Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Newtown 20 - 24 Nov 2012

We cut our holiday short to head up to Sydney to help our daughter fix up her house. She and Carl have found a new house and they are getting their house ready to sell. It has come up a treat and should sell well. As there are no sites in Inner Sydney, we camped in an old factory car park. It was a few minutes walk from the house and very convenient. Everything is tight in Newtown and you often feel that you are on top of each other.

Monday, November 19, 2012

On the way home

Goulburn 18 Nov 12

We left on Sunday morning as we had to get back to Sydney to help Katie and Carl move as they have just bought a new house. We were hoping to get to Sutton Forest tonight but only got to Goulburn (480Km) which is a lot for us in the motorhome. We also stopped in at Yackandandah on the way and had morning tea in a sunny courtyard. As we were leaving the shop it started pelting down, but by the time we got to the motorhome (soaking wet) it had dried up and was sunny again. You have to love Victorian weather!

Mt Hotham


Modern Bluegrass

Old Time Bluegrass

Friday, November 16, 2012

Harrietville (Bluegrass Festival) 15 - 17 Nov 2012

After stopping at Benalla we headed for Harrietville through the wine country surrounding Myrtleford. We could feel the temperature drop as we headed towards the mountains. We made a detour at Milawa to go to our favourite cheese factory and pick up some delicious ‘smelly cheese’ (Heather had to double bag them) before arriving at Harrietville. This is a small village nestled into the termination of a valley surrounded by steep wooded mountains. In the winter this is a favourite spot for people to stay when skiing at Mt Hotham but in the summer it reverts to a sleepy little village. Not that there has been much summer this trip. Just when we think it is finally getting warm, there is another cold snap and we are back into our winter clothes! Harrietville hosts the annual bluegrass festival in a local park. It is only a small festival, as accommodation is tight and there is only one venue operating at a time. This is our first bluegrass festival and we didn’t know what to expect, but so far everyone seems friendly, with 4 fingers on each hand and no one seems to be married to their cousin. The festival kicked off with a concert on Thursday night. The highlight of the evening was an American group called Redline that played some terrific music from the south-east of America. They had a banjo player that made the strings fly – he was moving his finger so fast that his hand was just a blur. The next day we decided to take a drive up to Mt Hotham to look at the view. The road was windy and steep, but we first thought we would be at the top soon. However every time we got to a top of a ridge the road kept on climbing. We stopped to look at a Woolybutt forest and then continued up the mountain. We were reward with some spectacular views of rolling mountains stretching towards the horizon. We also discovered Hotham Alpine Resort – a deserted village with about 100 lodges just waiting for the ski season. There were some large patches of snow that hadn’t melted and we had fun throwing snow balls – even put 2 in the freezer for Xavier to throw at dad. We worked out when we got back that we had driven up about 1400m to the top of Mt Hotham at 1850m – the Blue Mountains is only 800m high. The music started in the afternoon went into the night, but we didn’t stay to the end as it got really cold – wouldn’t know it was mid November! Overall we enjoyed the festival and learnt a lot about bluegrass music. While there was some music we didn’t like. Overall we felt it was like a folk festival and we will have a greater understanding of the music.


Kyabram 14 Nov 2012

Left for Harrietville in the morning, stopping at Rochester and Kyabram on the way. We have left the drier western areas of Victoria and we are now driving through rich agricultural land, with irrigated fruit trees lining the roads. All the roads are straight and flat around here, so we made good time to Rochester. This is a pretty little town with an attractive main street and beautiful flower beds decorating the roundabouts. As well as all kinds of fruit, it also has a large dairy industry, with a milk factory in the centre of town. We got into Kyabram late in the afternoon. Although bigger than Rochester, it seems a fairly plain town, with none of the charm of Rochester. Camped on the outskirts for the night, next to a fauna reserve.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Elmore (Aysons Reserve) 12 - 13 Nov 2012

Left Bendigo and headed up to Elmore Event Centre. Peter had a meeting with the manager to discuss the success of the centre, as he is trying to develop a similar festival/event centre for the Illawarra Folk Festival. They have over 50 hectares and hold large events up to 15,000 per day. Drove down the road to the Campaspe River and camped at Aysons Reserve. This is a lovely spot, with plenty of bird life and a large gum trees on the edge of the river. It was such a peaceful place that we decided to stay 2 nights. One of the interesting spots we found was right outside our motorhome. There was an old dead tree in the middle of the river and a number of pink galahs (as well as a ) had made their nests in the hollow limbs. We enjoyed watching the birds as they squabbled over the best nesting sites. Also saw a beautiful sunset over the river. This was one of the most relaxing spots we have found on this trip and reminded us why we enjoy travelling around Oz.


Bendigo 6 – 11 Nov 2012

Said goodbye to Pete and Maxine and then headed to Bendigo. We originally wanted to go to a country race meeting for Melbourne Cup, but when we decided to go to Bendigo for a blues festival, we hoped to find a venue hosting a Melbourne Cup Celebration in the region. However we were surprised when we contacted the local tourist offices to find that there was nothing on. Apparently this region had their race day holiday last week and Tuesday was just another working day. It’s funny when the whole of Australia celebrates the Melbourne Cup, yet in northern Victoria it is just another day. We finally found a nice pub (The Shamrock Hotel) to listen to the race call, but it was the quietest Melbourne Cup day we had experienced. With none of the favourites getting into the top 4 we did our dough and had to wait til later in the night to collect our $100M winnings from Oz Lotto. However the hand of fate overlooked us again and we didn’t get a brass razoo from that draw either – back to lottery tickets! The next day we drove around Bendigo and had a look at the sights. Bendigo (along with Ballart) was the richest of the goldfields and this is reflected in the beautiful public and private buildings that grace the streets. It also has (to our surprise) 15 op shops that we managed to visit over the next few days. We also saw the hidden side of Bendigo, which is full of run down housing and people who seem to be struggling with life. Bendigo Blues Festival was held in the pubs and bars around town and featured a variety of blues and roots music. We had a great time listening to the music, especially on Saturday, where they had an outdoor concert in a local park. Amongst the groups we liked were Blues Mountain, Dave Diprose, Stringybark McDowell, Jo Jo Smith, Josh Owen and Urban Creatures. By Sunday evening we were exhausted after 4 days of music and were happy to have an early night.

Maldon Folk Festival

Maldon Folk Festival 1-5 Nov 2012

We were looking forward to seeing Maldon as we had arranged to catch up with some old friends who had recommended the festival. On the way there, we drove to Chewton to visit Joan, who is Heather’s Aunt. She lives in an old cottage and spends most of the time working in her garden – Heather was very jealous! Drove back to Castlemaine and had a look around the town – again magnificent public buildings for a small town. They had the most comprehensive restoration centre that we had ever seen. This time it was Peters turn to be jealous! After lunch we arrived in Maldon and had a look around the town. It slowly dawned on us that we had visited Maldon about 5 years ago, but had forgotten about it (we should have read our blog). Unlike the other gold mining towns around here, Maldon does not have impressive public buildings or homes – most of the shops and houses are built of timber and tin. While Maldon had a number of very productive mines, the boom was short-lived and most of the population moved away after the gold petered out. The people who remained, continued to live in the town, but didn’t have the pressure to modernise their buildings and so Maldon today reflects a typical mining village from the 1860’s. We camped out of town, in an old gold reserve. This is the main area for the Maldon Folk Festival and the organisers had erected a number of large tents for the entertainment. When we found a spot in the bush to camp, we discovered we were camped next to another couple (Pete and Maxine) we had meet when we were bush walking at Halls Gap. We had told them about the festival and they had decided to check it out. The festival kicked off on Thursday with a concert including Martin Pearson – a unique character, who always makes Peter laugh with his insane ramblings. The next day we meet with Judy and Rod for coffee and arranged to have a barbeque that night to catch up with our other friends. Maldon is a low key festival, with a lot of the acts being local, so we didn’t know most of them. The only international act was The Whitetop Mountaineers, a genuine bluegrass act from the Virginia Mountains – loved their accents. The music tended to be more country and bluegrass than folk, but the audiences loved it and we had a great time. As we were camped out of town, there was a bit of distance between the venues, so we needed to do a bit of careful planning to see everybody, but we managed to catch up with all the acts that we were interested in.


Maryborough 31 Nov 2012

Maryborough is another old gold mining town with impressive public buildings. It was meant to be an RV Friendly town, however we found it pretty tight, with little parking or camping facilities. Stopped the night at an old reservoir on the outskirts of town, which was very scenic.


Ararat 30 Nov 12

After lunch, we drove to Ararat, a large pleasant town with many fine buildings, courtesy of the gold rush. Had a drive around and went to a few op shops. Camped by the showground for a peaceful night.