Friday, 17 November 2017

Our Latest Trip

Yesterday we hit the road again, just as the first couple of raindrops hit the windscreen of the ute.  We had to put the wipers on half way to Cowra and they were used on and off for the rest of the day.

So, what are we up to this time?

We started off heading south, calling in for a quick cuppa at a roadside rest area, while it briefly stopped raining.

As we arrived in Young we were surprised to see that the roundabouts were already decorated for Christmas.  They looked really festive.

I was rather excited, as we were in Young during cherry season, something that we have never achieved before.  It took us a while to find an orchard where there was room for us to park with the van, but when we found one we treated ourselves.  We are working our way through the pie, started on the jam  this morning on our toast and are enjoying nibbling on the cherries as we drive along.  Happy campers.

We decided that Gundagai would be a good destination for lunch and that it was a pie sort of day.

Bingo!   A pie shop.  Steak and Kidney for Mick and Lamb and Mint for me.  They really hit the spot.  The owner came out for a chat and it turns out he has only had the business for a couple of months.  Well. he certainly has tasty pies and good coffee.

As we wandered up the street we wished we still wanted something to eat, as the Niagra Cafe looked rather interesting, from its triple curved window to the original interior we spied through the window......another time.

Last time we were here, a couple of years ago, they were just starting to do some street beautification.  They have done a wonderful job so far, but have even more to do.  This sculpture is only a few months old, and there are more to be installed.

An interpretive board was in the process of being installed beside the sculpture.

There were a couple of fellows washing and then polishing the words to the song along one side of the street.  Mick commented to them that it is just as well they don't have all the words to clean.

The old timber railway and road bridge are icons of the town.

Mind you, the bridge you cross now is rather dated as well.  It is nice to cross an old timber bridge.

Our destination was Tumut, where we camped in a caravan park right beside the Tumut River.

The river comes out of Blowering Dam and is really fast flowing and cold.  You certainly wouldn't  want to fall in.

The caravan park has some huge trees.

They are massive.

We went for a bit of a walk  around town and were pleasantly surprised at the size and services available.  This old shopfront was rather lovely.

There are some lovely old homes.

We saw the tower of the Catholic Church in the distance so had to find it.  It really is a stunning building.  Even the pidgeon thought it was a good place to roost.

One old house looked like it needed a little TLC, but eagle eyed Mick spied a BMW sidecar on the verandah.

There is a wetland with several walkways next to the caravan park.  We only saw a very small portion due to the inclement weather.

We came across this little family beside the river.

I then heard a bird call in the tree behind our van and eventually spied an azure kingfisher, not that you can see the blue in this photo.

We could easily spend more time in Tumut, exploring the Wetland Walk and there is also a River Walk in the opposite direction.  We may have to return one day.

Hitting the High Country

During the night while we were in Tumut we had a nasty thunder storm go across.  The thunder was so loud and the storm must nearly have gone straight over us.

In the morning the weather was dry but still overcast.

After our visit to Tumut we started heading towards the high country, firstly travelling beside Blowering Dam.

We started to notice a white haze across the hills, which upon closer inspection was a tea tree.  This was only achieved as we had a 10 minute wait at road works.  

There were a team of blokes installing mesh on the cuttings to stabilise the bank.  The fellow in the boom lift was drilling and inserting long rods. 

While the fellow in the harness was tying them off.

The tea tree was also throughout the scrub, but it wasn't long before the vegetation changed and we saw no more of it.

I was lucky enough to see this little wallaby grazing beside the road.

We started to see tall, straight trees.

After a very long, steep and windy climb for 6kms Black Perry Lookout was a good excuse fore a break.

It shows a vast wilderness area.

See the change in the colour of the road markings.  Now we were ascending above the snow line.

One of our planned things to do this trip was to have a wander around the Kiandra Gold Digging.  This was the site of one of Australia's shortest gold rushes in 1859.  There didn't end up being much gold and the wicked cold winter weather meant that many left.  The village struggled on and the old Court House, which is the main remaining building was converted into a ski chalet.  The National Parks and Wildlife Service which looks after the area are gradually restoring it.

There is a walkway around the locality which is about one kilometre long. 

The hills in the area have swathes of yellow, purple and white flowers, somewhat reminiscent of heather and gorst, but they are a pea type flower.  The white one is more like an erica.


The other remaining building is Matthews Cottage.  I was taken with the white flowers under the trees.

On closer inspection, they are a type of daffodil.  So cute, and different to the usual ones.  Out the back of the cottage there was a lot of comfrey gone wild and one plant of rhubarb.  Reminders that this had been someone's home.

I also saw wild lupins and various other clumps of daffodils that had finished flowering.

There were a few other reminders of the town that was.  This chimney was from the local store.

The wagon had been in this spot for some time considering the old tree has grown through it and since died.

The area on the other side of the highway was the site of Australia's first ski run back in 1861.  There is nothing to show for it at all now.


We did see one wombat burrow.

Right across the area there were heaps of rabbit droppings and scratchings.  We did see a couple of bunnies.  They look to be somewhat out of control.

I loved seeing this silky grass across the landscape.

Once back on our way we started to travel through an area which had been burnt some years ago.  The skeletons of trees are so dramatic.

The Sawyers Hill Rest House is another site we have driven or ridden past several times, and we actually stopped to have a look this time.  It is relatively new, but in excellent condition.  There was a visitors book completed by people who have camped there.

By now it was lunch time, so we stopped by the side of the road in Adaminiby.  I noticed a fairy ring beside the road where we stopped.

Mick had the eagle eyes again and spotted these large, perfect mushrooms.  

Guess what is on the menu for breakfast.  Yummo.

Our route took us off the main highway towards Berridale.  As soon as we turned off I saw our first glimpse of snow.  It was me that saw it first, which was really unusual, as Mick is usually the first to see the sea or any special sight.  It was too hard to take a photo of, as it was so far away.

The weather had been building up and in the end we got our first rain for the day. Fortunately, it was fairly shortlived.

Finally I was able to get a snap of the snow in the distance.

Today's destination was Jindabyne.  We are in a caravan park in the centre of town, right beside the lake.  A rather lovely place to camp.  As you can see the weather was building up again.

We went for a short walk to get some groceries, while it was dry and then sat and watched the weather across the lake.

Surfs up.

It was getting a bit dark in the distance.

Those clouds are rolling in.

Getting closer.  By now there were  heaps of people out with the cameras and the wind was starting to roar.

If you look closely you can see a small boat trying to get to shore before the storm really hits.

They made it just in time.

Then the first of the hail hit and everyone skarpered back to their camps.

The storm was really ferocious, with quite a bit of hail.  Unfortunately, there is a little damage to our van, but it is not too serious.  A souvenir from Jindabyne.  So be it.  We were just pleased that we weren't in a tent, as there were a couple flattened in the caravan park.

After the storm passed, it was eerily calm.  Apparently there is to be more rain tomorrow, but that won't worry us too much.