Australian Travel · Camping · Destinations · Four Wheel Driving · Free Camping · Home on the Road · National Parks · New South Wales · Victoria · Writing & Reading

A pretty Australian Australia day

“There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around”
“The Banjo”

What could be more Australian than reading about the life of Banjo Patterson while camping at Tom Groggin, NSW – the home of Jack Riley, “The Man from Snowy River”.

This past Australia Day weekend was our maiden voyage in the caravan since moving to the Snowy Monaro region last year. I know…..no caravaning for six months….. what the?!

Well this trip certainly dusted off the cobwebs on both the caravan and our noble steed, the Colorado.

Tom Groggin near Khancoban in the Snowy Mountains is probably one of the best camping spots we have stayed at…… golly I’m full of big calls lately! It’s totally true though.

On the banks of the upper reaches of the Murray River near the base of Mount Kosciouszko, Tom Groggin is picturesque, to say the least.

I wonder how much as really changed since Banjo visited in 1890? Apart from the obvious, you know – bitumen roads (any roads in fact), the odd “official” campground here and there with drop toilets, a smattering of picnic tables, parking barriers and fire pits. I really do wonder how much the natural portions of this region have changed…. I mean it is relatively untouched by humans.

Tom Groggin straddles the southern border of NSW and the upper Victorian High Country which as you can probably imagine has some great 4WD tracks.

We gave the Mt Pinnibar track a red hot go while we were out and about. Located in the Alpine National Park on the Victorian side of Tom Groggin, the track tackles the steep Mt Pinnibar (1727m above sea level) and it was rough – holy moly! It had definitely been chopped up and was one of the hardest 4WD trips we have tackled to date. If we had known what the track was like we probably wouldn’t have taken it by ourselves, there were plenty of people around so I’m sure we would of been fine if we became unstuck.

I will share some more adventures from Tom Groggin sooon…

Speak soon

S

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Attractions · Australian Travel · New South Wales · Travel Photography · Victoria

The Mighty Murray

We have both always loved the Murray River and have returned frequently throughout our travels. It provides so many perfect free camping opportunities all along its beautiful banks in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. Every time we camp along the banks of the Murray we would watch the house-boats float past our campsite and say “One day.”

And now we have. What a wonderful experience. If you haven’t had the chance, it is an absolute bucket list item! The Murray is absolutely magical any time but to stay on the river itself is something else.

The Murray is the third longest navigable river in the world. Its length is third to the Nile and the Amazon. The history of the Murray is a large part of Australian pioneering days. Paddle steamers are synonymous with the Murray River. In the olden days paddle steamers carted wool, grain and general cargo. The paddle steamers are now used mostly for tourism and cart tourists along the waters of the Mighty Murray.

We can highly recommending spending time on the Murray in a houseboat. Our best advice is to research the houseboat extensively and speak to others who have used each particular company before booking.

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Attractions · Australian Travel · Destinations · Queensland · Reader Interaction · Victoria

dreaming of water

385405_10150355416394538_1247540912_nWhen one lives in the middle of nowhere during  a drought they cannot be scalded for dreaming of water. I’ve been constantly thinking about rain, rivers and oceans, oh my. Apparently it can also cause people to book two water based getaways within the space of a fortnight. Well that’s our excuse and where sticking to it.

Our first getaway coincides with the October long weekend and will see us head to Noosa in Queensland. We are looking forward to exploring the Noosa area including:

  • boating on the Noosa River
  • beach fishing at Noosa North Shore
  • enjoying a wine &/or coffee along Hastings Street
  • walking through Noosa National Park

Please share with us things we must see and do while visiting the Noosa Region. We’d love to hear some insider secrets.

welford 2

Our second water based holiday is one we have dreamt about for years. You cannot get anymore water-based than holidaying ON the river. So we’ve booked a houseboat on the Murray River has been booked for our Christmas-New Year break. Our boat departs from Echuca which is a lovely town that we have visited multiple times in Victoria.

Have you house-boated on the Murray River? We’d love to know how you enjoyed your experience? Please share any places to stop and explore?

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Attractions · Australian Travel · Travel Photography · Victoria

African Safari in the Midst of Surburban Australia

Our recent trip to Melbourne allowed us to visit Werribee Open Plan Zoo. It was a wonderful and affordable day out. It’s nice to see the animals out on replica Savannah Plains instead of enclosed cages. Our favourite was the Wild African Cat Encounter where we went behind the scenes and got to have a cuddle with these beautiful creatures?

What’s everyone favourite Australian zoo?
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Attractions · Australian Travel · Caravan Parks · Free Camping · National Parks · New South Wales · South Australia · Travel Photography · Victoria

Three States in Three Days

We are back on the road after our working stint in Griffith and we are back into the swing of living on the road. This leg of the trip will see us travel through some of the remotest areas of the Australian outback. However, to start off our adventure we jumped from New South Wales to Victoria and onto South Australia in the first three days. No we are not running a race it’s just how our travels have unravelled thus far. From Griffith we headed towards Mildura and the mighty Murray. I had heard so much about Mildura and it didn’t disappoint. It had a similar feel to that of Griffith I guess due to the fruit trees and grapevines but the architecture was similar to that of Bendigo. For our first night we found a secluded little free camp on the edge of the Murray River. We followed signs out of town towards King’s Billabong & Psyche’s Bend. There were a few other campers around but the closest was about 500m away so it felt like we had the whole river to ourselves. There were no facilities other than flattened out campsites & some camp fire ditches. Sometimes it’s nice to just be amongst nature with no man made intrusions.

From Mildura in Victoria we weaved our way across some brilliant scenery towards Silverton in New South Wales just to the North West of Broken Hill. We had planned to go via the Darling River Run and Menindee Lakes but unfortunately due to flooding we were unable to get through. Oh well next time. For the night we called Penrose Park home and were very happy with the facilities and camping areas. After our camp was set up we headed into Silverton to have a look around. Silverton is only 25 kms from Broken Hill and over 39 dips in the road (think rollar coaster ride) It is quite a historic little town dotted with old stone buildings scattered throughout the outback backdrop. It’s modern claim to fame is the “Hollywood of the Outback” Many movies have been filmed in the town and surrounding areas including; Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Mad Max, A Town Like Alice and many more. It is a beautiful landscape so you can see why directors and producers flock to this desolate place. We headed to the Silverton Hotel for a quick drink and a game of table tennis before heading out of town to a lookout with views across the Mundi Mundi Plains. Breathtaking. We enjoyed some wine as the sun set over plains with several other travellers it really was spectacular.

We had a quick poke around Broken Hill in the morning visiting the look out and the Miner’s Memorial. Leaving Broken Hill saw us heading towards the South Australia border towards Port Augusta. For lunchtime we pulled over in the small town of Mannahill and we had a very quick lunch stop. The wind and cold hurried us along and it was back into the warm car to churn a few hundred more kilometres. After Petersborough we headed North into the Central/Northern Flinders Ranges past Hawker. This is where we will be staying for the next several nights. It is freezing as I write this blog post I am over looking the mountain ranges as the sun sets, rugged up from head to toe still feeling the cold in my bones. We really do live in a wonderful country, one of such extremes and variances. Who wouldn’t want to explore it.

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Australian Travel · Destinations · Travel Photography · Victoria

The City Thing

What a massive week in Melbourne we have had. We arrived safely back at the farm and all we can say is we had a fantastic mini-break in the big smoke. Our time in Melbourne made me realise that as much as I love visiting the city and soaking up all that it has to offer I don’t think I could live there anymore. It’s too busy, too hectic and too crazy. I felt I was being pushed and pulled in every direction. With that being said we had a ball. It was a foodie’s dream adventure and we travelled around the culinary world in only one short week; from Greek to Thai to Japenese to Middle Eastern to Chinese to Pub Fare and all restaurants were top-notch.

Here are the restaurants we tried and tested:

Chinese: Supper Inn – in China Town

Good quality Chinese, quick service and reasonable pricing.

Greek: Tsindos Restaurant – on Lonsdale St

http://www.tsindosrestaurant.com.au/

Cute atmosphere, reasonably priced, delicious food, fantastic Greek wine.

Greek: Stalactites – on Lonsdale St

http://www.stalactites.com.au/

Quickly seated, service average, food delicious, large serving sizes, food was delightful.

Japenese: Don Dons – on Swanston St

Cheap food, quick service, busy, food slightly above average.

Middle Eastern: Mecca Bah – Docklands

Food was fantastic, servings on the small side, service was slack, atmosphere and view brilliant 

Thai/Vietnamese: Your Thai – on Swanston St

Highly efficient service, cheap eats, large serving sizes, wide variety of dishes to choose from

Pub Fare: Bendigo across from Central City Caravan Park

A bit on the expensive side for a pub meal, large meal portions, modern design in dining room, mouth-watering meals, cake for dessert was dried out. 

Other bits and bobs

Koko Black – Decadant Cinnamon Belgium Hot Chocolate

Brunetti’s – Delicious Macaroons

Little Cupcake Shop – Sweet little Red Velvet Cupcakes – Yummy!

The important reason for our Melbourne Trip was to head to the Camping Show and purchase our new camper which we successfully completed. The other reason I made the journey was to catch up with my much-loved friend Leanne. It was nice to have a girly weekend with her including venture to Loreal Fashion Week. We both had a fantastic time. After Leanne flew home Shaun and I picked up our camper and waved the city bye-bye. It will be a while before we head to the city again as after Easter we are heading West for several months and who knows where the road will lead.

Here is a few photographs of our time in Melbourne:

Attractions · Australia Capital Territory · Australian Travel · Camping · Caravan Parks · Destinations · Four Wheel Driving · Free Camping · National Parks · New South Wales · Northern Territory · Preparation · Queensland · South Australia · Travel Photography · Victoria · Western Australia

Introducing Our Special Destination Series

One of the most common questions we get asked about our travels is “Where is your favourite place?” To be honest the answer is everywhere. We are so lucky to live in such a diverse and varied country. No two places are ever the same. They may look or feel the same but when you scratch the surface they are worlds apart.

Of course we do prefer certain places over others. For example we prefer the outback over the city and we prefer free camping over caravan parks. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Sometimes it’s nice to visit a city for a few nights to spoil ourselves and sometimes you do feel more secure staying at a caravan park then at a road side stop.

We have decided to do a series of articles/blog posts to showcase our preferred destinations. The places we stop at for one night and end up staying for longer. The destinations we are already planning to come back to before we have even left. Believe us there are a lot of these places scattered throughout Australia. From well-known locations that everyone knows about to those areas that not many have even heard about let alone visited.

Our first special destination is: Welford National Park, QLD

Keep following our blog to keep up to date with our Special Destination Series. Feedback is more than welcomed.

Bye for Now