Victorian Road Trip

Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 15:30

Member - Terry E (NSW)

In April this year I took a couple of weeks respite and was able to take my sister Fay and husband Bill who visit from the USA each year on a trip to Victoria. We started out on Monday 11th April and headed down the Hume Highway to Goulburn where we stopped for a coffee and cake. It was quite a cool day especially so in Goulburn. We continued on to Gundagai where we stopped in the park for lunch. Gundagai showed signs of recent flooding. BBQ`s in the park had been damaged by the floods. Leaving Gundagai we took the back road to Wagga via Wantabadgerry. Arriving in Wagga it started to rain and was still quite cool. As this was not a camping holiday we chose to stay in a cabin. Next day after looking around Wagga we made our way to Lochart. Known as the veranda town because of it`s streetscape with shaded footpaths. This was also a coffee and cake stop and it was interesting to see in the park sculptures made from old farming material, well worth a look if you are passing through. We continued on under cloudy skies to Berrigan and Cobrham and stopped the night in a motel at Echuca. There was no sign of the recent floods at Echuca and the tangled roots of river red gums were clearly visible. Next day we took a ride up the river on the Emilou. Just one of the many classic paddle boats to choose from. Later that day we continued on to Bendigo. It was another cloudy and cold day and after a walk around Bendigo which has some classic old buildings we made our way to Maldon. This is a classic old town which appears to be in a time warp and this adds to it`s old world charm. We were fortunate enough to be there the day the historic steam train does a run to Castlemaine and although we missed out on a ride we were able to see it returning from Castlemaine and photograph it. The lounge car was most impressive and we were allowed to board the train and take some photos. We stopped the night at Castlemaine in a cabin. Next day we travelled to Hepburn Springs, noted for it`s minera springs and spa. Taking a walk around the reserve you can taste the different mineral waters from hand pumps located along a walking path. Daylesford was next. Another interesting old town we many fine buildings. It was another cold day but after walking the streets of Ballarat we made our way to the park surrounding the lake where we had lunch. A tourist tram runs past the park. Ballarat was built on gold and you can see how wealthy the town was by the architecture of it`s stately buildings. WE made our way to Camperdown and onto Port Campbell for the night where we stayed in another cabin. This is a small town in an ideal location and surprising that it has not been overdeveloped. Next day was sunny and mild (our best day) and it was a spectacular drive to Peterborough and then back along The Great Ocean Road to Lavers Hill. The coastline is no doubt familiar to all , even those that haven`t been there. The Twelve Apostles is probably the most notable of landmarks but I think other spots like Broken Arch and Lochard Gorge are more scenic. Many of the landmarks are crumbling from the relentless pounding of the waves. At Lavers Hill we turned north into the Otway Ranges and took an hourly walk to Triplet Falls. The rainforest and the falls were quite spectacular. A very winding road took us back to the coast at Appolo Bay where we stayed in another cabin. Next morning I rose early and drove around the bay and walked out onto the wharves where all the fishing boats are birthed. I got some nice light for some photos. Moving up the coast it is along here where the road hugs the coastline and there are some beautiful views. Just north of Lorne there are some great rock pools to walk around. Aireys Inlet with the Split Point Ligthouse guarding the coast is a very scenic location and a walk around the headland and the beach is very rewarding. We stayed here the night in a cabin. Next day was a bit of helter skelter as we took in Queenscliff and walk out on the pier at Point Lonsdale before heading into Melbourne for an all too brief stroll and tram ride. It was Sunday afernoon and the city was packed with people. It was dark before we found a motel at Dandenong on the outskirts of the city. Next day we travelled to Sale and Bairnsdale before finishing the day at Lakes Entrance. Evidence of the recent floods was visible along this route. Lakes Entrance is in a spectacular setting. Headquarters of a large fishing fleet, gateway to the Gippsland Lakes and a walk across a bridge will take from the town to the Ninety Mile Beach. Just north of Lakes Entrance a detour near Nowa Nowa will take you to an old rail line across a tressle bridge, a most imposing structure. Back on the main road we reached Orbost, set in a delightful valley where the iconic Snowy River bursts out of the surrounding mountains. Nearby is Marla where through a very narrow opening the Snowy River meanders forth in a leasurely fashion out to sea. We continued on to Cape Conran where there was lots of flotsam lying on the beach in the form of seaweed, coral and other bits of fishing paraphinalia. WE continued on to Cann River and Genoa , where crossing the bridge, the full force of the recent floods were evident by the debri in the trees and the flattened trees. Late in the afternoon we stopped at Eden. This is another fishing town with many boats at anchor in th e small harbour. From the lookout there some grand views of Twofold Bay. We stayed the night at Pambula and here at the foreshore there is a delightful beach and dozens of kangaroos oblivious to any humans that may stray in their path for a photo. Next and last day we had a long drive up the coast to home in Sydney`s western suburbs. PLaces we stopped for a break were Merrimbula, Tathra, Barragoot Lake, Bermagui, ( one of the nicest beachside towns on the coast) Narooma, a very scenic location ,Moruya, Batemans Bay and it would have to be the most populated and busy towns on the south coast. Ulladulla is another scenic location with a lighthouse on the headland and many fishing boats in the enclosed harbour. WE arrived in Kiama on dark and had our evening meal of hamburgers here and a walk around the headland to the famous blowhole which was not performing at it`s best. This is very pretty location and a popular holiday destination being only a couple of hours from Sydney. From here it was just a couple of hours to home and the end of our very enjoyable whistle stop tour. WE travelled 2,600km, spent $440 on fuel (350ltrs.) and $970 on accomadation.
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