Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Travels, part 1-Melbourne to the Fleurieu, with a side trip to Queensland.

  I’ve realised I haven’t shared any pictures of our travels at all. Some people must suspect we never actually went anywhere. So here’s the gist of it, as quickly as possible. This covers last July-September

First up, Melbourne to the in-laws, and a trip up Mt Donna Buang for the ‘snow’. We timed it badly, but our Queenslander children were still quite impressed.


After watching her nanna and I start a granny squares rug (my long, ongoing travel project) Oods mastered it and began her own. Not bad for a seven year old!


Most of our time was spent inside-it was July, and cold, and the husband worked for much of the time. Then our property SOLD (I still can’t quite believe it), we bought an awesome car and drove back up to the property to finish it all up.


With no gas, a solar system that didn’t work, and a snake skin hanging from the ceiling things were even more primitive than when we lived there. But we tidied it up, fixed a few things and packed what remained. When it got too much, a few days at the beach sorted us out.


Then with all done, we went to Lismore (just to check it out) with our very……….us load on the back of the mung bean (as we christened the green, rounded car). Yes that is a chook house, with a chook dome on the roof. The nesting boxes made excellent food storage for the trip.


We decided Lismore was OK but had to give the job offer in Melbourne serious consideration. So off down the gorgeous but frosty New England highway we went to Melbourne again.


The husband began working, I began looking for a rental (no-one rang us back for an inspection. Not one.) and the kids slowly started to fall apart. When Frosty started to wet himself regularly and ignore his daddy (formerly light of his life, to be barnacled onto at every opportunity) we decided a qualification isn’t worth that right now. We have plenty of time, it’s not like we’re approaching middle age or anything, so family can take priority now.

Plus, the husband was having kittens at the thought of having to face this every day. My poor bumpkin isn’t cut out for inner-city life (and neither am I).


So we went on Puffing Billy.


And to Sovereign Hill. Below is lolly making.


We liked the gardens and housing. (Jealous! JEALOUS!)


While the girls made moony eyes at the horses. They were extremely impressed with their carriage ride.


My workers got into gold panning with gusto, convinced they were going to strike it rich-unfortunately not. As an aside, does every former Victorian schoolkid remember doing this on camp?!?!?!


This is about the time we decided to go travelling, as we couldn’t work out what else to do or where else to move to, so in between getting attacked by too-tame cockatoos at Kallista and doing the family rounds, the husband welded up a big cage and turned our trailer into a box trailer, we packed what we needed and hid the rest in the in-laws shed, and took off along the south-west coast. Mostly because we hadn’t been that way, and because we had no interest in moving there there was no ulterior motive!


First stop, Kennett river. Lovely beach, pity about the exorbitant caravan park.


Then the fantastic Blanket Bay, on Cape Otway. Which is FREE! As we subscribe the the ‘buy it when we need it’ philosophy we had no chairs, or lighting, but we got by pretty easily. We did, however, have shovels, and managed to re-route the creek flowing across the beach.


The leeches decided Shorty was extremely tasty…………


……..but the kids weren’t so impressed with my first attempt at camp oven damper. The inside was good!


There were koalas everywhere-seriously, by the time we left they were a bit ho-hum. Yawn, another koala? We also spotted rufous wallabies and an echidna.


Then time to leave Blanket Bay and head along the coast. There’s something called the Twelve Apostles there. Seriously, it’s magnificent along that stretch. The reality makes the photos look like nothing (especially my crappy pics ). And the formations go for miles…….definitely somewhere i’d like to explore more, in better weather.




A stop at Dartmoor amid the carved trees for lunch.


Ogling wind turbines!


  Then it was across the SA border……..and quarantine. Silly us thought that if our plants could have been sent to SA we could take them there, but no. I couldn’t bear to throw them in the pit so labelled them, begging someone to take them back to Victoria and plant them. Other travellers said they weren’t there a few hours later, so here’s hoping someone was happy to find $150 worth of berries, potatoes and crowns. Sob.


Mount Gambier, and the Umpherston sinkhole by day…………..



  And night, feeding the possums that live in the sinkhole.



And the Blue Lake-would you believe we knew absolutely nothing about this area before we reached it? I’d never heard of any Blue Lake.


Then onto Naracoorte to check out the World Heritage caves and megafauna remains-this was where our first wind troubles appeared, and we had to pack up and fork out for a cabin rather than sleep in this.


The caves were truly spectacular, and I look forward to going back and doing ALL of them soon!



Then a rather too-big driving day to Normanville, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide. Picked completely at random from an accommodation directory. We camped just behind the dunes, and bonus! Another creek to dam! Out came the shovels again.


And we found the eggs of an endangered plover.


  We also checked out the whaling museum at Victor Harbour, among other things, and that is where the camera finally decided to die, after months of not zooming and having to be smacked to turn on (let no-one say we are wasteful).



  We were getting heartily sick of the cold by now-we were in bed by seven each night because it was simply too cold to do anything else. September in a tent in the south is not exactly comfortable. So we decided to head generally north and see where that took us.

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