Monthly Archives: October 2018

Backroad to Anglesea

We left Geelong on a rather windy and overcast morning for Anglesea, our first stop on the Great Ocean Road. Anglesea is a few kilometres to the west of Torquay. We took a ‘back road’ north-west of Geelong through Bannockburn and then more or less south to Inverleigh and Winchelsea before heading to the coast.


Inverleigh Hotel

Some sheep on green pastures, total contrast with sheep out in western Queensland on our Birdsville trip.

Bannockburn Railway Station, now a restaurant, the trains just zip by!


It was a rolling countryside with green pastures, plenty of sheep and grain crops. A few vineyards too. Many of the old buildings in these towns are constructed from bluestone and have a bit of old English character about them.  We had lunch in Inverleigh at the Bakehouse. A trap to avoid in travelling around country towns is to go lunching on Mondays or Tuesdays, most places seem to close on these days. But the Bakehouse was ok, not sure my father had corn kernels in his pasties though!

A pastie with a spinach and feta ‘sausage’ roll at the bakehouse in Inverleigh.

Old Winchelsea town hall

This odd little building at Winchelsea is now the Information Centre for the town.

We got to Anglesea eventually, going via Torquay just for a quick look. We are going to come back to Torquay on another day. Have settled into the campground at Anglesea, on a big site with the beach on one side and the river on the other.


Arrived at Geelong

We have arrived at Geelong and have stayed the night at a van park beside the Barwon River a few kilometres out of the city. It is near to the start of the road to Torquay and the ‘Surf Coast’. After we left Coolamon we stopped in at Glenrowan, Ned Kelly country.

Oxley Recreation Reserve

Lunch at Baileys, only allowed a glass and a half, as we were on the road. But took the remnants with us of course!












We arrived just in time to enjoy a pizza and a glass of red for lunch at Baileys Vineyard and Winery, this is one of Allthego’s favourites. They make a simply great old vintage port, not to missed on a trip south. Overnighted here in a Oxley, a small township near Glenrowan, in their Recreation Reserve. We were the only ones staying there apart from some cattle, of which there was evidence. Very quiet and peaceful.

Henty Man, along the ‘backroad’. Originally carved out in the 1930s by an itinerant worker from a burnt out tree and ‘restored’ in 1986. Commemorates the wandering workers of the depression years.

Took a ‘back road’ from Seymour down through Lancefield and Bacchus Marsh to the outskirts of Geelong. These roads passed through parts of the Macedon Ranges, lovely rolling countryside strewn with big granite boulders and outcrops. We were not far from the ‘Hanging Rock’ of Picnic at Hanging Rock fame.

The weather has turned a little grim for the start of the trip,  a fair bit of rain overnight and windy as we set off for Anglesea, via the hinterland food trail.


We have made it to Coolamon, which is a little north-west of Wagga in southern NSW. After leaving Coonabarabran we overnighted in the Goobang NP. This park is located about 25 km off the Newell Hwy along a gravel road. The road is quite good and we arrived at the camp ground with no dramas except a bit of dust getting stuck to the van after some light rain was encountered along the way. Nothing like the Birdsville dust! There seems to have been a modest amount of rain in these parts with the pastures showing tinges of green and some water accumulating in the dams. Goobang was a good stopover.

A few days old birdy in the John Oxley Caravan Park.

Goobang campground









Tall trees provided a very shady camp area, unfortunately a fire ban was in place despite recent rain. Bush was very dry though with a lot of leaf litter and dead wood lying around. |Some wallabies with young joeys entertained us in the afternoon. Early the next morning we packed up and headed back to the main road to continue south through Parkes, Forbes and Gilgandra to Coolamon.

Overlooking the Western Plains atop Goobang storms had just past by.

Mother and Joey









In Coolamon the six of us are staying in the Kindra Apartments, a renovated old Masonic Lodge. The main room has a great big screen on one wall for movie viewing and we have already  been thoroughly entertained by a re run of the Man from Snowy River. Opinions were also being freely expressed at this time on a range of topical and controversial issues facing the nation. Allthego had some fairly sound and thoughtful opinions but these were countered by those of far looser substance. Allthego did concede though that everyone was entitled to an opinion and could freely express same. No hard cheese.

Kindra Apartments.

A great old cart, eight horses pulled this when laden, in the Coolamon museum.









The highlight of the stay so far has been the Italian Dinner at the Cheese Factory. This was a sold out affair, with I guess something like 70-80 people enjoying the ambience of the location. Prior to dinner we had 5 O’clock nibbles, including some pleasant cheeses from the factory,  and a few reds so the group was in a jovial mood as it headed off at 7 pm on the short walk to the dinner location. As it turned out this was to be what Maree has called ‘a degustation dinner with a difference’. Our two courses were served over a period of close to 3 hours in about 5 separate instalments, 3 of the main meals had been ‘forgotten’. The kitchen it seems was  a little  stretched. Coolamon is a town of 2000 or so people who take great pride in its street scape and community. Some interesting museums and shops line the wide main street. The Cheese Factory seems to be quite busy with customers coming and going. A great recent addition to the town’s attractions. Back at Kindra the gang has entertained themselves around the dinner table with games of 500 and Bananagram, played in a non confrontational way. Winners were always grinners and losers just took it on the chin and did what they pleased.

The gang at 500, an extremely focussed group.


We are off to dinner tonight at one of the local hotels, it will hopefully be tasty traditional pub fare served up with the usual efficiency of such places.

The others leave tomorrow morning to journey home and we will continue south to Glenrowan and a short visit to Baileys for some port.


Destination is The Great Ocean Road

Well, we are on the road again heading down the Newell Highway and are currently at Coonabarabran. After a short stop off over the coming weekend in the small town of Coolamon, near Wagga in NSW, for the 2018 Hayes reunion (Leanne and siblings plus significant others) we will be heading for Geelong and the start of the road trip along the Victorian coastline. We stopped overnight at Inglewood about 250 km  west of Brisbane along the Cunningham Hwy. This was a good free camping spot beside the local creek, lots of green grass for a change after our recent trip out to Birdsville.

Inglewood free camp

Some horses at Inglewood








This morning we left early, lost an hour at the NSW  border due to day light saving but we are assured to get it back when we return home in a few weeks. The trouble with this daylight saving thing is that we will never know what we missed, if anything. On the way to Coonabarabran the rain came down, it seemed to be rather patchy some areas getting it and others missing out. The region will need more, it is very dry. The wheat crop is in and seems to be progressing ok. As we settled into the camp ground at Coonabarabran the storm clouds were again gathering, they didn’t come to much.

We think it’s wheat?

John Oxley Caravan Park at Coonabarabran








We are off tomorrow heading for Goobang NP midway between Dubbo and Parkes, near Peak Hill