Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Towong Reserve, NSW

Best we resume travelling again, might slip into the habit of staying someplace for too long! Called into Corryong, stocked up the caravan with some fresh veggies and filled the water tanks and then continued along the Murray Valley Highway some more. Heading for the town of Towong which is in NSW and alongside The Murray River. This will be our next stopover.

A short distance from Tallangatta, is Old Tallangatta, the town that was inundated by Lake Hume. Now Old Tallangatta is again visible, well the foundations of the town are. This is the site of the old town.

While we were looking at and photographing the Old Town site, Barry, a local identity, happened to be walking past on a short 20 km stroll and offered us some insights into the history of the area.

Once settled into Towong Reserve, this is the view from our awning. This is the down stream view of The Murray River.

This is what we see looking at The Murray River up stream. directly outside our caravan door. You would pay a ransom to holiday here, but for travellers like us it is absolutely free.

Not far from where we are camped, this is a view of The Murray River Valley.

We are travelling along The Alpine Way south towards Tom Groggin. Behind the Ranges in the background here is Mount Kosciusko.

The Alpine Way from Khanncoban to Tom Groggin is very steep with very narrow cuttings in many places.

The Tom Groggin area, presumably, was named after this Cattle Station.

This is some of the area of Tom Groggin Station.

We drove 75 km to see this section of The Murray River at Tom Groggin. This photograph is looking up stream towards The Murray Headwaters, still approximately 50 km further on.

This is The Murray River looking down stream from Tom Groggin. Travel 75 road km and you will arrive at our camp at Towong Reserve.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dartmouth Dam and Mitta Mitta, Victoria.

From our "base" at Pig Point Reserve we went on a Sunday Drive to Dartmouth Dam and Mitta Mitta Township. We have now travelled the length of the Mitta Mitta River Valley below the Dartmouth Spillway. The valley is beautiful, fertile and productive with both beef cows and dairy cows in large numbers.

The back of the Dartmouth wall. Notice the whiter areas on the Batters in the background? that is where the water flows from the spillway.

The vast lake of Dartmouth Dam.

The Hydro Power Station below the Dartmouth Wall.

An aerial schematic of the dam.

The horizontal elevation and details of the dam. The highest dam in Australia and the largest on the Murray/Darling System.

Commenced Feb '73, completed Nov '79.

The Mitta Mitta River below the town weir in Mitta Mitta Township.

The town park behind The Laurel Hotel, Mitta Mitta.

The Laurel Hotel, Mitta Mitta. Immediately after this shot another dozen bikers arrived.

The general store in Mitta Mitta.

Beechworth, Victoria

We pulled into Pioneer Bridges RA beside the Ovens River mid afternoon for a coffee. Although some rough weather was building we decided to make camp for the night. About 7 PM we were assailed with lightning, thunder, high winds (bit worried about the trees) and heavy rain. It was all over in about 2 hours. The following day dawned overcast with a very cool breeze and it remained that way until mid afternoon.

Walking the streets of Beechworth was a chilly affair - should have pulled on the long pants and shoes instead of shorts and sandals! Continued on to Yackandandah for lunch. Eventually we found a parking area out front of the hospital. This was too far from the CBD to do the usual walk-around. So no site seeing or photos from there. If a town doesn't provide parking for caravans we don't stop!

By this time of day we wanted to set up camp so we drove through Tallangatta, which is on the southern shore of Lake Hume, to Pig Point Reserve on the Mitta Mitta River. The water level in Lake Hume is very low, exposed flats have a good grass cover with cattle grazing them. Pig Point Reserve is complete solitude, no radio (other than JJJ, how come they are everywhere?) no TV and no phone or internet. Here you just talk to the other campers, or listen to the birds. We will stay here 'till we use our fresh water supply.

It seems a quiet day in the main street of Beechworth.

One of the side streets of Beechworth with a sign post of nearby towns.

Ornate Post Office of Beechworth.

Jude is studying the gold prices outside of The Bullion Exchange, wondering if she will invest today!

Tow trucks here are really up-to-date.

The old historical administrative area of Beechworth.

The large Central Park area.

Still have horse watering troughs in Beechworth.

Beechworth Prison. Free lodgings if you also want to give up some other freedoms, like roaming the shops at any time.

Our beautiful camp site at Pig Point Reserve. The Mitta Mitta River is just beyond our caravan.

The opposite bank of the river with some very curious cattle.

The high country beyond The Mitta Mitta River. We will be exploring this country in a couple of days time.

A fallen gum in The Mitta Mitta River.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Eldorado, Victoria

After "Long Service Leave" from the Blog, while we were visiting friends, relatives and family in Southern Victoria, we are back on the road again. As good as it was to catch up with everyone, it is also great to be back on the road. The Blog is back in business, hopefully we can bring you some interesting and up-to-date information along the way.

Our very rough plan is to meet up with the Murray River somewhere near the headwaters and follow it downstream to Robinvale or maybe further! Our destination after that will be decided at a much later date.

The Geelong-Melborne Road, Western Ring Road and the Hume Freeway makes for very easy driving but we decided to make an early stop-over at Balmattum RA near Euroa. It features acres of bitumen and hundreds of very large trucks, all night. In the far background you can see the profile of the country we are heading for.

Driving along the highway to Corryong we noticed a turn-off to Eldorado. It was many years ago that we visited that area. An executive decision was made, we completed a U-Turn and went back to the turn-off. We spent about half a day there. We met Maureen Hearn, a local resident, who writes 'The Eldorado Star' a bi-monthly News Letter. Maureen gave us a copy of The Eldorado Star and I will include it on the blog as soon as I can scan it into my computer. McEvoy Tavern lays claim to being the smallest Pub in Victoria.

Directly opposite the above businesses is this small but well developed park. More upgrades are planned I believe.

The Gunhouse has recently been refurbished. Unfortunate about the new sign board though. Obviously Signwriters no longer need the ability to spell correctly! "Soilders Memorial" the sign quotes.

Main Street is lined with these fabulous Gums that have just shed their bark.

Unfortunately the school is closed but is now used as a Museum. The Children now have to travel to Tarrawingee School. About 10 km distance. The Chain Bucket on the right is from The Eldorado Dredge.

An easy 1 km walk from the centre of town brings you to the Swing Bridge. Judy is crossing Bridge Mk 2. Mk 1 is a triffle unsafe but is still in position.

A view of the old swing bridge from the new one. Not sure if all that trash is from floods or just dropped off the surrounding trees.

Down on Reedy Creek below the swing bridges.

While scrambling down the bank to Reedy Creek I disturbed this monster Goanna. Luckily it decided to scale the tree and not me. It's tail alone is well over 1 metre in length.

As the name Eldorado suggests, This was a rich gold area. Alluvial Gold was mined here and this huge dredge travelled kms along Reedy Creek extracting Gold and Tin from the River Sands. The barge weighs in excess of 2200 tonnes and was powered by electricity. It was the # 3 user of electricity in Victoria after Melbourne and Geelong.

The gantry that controls the height (or depth) of the bucket chain.

Part of the bucket chain.

The main control room.

The 3 phase power lead. The power lead is at least 100 mm diameter.