Friday 20 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 26

Day 26 - 20/5/2011 - Dicky Beach to Home

A very sad day.  We had to do our final pack up and leave our baby behind and head home.  We dropped the Quantum off at AORC by 9am and arrived back at Bargara by about 1pm.  Walking into our house actually felt really strange.  It felt really really big!  We weren’t use to all of the space!  It took a little while to readjust back to the size of the house.  It felt good to be home but it also felt sad that the great holiday was at an end and we were no longer on the road.  It just reaffirmed the fact that we can’t wait to get out for more adventures.

Here are some of the trip stats

Total Km’s 5774
Total Fuel 915.44L
Av 15.85 L/100km - I don’t think that is too bad considering that I normally average 11L/100km when not towing and I wasn’t exactly driving for economy especially crossing the ranges.
930 photos - You are lucky I didn’t post all of them!!

If I ever get around to working out a good way to make a map of exactly where we went then I will make one final posting for this trip.

We hope you enjoyed our trip as much as we did.
Steve and Jodie

Thursday 19 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 25

Day 25 - 19/5/2011 - Somerset Dam to Dicky Beach

As we didn’t have far to go today so we took our time packing up and heading to Dicky Beach.  We checked in pretty early at Dicky Beach and this gave us time to do a quick trip to the shops to pick up some more Lock’n’Lock boxes, (we are addicted to the stuff!!).  We also started emptying out the gear from the van that we needed to take home.  We were dropping the Quantum off at AORC for its 10,000km service.

That night as a bit of a treat for the end of our journey, we went to the Dicky Beach Surf Life Saving club for dinner.  It was a great place and really busy.  Very nice food.  We though we did pretty well as it was only the 2nd time we had been out for dinner on the whole trip!

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 24

Day 24 - 18/5/2011 - Girraweean NP to Somerset

An early start because we had a bit of distance to travel today.  We headed up through Warrick and Toowoomba and to Hampton.  We stopped at Hampton for lunch at a nice rest stop that you can actually stay at over night as well.  From Hampton headed down to Esk and then up to the township of Somerset.  It is at the base of the Somerset Dam wall.

On arrival at Somerset we finally felt that we were back in Queensland.  It was nice and warm compared to the last 2.5 weeks or so.

The camping area at Somerset was quite good - a long walk to the amenities though and they are open to the public so not really comfortable to use at night.  Cost was $20 - unpowered site.

A loooong way to the amities block!

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 23

Day 23 - 17/5/2011 - Tenterfield Day Trip

It was a slow start to the day as we were having a bit of a rest day and we didn’t have much planned.  We drove back to Tenterfield today for a bit of a look around.  We walked from the Information Centre down the Main Street and back.  We didn’t think it was as nice as Glen Innes but it was still good to have a look around and get to know the town a bit better.  On the way back to camp we took lots of photos of the lovely autumn trees on the drive north out of town.

Entrance to Tenterfield

Monday 16 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 22

Day 22 - 16/5/2011 - Tamworth to Girraweean NP

We woke up at 7:30 to a -2.7 degree morning!  It had gotten down to -4.1 degrees overnight and there was ice on the windscreen of the vehicles.  It was funny to think that it was actually warmer in the fridge than out of it!


Sunday 15 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 21

Day 21 - 15/5/2011 - Sydney to Tamworth

We set off at around 9am from Sydney heading north.  At least by leaving on Sunday morning it helped minimise the amount of traffic that was on the roads.  We weren’t really sure where we’d get to but we knew Evelyn and Allan were heading for Tamworth.

We were going to take a bit more of the scenic route so we took the turn-off to Cessnock, then on through to Branxton, Singelton and Mussewelbrook . We caught up to Evelyn and Allan at Musswelbrook.  Anyway, once we caught up at a service station we all decided we would go on to Tamworth together.

Saturday 14 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 20

Day 20 - 14/5/2011 - Tathra to Sydney (Lane Cove NP)

A big day on the road today.  We set off at about 8am and headed up the coast road - we knew we were trying to get as far as Woollongong but we weren’t quite sure how much further we’d go as we hadn’t decided on how we were going to get around Sydney!

The road from Tathra through to Bermagui was beautiful - the countryside is like dairy country with the beach right next to it - a perfect combination!  We stopped in at Bermagui just to have a look at the town and take some photos.  We definitely want to go back there one day - the van park looks like it’s in a nice spot too.


Friday 13 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 19

Day 19 - 13/5/2011 - Day around Tathra

We slept in until 9.30 this morning - I think we really needed the extra sleep.  We’d both had a bit of a cold in the last few days so it was great to have a bit of a slow day.  The sun was out and it was a gorgeous day so we walked down to the beach and took some photos.  The water at the beach is just so clear and the most beautiful colour - we could understand why they call it the Sapphire Coast.  The wharf looks great from the beach too.

Tathra Wharf

Thursday 12 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 18

Day 18 - 12/5/2011 - Day trip to Eden from Tathra

A very cold and bleak day.  It was possibly the day that it got down to -7deg and snowed in Cooma.  We were lucky that we got out of there in time!!!

We drove from Tathra right down the coast to Eden and then back, stopping at all the little townships along the way but not really getting out of the vehicle due to the weather.  Most of them are very developed and don’t have an awful lot of character.  We can see why Lisa loves Tathra - it really is so quiet and unspoilt compared to all the other beach side towns.
When we got back to Tathra, we went for a quick drive to look at the Wharf and then to the local butcher to a roast and a couple of T-Bones for dinner.  The weather was not as windy tonight - a lot more pleasant than our first night.

No photos today, mainly because the weather was pretty ordinary and I think we were feeling a bit flat because we knew we were on the homeward journey.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 17

Day 17 - 11/5/2011 - Cooma to Tathra

Time to pack up again and get moving towards the coast!  It felt like ages since we had seen the ocean and I think we had withdrawal symptoms!  We were on the road by around 10am and headed out along the Monaro Highway through Nimmitabel then down the range to Bemboka, through to Bega and then down to Tathra.  We set up at the Big 4 Seabreeze Holiday Park - it was a nice park - not as flash as some of the Big 4’s we’ve been to, but still quite good.  It is across the road from the beach.

Photo not from this day but I wanted to put a photo in!

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 16

Day 16 - 10/5/2011 - Cooma

It was an early and cold start today.  We had to get the Pajero into the Dealer by 8.15 am for a service.  Our hands were frozen by the time we’d made breakfast and cleaned up.  We dropped the car into the dealer, and then wandered up to the main street as it was too far to walk back to the van park.

The weather really wasn’t too flash at all.  It was drizzling rain on and off, overcast and a freezing cold wind was blowing.  We sat outside the Coles store (inside the shopping centre) to get out of the wind and cold to eat our smoko but it didn’t help all that much.  We then wandered down to the Camping Store in the main street and spend a couple of hours and some $$$.  We both bought a pair of Emu Ugboots - the best purchase we made on the trip!  They are so comfortable and warm - and if you wear them under jeans you can’t even tell they are ugboots!  We also bought a few more pieces of LOC n LOC boxes for the van and a Led Lenser torch.  I will never buy another brand of torch again, they are fantastic (but expensive!).  After that we went and picked up the pajero and headed back to the van park for lunch.

Some friends that I had meet when I was in Rockhampton had moved to Cooma.  We arranged to go to Gareth and Tanya’s house at around 5 o’clock’ish.  It had been a long time since we had caught up with Gareth and Tania and their kids had grown up heaps.  They have also been doing heaps of work on their house - they even have transformed the shed into a guest house which is still under construction at the back of their house!  Luckily for us Gareth had the fire roaring by the time we arrived, (he knew us Queenslanders would be feeling the cold!) We ordered pizzas for dinner which were very yummy!  It was great catching up with old friends.  After dinner we said good bye and headed back to the cold little Quantum!!

When we got back it was about 5deg inside and out of the van and the temperature was dropping rapidly.  In about half an hour the diesel heater had the inside temperature up to a bearable 12deg and climbing.  By the time that we eventually went to bed it was about -0.5deg outside.  It was going to be a chillie night!!  The diesel heater certainly earned its keep again that night.

Monday 9 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 15

Day 15 - 9/5/2011 - Charlotte's Pass and Cooma

A very sad day today - it was our last day at the house.  :-( .  When we got up it was about 0 deg and looking at the weather predictions they still said there was about a 40% chance of snow up in the snow fields, so we all decided we should go for a quick drive up to Charlotte’s Pass just to have a look before we left.  None of us were expecting to see much - maybe a bit of sleet if we were lucky.

We set off in convoy - with John playing the sound of baby Hannah crying non-stop on the 2 way radio.  We were lucky because we could turn the radio off :-) .  It was about 10:30-11:00 on the way to Charlotte’s Pass and it was about 2-3 degrees.  As we approached Charlotte’s Pass we started to see little patches of what looked like snow.  This was exciting enough but when we got right up to the carpark we realised it was actually snowing properly!

Sunday 8 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 14

Day 14 - 8/5/2011 - Mothers Day and Rest Day

Finally a rest day!!!!  Everyone had a bit of a sleep in this morning - but when we got moving it was a beautiful sunny day.  Still quite chilly outside though!  Ian fired up the BBQ and got some eggs, bacon, tomatoes etc cooking.  We all sat around the table on the deck and had a yummy breakfast and gave Evelyn her Mother’s Day cards and presents.

Masterchef eat your heart out!

Saturday 7 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 13

Day 13 - 7/5/2011 - Mt Kosciuszko Day Trip

Today was the day that Lisa, Ian and I were going to conquer Mt Kosciuszko!!!!  Again it was an early start because we knew the walk from the top of Thredbo takes 3 to 5 hours and the weather can change fairly quickly so the earlier the start the better.  It was a beautiful clear and cold day - couldn’t have asked for better for the climb!  The temperature dropped to -2.4 degrees overnight and there was a good frost in the morning.  It was a toasty 18deg inside the house due to the central heating.  When we left Jindabyne at about 8am, it was about 1 deg, so we knew it was going to be cold at the top of Thredbo and Kosciuszko, especially with the wind chill factor!

Frost on the table

Friday 6 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 12

Day 12 - 6/5/2011 - Murray 2 Power Station Day Trip (inc Old Geehi Hut)

It was an early start because it was our last chance to do a tour of a Snowy Hydro power station.  The tours only run during the week and this was our last chance before we started heading out of the Snowy Mountains region. Today Evelyn and Allan, (Jodies parents), joined us on a day trip to see the Murray 2 Power Station.  We knew the tours were only conducted at 11am and 1pm so we left at about 7.45am so we would get there in time for the 11am tour.  After talking to a few locals they said that it takes about 2-2.5 hours to go the 80 odd kilometers from Jindabyne to Khancoban due to the winding roads.

We drove from the house through to the centre of Jindabyne and then took the Alpine Way turn-off (near the Big 4 Caravan Park). On the way out along Alpine Way towards Thredbo and beyond, there was thick frost everywhere. You could see the water which was running out of the gutters and drains by the side of the road had frozen and was forming little icicles. It was just amazing to see the landscape with the light layer of frost over everything.  The Pajero was showing an outside temperature of -1 deg and the little warning light for “snow on the road”.  You never get to see that symbol in Bundaberg!!!!

It was quite a steep and winding drive from the west side of Thredbo to the Murray 2 Power Station. Part of this Alpine Way is not recommended for caravans. We stopped quickly at Leatherbarrel Creek Camping and Picnic Area - it was a beautiful spot - but absolutely freezing! The ferns on the ground were frozen solid - but the little creek was still flowing.

Frozen Fern

Thursday 5 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 11

Day 11 - 5/5/2011 - Jindbyne Big 4 to East Jindabyne House (The Point)

We drove over to Jindabyne this morning and parked the van at the bottom of the driveway of the house.  The house was just fantastic - 5 bedrooms - 3 bathrooms.  2 bedrooms are in one wing and 3 are in the other - so it’s fantastic for a large group of people.  Mind you we needed all of the space to house all of the people!

"The Point's" Deck

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 10

Day 10 - 4/5/2011 - Tumut to Jindabyne Big 4

Again we didn’t have an early start - around 9 or 10am before we got on the road.  It took longer than we expected to get to Jindabyne due to climbing the ranges along the Snowy Mountains Highway and a few stops.  One stop was at Kiandra for a quick photo.  The old Court House is the only building remaining from the gold rush ghost town.

Kiandra Court House

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 9

Day 9 - 3/5/2011 - Tumut
Today we decide to have a quiet day in Tumut and catch up on a few jobs and recharge the batteries.  As a result we had a nice slow start to a beautiful misty morning. Hopefully this meant that we once the fog cleared, there would be plenty of sunshine to fully recharge the batteries.

Monday 2 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 8

Day 8 - 2/5/2011 - Lobs Hole Ravine Rd and Yarrangobilly Caves Day Trip

Today we were going to tackle Lobbs Hole Ravine Road that we aborted a few days ago.  We set off at around 8am this morning because the guide says the track takes about 3-4 hours - so we’d though that we would start early because you never know what the track conditions are like.  We entered the Lobbs Hole Ravine Rd from the northern end.

The start of Lobb Hole Ravine Road

Sunday 1 May 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 7

Day 7 - 1/5/2011 - Tumbarumba to Tumut

It was a slow start this morning - we knew that the Caravan Park in Tumut didn’t accept people checking in until 12.00 so we didn’t bother leaving Tumbarumba until around 10am.  It is only about an hours drive from Tumbarumba to Tumut.  When we arrived at Tumut we picked out an unpowered site right beside the Tumut river.  It’s a great van park - although the old amenities block was due to be renovated in May 2011 and you could tell why!  The river is right beside the park - and there are loads of birds and brumbies that use the river to drink and play in.  The river was flowing quite quickly - it was strange to see a river flowing from East to West - not what we are used to coming from the Eastern side of the Great Divide.  In summer it would be a great place for a swim.
Brumbies coming in for their afternoon drink