Gundagai Dog on the Tucker BoxGundagai Dog on the Tucker Box

Trip Summary

Distance Travelled: 3237km
Fuel: 325L
Average Park cost: $29.10

The Route

Great Ocean Road

7th March 2019

Distance: 101.9

After yesterday’s visit to the spectacular sights on the Great Ocean Rd west of Port Campbell, this morning we set off to visit the natural structures on the eastern side of Port Campbell.

Loch Ard Gorge, Broken Head and the Thunder Cave

Don’t know if the Thunder Cave is a new platform but I don’t recall seeing it on a previous visit.

Great Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken HeadGreat Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken HeadGreat Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken HeadGreat Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Great Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken HeadGreat Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken HeadGreat Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken HeadGreat Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken HeadThunder Cave and Broken HeadGreat Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken HeadGreat Ocean Road - Loch Ard Gorge Thunder Cave and Broken Head

!2 Apostles

No longer twelve, possibly eight or ten?  but the area was packed with people – I don’t remember this from a previous visit. It is starting to get like the Blue Mountains attractions – something to be avoided.

Great Ocean Road - Twelve ApostlesGreat Ocean Road - Twelve ApostlesGreat Ocean Road - Twelve ApostlesGreat Ocean Road - Twelve ApostlesGreat Ocean Road - Twelve ApostlesGreat Ocean Road - Twelve ApostlesGreat Ocean Road - Twelve Apostles

Kept travelling east with the intention of having lunch at Lavers Hill but found the local cafe in the middle of a power cut. Fortunately they still had hot pies but obviously no coffee or hot drinks.

Laver Hill

Returned to Port Campbell and walked up the ‘Discovery Walk’ on the other side of the creek. It actually was worth the stairs with good views over the town.

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Port Campbell

6th March 2019

Distance: 258km

Time to leave Mount Gambier, it is a town I like very much but time to move on to The Great Ocean Road.

Mt Gambier to Port Campbell

Pretty uneventful drive cutting across country and avoiding major towns (such as there are) until reaching the Great Ocean Road where we periodically stopped to enjoy the views.

Bay of Islands

Great Ocean Road - Bay of IslandsGreat Ocean Road - Bay of IslandsGreat Ocean Road - Bay of IslandsGreat Ocean Road - Bay of IslandsGreat Ocean Road - Bay of Islands

The Grotto

Great Ocean Road - The GrottoGreat Ocean Road - The GrottoGreat Ocean Road - The Grotto

London Bridge

Unfortunately one of the arches collapsed a few years ago.

Great Ocean Road - London BridgeGreat Ocean Road - London Bridge

The Arch

The weather was really cold with a strong southerly wind reducing the temperature to an apparent 7’C. It just never let up.

Great Ocean Road - The ArchGreat Ocean Road - The ArchGreat Ocean Road - The Arch

We arrived at Port Campbell checked in and set up camp the wind was still bitterly cold making the 15’C seem like 7’C according to BOM.

Port Campbell

The Grampians

2nd March 2019

Distance: 164km
Fuel: 18L

Despite an almost empty park we crammed ourselves right up against a vacant cabin to take advantage of the shade it offered during the hottest part of the day. The advantage was that in the morning the sun warmed the camp up.

190303 003 Horsham Tourist Park

After having a shower, breakfast, coffee and all the basic necessities of life it was time for a visit to the Grampians. It is a Saturday so expected more visitor traffic than there actually turned out to be.

There was a sharp contrast between the plains and the mountains, no gradual rise, one minute you were driving along flat roads, the next climbing on narrow winding  mountain roads.

The scenery was pretty spectacular.

The Grampions, VictoriaThe Grampions, VictoriaThe Grampions, VictoriaThe Grampions, VictoriaThe Grampions, VictoriaThe Grampions, VictoriaThe Grampions, VictoriaThe Grampions, VictoriaThe Grampions, Victoria

While the route and lookouts were uncrowded Halls Gap (just visible in the last photo), the town in the centre of the area, was packed with cars and people. I had intended to stop there for a meal but parking seemed at a premium and it was pretty crowded so we moved on.

On the way back to Horsham there was a ‘Giant Koala’’ at Dadswells Bridge. For a ‘Big’ thing the Koala wasn’t bad but the cafe and gift shop had a slghtly run down feel about it but there is nothing quite like an over priced cup of tea and a ham sandwich in such surroundings.

Giant Koala Dadswells Bridge

By mid afternoon the temperature had risen to 40’C but there was a slight breeze which made it slightly more bearable than yesterday however it seemed like a good opportunity to get the laundry done.

After a quick visit to Coles in Horsham for essential supplies the washing was done, on the line and dried within an hour.

Despite the heatwave it was a good day out

Arty Silos and a Pink Lake

1st March 2019

Distance: 453km
Fuel: 45L

Taking the scenic route rather than a direct route to Horsham today to take in three new paintings on the Silo Art Trail. We had visited the original paintings at Patchewollock, Brim and Sheep Hills but now there are new ones at Lascelles, Rosebery and Rupanyup.

The road took us west  through Sea Lake before turning south. The temperature today was 40Ç, it was a very dry heat but hard going out of the air conditioned comfort of the car.

 Silo Art TrailSilo Art Trail LascellesSilo Art Trail RoseberySilo Art Trail RoseberySilo Art Trail RupanyupSilo Art Trail Rosebery

My TomTom satnav found some interesting cross country short cuts which involved a few single lane roads, When I first came to Australia in the 1960s these were a step up from the more common dirt road but they are getting rarer now.

Kerang to Horsham

We arrived at Wimmera Lakes Caravan Resort at about 2pm, checked in for a couple of days, quickly set up camp and went into Horsham to visit the Tourist information Office. A helpful lady there told us all about the Grampians National Park which was our plan for tomorrow.

We decided to visit Pink Lake as it was only half an hour’s drive away. It was less than overwhelming as it was almost completely dry so just a salt pan. A pink tinge was slightly visible but that was about it. Walked on the salt and found a spot with what looked like bright pink dye (at least someone was trying to enhance the experience).

Pink Lake - Lake LochielPink Lake - Lake LochielPink Lake - Lake LochielPink Lake - Lake Lochiel