Jingellic, Tumbarumba & Surrounds

Here we are, camping at Jingellic Reserve. We have been here since Thursday and we are loving this area. The green hills, valleys and pastures of this Snowy Mountain region are a sight to be seen. The Jingellic Reserve is located between the clean flowing Murray River and the Jingellic Hotel. From my chair I can see the river if I look right and the hotel if I look straight, along with the free toilet block, which is always open for campers and the much appreciated four dollar hot showers. If I look left, just behind the Prado, there is a gate that is for public fishing access, we had our first attempt at catching a fish here this morning and got a few bites but no fish yet. We did have a young steer eyeing us off from a few meters away but luckily he kept his distance. The people here are very friendly, pub staff are accommodating and everyone is willing to give you some pointers on what is good to see in this area. Camp grounds here and in Tumba are the best we have seen so far. They are clean, well maintained and offer toilets, barbecue areas, bins and running water.

On Friday we visited Tumbarumba or “Tumba” as it is affectionately called by the locals, which is a town that’s not far from here. It’s quaint but has everything one could need. The atmosphere is friendly and the Tumba Hotel offered very decent $12 meals for lunch. While in the pub and reading the numerous notices on the walls, we saw a poster advertising a local rodeo in Rosewood on December 17th, at this stage we are planning on checking that out. We used the Laundromat in Tumba and shopped at the local IGA and local Tumba butcher.

Before going in to Tumba we took a drive to the Paddy’s River Falls, which were amazing and resulted in some great photo opportunities. The dogs were also able to enjoy the walk down to the bottom viewing area. The camp grounds at Paddy’s River also looked incredibly clean and well maintained again offering toilets and running water facilities.

We visited a random local winery on the way back from Tumba called Tumbarumba Wines, we met the owner but unfortunately his fridges were off as he normally only does wine tasting on the weekends. He was an informative man and we sat and spoke with him about the history of this area for quite a while. We happened to see him again that night as he came to the Jingellic Hotel for dinner. Yesterday, we revisited the winery so I could try some of the wine and buy a couple of bottles. The owner of the winery has offered us a couple of days of work starting tomorrow and so we have picked up our first jobs while on the road.

Today we have been back over the border to Victoria and visited Walwa and Corryong.  Corryong is the final resting place of the “real” Man from Snowy River Jack Rielly. We may go back to Corryong at some stage to visit the Man from Snowy River Museam as like most other things it wasn’t open today while we were there. Ben’s not too keen on going back Corryony for the museam because he’s not all that interested in the Man from Snawy River story but hopefully we’ll go back anyway. The Walwa General Store was interesting and inviting, we have been told the meals there are good so we’ll check this out at some stage too.

Ben says the flies here are dumb and slow as he has swatted more that he normally can and sometimes even gets four or five at once. All in all we are having a great time at Jingellic and would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for an escape.

Cobram Fun

Hey everyone, we would like to send out a special thanks to everybody who came to see us over the last couple of weeks up on the mighty Murray at Cobram. You all really made our time here wonderful. We are so lucky to have close friends and family like you. This weekend we had Daz and Greg here, Tracy, Barney and our niece Jasmine, Anthony, Mat, Rich, Rick and George, Eb and our nephew Alix. Nights by the fire were a great time to have a drink, chat and stare at the fire. During the day it was fun fishing and splashing in the river to keep cool. Mum and Dad have been here with us for 12 days and it has been awesome to spend some quality time with them before we head off on our own again. My Dad’s cousin Joy and her husband Doug have even dropped in for a few days.

Today is going to be warm and really we have no complaints about the weather here, it’s been perfect. Even the occasional dots of rain here and there have come at times when we needed a cool off anyway. We’ve seen koalas and lots of bird life. The dogs have been happy. Food has been awesome, lots of meats and vegetables and cheese and fruit – no complaints there, we even had Italian pasta last night.

Tomorrow we plan to leave here and head to Jingellic, which is another free camp on the Murray. It is close to a pub and has shower and toilet access. Can’t wait to update you once we arrive there. Today we’ll start the pack up. Thanks again everyone for coming up and we hope to see you all again if you come to see us somewhere around Australia. Here’s some photos for everyone to enjoy, some of them are from this weekend and some of them are from last weekend.

Cobram Campers

We’re still in Cobram at the moment. Over the weekend we had a few friends visit and it was great to see everyone. We had my Uncle Ross and Sherie and our friends Ziggy, Joel, Shane, Glen, Amanda, Sally, Anthony and their boys Archer and little Isaac here until Sunday/Monday. My parents Gary and Lyn are now here with us for the duration of our time here and we’ll have some more friends coming up or returning from Thursday this week for the Cod Classic weekend.

Weather has been a warm and is getting hotter each day. The river here at Little Tom’s is wide but shallow for quite a few meters before its deep enough to swim. Our dogs, Brock and Chevy are loving being back on the Murray and so is my parents dog Major. Our fridge is still not quite right and so Ben is taking it to Shepparton tomorrow to be serviced.

Life on the Murray is relaxing, you get woken by cockatoos and kookaburras in the mornings, put your chairs in the river and cool your legs during the day, swim whenever you feel like it and eat when your hungry. No matter how many places we visit in this country the Murray will always be part of us.

We visited The Big Strawberry in Koonoomoo, which is a 10 minute drive from Cobram. Mum and Dad shouted us a pancake breakfast there which was delicious. Last night Ben cooked our first camp oven roast which turned out amazing. We’ll definitely be doing that again! Our photos are refusing to upload at the moment so I’ll put them up as soon as possible.

Arrival At Cobram

This morning we left the Victorian High Country after coming third in the Merrijig Hunt Club trivia night, winning and enjoying a free pizza and enduring a couple of days of rain. We left Merrijig, went to Mansfield, then made tracks to the Thoona Pub. Thoona is a very small town and we decided to visit the pub there as it is owned by Ziggy’s family and he wanted to visit them on the way through. We stopped there for a beer and some lunch and then continued on to Cobram. Most of the roads on our journey, were long and straight and would be dangerous if you were tired.

It took us a little while to set up again but we are now sitting by the Murray River in Cobram. There is something about the Murray that feels like home. I have been coming here since I was a child and it is beautiful, familiar and a unique part of our country. We wanted to camp at our normal camp ground Dead River but due to recent flooding the road to that spot was corroded and inaccessable. We then tried to get the Big Tom’s, which is another popular camp area here but this road is also blocked off due to flood damage. So, here we are at Little Tom’s, it’s less roomy and different to Dead River but it is still nice. We have friends and family coming to meet us here during our two week stay to say a final goodbye to us before we head off on the rest of our trip.

Ziggy’s Visit and Poker in the Wilderness

Today is a wet day, it’s raining but not cold. There have been a few things testing us recently. The fridge in the camper is again giving us problems, the fire did not want to start last night and some other plans have been unwoven but we’ve kept our chins up and we’re not going to let these things stop our trip.

One of our friends Craig better known as Ziggy in our circle has come to Pickering Flat to see us. It’s good to have a familiar face around and some extra company. We have found a little place in Merrijig called Merrijig Motor Inn Resort, which has cold beer, a pool table and nice meals. We are happy to spend a couple of hours here while the weather clears. We have spoken to the staff at the Mansfield Stihl Shop and the Mansfield 4×4 shop who have been incredibly helpful and believe that our fridge problems are due to our campsite being too shady and therefore our solar is not soaking up enough sun. Hopefully when we move to Cobram in a couple of days this won’t be an issue anymore.

Yesterday, we decided that would play a round of poker (Texas hold ’em) in the bush. Ben won and Ziggy lost. It’s great to have a friend here to have some drinks, a game of cards and a laugh with. Ziggy is on drinks duty today because he lost poker last night. We’ll have to play again to find out who’s on drinks duty tomorrow. We are planning to go to Merrijig Hunt Club Hotel tonight to join in with a local Trivia tournament, should be fun.

20161122_122934.jpg

20161115_20552220161122_123207dsc00182

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.

dsc00066dsc00053dsc00088dsc00093dsc00079dsc00078dsc00057dsc00055dsc00070

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.