Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mooloolaba- farewell to our blog - 3 to 7 April 2012

2010.11.01 at 04h50m53s MooloolabaWe had only been able to book a one night site in Mooloolaba as it was Easter.

We had a long drive to Mooloolaba from Yamba with our now nearly perfectly clean Bushtracker.

We went to M on Mooloolaba, a sentimental favorite for dinner, and slept our last night in the caravan.

We put the caravan in store at Kunda Park the next day.

We stayed with Geoff and Sue while we finished our final cleaning and washed our bedding-thank you Geoff and Sue.

We then headed home to the US from Brisbane Airport having completed our goal of traveling on Highway 1 all around Australia.

We took a few detours and it took quite a bit longer than we expected but we had wonderful experiences, met a lot of interesting people and wouldn't have missed it for anything.

We still have a tiny section to do near Halls Gap and the Bungle Bungles where we drove the Gibb River Road rather than taking the Bitumen and we still have to visit Tasmania in our caravan. We are also thinking about the Great Central Road.

However this is fare well from Tricia and John for now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Southwest Rocks and Yamba – 29 March to 3 April 2012

IMG_2019We have been travelling North quite rapidly.

We had an overnight stop at Southwest Rocks. We like Geppys Restaurant here.

Then on to Yamba, one of our preferred camping sites, where we have a lovely site on the Clarence River.

There are nice Restaurants here also and this makes it a good place to clean the caravan as we can empty out our food storage.  It also has good hot water.

We started cleaning the caravan for our return to the US.  This was very sad as we will be leaving it in store for a long time

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hawks Nest – 25 to 29 March 2012

IMG_00532012.03.28 at 12h17m33s Hawks NestWe by passed Sydney and Newcastle and drove to Hawks Nest.

Hawks Nest has two beaches, an ocean beach and a bay beach both within easy walking distance.

The caravan Park is set behind the Ocean Beach and we had a great site. It is the kind of holiday place you dream of. 

We visited family here and had a great time.2012.03.28 at 12h14m12s Hawks Nest, LouisaIMG_00722012.03.26 at 17h27m27s Chris, Hawks Nest, Jeremy
2012.03.28 at 11h33m28s Chris, Hawks Nest, Jeremy, Monica2012.03.26 at 18h28m24s Hawks Nest

Monday, March 26, 2012

Moss Vale – 24 to 25 March 2012

We visited a friend at his magnificent historic property in Moss Vale. This is a very beautiful area in the Southern Highlands south of Sydney.  It was settled  in the 1820's and is still a popular tourist destination. IMG_0051

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Canberra–21 to 24 March 2012

IMG_00452012.03.23 at 14h53m05s Canberra, Joan Hughes, John, Trish













We were in Canberra briefly to visit friends and relatives.

It has been some time since we visited Canberra and we spent a lot of time walking, seeing old sites and visiting the newly housed National Portrait Gallery. 

The view from Red Hill still provides a great panorama of the original Walter Burley Griffin layout for Canberra.

2012.03.23 at 14h45m33s Canberra

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jindabyne via the Alpine Way–18 to 21 March 2012

2012.03.18 at 15h22m36s Murray 1 Power StationWe drove the Murray Valley Highway to Upper Towong and Corryong. 

The heavy rains had closed the highway beyond so we took the Alpine Way to Thredbo and Jindabyne.

This was a challenging drive.  The sign at Dead Horse Gap at the Jindabyne end of the road proclaimed, “Alpine Way Unsuitable for Trucks, Buses and Caravans”  Perhaps we missed the sign at the Corryong end of the road?!!

The Alpine way was built to service the Snowy Mountain Hydro Electric Scheme and the Murray 1 Power Station is an impressive example of the scheme’s engineering.

2012.03.18 at 15h45m07s Scammell's Ridge Lookout2012.03.18 at 17h05m16s Bushtracker, Dead Horse Gap, Landcruiser2012.03.18 at 17h04m19s Dead Horse Gap

2012.03.20 at 16h16m04s Bushtracker, Jindabyne



We camped at Jindabyne. The Dam was the highest that had been seen in living memory so we had a waterfront site, the rest of the sites were underwater. The water was not going to rise higher as it was over the spillway.

This was very pleasant and Tricia spent a happy afternoon wading and swimming around the caravan park.

While we were at Jindabyne we walked to Mt. Kosciuszko, the highest point in Australia.

We drove to Thredbo, took the chairlift to the plateau, walked in on the metal mesh pathway and had a picnic lunch at the peak.

2012.03.19 at 15h53m34s Kosciuzko



The mesh pathway is known as Australia's longest lightening conductor but it does conserve the fragile Alpine Vegetation. The scars from previous paths can still be seen. It is also very easy to walk on.

Rawsons Pass just before the last rise to the peak has Australia's highest toilet. This is an attractive very ecologically sound design nestled into the surrounding countryside.

2012.03.19 at 12h44m07s Kosciuzko

2012.03.19 at 17h35m35s KosciuzkoWe were too late for the chairlift back and walked down the face of the plateau to Thredbo on Merrit's Nature Trail.  This is well sign posted. 

It comprises stairs set in the side of the face and the risers are rather high. This exercised some little used muscles and we were tired when we got to the bottom. 

We actually slid down the last bit of ski run and had a nice dinner at one of the pubs. We really enjoyed being up on the peak of Kosciuszko when no one else was there but Tricia thinks if she were to do it again, and wanted to stay late, she would walk in from Charlotte Pass.  This is longer but less steep at the end.2012.03.19 at 14h55m52s Kosciuzko

2012.03.19 at 15h04m02s Kosciuzko2012.03.19 at 14h56m12s Kosciuzko

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Hume Weir [Albury] – 17 to 18 March 2012

2012.03.17 at 11h32m39s Bushtracker, Lake EildonWe enjoyed our time in Healesville and around Melbourne but it was time to head north again.

2012.03.17 at 14h26m55s Lake Nillahcootie2012.03.17 at 11h47m43s Lake EildonIt was great to travel past a succession of water storages, full after being almost empty over the last years.  We stopped at Lake Eildon and had lunch at Lake Nillahcootie.


Our first camp was a very nice campsite at Ebden in the Boathaven Holiday Park on the Hume Weir at Albury.  Tricia has visited this area many times and has never seen the Hume Weir so full, which was exciting.  After all the floods the weir is truly full.

2012.03.17 at 19h20m15s Lake Hume
In the morning we drove to the Weir wall and went for a walk around the Lake Hume Tourist Park where Tricia and the children spent many happy days swimming  at the little beachfront, now mostly underwater.
2012.03.18 at 10h34m54s Lake Hume2012.03.18 at 10h23m42s Lake Hume

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Walkerville to Healesville – 24 February to 17 March 2012

2012.02.24 at 13h23m13s KilcundaWe drove from Walkerville to Melbourne, stopping at Kilcunda on the way for lunch and a great swim in the roiling surf.  The surf break was so sandy our bathers were completely full of sand.

We had a break from the van in Melbourne while John did his Professional Development courses.2012.03.17 at 10h09m59s Healesville - 12-03 Vic

Then we returned to the Caravan Park in Healesville where we had originally set up the van for our travels.

After more than three years of faithful service our reversing camera had become temperamental and had to be replaced, although not before we discovered that Tricia could give John accurate guidance for hitching up without the camera, which is good to know for the future.

We serviced the Toyota in Healesville, and walked, enjoyed the lovely Yarra Valley, the wonderful Restaurants, and visited friends and relatives.

2012.03.05 at 18h59m11s Healesville - 12-03 Vic

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Walkerville–21 to 24 February 2012

2012.02.24 at 07h10m46s Walkerville - 12-02 Vic2012.02.23 at 17h06m44s Walkerville - 12-02 Vic2012.02.23 at 17h47m25s Walkerville - 12-02 Vic

There really is no Walkerville as such, rather North Walkerville and South Walkerville.  Tricia has been coming here since she was nine and remembers driving on the sand between the two, now forbidden for cars, with the road being the only and the long way round.  The walk however, either on the sand at low tide past the lime kilns or by the headland with its cemetery is well worth it.

2012.02.21 at 17h20m17s Walkerville - 12-02 Vic2012.02.23 at 18h09m19s Walkerville - 12-02 VicSouth Walkerville is the remains of a Village established to support a Lime Burning Industry which ran from 1875 till 1926. There were six kilns and the town supported about 50 families at its peak. The kilns and a few rock walls are all that remains, the kilns closed when David Mitchell opened his lime quarry at Lilydale.

There is a very nice Camping Park on the foreshore at North Walkerville. We had a lovely beach front site in amongst the tea tree with a good view of the swimming beach. Walkerville has a very rocky foreshore but it has a safe beach and is a wonderful place for children.

2012.02.22 at 15h57m07s Walkerville - 12-02 Vic


2012.02.21 at 16h31m33s Walkerville - 12-02 Vic

2012.02.24 at 07h27m18s Walkerville - 12-02 Vic

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bairnsdale – 20 to 21 February

2012.02.20 at 18h53m47s Bairnsdale2012.02.20 at 18h11m27s Bairnsdale







We stayed at the Mitchell Gardens Caravan Park in Bairnsdale.

We had a good pull through site which makes onward travel easy as John doesn't have to hitch up in the morning.

It was a very quiet park which was surprising as it is on the Princes Highway.  We did the Riverwalk beside the Mitchell River which is lovely.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[Eden] & Mallacoota–18 to 20 February 2012

2012.02.18 at 11h02m45s Eden2012.02.18 at 11h06m19s EdenWe drove from Pambula via Eden to Mallacoota.

Eden is an old whaling town on Twofold Bay, one of the deepest harbours in the world.  It is now a good place to go to whale spotting and still has a local fishing fleet.

It is caravan friendly having large amounts of caravan parking available behind Main Street. We we enjoyed a pleasant walk down to the Harbour past a number of historic buildings and had a good coffee in a cafe on the wharf.  We liked the sign in the local shop reading “God put me on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things .. right now I am so far behind I will never die….”

2012.02.18 at 11h55m22s Eden2012.02.18 at 11h12m53s Eden2012.02.18 at 10h43m22s Eden
Mallacoota a little further South and off the main highway is a magnificent fishing village and holiday spot on the Mallacoota Estuary called by  the locals “Victoria’s best kept secret”.  It is very caravan friendly. The caravan Park runs along the foreshore for a long way and everyone can have a great site with a view of the water.  The local council runs the park and offers hefty discounts to people staying a full month, so all 200 powered sites were taken.  This is a great idea for the town as it keeps the locals employed and the shops busy.  Because we are self sufficient with power and water we had the pick of 400 unpowered sites, and got a great location with a perfect water view.

2012.02.18 at 18h08m15s Mallacoota2012.02.18 at 17h16m17s Mallacoota2012.02.18 at 17h11m21s Mallacoota

One can walk on the sand islands which are great bird habitats, and which protect the birds against predators. There are thousands of Hermit Crabs in the deep pools. There are a lot of water birds including pelicans and sea eagles fishing in the lakes.

IMG_14462012.02.18 at 17h41m10s Mallacoota2012.02.18 at 17h12m06s Mallacoota

2012.02.19 at 11h52m27s Mallacoota-2-5

2012.02.19 at 15h41m14s Mallacoota2012.02.20 at 08h43m31s MallacootaJohn did a boat trip on the Loch Ard around the Estuary.

The place to eat is Lucy's Home Made Rice Noodles. It is a real demographic change as the once ubiquitous Fish and Chip shop is replaced with Rice Noodles with Abalone and Sea Urchin. There are also less challenging sauces. Lucy's sells great coffee and as one leaves all the caravans are lined up for that final cup of coffee to go.