The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

23 March, 2014

Upper Murray Region

After picking up the van from Melbourne we spent a week in Albury at the Albury Motor Village to finish sorting through the last of Briony's possessions, then it was time to get out of the hussel and bussel of Albury and shopping centers to find some quite free camps on the mighty Murray River.

Bridge Hotel - Jingellic

The free camping area behind the pub, a little tooooo crowded for our liking.
We had heard about Jingellic approx 100km east of Albury, up stream on the Murray River.  This was a free camp next to the Jingellic pub right on the river ...... seemed a good spot to start. After travelling to Jingellic we arrived at the camp spot, it was like bees around a honey pot, caravans around a pub!! I think everyone had the same idea, walk up to the pub, roll back down to the van.  We also knew that there was another free camp about 3km west along the river and thought this might not be as busy as there was no pub and no facilities, you had to be self contained which would suit us.

Gadds Bend Reserve was a great spot, around 10 acres right on the river, there was only one other van so had plenty of room to choose a nice spot.  We finished up staying here for 3 nights and on the Sunday drove into Jingellic for a pub lunch, just didn't have the luxury of rolling down the hill to get home.

Gadds Bend, nearly all to ourself.

Could watch the cows grazing over in NSW.  Even warmed up enough for a quick dip.

Our closest neighbor was 300m away.
After leaving Gadds Bend (200m above sea level) we drove up to Tumbarumba, a small country town on the western foothills of the Snowy Mountains about 750 meters above sea level - you could feel the chill in the air (this was their summer!!). After a stroll along the main street and a nice coffee at the bakery we went to Henry Angel camp just 12 km south east, was a nice area but decided to go to Paddys Creek Reserve a further 12km.  This was another nice free camp, even had hot water in the ablution block, a nice bonus.  The area was a little smaller than Henry Angel but a good spot to stay for the night. In the morning decided to move back down to the river, thought it might be a bit warmer lower down out of the mountains.

Paddys Creek Reserve

Up at this altitude needed warm footwear, beanie, coat and a little something to warm the insides.

On the way down to Towong on the Murray River we stopped at the Southern Cloud Memorial scenic lookout.

Crash site was way over in those mountains

The Southern Cloud, was one of 5 three-engine Avro 618 Ten aircraft flying daily airline services between several Australian cities. On 21 March 1931, the Southern Cloud left from Sydney for Melbourne. On board were six passengers and two crew members. Weather conditions en route were hazardous and much worse than predicted. The aircraft never reached its destination and disappeared.
The search for the missing aircraft lasted eighteen days and involved over twenty aircraft. No trace of the missing aircraft was found.
It was Australia's first major airline disaster. Australian National Airways folded later that year as a result of both this and another loss.
The Southern Cloud fate remained a mystery for 27 years until 26 October 1958. On that day, Mr. Tom Sonter, a worker on the Snowy Mountains Project, accidentally discovered the wreck. The crash site was in heavily timbered mountainous terrain within the Snowy Mountains about 25 kilometres east of the direct Sydney–Melbourne route. Investigations concluded that the severe weather conditions at the time of the flight most likely contributed to the crash.

Towong camp on the NSW side of the Murray River

 Once down by the river at Towong, just 14km from Corryong we had another great camp on the banks of the Might Murray. The only facility at this camp spot was a long drop toilet.  This would have to have been the strongest "outback dunny" I have ever seen!.  The door was that heavy I thought it was made of 1 inch plate steel but on closer inspection was 1/8 inch steel plate double sided the same as the wall construction. Story has it that the door was continually getting shot up so the council decided to make a stronger door, and they certainly did that.

Built like an air raid shelter, could withstand any blast!!

More campers moved into the area waiting for the Man from Snowy River Festival held @ Corryong

While staying at Towong Reserve we did a day trip to Corryong which is at the base of the Australian Alps Upper Murray River. Corryong is also the birth place of the legendary Man from Snowy River (Jack Riley) and the town hosts the Man from Snowy River Festival in April. We had meet several campers who had started to gather for the festival which was in 11 days time.

Man from Snowy River - Corryong

Information Centre - Corryong

You couldn't stay in the Snowy Mountain area without a visit to one of the Hydro Power Stations.  We drove to Khancoban and visited the Murray One Power Station which is located approx 10km above Khancoban.  The station consists of 10 water turbines generation a total of 950MW.

Murray 1 tour - can you pick the Territorian? (check the footwear)

Murray 1 Power Station - 10 x 95MW turbines

I did try my luck at fishing without any success, a passing local told me that the river was too low and the temperature had been too hot for fishing ........ otherwise I surely would have caught one or may be it was the barra lure! - wasn't any good for barra either :o(

We headed back to Albury following along the Murray River staying one night at Burrowye Reserve before crossing Lake Hume at Bellbridge and into Albury.

Again on the Murray River at Burrowye Reserve

08 March, 2014

Homeless in Albury

After spending the Australia day weekend with the 4WD club we decided to stay around the south east (Robe) and enjoy the weather and beaches.  What was going to be one week turned into two weeks.  Sometimes you just have to tough it out!!

Long Beach Robe

This was the start to a bit of a fitness program, after the normal Christmas and New Year celebrations it was time to start exercising again and no better way to start than with some long walks on the white sandy beaches of Robe.

Plenty of beaches to walk along

It was an effort to make a move away from the SE but we had a commitment mid February in Melbourne to drop the caravan off at New Age for some warrantee work to be completed.

As we had spent an additional week in the South East we basically made a direct route to Benalla which is about halfway between Melbourne and Albury where we would be staying with Briony while the van was having work done.

Camp ground at Rupanyup

We travelled via Horsham, Bendigo and Shepparton. After leaving Robe our first overnight stop was at a small country Victorian town of Rupanyup, a great camp in the Rupanyup Memorial Park with great facilities for an over night stop at $10 per night incl power. As we needed to keep moving didn't get to see Woods' Farming and Heritage Museum, a collection of stationary engines, tractors, tools and farm and household memorabilia - I've put this on the "will be back to see" list as from all reports is an amazing collection.  From here we travelled through Bendigo and decided to stay at Green Lake about 20km east of Elmore.  We read on Wikicamps that it can be busy at times with local boating but when we arrived was quiet with about 10 other campers spread over a large area around the lake.  As it was one of those 40 deg days the water was too inviting so naturally couldn't help myself and had to have a couple of quick dips. Around mid afternoon a power boat arrived and was pleasant to watch some water skiing.  Being a warm day it seemed that half of Shepparton (about 60km to the west) had hooked the boat on after work and were now on Green Lake taking advantage of the water to cool off ....... so much for the serenity!!!  On sunset the wind had picked up and they all must have gone home to the air conditioning.

Green Lake

We made Benalla the following night & stayed for 3 nights.  Taking Briony's boxes of treasure to Albury one day then back to Benalla in readiness to take the caravan to New Age at Epping on Monday morning.  Sunday we decided to headed closer to Epping and stayed in Kilmore for an early start on Monday. luckily the bushfires were contained but the strong smell of smoke lingered over the township. Dropped the van at New Age Epping with a list of items to be looked at before driving to Albury to spend the next couple of weeks with Briony in her unit while the van was being fixed.

This was going to be a relaxing time spending the days drinking coffee and seeing the sights and spending quality time with Briony when she wasn't at work.  Well ...... the first couple of days we just settled in and then Briony came home and informed us her plans to go to Canada had started to take effect and she had to be out of her unit in 3 weeks, this meant us as well, and that her ticket to Canada had been booked for April. So this has meant our quiet time has become busy, busy, busy with helping sell her furniture etc another garage sale and markets to sell more stuff!!.

All ready for the garage sale

After 2 weeks of selling and cleaning we shut the door on Briony's unit with only hours to spare between her moving out and us picking up the caravan from New Age, in fact if the van was a day later we would have been out on the street.

On the way back to Albury we stayed over night in a free camp on the highway before getting back to Albury were we will stay for a week to sort out the last remaining items from Briony's unit and settle back into the van.  Oh, it's so nice to have our home back again.

At last back in our home in Albury

We have been busy over the last 5 or so weeks so now looking forward to getting out camping again - hope to find some nice quiet spots along the Murray River, might even throw the line in!!