Monthly Archives: September 2013
Cradle Mountain update and moving on
Friday morning after the big blow on Thursday night was a revelation. Our awning had blown out but fortunately there was no damage and we put it up again. The rain had gone away for the day and there was also patches of blue sky and sunshine. And no wind! So we set off for Dove Lake and when we arrived there was a special moment when the sun came out, with some blue sky and the scene was pretty good. The lake not glassy blue with those reflections but not far off. Fifteen minutes later we would have missed it!
Off we set on the Dove Lake circuit walk (about 6.5k) and as you would expect it goes along the shoreline, with a few ups and downs. Most of it is on a boardwalk and takes 2 hours the sign says. We took a bit over 3 as Allthego found lots of interesting things to look at. We also decided to walk the other way around the lake rather than the way the sign seemed to point, which was the way most others went. This was a strategic decision as it would mean that as people (and there were a lot of them on this walk) passed us they wouldn’t see our backsides. Readers should remember this. It was a great walk and the weather held up for
us pretty well with only the odd shower along the way.
After a late lunch we made arrangements to see Devils@Cradle for the evening feeding show, which went from 5.30 to a bit after 7pm that night. Pretty cold out there, but no rain and the wind had gone. Still. Learnt a little about the devils and the facial tumour that has wiped 80% of them out over the last 15 years. They really tore into a wallaby hind quarter with gusto!
Returning to the van we were pleased that it was all calm, no rain and no wind. Very quite indeed. After dinner we topped up the hot water bottles and off to bed. Early this morning (Saturday) we awoke to a white campsite and about 3 cm of snow on the ground and covering the vegetation. Also the annex roof. Easy to clear though and all was well. The morning has again been relatively calm, but the wind and rain has picked up this evening. Went up to Cradle Mountain to catch the snow there for one last photo!
Bit blowy as we close off from Cradle Mountain. Tomorrow morning we head to Strahan for 2 nights.
Cradle Mountain still but only just
Well we survived the crossing of Bass Strait! It was a pleasant journey in the Spirit of Tasmania 1, there was a little bit of roll from time to time during the night and we had a good nights rest in our 4 berth room on deck 7. There were only the two of us so there was plenty of room.
Raining and windy in Devonport when we arrived and set off to find some breakfast, before doing a bit of shopping to replenish the food stocks. Tassie smoked salmon on cheesy toasted bagels hit the spot along with some coffee at 7am. Still raining as we set off to Coles, still raining only a bit heavier when we left Coles 20 minutes later with our provisions. Did a little bit of a drive around town to see if the rain would ease off, but it didn’t. So we headed off to Cradle Mountain via Sheffield. Its not far to Cradle Mountain, about 80k. After dithering around in Sheffield and Railton (where there are a lot of topiary images) the rain eased a little, so without any further delays we headed off to the Mountain. Made it just in time to get the van assembled, bit of light rain and wind to keep the team honest.
It started to rain harder with a bit more wind, we had some tuna sandwiches for lunch and that gave allthego some internal wind to go with the external wind. Stoic lot we are. Finally, the rain eased a bit and we drove off from the campground up the mountain to Dove Lake, its about 8k along some narrow roads. It started to rain harder and the wind blew harder. The rain turned to sleet and finally some snow started drifting around. Dove Lake was great with all this going on. It was cold, the sleet was going sideways and we went backwards to the ranger station.
It was great to get back to our van nestled in amongst the bush protected somewhat from the wind. Out came the heater and down came the rain and sleet. Got a bit windy as well, taking down our annex. Thankfully, no damage. In checking the annex there was a 4cm layer of sludgy ice on top of it, no wonder the heater was going overtime in the van! As I write this the wind has dropped away and we are getting a few drops of rain. All is cosy as we prepare to bed down for the night.
No pictures tonight the internet is a bit slow up here. Looking forward to tomorrow, although there are showers forecast.
Enough for now.
Arrived in Melbourne and awaiting the boat (ship or ferry?)
We have arrived in Melbourne and are staying about 20 minutes away from the ferry terminal.
Had a good drive down from Canberra after the wedding, staying at Glenrowan overnight. Glenrowan is where Ned Kelly made his last stand. He was captured here and later hanged in Melbourne Gaol. In this region Kelly and his past is everywhere.
He is he the tourist drawcard it seems, as well as the local vineyards and the natural beauty of the Warby Ranges region. We just had to be seen with Ned and Leanne got down on his feet for a photo opportunity. The campground was a great little spot amongst the trees with plenty of room to spread out. It would be a good base for a visit to this region sometime in the future.
On the way down we had also passed the old Tucker Box spot at Gundagai with the attendant dog.
Before leaving Glenrowan we paid a short visit to Bailey’s of Glenrowan. Baileys is one of the vineyards in North East Victoria, which is home to fortified wine making. Baileys is famous for its vintage ports and muscats. We picked up a bottle of each to keep the cold away in Tasmania.
We are now sitting back awaiting the Bass Strait crossing tomorrow, Wednesday. We board at about 5 pm for a 7pm sailing and arrive at 6 am Thursday morning at Devonport. Depending on the weather situation our first stop will be Cradle Mountain for 3 nights and the next blog should be from there at some stage.
We are now in Canberra, having moved on from Parkes on Thursday morning. Stopped for a while in Gooloogong a smallish town along the Lachlan Valley Way, it’s about midway between Forbes and Cowra. Quiet little place, not many people around but has a proud history on display at its war and early settlers memorials. There is also a pine tree which is a ‘ genetic descendent’ from seeds brought back from the Lone Pine at Gallipoli. Moving onto Cowra for lunch and some short sight-seeing at the visitors centre where they played a video/light show of the Cowra break out told through the eyes of a young lady waiting on the boy friend to return from the war.
Now the trip from Parkes to Canberra should take about 4 hours but we have been stopping along the way admiring the fields with the golden flowers of Canola plants in full bloom. So it was taking a bit longer, but who cares! As we got closer to Canberra sheep took over. In a few places they were up to their armpits in the paddocks, no doubt being fattened up to grace our tables as spring lamb in due course.
We are staying at a free camping spot in Queanbeyan, ‘Hayes on Palmer’, it even has power to the van and is in a great location. Here now for a few days.
Spent this morning at Floriade checking out the Tulips and daffodils, Weather was a bit chilly and we had some scudding showers but after a while the sun came out and it warmed up. Great floral displays set up in various patterns commemorating Canberra’s’ and various Institutions achievements.
Leanne’s niece’s wedding is on tomorrow afternoon out on a property. Sunday will be a quiet day recovering before we head south on Monday morning for Glenrowan, where Ned Kelly had his last stand.
That’s all for now. Next report will be from Glenrowan.
Now at Parkes
We are about to leave Parkes for Canberra.
Left Goondiwindi to a beautiful clear sunny day after a rather windy and rainy night. We made good time down the Newell to Coonabarabran. Along the way we watched the rain clouds gathering and we arrived just in time to catch the rain as we set up for the night. Not too bad though and the rain is certainly needed despite the dams seemingly full in these parts and the fields green with the spring crops coming along nicely. Yesterday we again set off in bright sunshine for the run down to Parkes. A slight detour took us through The Wurrumbungles which are slowly recovering from the devastating fires at the start of the year. The Australian bush though is remarkable. The various types of gum trees were totally shredded by the fires but they are now sprouting new growth and the ground is covered with new shoots and wild flowers.
Arriving in Parkes the clouds again were gathering but they didn’t come to anything and we had our first dry night.
Set up at Coonabarabran
On the road again, Tasmania here we come!
Via Canberra for the wedding of one of Leanne’s nieces.
Well we have set off for Tasmania on the next Journey of Discovery. Left a little later (2 hours) than planned today because of a few last minute essential tasks that Allthego had to attend to. This is not an unusual event, Leanne believes many of the tasks could have been done days before.
First stop tonight was Goondiwindi. Leaving Brisbane we followed the Cunningham Highway through Warwick. It drizzled rain all the way. Encountered some delays due to an accident closing the highway for a while. We did a bit of a detour through the back blocks to by-pass it all. Arrived at the Goondiwindi Top Tourist Park finally at about 4.30pm to darkening skies and increasing rain. Managed to get the van up getting a bit wet in the process. Some fellow RVers were impressed with our efficiency but preferred their caravans to our campervans in this situation.
Now after dinner, all is quite except for the humming sound in the trees of native trucks as they move up and down the highway.
Tomorrow we head for Coonabarabran