A Travellerspoint blog

Granya/Cottontree State Park to Wodonga (Victoria)

semi-overcast 17 °C

Thursday 25th

After the overnight rain we were all a little concerned at the state of the exit road from our camp, however, after I had walked along it to the connecting road, apart from a small washout on the top of the climb out it looked OK and felt firm under foot, so that was a relief! A lovely camp spot in dry weather!

Granya to Wodonga was a pleasant trip, in light rain, over many rolling hills and ridges with often excellent views of a pristine Murray River on our right hand side. Certainly everything looked lovely and green and the farms all looked to be in great shape. Last night’s rain would help everything along very nicely.

Joining the Murray Valley Highway we continued past the re-sited village of Tallangatta that had previously existed close to the Murray River, however, with the construction of the Hume Dam (I think in the 1930’s) they were all relocated near to the Highway. We could see the Murray had ‘expanded’ as it gradually flowed into the Hume Dam with some places showing many old and dead trees sticking out of the water.

Eventually we found our way to the Caravan Park in Wodonga, located very close to the mechanical inspection shop that was to service Adrian’s vehicle. The check-in that we attempted was considered far too early, for various reasons, so we drove back a couple of blocks and spent some time in the local shopping centre and had a welcome coffee and prevailed on the Specsavers lady to try and repair my severly damaged specs!.

Re-attempting our check-in we found that the overnight rain had really messed up our two sites allocated and they looked like ploughed fields! Adrian found that, in spite of putting ramps under his van wheels the ramps quickly sank into the quagmire and actually left him lower that the grass surface!! We were a little more fortunate but still had ‘levelling’ issues.

Washing and showers were soon on the agenda even though the morning was quite cold with a light breeze. Nothing would get dry quickly here we decided and later our van looked like the proverbial laundry. At least we had a choice of many TV channels, even if there was little worth watching!

Posted by psstevo 20:36 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Henry Angel Flat to Granya/Cottontree State Park

semi-overcast 18 °C

Wednesday 24th

A cold night and a lovely day to follow again. The trip south to Corryong township was again a pleasant trip with plenty of hills and valleys and great views along the way. Most enjoyable.

Arriving in Corryong in time for a tea break we scored a couple of parks right outside the Information Centre and toilet facilities. The town while not large had a fairly wide main street with the usual selection of shops and looked nice and tidy.

The lady in the Information Centre seemed to epitomise the friendly nature of the rest of town as Mary returned from a shopping excursion with tales of almost being held hostage with chatty staff in the various shops. The Info lady provided us with heaps of local and region options for tonight’s stay and so, for the third time, we changed to use her suggestion at Cotton Tree State Park and picnic area, located just south of the Murray River.

The bakery was great and also had a range of piggy items for sale. When questioned apparently the bakery owners were called Hogg, hence the piggy stuff. The local garage also had a large pig sited outside the garage so I presume that there was some relationship there to!

As a result of the stopover change we returned to the Towong on the bank of the Murray River and turned left and for the next couple of hours thoroughly enjoyed the river and pastoral vistas. The various recommendations proved to be true and interesting. The sky gradually clouded over and the weather looked increasingly gloomy. We stopped at the village of Walwa for a nice coffee in a very fascinating shop. Recommended for other travellers.

Continuing westward we eventually turned south and found the almost non-existent small village of Granya and I missed the turnoff to the park just as it started to rain again. I continued up the hill until I found a ‘reasonable’ about turn and made it back to the correct turnoff - followed by a couple of kilometres of gravel road that soon ended up down a steep slope and into the park campsite. The place was quite damp but a long way from noisy traffic but very much filled with noisy birds for a change.
Eventually we managed a couple of level sites and were very soon set up and enjoying the bird choral society. Mary and I managed a reasonable stroll up the mountain ridges and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the natural bush, returning to camp just as it started to rain. The first time in over two weeks so could not be unhappy with that change.

We all watched a brief video (there being no TV in this mountainous area) and then enjoyed a quiet night under the rainy skies. The rain frequently became heavy and, with a much warmer night, not much sleep was possible.

Posted by psstevo 20:26 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Jugion to Henry Angel Flat

sunny 22 °C

Tuesday 23rd

When we awoke the sun appeared to be shining but, when opening the door, we saw a quite heavy fog giving some interesting perspectives through the tall trees. A couple of photos and breakfast was soon consumed and we were ready for another day on the Highway again.

I would not describe the Hume Highway as a great drive as the concrete surface was rather rough, however, the scenery as we headed towards Gundagai was very pleasant. Rolling green hills with cattle and sheep and some grain crops made it a nice trip.

Eventually we spotted the road sign for the famous ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ site and pulled across the highway and stopped for our morning tea. Already a crowd of travellers (it is school holidays here) were gathering for their photos. We joined in and checked out the adjoining shop.
Refuelled we returned to the highway and continued on towards the turnoff on Tumbarumba Road. This was a normal sealed two-lane road and rather hilly and a bit rough in places.

As we travelled we entered an area where there had been a very extensive bushfire in the not too distant past. Imported pine forests were completely burnt out but the eucalypts were already regrowing! Shortly after leaving the forestry area we noted, in the distance, a range of snow-clad mountains that are the Snowy Mountain ski-fields. Glad we were not going that far however that was a clue to another cold night.

We had a short stop at Tumbarumba township before we made our way out of town for about seven kilometres to the night’s campsite (recommended by a fellow traveller previously). The Henry Angel Flat (C 6 # 745) looked promising until we got off the road and close to the parking area. The toilet block was fenced off and the staff, mowing the grass, said that the toilet block was awaiting complete overhaul as some vandals had destroyed all the equipment!

As we were able to locate a couple of level spots we decided to stay as we had our own toilet on board. We set up in a warm sunshine and enjoyed a bit of peace and quiet until mealtime.

Afterwards some of us went wombat hunting – with torch and camera only – and were disappointed that the numerous burrows did not produce any inhabitants. We did see a few possums however. The waterways here produced a loud cacophony of frog calls and, as the night chilled, we headed off for another cold night – beanie, gloves, double doona!

Posted by psstevo 20:23 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Queanbeyan to Jugion (NSW)

sunny 22 °C

Monday 22nd

In one way this was a day that I was not looking forward to! The fact that we had maxed out the jockey wheel to attain sufficient height to level the van had left me with a very difficult process to reduce the height to attach safely to the tow-ball. Over the weekend I had been able to check that a Tail-A-Mate combined jack and jockey wheel device was available in Queanbeyan and so we popped round to the local Jayco sales office to pick up one first thing today. Not cheap!! But looked the winner for my problem, so, on returning to camp I carefully checked that all four ‘legs’ were completely stabilised I very carefully unwound the very much leaning jockey wheel and carefully inserted the new Trail-A-Mate jack into the slot (under the watchful eye of expert Adrian) and presto we released the pressure and the van was hitched onto the tow ball.

A few more quick items dealt with and we were on our way out of Queanbeyan. For some bizarre reason Garmin sent us through the centre of Canberra instead of the quicker ring-road that we had used coming in.

We were soon on the Hume Highway and heading south towards Yass where we had agreed to meet for morning coffee. A brief break and we were soon back on the Highway heading towards the small town of Jugion near Gundagai for our overnight stop.

The Garmin GPS is still a work in progress and it was a bit confused as to where we should exit the highway, however, after a couple of dubious U-turns we managed to get onto the access road and soon found the large Showground (C 6 # 565 Jugion Showground) and found a level grass site for the night. A lovely sunny day had made this a pleasant trip.

The village was very small but had a couple of interesting shops and churches to check out as the buildings were unusual. Apart from the heavy traffic on the highway some distance away we had a pleasant night.

Posted by psstevo 20:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Queanbeyan and Bungendore

sunny 19 °C

Sunday 21st

The first look at this morning’s sky did not look encouraging with grey clouds filling the sky. However by the time we had returned from the hot showers the sun was trying to peek through and it soon started to look like a very nice day was upon us.

Breakfast and Mary & I decided to drive to church, only about one kilometre but we needed a shop before departure tomorrow on the way home. Adrian and Rill set out to walk instead, however, when we arrived at the church no sign of them and we later found that they had found another church on a different street and stayed there! Never mind.

The smallish congregation were seated on the most comfortable church seating that we have ever experienced! We did stay awake although the first part of the service reminded me of Quaker services being very quiet and reverential. An excellent message from Pastor John kept everyone on their toes! Although invited to stay for coffee we excused ourselves and managed to buy the necessary goods for the next stage of the journey and returned to camp to enjoy a few chores in the warm sun.

I managed to buy a replacement bulb to repair the failed left brake light and was pleased that the rear lights on the ute are easy to access, especially in contrast to the much more complex front lighting system. Now we are legal on the road.

A quick was removed the myriad of ex-insects from the front of the ute and with a couple of other jobs completed we were glad of the break as Adrian offered to drive us over to nearby Bungendore village some 23 Km away. The main purpose was to visit an apparently famous wood carving shop there.

When we arrived we found ourselves in one of those surprising little country villages that seemed to have a special character to them. It was not just the remaining old homes but the range of cafes and other specialty shops there.

We found the Wood Works Gallery in the centre of town and headed for the entrance.
Each of us has had experiences of high class furniture in places like the Palace of Versailles or some of the Queen’s castles in England; however, nothing surpassed the unique excellence of the wood products on display – and for sale.

The piece de resistance was a massive cabinet with exquisite design and construction features in a wide range of timbers. Parts of the cabinet had beautiful inlays with many Australian birds featured, there was a significant amount of 23 carat gold inlays also! The total effect had a huge ‘WOW’ factor – especially when we saw the price……..A$1,500,000!!!!!!!

That’s right, one and a half million dollars. You have to see the item in the ‘flesh’ to appreciate that not only was the construction perfectly executed throughout with almost Russian Dolls effects, the whole item is unique and, in that sense, worth the price.

Many other wooden items were on display and for sale – tables most beautifully presented at $16,000, small trinket boxes for only $25. This was the most fabulous wooden art display any of us had ever seen. The trip has been worth it just for this fabulous experience. If you are in the Canberra or Bateman’s Bay area on the coast, you really must call in and see the Hannah Creation.

There was also an interesting pie shop with huge Danish pastries, and other delights. Yep, worth the day out indeed. Oh, I mustn’t forget the antique shop that seemed to cover several blocks of the village. Not sure I wanted to buy anything there but a fascinating array of items for sale.)

We were driven home in the late afternoon sun (the skippys were already out and about in the bushland as we passed) and we arrived home in time to get the last of our washing in before dark after another fascinating day. Better get some more ‘blog time’ under way in case anyone sends out a search posse!

Tomorrow we are on the road again - this time to famous Gundagai!! More when we are back on air!!

Posted by psstevo 20:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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