A Travellerspoint blog

Highlights.

Our Top Five.

Hilaire's Top 5 Highlights.

1) Port Fairy. - A Magical place to visit.
2) An afternoon touring topless around Albury area - finding places like Burrumbuttock, St Hilaire and the Kinross Woolshed Hotel.
3) Public Inn (Castlemaine) - The best place we found to dine. (Worlds best salt & pepper calamari)
4) Lake cruise at Lakes Entrance with lunch at Metung Pub & shopping.
5) Walhalla - Everything about the place (history, beauty, hospitality, and met some great fellow travellers)
6) Blue Duck Inn - Country hospitality at its best. No phones, no internet, no power after 10:00pm.
7) We didn't kill each other!

Peter's Top 5 Highlights.

1) Touring Topless around Albury after the AGM. - Exploring aimlessly.
2) The wildlife around Hall's Gap - abundant birdlife, fox, deer, kangaroos.
3) Stopping for impromptu picnic lunches beside the road at beaches, creeks and anywhere.
4) Walhalla - the amazing valley and the history of the place.
5) Our wonderful travelling companions in Andrew & Edi. Great mates!

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 15:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 22.

Getting Home.

rain

Day 22. 4th April. (Arriving home)

After a lumpy crossing of Bass Straight with 25 knot winds, I woke early and went down to Deck 7 for a coffee. Out on the open deck it was very blowy with heavy cloud and some rain. Didn't stay out there long. The signal soon sounded for us to go down to our vehicles but we waited for what seemed ages before being allowed to disembark. Out of the ferry into a gloomy Tassie morning. We turned west to Ulverstone and to Woollies for some Easter egg shopping. Brekky at the local bakery and we headed home. Greeted by Keira-Lee, Val (our lovely friend & house sitter) and 3 very excited dogs who hadn't seen us for 3 weeks.
Our 2015 AGM Road Trip was at an end. We only clocked up 2703 kms but had seen most of Victoria in our journey. We had seen some special places, met some interesting people and had great travelling companions in Andrew & Edi for two weeks. We had drunk too much, eaten too much, and walked to compensate. (but not enough) We had explored, wined, dined and relaxed some too. But reality bites, and it's back to work on Tuesday after Easter.
......... And our world was good.

Let the planning start for the next holiday.

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 15:15 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 21.

Walhalla to Philip Island and Port Melbourne

semi-overcast

Day 21. 3rd April. (Our last day in Oz)

Woke to a cold morning, but clear skies. Brekky and then pack up. We stopped in town for a wander through the historic Walhalla cemetery. Up the hillside 500m and had a good look at the history of the people of Walhalla. As with every historic town, especially mining towns, there are some very sad stories. Including 54 miners lost in 52 yrs of mining operations.
Back down the hill and we headed off out of the valley through Rawson and Erica, then into Moe where Andrew came from as a little tacker. Stopped for coffee in Moe and a group of bikes rode into town, then stopped up the road. I thought I recognised one of the bikes, and when a Scrawny Qlder got off his FJR, ANDREW & I went down the road to meet Thommo, a motorcycle mate of ours. THOMMO, Sandy and his mates were on their way for a couple of weeks riding around Vic, and linking up with the FJR ASSAULT.
After smoko, we headed off on the Strezlecki Hwy towards Inverloch and the South Gippsland area. Very busy place is Inverloch with plenty of day trippers crowding into the little town and along the beach. We found a vacant picnic table at the beach and had a nice lunch. I even got to taste seagull poop! (Very salty, very fishy, not nice!)
We then headed off to have a look around Philip Island. Checked out Cowes, had a coffee and an ice cream at the Jetty Cafe and a wander through town with 54,000 other tourists. A bit busy. Well, it is Good Friday.
Now our last leg was up to Melbourne and Station Pier to catch The Spirit of Tasmania ferry home to Tassie. It was a late sailing due to some delay. Andrew and Edi were still with us to the end as they wanted to see us off properly. We found a great little restaurant in Port Melbourne for dinner and the four of us had a great meal of Pizza & Pasta. It was finally time to say goodbye to our travelling companions and Hilaire & I headed down to Station Pier to Board The Spirit. Sat in line on the pier for what seemed like hours, then finally boarded at 10:05pm. Hilaire went straight to bed as it had been a long day, and I went to the stern bar for a couple of reds. Watched a bit of footy on TV and The Spirit finally sailed at 10:35pm. Our holiday was coming to an end...... But our world was still good!

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 15:08 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 20.

Exploring Walhalla.

all seasons in one day

Day 20. 2nd April.

Today we would do some exploring around this little gem of a town. But we woke to cloudy skies and drizzle. We had the complimentary breakfast at our hotel then Andrew, Hilaire & I decided to do the Walhalla Goldfields Railway. We put on our parkers and headed down to the Walhalla Station. This is an old narrow gauge railway that serviced the gold diggings in Walhalla from 1910 to 1944. Now restored by a group of enthusiastic volunteers, it runs from Walhalla Station 4 kms to Thompson River Station. It used to run through to Yallorn and Moe. Pulled by a little diesel loco the same as they use in the Queensland cane fields, and today it was pulling two open passenger carriages. The 1 hour return trip was fantastic with very picturesque scenery and a wonderful history. And the weather had even improved with the sun occasionally peeping through the canopy. These volunteers do a fabulous job keeping the history of the place alive.
Back at Walhalla, we had some lunch and then Andrew & I headed off to do a mine tour of “The Long Tunnel (Extended) Mine”. Walked up about 200 stairs to the walking trail and then along to the mine office. This is now a heritage listed mine and cannot be mined, even though a company owns the mining lease. We donned our hard hats and met our guide Christine who is a local. The 1st thing she explained is that the mine is actually a fire shelter for all the towns folk in times of bushfires. It has been used 3 times in recent history. We explored well into the hillside with our guide explaining all the history of the mine. Fascinating stuff. They even had 5 boilers underground to power the pumps and the steam drills. Timber was used as fuel for the boilers, carted in by horses. There wasn't a tree standing for 15 kms around the town as they were all used to fuel the boilers.
A short rest in the arvo to catch our breath and then it was time to wander down to the pub again for dinner. Another great feed and a few frothies and we traipsed home for a nightcap on the verandah of our hotel, overlooking the Bandstand.
Andrew and I again soldiered on ........ And our world was good!

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 15:03 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 19

Lakes Entrance to Walhalla

sunny 21 °C

Day 19. 1st April. (No fools here)

After a great stay in Lakes Entrance, today we head south to the Central Gippsland region to a little historic gold mining centre called Walhalla, located in the mountainous foothills of Mt Baw Baw. We packed up, checked out, and then walked into town to get some brekky before the 2 hr trip south to Walhalla. The girls did some last minute shopping and we headed down through Swan Reach and Bairnsdale where we stopped for some groceries. It was then on to Stratford, where we turned off the Hwy. With Andrew in the lead, and his GPS wanting to take us on dirt roads, we followed mine instead. We then travelled through Hayfield, Toongabbie and Tyres for a RH turn towards Walhalla. This is where the countryside changed from flat to undulating and soon we were in rainforest with steep gorges and gullies and a very windy road. Very picturesque. Across the Thompson Rv. bridge, and there was a railway station in the middle of nowhere. The narrow gauge rail wound it's way along the banks and steep sides of Stringers Ck. to Walhalla. We came along the road and found this little gem of a place nestled in a steep ravine covered in heavy scrub and rainforest with historic buildings, a railway station, historic gold mines. What an amazing place and a tribute to the guts and determination of our forebears, just to get in here, find gold, and then turn it into one of the richest mining areas in Victoria.
We found our accommodation at The Star Hotel which is run as a guest house. Checked into our rooms and had a bite to eat. Wandered up to the local pub affectionately named “The Wally Pub” where we washed down the days dust & smoke and booked a table for dinner. The town is quite busy with tourists & visitors as it is school holidays. Walked back to our digs, freshened up, then walked back the 800 m to the pub for a dinner you couldn't jump over. Typical country pub hospitality.
There, we met a group of sprightly and elderly people from the Sandringham light activities club who were having a few days in Walhalla doing some walks. Also staying at The Star Hotel, they were having a wonderful time and were the rowdiest bunch at the pub. Put some of us Ulyssians to shame. Back at our hotel, we joined them for a few drinks on the balcony overlooking the Band Stand and the creek. A great way to end a top day with lots of raucous laughter, Old Jack with his whistle, and Loraine who we named “Madame President” as she was so bossy. (In a nice way) Andrew and I were the last to call it quits, and then to bed after midnight. .......... And our world was still fabulous!

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 23:07 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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