Category Archives: Australia – Bright Victoria 2018

Day 16 Sunday, 28 October 2018

Well, we had the most delicious cheesy garlic bread in memory for our entrée, then Russ had chicken schnitzel with chips and I had beef schnitzel with chips.

We moseyed on back over to the van and had a very relaxing evening before an early night.

We were packed and out of the caravan park by 9:45am and on our way to Mildura.

Russ took the first stint, and I did the second one. We stopped at Swan Hill and went to Wollies for some fresh rolls for lunch, before continuing on our way.

I rang Rob and he said they would be home, so we stopped for a short break at Robinvale to see everyone. Tahlia was the only absentee.  Tracey reminded me that I had ordered some cookie dough from Leah’s promotion for school so I handed over the $28 and arranged with Trace to freeze the dough until we come back from Ballarat at the end of November.

Before we left Jacob advised us that there were horrendous traffic delays of up to 45 minutes because of roadworks at Buronga and the Chaffey Bridge, and he said the better way would be to veer off and go through Hattah, which we did.

We still encountered roadworks after Hattah, but the delay was for only ten minutes.

It was lovely to finally turn into Golden Ash Drive and park car and van on the driveway. Russ and I determined that we would only take those things that would be required overnight, e.g. tablets, cold stuff from the fridge etc., and do the major clean-up and packing tomorrow when we have had a good night’s sleep to recover.

We have some lovely memories of Bright and the surrounding countryside, and lots of photos to remind us if we ever forget.

Day 15 Saturday, 27 October 2018

We have room in the back of the Navara to bring back the three-tier planter stand that mum has been keeping for me. I also got another lovely planter that fitted into the back.

Russ was able to change the cardboard on Tobias’ scratching post before we left, and Mum’s garden is just coming into full bloom now, which is very pretty.

We had an uneventful trip to Koondrook where we had arranged with John to stay once again. We stopped by the roadside outside Torrumbarry and had our lunch and coffee. It has been windy in some places and thankfully, most of the traffic has been going the other way.

The bathroom facilities at Koondrook Caravan Park are the best I have come across. They have unisex booths and each shower has a toilet, basin and seat in the room. It is very civilised and roomy, always plenty of hot water.

It took us a record eight minutes to have the van fully set up once we arrived.

Brett tells me that he has used nearly all the pyrethrum on the ‘bloody aphids’ and his list of jobs is almost complete.

Russ and I have decided to go across to the pub for tea tonight, and we have been able to reverse into our site and leave the car attached.

I have been bopping to The Beach Boys while I have caught up with the blog. Sometimes I forget how much I love their harmonies.

Day 14 Friday, 26 October 2018

We were fed, watered and packed up with time to spare and our trip to Benalla was uneventful. Mum had rolls and filling ready for us when we arrived just before lunch.

It took about twenty minutes before Tobias, mum’s cat, was happy that he had greeted us properly. He is a beautiful fluffy black and white character, who is actually a bit of a woos.

It was decided that we would go out to the Golf Club for tea, and Russ went out to recuperate from the trip to Melbourne yesterday.

Mum and I settled in and had a cosy afternoon. I was able to show here the best of the photos we had taken, and she repeated that she always new the North East was the prettiest section of Victoria.

Mum also told me that Human nature is touring Australia next April and May, and that Jersey Boys was coming back for another run in Melbourne during March.  I would love to go and see the stage show, so time will tell.

Tea at the Golf Club was very nice, and it was surprising how early on a Friday evening that people started arriving for a meal. There were only seven Roast Beefs left when we got to give our order, so Russ was lucky. Mum and I had Chicken Scalopine which was very tender.

They had run out of stick-date pudding, so Russ had to have apple crumble for sweets. Mum had Chocolate Mousse and I had Passionfruit Cheesecake.

Day 13 Thursday, 25 October 2018

We headed off to Melbourne by 6:45am and Hornet actually got a chance to reach 110kph on the motorway.

We arrived in plenty of time for our 11am appointment with Lisa, spent two and a half hours in consultation with her, but were very happy with the results and the decisions made during the visit.

We had a quick lunch at the café around the corner from Lisa’s office at North Balwyn before heading back to Bright. We picked up a hamburger for Russ and grilled flake for me at the fish and chip shop, which is open today, and enjoyed them at the van.

When we got back to the park we could not open the boom gates with our pass code. We then realised that as we had extended our stay, but outside the Travel Auction time frame, that they have probably cancelled the original one. It turned out to be the case when I went into the reception and spoke with Owen. He very kindly gave me the new code for our last night and we were in through the boom gate without further worry.

Whilst we were gone our nearest neighbours, Rob and Rachael, had pulled up stakes and headed home.

Russ and I took the opportunity after tea of packing away the table and chairs, and the clothes horse. We set the alarm for 8am and hoped the new neighbours wouldn’t be too loud for too long.

Day 12 Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Today we had a leisurely sleep in before I did more photos, more washing, and then did some reading. Russ helped to clean the van and spent quite some time catching up on his reading also.

We had an early lunch and Russ then did his meditation, and we had agreed that we needed to take a walk once her re-surfaced.

We wandered with the cameras down to the RSL Memorial Park where the water park and swimming hole are located, and decided to take the Cherry Walk, so named after Mrs cherry who walked into town along the track every day.

Mr and Mrs Cherry had fifteen children which was not uncommon in the late 1800s. However, they lost five of them over a seventeen-day period to the Diphtheria epidemic, and another two later drowned.

The track wanders across the Ovens River then along the opposite side with some lovely scenery, many birds, some wildflowers and several picnic spots. It was 5.1 kilometres in total and we were totally stuffed by the time we reached the Memorial Arboretum where the late sun was striking against the white dogwood trees.

We walked through the arboretum and then continued back to the Caravan Park along the footpaths.

Needless to say, we had an early tea before an early retirement. Six o’clock will come all too quickly tomorrow morning.

On a side note it is interesting that we haven’t even unpacked the television and have kept up with any news through the phone.

Day 11 Tuesday, 23 October 2018

We set our alarm for 8am and were on our way by 9:15am. The first part of the trip is on old territory through the Tawonga Gap. We turned left once through the gap and meandered along the Kiewa Valley Road. Some lovely photos here.

We continued on our way to Mitta Mitta – more photos – and then turned off to Dartmouth Dam. Spectacular scenery all along the way and we arrived at the picnic area of the dam in time for lunch. Russ got some excellent bird photos too.

The Dam wall is enormous, and the Cascades is the contoured rocky hillside where the rocks for the dam wall came from. It must have been an incredible sight all those years ago when it was being built.

We got photos of some of the equipment used in the Water Commission projects all those years ago, and we then stopped off at the lookout car park on our way down again. The stairs are a killer! We both realised that neither of us is as fit as we thought we might be, and tomorrow might have a few sore muscles.

We took the longer way home through little towns like Eskdale, Tallandoon and Tangambalanga before turning back onto the Myrtleford-Yackandandah Road. We stopped at Myrtleford and took a photo of the Big Tree (a red gum that is many, many years old and a familiar landmark and meeting point for locals).

By the time we got home Russ cooked a steak and I had a small helping of curried sausages. Tomorrow is a day of rest before the big, all day trip to Melbourne on Thursday.

Day 10 Monday, 22 October 2018

So, last night was a bit of an adventure. We finally found the Telstra Air hotspot and parked within range. Russ opened his computer and then had to remember how to navigate to all the places for the blog and then the photo content but needed to find all his passwords first.

To cut a very long time down to the main points – we were there until almost nine o’clock. By that time, we had decided to have fish and chips for tea, but being Bright and not yet in the full swing of the summer visitor season, nothing was open. In fact, the fish and chip shop only opens for a few hours three days a week and Monday was not one of them.

Also, it was almost time for the Chinese restaurant to close so we decided not to bother them at that late hour.

Woolworths was open (not the deli, of course) and I was able to get milk and bread. Then we headed back to the van and had scrambled eggs – another adventure as I tried to use the convection cooker and it was not co-operating. Therefore, I had to resort to the microwave and watch the cooking process very closely. Of Course, the toaster caused the fire alarm to go off every time the cooked pieces popped up, so the rest of the van inhabitants around us were probably cursing.

Needless to say, the blog did get up onto the website eventually, and the photos up to Google, but we need to do the next step later today.

We had a leisurely morning and got on our way to Yakandandah about 10:30am. We turned off the main road at Ovens and went along the Happy Valley Road. Some beautiful scenery along the way, and we finally found a car park at the IGA before we locked up, took my camera with us and then strolled around the main street area.

There was a magnificent sculpture of an Oak Leaf in front of the museum. I forget what it was commemorating, but the oak leaf had been chosen by the artist because the pattern represented the hills and valleys of the region. It was impressive.

We decided to forgo rolls for lunch and went to the local bakery. Russ had a shepherd’s pie, and I had a chicken pie (lovely, and no veggies). We shared a truly mouth-watering beesting before heading back to the car and touring the area. Along the way to the car I found an open Op shop and bought a top, ear-rings and necklace for a princely sum of $4.

We came back to Bright along the Myrtleford-Yackandandah Road and there were many lovely scenes, but never a place you could pull over safely to take a photo.

By the time we got back to the van it was time for Russ to do his meditation, and I had photos to download. We then went down to the Telstra Air hotspot, much earlier today, and the rest of the photos were linked to the blog. Thank you for all your lovely comments. We are glad to share and happy you enjoyed them.

We decided to have Chinese on the way back to the van as we have a longish day tomorrow and can retire in better time.

I should mention here that Bright is fairly small and exists mainly on tourism at different times of the year. The NRMA Bright Caravan Park where we are staying, as a result of winning a Travel Auction, is huge and has over 500 sites. During the summer months they are packed out.

The facilities are very good, it is within walking distance of the town centre, there are playing areas for kids including mini golf, and it has a heated pool. It is also pet friendly as long s you are a responsible owner and keep your dogs on a leash or within a caged area.

Each of the powered sites has a permanent matting, which is pressure cleaned by staff between usage. The one down turn to all of this is that the slack season costs $47.00 per night, and I didn’t even ask about prime time.

Our auction win meant that we only paid $27.00 per night, but Russ had slightly miscalculated our days, and I needed to ask if we could extend by one night so that we could do our trip to Melbourne to see our Financial Advisor. The lady at Reception was very kind and gave me the extra night at pension rates – $40.00 for the night.

The park is filling up and most of them are setting up around our area. Most are very conscious of other campers and turn in about 10 at night. It got very busy over the weekend with campers and unit dwellers arriving on Friday and leaving on Sunday – kids and bikes everywhere.

Day 9 Sunday, 21 October 2018

To have a look at best photos, click on the link The Best photos taken so far

After breakfast I discovered that I had not taken the rolls out of the freezer so I needed to take all the fixings with us while the rolls defrosted on the dashboard of the car.

It was a fine crisp 8 degrees when we woke up, and Bright is expected to reach 22 by the end of the day. However, it will be about that cold still when we get up the top to Mt Hotham.

The trip to Harrietville was a repeat of the one the other day when we bough the apples from Nightingales. After that it was all new territory. I was able to snap photos to my heart’s content along the way. Russ had cleaned the front windscreen, and we filled up with diesel before we left Bright.

I think it is a personal best record for me – 845 photos for the day. Russ took 92 and a gorgeous one of a tiny little bird. Many of mine are the same or close to it, as I put the camera on Sports function, so I could use it while we travelled.

We stopped at all the Lookouts along the way, and Russ pulled over to let other traffic pass us when it was safe to do so as we were taking our time.

We had lunch at Mt Kosciusko lookout and were joined at the picnic table be a currajong. He is obviously very used to humans as once we had fed him a few scarps of ham and turkey and then made out rolls, we closed the lid on the container.

Russ looked back towards the table as we moved away to take more photos only to see him push the container to the ground in the hope that the lid would fly off and he could help himself. Cheeky little blighter!

We then headed to Omeo where I used the facilities, and Russ put his foot outside the car onto the road, so he could say he had stopped in Omeo. We will come back another day from the other direction and spend a bit more time exploring the area. There are some lovely walking tracks just outside of town, and the scenery is stunning in places.

We arrived back in Bright around three o’clock and had a cuppa. While Russ had a snooze I did the washing of our clothes and looked through all the photos to pick out the best. Then I took the time to bring the blog up to date.

Russ is now doing his stretching exercises and once he has finished we will head to the Telstra Air hotspot in town to upload to the blog.

Tonight is scrambled eggs for tea so I had better remember to get some bread.

Day 8 Saturday, 20 October 2018

We were greeted with thunder, lightning and rain from early in the morning so immediately agreed to have a very slow day. I decided it was a good time to change the sheets, which I did with Russell’s assistance. I then washed them and the towels and spent a couple of dollars drying them in the Laundry. A little ripper of a washing machine I have here in the van.

Russ spent most of the day reading and I caught up on my game and di some reading also.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a lovely sunny day, so Russ and I discussed where we would like to drive. Russ wanted to do an almighty long trip all over the shop and I told him it was too tiring in one day. Also, a large section of the road from Fall’s Creek to Omeo is closed to all traffic so we compromised and agreed to go to Omeo via Harrietville, Dinner Plains and Mt Hotham and come back the same way.

We removed the under-blanket from the bed when we changed the sheets, so typically it got really cold overnight and we had to turn on the electric blankets to stay warm.

We both had a nice sleep and woke up in plenty of time to prepare our trip to Omeo.

Day 7 Friday, 19 October 2018

We had a lazy evening and then set the alarm for 8am so we would be in time to pick mum up and check out at the Motel.

Mum said she still felt somewhat queasy but was much improved on previous days. She has an appointment with her doctor when she gets back to Benalla and will discuss her medication and problems with him then.

It was a lovely day for a drive. As we were getting into the car Russ was approached by another camper to ask about the caravan. He has a camper trailer at the moment and his wife is objecting to these types of trips now. They had spent time looking at Brilliant caravans at the Sandown Caravan and Camping Show last weekend and were both very impressed with the van. Russ answered his questions and he was more determined than ever to make that their purchase.

We had a lovely drive to Benalla, and Mum regaled us with lots of stories from when she was growing up in the region. We love listening to these reminiscences, and all the stories of mum and dad on their caravan trips around parts of Australia.

We arrived at Benalla just before noon and were greeted by an ecstatic Tobias who spent much time winding himself around legs to say hello and how much he had missed company.

Mum treated Russ and I to Chinese Takeaway from Kim Wah’s, and we both could only manage half of the serving so would have the rest for tea tonight. Mum finished hers which was a very good sign.

Russ and I departed Benalla a little after one o’clock and took the long and winding road back to Bright. We went south, then south east, then north, then north east before we were once again back on the Great Alpine Road to Bright. I did not take many pictures along the way as the trees always managed to get in the way, and there was no high ground to get good shots from. A very slow day for photos.

Russ and I had a cup of tea before he went off to meditate and I spent some quality time reading in the sun. It was just as well that I managed to enjoy it because the rain is coming.

I also went across to Reception to extend our stay by one day. We have an appointment in Melbourne with our financial advisor on Thursday to discuss my application for the pension come December and will need to stay another night once we get back to Bright before we begin the journey back to Mildura.