Blog, Melbourne to Calen. via West Victoria, NSW etc.
(Sorry for the late Blog, but due to not keeping updates on our computer updated, it wouldn’t connect to the Internet, I have finally fixed it, the reason for computer not being updated is downloading updates consume lots of expensive mobile data, usually we wait til we get somewhere/sometime where we can get free data downloads)
After an uneventful Bass Strait crossing back to Melbourne, we set our in-carGPS for a course west out of Melbourne, and we quickly found ourselves safely out of there, phew. First call was to the RAAF Museum at Pt Cook, Pt Cook being the first ever RAAF Base.
There was a good range of aircraft there, from old to new, from small to large. We spent most of the day there, could have spent much more time there.
Next day we ventured off, bypassing Geelong, and on to the Great Ocean Road, this road reminded us very much of many coastal NZ roads, the weather was the same too!
Along the way we passed areas where the large bush fires had been through at the start of the year, the fires had burnt right down to the road edge.
After we left the coast to cross a big range of hills, we came across a colony of Koalas feeding in the gum trees, the many Koalas here were hard to see in the trees, but their location was given away by the tourists who were looking up in the trees at them.
Then it was on to the Twelve Apostles, well there were 12, but 1 or 2 have fallen over in recent times.
But a recent underwater exploration by some university people have discovered quite a few more Apostles underwater.
From the area of the 12 Apostles we headed off further west to Warrnabool before turning north towards Ararat, from there we day tripped to the Grampian National Park, this Park consists of many big rocky hills that appear to have been pushed up from millions of years of the earths crust slowly moving.
Also in this park are several dams storing water for many of ther towns in this part of west Victoria, the piping of water over 100’s of kilometres in Aussie is normal. There is a wide range of rock structures in this park, some are very picturesque.
After Ararat, we headed cross country through another wheat growing area, these areas sometimes go on for 100’s of kilometres. The roads (tar sealed) are very corrugated from the trucks hauling all the wheat away, and on several occasions I pulled over and checked all our wheels for faults, it felt like we had square wheels which were about to fall off!
Eventually we arrived in Echuca, a pleasant country town on the border of Victoria/New South Wales, and on the Murray River. We found a nice area on the banks just out of town expecting to do a spot of fishing, but was put off by signs warning that the river was polluted and eating fish from this river could be harmful to humans, we found several rivers in Victoria & NSW like this, a bit dissapointing.
We spent a day around the Echuca port area and enjoyed a ride on one of the Paddle Steamers, a couple of these Paddle Steamers were the centre stage for the TV series ‘Where The Rivers Run’
After Echuca we headed across more open country before passing through the growing mecca of Griffith, we recognised many of the crops grown, such as oranges, apples, grapes, rice (lots of it!), a few crops we coiuld not identify. There was a big network of irrigation channels and associated equipment. Of interest was that the rice is grown in paddy fields and the paddocks all have earth banks around them to enable them to be flooded.
Then it was on to Temora where we visited the Aviation Museum, a lot of these museums have flying days every few weeks, unfortunately we missed those days, We’ll have to plan more carefully on future trips.
We spent several days in Dubbo & checked out the Zoo, this one you can drive through, we walked, next time we’ll drive around it, & take our lunch.
After Dubbo we zigzagged our way up through back-country roads, somewhere east of Narrabri we found an interesting bit of scenery called The Sawn Rocks, apparently the cooling off of this rock following the volcanic activity millions of years ago caused the rocks to crack in this way, on closer inspection the cross-section of these rocks is roughly hexangonal. They are sometimes refered to as Organ Pipes.
We crossed the border into Queensland at a place called Texas, yes we had to check out this town.
Then it was via more back-country roads to spend a week with Wendy & Ryan at Coolum Beach, on the famous Sunshine Coast. We had a great time checking out the area, the hinterland was an interesting place, but best of all was Noosa Beach, the surf was just great to play and cool off in. Before we new it, the week was over and we went our different ways, Wendy & Ryan back to cold NZ, Janet & I heading further north to Mackay for another season of tractor driving in the sugarcane fields.
At the end of the year we will be heading back to NZ to catch up with everybody. See ya.