9th March 2019
Set off about 9am, like yesterday not an inspiring drive being mostly on the 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.
Afterwards wandered up to the submarine just to stretch the legs.
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.
Distance Travelled: 3237km
Average Park cost: $29.10
8th March 2019
Not an exciting day – making the way back home. A lot of the journey was driving on the Hume Highway.
Booked in at Shepparton’s Lake Victoria Holiday Park.
Walked beside the Goulburn River and Lake Victoria in the evening.
6th March 2019
Time to leave Mount Gambier, it is a town I like very much but time to move on to The Great Ocean Road.
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
Unfortunately one of the arches collapsed a few years ago.
The weather was really cold with a strong southerly wind reducing the temperature to an apparent 7’C. It just never let up.
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.
5th March 2019
The weather was forecast to be showery and so it was but only brief showers of a few minutes interspersed with sunshine.
Drove the 25km to Port MacDonnell (the southernmost town in South Australia) and paid a visit to the Tourist information office which was also the local library and Maritime Museum.
Opposite were some large murals.
The museum was quite interesting showing the local history but as a maritime museum it was a bit tedious being a history of ship wrecks along the coast including one which resulted in 89 deaths
Next door to the museum was the old Customs House with a German WWII mine in the courtyard – the Germans mined the sea route from Adelaide to Melbourne.
Next visit was to the site of the old lighthouse with its spectacular coastal views.
Had intended to drive along the coast but the road suddenly ended and the sat nav showed the route via Mount Gambier which seemed a bit of a waste of time.
Stopped at Mount Schank one of the many local extinct volcanos, there was a path to the rim. It was pretty steep but the views made it worth the effort.
Funny thing was that the sound of a herd of cows a few kms away sounded as if it was next door.
Returned to the caravan park after topping up with fuel and doing a bit of shopping.
2nd March 2019
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.
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.
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.
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
1st March 2019
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.
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.
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).
27th and 28th February 2019
A quick trip to the Grampians and beyond.
After a fairly long drive spent the first night at a Wagaa Wagga caravan park with the most run down facilities I have come across, definitely one to avoid in future.
On the way stopped at Deniliquin, a town I have always liked.
Entered the Sunrasia Quarantine area where we dutifully tried to eat the remaining bananas before disposing of them in the bin.
Originally had planned to stay at Barham in NSW but drove the extra 25km to Kerang just across the border in Victoria. Again the facilities not the best but much better than the previous night. Seem to have picked parks that have their best days behind them. This one was situated on the Kerang River and despite this I would visit again, it wasn’t that bad. .
In the evening went for walk to the town centre which was only 500 metres away.
Distance: 225 Km
Only a couple of hundred k’s to travel today to my daughter and son in law’s house in Canberra. My last chance to see them before they go to Europe for a six week holiday.
The scenery changed from the flat plains to rolling hills as I went south toward the Hume Highway. Didn’t stop in Boorowa because it was too early for coffee in the end I didn’t stop until I reached my destination.
Distance: 277 Km
Fuel: 51 L
Canberra is cold at night. There are a lot of nice things to be said about Canberra but its climate is not one of them.
Spent the morning with the kids then set off after lunch so they could continue their packing and travel preparations in peace.
Arrived home at about 5pm.
Statistics for Trip
Total Distance: 7905 Km
Total Fuel: 824 L
Length of Trip: 26 Days
Total Fuel Cost: $1205
Average Fuel Price: $1.46/L
Total Accommodation Cost: $723
Average Park Cost: $28.96
Good trip – saw just about everything I expected or wanted to see and I enjoyed every minute of the trip. Love travelling inland Australia; there is nowhere in the world like it. Apart from the miserable weather near Ravenshoe on the way up the weather for the whole trip was near perfect; warm sunny days and, even in NSW, dry (cool) nights.
On occasions found towing a bit of a nuisance because it meant that in some towns or places of interest it was not possible to park or turn round. Would still use the camper for longer trips but for shorter trips am definitely thinking of going back to my tent with the option of the odd motel stay.
I don’t think I need a powered site because the solar panel on the car roof, together with the aux battery, seems to run the fridge easily with some power to spare. During the whole trip the fridge was never plugged into the mains power at all yet the battery remained fully charged or nearly so. We shall see, when spring comes I might give it a go again, I always liked camping.