Craig’s Hut and Mt. Buller

Two days ago we had some adventures, we started out from our campsite at Pickerings Flat in the morning and decided that today was the day we would see Craig’s Hut. Getting there had always been a dream of mine as I do like the Man From Snowy River movie and know the story well.

On the way to the hut we had little reception, knowing that the hut was near Mt. Buller we decided to drive that way. We didn’t get any reception and so we kept driving, the road we were on was taking us to Mt Buller. Ben thought that while we were there why not drive to the top and observe on of Australia’s highest points and see what everyone pays so much money for during snow season. So we drove and drove, up the winding bitchamen road for what seemed like hours. Finally we reached the summit and finally we had some reception. We sat there in the Prado at the top of Mt Buller, looking over all of the tree clogged hills and over the quiet off season town of Mt Buller. We made some phone calls, located Craig’s Hut with the reception we had found and then drove for another hour to Craig’s hut.

The track to the hut is dirt but relatively easy to drive on until you get close to the hut. Then you have the option of taking your four wheel drive up the rockier track for walking the rest of the way, of course we decided to put the Prado through its paces again.

As we pulled into the car park, there is was… the legendary Craig’s Hut. Just like in the movie is was set on a bald spot that looked over the surrounding hills and mountains. It was beautiful. I couldn’t top my mind from flowing through the movie scenes while I was there and was in ore of the hut and the story.

We then drove a long way back to Mansfield to get a few things and back to the campsite. It was a long day in the car but it was also great to explore the high country on these fine sunny days.

Pickerings is still our home at the moment, it has been treating us well with fresh cool water and lovely weather. Some of our meals have been epic, including home made chips, steak, pasta, paella and chicken sticks. We could do without the flying ants in the evenings but hey, you can’t have everything.

Fishing has been put on hold the last couple of days because this is a popular campsite on the weekends and there is only one deep hole to fish in.

Pickering Flat

We’re all set up at Pickering Flat camp area, in the Sheepyard Flat region. It is a popular camp area but thankfully at the moment there are only a few other campers scattered amongst the numerous campsites here. This area, the Victorian High Country, is needless to say… absolutely beautiful. The air is pristine and the beautiful clear Harqua river flows beside the camp area. You can easily see the rocky river bottom through the clear waters and the sound of the river running over the rocks is calming.

The bush here is thick and full of Eucalyptus and lush grasses. We have set up our campers annex area for the first time and although it took some patients it wasn’t as much of a hassle as we expected it to be and Ben didn’t need to use his knife to make it work. Weather has been wonderful and is forecast to get better over the next few days.

We took a drive further up the mountain, which lead us to the Alpine National Park and to the edge of Jamieson State Park. The Prado did well and the harsh tree-full slopes of this region are impressive. We found a good log of firewood on the way back, which will help to keep us warm for a couple of nights.

Ben has been trying his luck at catching his first trout in the Harqua. He has been flicking lures and soft plastics but there has been no luck yet. He doesn’t want to use bait at the moment as he is determined to catch one with a lure. I have been trying out the trusty worms that we found in the garden on my rod. You can see the fish in the river if you sit on the banks at dawn or dusk. Hopefully one unlucky one will find its way to our hook soon.

Worming With the Girls

It was the afternoon before we left Whittlesea and we were we excited to start really camping but we were also sad to be leaving Danni and Paul’s. Our stay there was great and we couldn’t have solved our campers power problem if we hadn’t stayed. We get along well with Danni and Paul and their stories of their own travels only make us keener to see this country for ourselves.

We will miss the antics of Gracie, the smarts of Jade and the cheeky giggle of Sarah but we hope to return to Whittlesea to see them again at some stage. It’s great to see such happy girls growing up in the country.

Please enjoy these photos of myself and the three girls finding worms in the garden. Hopefully the worms will catch us a trout in the Harqua.

Still in Whittlesea, plus Quick Cobram and Mt Disappointment Visits

We’re still in Whittlesea at the moment, we are getting some problems with the campers power supply to the fridge sorted before moving on (your help is much appreciated Joel). A few days ago we did a day trip to Cobram to check out Dead River, this is our normal camp area and we know it well. We plan to camp there from November 20th to mid December with friends and family as a final goodbye before we move on with the rest of our trip but because it has been flooded there were heaps of reports about the area being closed. Ben and I thought we would have a look for ourselves. The camp ground is still muddy and the gates are closed but the staff of Cobram Outdoors have assured us a couple more dry days and the area will be right for camping again and the gate will be open. The koalas are certainly out and about in the Murray area and so are the bugs.

Mt Disappointment is just a short drive from Whittlesea so we drove up there to have a look. The dry, stony tracks gave us a chance to have a bit of fun in our Prado and we found a walking track that lead us through some beautiful bushland. The track was supposed to lead us to the summit and we were hoping for a nice view when we got there. Instead, we found a large clearing and not much else, besides a rather large echidna. We don’t know whether this was the end of the track or there was more that we couldn’t see, if it was in fact the summit then Mt Disappointment surely lived up to it’s name.

Last night Ben and I met Amy and Glenn at a bistro in Wallan and enjoyed a nice pub meal with them. It was good to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Today at Danni and Paul’s the girls got their ponies out and had a ride. I even got on Cassidy the beautiful 13 year old boy for a bit, I haven’t been on a horse in years. The weather was a little windy and chilly at times but it’s been a good day.


Whittlesea with Danni and Paul

Our first stop on our trip around Australia has been at Danni and Paul’s property in Whittlesea. It’s been fun, hanging out with their three girls Gracie, 10, Jade, 8, and Sarah, 6. They have 13 acres of property, a few poines, three dogs, chickens, rabbits and cats. There is a damn at the bottom of the property and Brock and Chev have been enjoying a daily swim down there. They are getting along well with Gus the little Jack Russell and Dudley the old Labrador and they have been teaching Max the young lab a few lessons.

Danni and Paul have been great, from roast dinners to puddings, we’ve definitely been looked after. The three girls are full on but adorable, they are lucky to be able to grow up in this kind of environment. Animals, room to run around and damns to swim in, this should be every kids dream. The car and camper are going well although we are still trying to figure out the fridge and the solar panels.

The Night Before Leaving…

It’s the night before we leave for our big Aussie escape. There’s mixed emotions tonight, the last few days have been hectic, to say the least, but it couldn’t have been any other way. We have had friends and family coming over to say goodbye. We’ve had people helping clean and prepare our house.

This is our last night in our comfortable bed and our last night in our little home for an uncertain period of time. It has been so full on the last few days, there has been no time to stop and think about how we are feeling. Tonight as we were saying goodby to some of our closest friends our trip suddenly started to feel real, it has been all talk for so long and there had been a lot of build up but now we are finally ready. Well, we think we are anyway.

This is a holiday for us but it is also a chance to find a new part of ourselves and see what else is out there. Butterflies, smiles, laughs and memories… it’s all a part of tonight. We are lucky to have the friends that we do.

I haven’t got any trip photos yet but here’s one from our trip to Vanuatu that kind of describes how we’re feeling right now… we’re walking away.


Getting Ready

This is the post excerpt.

There’s just a few days to go until we go on our trip around Australia. For those of you who don’t know us Ben is a 32 year old bricklayer who has been working hard since 16 years of age. I am Leah, a 34 year old veterinary nurse who has also been working full time since finishing school. Next week we embark on a journey to find a different part of ourselves. We are taking our Toyota Prado, our off road BlueWater Murray camper and our two dogs Brock and Chevy and we will leave our comfortable 3 bedroom home in hope of seeing and experiencing the best of what our amazing country has to offer.